You’re doing OK mom {becoming mom}

This post was originally published here on February 27, 2012. I am reposting it in honor of Mother’s Day weekend because I think we can all use this reminder no matter how old our children are. As a bonus, JNJ will donate $1 to Save the Children* for every video play between now and Mother’s Day on their (now) classic commercial for moms!  Check it out below. 

Today I took Oscar to his preschool and he was so excited to go back that he hopped right out of the van without so much as a glance in my direction. This is kind of a big deal because in the first couple weeks when he had a few days off between school days, the first day back was like starting all over. Not so this time. He was ready and I couldn’t have been more proud.

I was talking to Jerry this week about the transition from 9-5 employee to 24 hour mom. Anyone who is not a mom hates hearing the phrase, ” I can’t explain it, but it’s the best and hardest job ever”. Anyone who is a mom knows exactly what that phrase means, and how heavy it can be. Staying home all day with my kids isn’t hard. Changing diapers and doing laundry isn’t hard. Making dinner isn’t even that hard most of the time. What is hard is the mental aspect of mothering: the planning ahead, the calculating and decision making that is happening in my brain at. all. times. It truly is exhausting.

As a mom, it’s really hard for me to play with my kids for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s not because my life is too busy or that I don’t love them enough. It’s because my brain is going non-stop. I am constantly thinking about what they need next, what I will make for lunch (snack, dinner etc), when we will go to the store to get more diapers and when will I be able to get some work done. Motherhood is remembering to fill out the preschool forms on time and actually bring them into the preschool on the correct day. It’s remembering sleeping schedules, eating schedules, medicine schedules, and doctor’s appointments and doing so without being stressed out about it or projecting that stress onto the amazing and incredibly impressionable young faces that are watching me non-stop.

With preschool, there is a reprieve. A beautiful couple of hours where my 3 year old is being taught and my 7 month old is napping. I can actually catch a few of my pinball thoughts and put them into action instead of letting them continue to ricochet around in my brain. I can quiet my mind for a few minutes to know that, no I am not perfect, but I am doing ok. And I am getting better at this whole mothering thing.

Last night while watching the Oscars, this Johnson’s Baby commercial literally brought tears to my eyes. I know there were writers upon writers to get it just right so it would tug the heartstrings but not feel cheesy. I know it was supposed to do exactly what it did. But you know what? I don’t care. I needed to hear it. As moms, we all need to hear it. At the end of the day, whether you have found a minute to quiet your thoughts or you are struggling, I want you to know, to really know that you are doing a good job. You’re doin ok mom. You are.

This post is part of my ongoing {becoming mom} series. I believe that even though we become mothers in an instant, our lives are an evolving mess of processing and changing into the woman who is “mom”. It’s not about arriving or “getting there”, but embracing the journey of change that impacts every parent.

For more from this series, check out my other posts on motherhood.

*Up to $50,000

  • http://www.momcomm.com Melissa {momcomm}

    I know what you mean! We are so hard on ourselves but at the end of the day, we’ll doing okay and our kids know we love them!
    Melissa {momcomm}´s last blog post ..All the Details about Momcomm’s New Content Planning Course

  • http://blog.picaboo.com/ Becca Bernstein

    This thought is something I struggle w/ all the time:

    “As a mom, it’s really hard for me to play with my kids for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s not because my life is too busy or that I don’t love them enough. It’s because my brain is going non-stop. I am constantly thinking about what they need next, what I will make for lunch (snack, dinner etc), when we will go to the store to get more diapers and when will I be able to get some work done. Motherhood is remembering to fill out the preschool forms on time and actually bring them into the preschool on the correct day.”

    This constant mental To-Do list causes me so much guilt! Being a good Mother is getting all that stuff done and TRYING to be in the moment. You’ve subsided my guilt a bit with your words.
    Becca Bernstein´s last blog post ..The 365 Project: Photography Tutorial Library

  • http://mamaofalltrades.com Ashley @ Mama Of All Trades

    I absolutely loved that ad. It really is something we need to hear. I was definitely in tears.
    Ashley @ Mama Of All Trades´s last blog post ..Y3W | Ready For Baseball

  • http://www.mommywords.com Brittany {Mommy Words}

    Wow. Not just the post, but that video. Just wow. You are doing okay Better than okay, we don’t have to be perfect for our kids to know we rock.

    Okay now to get a tissue.
    Brittany {Mommy Words}´s last blog post ..On My Due Date, I Grieve

  • http://www.teandegd.blogspot.com Emily D.

    I’ve never seen that video….it’s a tear jerk-er for sure :)
    Emily D.´s last blog post ..Molly-isms

  • http://MyMamihood.com Sili

    You are so right. The hardest thing for me to adjust to is being home. And I’ve been here since September! Being a project manager most of the day conditioned me to always be thinking ahead. It feels so overwhelming at times.

    But this past weekend I realized I’m not the only one and, doesn’t that just give you a sense of “it’s ok?”. Thanks for this truthful and moving post!
    Sili´s last blog post ..Mami Bliss!

  • Megan

    I missed the commercial last night and stepped bck to Twitter full of tears and wonder what the heck was it about.
    Oh my, tears.
    Here’s hoping everyone gets a chsnce to see that.
    Megan´s last blog post ..Sorting buttons- a busy toddler activity

  • http://incessantanonymity.blogspot.com/ Sarah Shingler

    Needed that. {sniff} :’)
    Sarah Shingler´s last blog post ..Day Twenty-Six: Night

  • http://www.rubber7soul.wordpress.com Ann

    I loved that commercial and totally needed to hear it.
    Ann´s last blog post ..MCP Project 12 – Leap

  • http://aparentingproduction.com Erin L.

    FABULOUS post! And you hit the nail on the head.

    To try to alleviate some of that guilt, I try to spend 30 minutes a day with each kid totally focused on them — no phone, no tv, no computer. I play with A while E naps in the morning and play with E while A has extended quiet time. If I don’t get baby time, I do it before she goes to bed.

    I don’t always remember to do it, but I read some parenting book along the way that said 30 minutes makes all the different — to be entirely focused. You can think ahead the rest of the time and know you aren’t alone.
    Erin L.´s last blog post ..Feature Friday: Adventuroo and MomComm

  • http://clairest.tumblr.com Claire

    I completely agree. I know my husband might roll his eyes and say, “Isn’t it obvious that the baby loves you?” but I needed to hear it too. I think I’ve watched that ad on YouTube 12 times over since it aired on Sunday. Sometimes I feel like I am really trying to figure stuff out and do this baby thing RIGHT. It was so reassuring to hear, especially since my 6 month can’t yet really say it, that I am doing ok. I am.

  • http://www.mysweetbabboo.com @sweetbabboo

    Andrea,

    I’m so far behind on commenting (and everything else — new baby, ahem) but I wanted to pop in and say that I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has an impossible time playing with my not-so-little guy. I too have so much run through my head that I find it nearly impossible not to jump up to do just one quick thing.

    I saw that commercial too. It made me weep, but I wrote it off to postpartum hormones. Glad I’m not the only one that felt that way. Wish we could hear that kind of encouragement from sources other than a commercial, but I guess we take what we can get, huh?

    -Abby
    @sweetbabboo´s last blog post ..Welcome, Edison Skye!

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