Happy Mother's Day! www.theshortesttallman.com

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day is here again!  It’s funny how the perception of mothers has evolved, in terms of the best mothering strategies. There’s been great strides with regards to motherhood, with feminism in terms of both womanhood and motherhood. Working mothers is more of an unavoidable reality for many families, and it is less taboo to work outside of the home.  Moms aren’t expected to stay at home; for many families, they couldn’t if they wanted to because the second income is necessary to support the family. So moms get to have a career now, in just about any field, with less and less restrictions and road blocks, which of course is awesome.  Another awesome thing is this whole pro breastfeeding movement. It is becoming less taboo to breastfeed; and, actually, I felt weird when I was feeding my son a bottle because I wasn’t nursing at the moment!  Funny how times have changed, and all in all, it’s very good.

Happy Mother's Day! www.theshortesttallman.com

I’m calling these -isms.  I don’t know if they exactly qualify as -isms, but it’s my blog and I do what I want, snap snap snap in a triangle shape!  hahaha

One thing that unfortunately has not changed is our judgmental temperaments. We, as a group, are catty. We judge. We all do. If you think you don’t, please contact me so I can meet your excellency.  We, women and moms, all judge each other.  The natural moms judge the processed food moms; the nursing moms judge the formula moms; the working moms judge the sahms; etc etc etc AND vice versa.  I personally know plaintiffs and defendants in many areas of motherhood and womanhood. I have been both, and I bet you have, too.

Judging, in a basic sense, is good in a way.  We have to use judgment to decide right from wrong.  But of course, we get carried away.  Throw in the omnipresent social media, and we have new ways to both dole out judgments and grow insecurities of ourselves by being exposed to the shaming of others.

Can we all just stop all this, then?  I wouldn’t think we could overnight.  But like anything else, if we can all grow…  If we can all look inward when we look outward.  If we can keep one solid mantra in our minds as women and moms:  we’re all just trying to do our thing. We are all on the same journey, with different baggage/vehicles/roadways.  There really is a sisterhood of motherhood, isn’t there?  We need to find the commonality among us all.  I’m as guilty as the next, you better believe it.  But I’m trying.  And if you try, too, we might all feel a little bit better and brighten the world a little bit for our children.  And just as much, we need to stop judging ourselves.  How many times have I, or a mom friend of mine, said something to qualify ourselves or apologized for our motherhood.  This can get way out of hand.  Don’t ever apologize for being the best mom you can be.  Don’t apologize to anyone. We’re all just trying to do our thing.  Lord knows I’m guilty of this as well!  But I’m trying.  I don’t want to have wasted time judging others or judging myself when I could have used those precious moments spreading joy and love instead.  (Corny, yes, but it’s true!).  It feels good to write this stuff out, re-read it to myself, and strive for better; as much as this is to share, this is for me.

Happy Mother's Day! www.theshortesttallman.com

I’m a work in progress.  One way I’m working on these motherhood things is by connecting with others.  There’s so many blogs and books out there, put out by brave moms who are sharing their story and revelations that “myself is good enough.”  A great resource to find a daily dose of mom realism is Scary Mommy.  Scary Mommy’s tagline is “Pregnancy Advice & Parenting Tips for Imperfect Parents.”  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or imperfect, here you can find ways to realize that you’re not imperfect, you’re just like everyone else.  Because, after all, perfect doesn’t exist.  Funny how it doesn’t exist, yet so many of us strive for perfection.

Happy Mother's Day! www.theshortesttallman.com

Another way I’m working on improving and simplifying, and it surprisingly feels taboo, is reading parenting and mothering literature.  Non fiction, legit stuff; also know as parenting books.  If I read thousands of pages for my J O B, why not research on best strategies for motherhood, which is both of the utmost importance in my life, and of the utmost difficulty?!??!  I might have read about Piaget and his stages of child development in college, but it’s different when you live with little people.  Feel embarrassed?  Try to get over it… and remember the there’s online ordering from Amazon 🙂

One great read I can’t get enough of is Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!.  Can’t say it enough times. You have to read Rachael. “You are enough,” is a comment sentiment in her book.  I just think that HFM is a great starting point for us all as moms who feel drained, torn in a million directions… which I guess is all moms, right?  It’s more than just another reminder to put down your smartphone, I promise.  I truly believe we (certainly I!) need more HFM in my day!

Happy Mother's Day! www.theshortesttallman.com

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this piece of advice I received recently.  I have this mom friend who has 6 kids.  All of her kids have great personalities, work hard, down to earth- just all in all the type of kids you want to have.  I finally just asked her in a text what her secret was, how she raised such great kids.  “I pray. A lot.” was her answer.  Can’t ignore the power of prayer!  Even if you’re not religious, even if you’re not the praying type, prayer is a great way to reflect, search for answers, and breathe deeply in gratitude.  Prayer and meditation, of course, are one in the same.  I’m Catholic, and when I pray (which is not as often as I’d like, admittedly), I talk to Our Lady, I look to her as a role model… and I ask her if Jesus also had the terrible twos and what I should do about it.

At the start of this post, I wrote about motherhood and womanhood, and how both have evolved.  As a mother, you can’t ignore your own journey as a woman.  So, lastly, if I’m writing about how to feel successful as a mom, I must mention that you must make sure that you are doing things that you love, too.  Enjoy your passions.  You might need to tweak how you fit them in, but you will fall apart as a mom if you neglect to treat yourself with the things that you, as a woman, enjoy.  (Lord knows the Dads are doing their thing and not thinking twice!!!!  Ha!)

Thanks for reading.  I wrote this for you, but I also wrote it for me.

What do you think?  What did I forget to add?  What helps you feel successful as a mom?

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