Dear Ruby: A good mama is.

Dearest Ruby,

Somewhere along the way, you’re going to contruct an idea about what a ‘good mama’ is.  It may be because of me, and it may be in spite of me.  It may come from television, or magazines, or movies.  It may come from your friends.  If your life is anything like mine, it will likely come from social media.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a good mama is.  What MY idea of a good mama looks like.  I’m not sure where all of them came from, but I’m going to share them with you.

In my mind, rolling around in my head, is an “ideal mommy.”  The one that I strive to be like.  Let me tell you about the ‘good mama’ in my head.

A good mama always speaks kindly.

A good mama doesn’t get mad.

A good mama has clean kitchen counters, and nothing under her couches.

A good mama always responds with empathy, never spite.

A good mama always has a nutritious meal prepared for dinner.

A good mama is just as happy to see you as she tucks you in to bed as she is to see you wake.

A good mama doesn’t say mean things.

A good mama never says no.

A good mama doesn’t need alone time.

A good mama doesn’t hate being a mama sometimes.

I hope you realized something when you read this, Ruby.  I hope you saw all the red flags – the ‘nevers’ and the ‘always’s.  I hope you realized that this mama doesn’t exist.  She was not me, and she is not you, and she is an unattainable perfection that is simply not reality.  Because being a mama is HARD work, and being a GOOD mama doesn’t mean you have to be perfect.

It’s okay to say no sometimes when you should say yes.  And it’s okay to give everyone cereal for dinner once in a while.  Or twice a week.  You aren’t a bad mom if your floors are dirty again.  And again.  Sometimes, you’re not going to like your kids.  And sometimes you are going to wish you weren’t a mama for just a few minutes.

It doesn’t mean you don’t love your beautiful babies like crazy.  I LOVE you beautiful babies with all of my heart.

It DOES mean that you need to take care of yourself.  You need to find moments that are yours to fill your heart and soul with love; love for you, so you can give love to them.  It DOES mean that you have to check in with your expectations – your house might be messy, and clothes wont get folded, and toilets wont always be scrubbed.  But you are still a good mom.

You will kiss booboos, and you will yell more than you like, and you wont always have all the answers…

…and Ruby.  I promise.  You are a good mom.  (I am too.)

I love you,
(I am 32.  Ronan is 7, you are 5, Ryder is 3 and Rory is 8 months old.)

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