You’re Doing a Good Job Mama

There are times I think I’m doing everything wrong as mother. It usually goes something like this: My kids eat too much pizza. They don’t hang out with friends enough. They don’t wear “cool enough” clothes. They aren’t involved in enough extracurricular activities . Or, I yell too much, and I don’t spend enough one-on-one time with each one. This is just the beginning of the litany.

Invariably, I get to the climax which usually goes a little something like this: Wow, I am a terrible mother. I should never have procreated. Maybe someone else should raise these humans before I RUIN them completely.

I don’t feel this way all the time, of course, but sometimes; well, sometimes the train of thought gains startling momentum and just hits a girl in the gut. I wonder: Am I doing anything “right?”

The short answer: yes. The long answer: yes and yes.

You're Doing a Good Job Mama | Duluth Moms BlogWe recently had two different friends over at the same time. Each friend is dear to us, though we rarely see each friend at the same time. Upon this occasion, however, both friends played at our house at the same time.

As all women know (and this awareness is heightened when one becomes a mother!), not all friends play well or easily with other friends. This is fact. So I prepared both my children for the potentially complicated play-date, trying to underscore and emphasize kindness, understanding, and empathy while also making my expectations clear to them. In short: play with both friends not just one or the other.

Both kids arrived. I’ll call them Friend 1 and Friend 2. Here, I’ll also note that Friend 2 has a disability that prevents her from speaking easily with others. She’s a cool cat, but it takes a bit to get to know her.

I watched from the kitchen, pretending to clean the counter, ready to intervene or facilitate positive interactions for all parties.

My son, sensing that Friend 2 wasn’t sure how to insert herself into the play, left the other two kids to join her.

            “Hey, wanna play dominoes with me?” he asked her. He knew the answer before he asked the question. She nodded happily. They proceeded to set-up an elaborate domino system, complete with vertical drops, crazy turns, and creative obstacles. They played, played, and played.

I watched from the kitchen—still pretending to clean the kitchen—and my heart squeezed and my eyes filled. I called to my son:

            “Hey buddy, come here for a sec, would you?”

His little feet thump, thumped to my bedroom and I squashed him into a breath-expelling hug, whispering, “Thank you” against his soft, soft hair.

            “For what, mama?”

            “For being so kind.” 

My kids probably do eat too much pizza. Maybe they should take dance lessons, piano lessons, or something.

But at the end of the day, I’m doing good work. You are too. It bears repeating, I think: we’re doing good work, Mamas. We’re raising kind, thoughtful, empathetic, strong, beautiful people. We’re doing it right.



You're Doing a Good Job Mama | Duluth Moms Blog{ Photo Credit: Naturally Captured Photography }

Rachel, a former writing instructor at a local university, and known as “Queen Patina” to close friends and family (kidding!) — is a reluctant social media user, a lover of old books, flowers, and furniture. She writes about about all three at Queen Patina & the Farm Boy. Typically you’ll find her with her hands in the dirt, plastic tiara slightly askew, or carefully restoring a piece of furniture. If she’s not doing that, she’s definitely hanging with the fam, traveling the US of A, running a local trail, camping, or most recently, working as a birth photographer.
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