So I love all the philosophical questions like “if a tree falls in the forest but no one is there does it make a sound?”
Or if a mom stands in a dark pantry and eats a sleeve of thin mints but no one is in the house did she eat them?
But the one I have been grappling with lately is if you think you are a good mother but are never really told so, are you really a good mom?
Wow! Pretty dark Jen, you say. But bear with me. I am 46, have been a mom for over 19 years . When they were little and dependent on me I felt the validation with the hugs and cries when I left the room. With their “mommy” or I need you, I can’t sleep. I felt productive with every play date or party I threw for them or involved with every year of being a room mom or field trip volunteer. Those mommy moments were tangible. But when you get into the teenage years I have fewer and fewer opportunities to know if my mothering is up to snuff. I don’t have the type of kids who shower me with compliments, they are pretty independent, and don’t ask me for much. I still drive my daughter around but I would call that a chauffeur/client relationship with no gratuity added, and I only get six months more of that.
So obviously not just for me but for many of you I’m sure our role as mothers changes at this stage and our role and job description that we held on for over a decade is totally different, and along with that the feedback we receive changes as well.
I know I might sound needy but sometimes I would like to hear I am still doing a good job. My kids will tell you that I’m the most annoying person out there. How was your day or do you have any tests this week is truly oppressive I suppose. I enter my daughter’s room and she either says can you get out or stares at her bedroom door till I get the hint.
Call it hormones or transitioning to another stage of life but as a mother I think we deserve some accolades or a simple daily thanks for everything you have done for me my whole life, you are like better than any other person in my life, I owe everything to you.
But until that time comes how do we as moms feel good about the job we have done or the job we are doing if we don’t hear from anyone?
For me I talk/cry to my husband and he of course tells me I’m doing a good job which I do appreciate because he values my role. Then he asks for a quick handy so can I really be sure?
I talk /kvetch to my friends and this helps too because I know they are going through a lot of the same and there is definitely comfort in numbers. But sometimes we are drunk during these heart to hearts or at an 80s party so not sure if we just all feel pathetic so that’s why we say we are good moms.
But most importantly I talk to myself. Not like at the park while feeding ducks but I do have to practice some self love. And really that’s my best advice to all us moms.
We have to have the confidence to know without anyone telling us that we are good moms. That even if our kids aren’t telling us, they are grateful we are around, grateful for the snack they didn’t ask for but love, or for being their alarm clock even though Alexa could work just as well. Grateful we keep coming back for more even though they tend to take their bad moods out on us.
I will still hold out for my kids symbolic Oscar speech but for now will solve my own philosophical question. The answer? It is enough that I know I am a good mom.
And that no one knows I finished off the thin mints.