I’ve seen this expression on t-shirts, mugs, used as a hashtag, and embraced by many. I understand the sentiment of not putting insane amounts of pressure on yourself and I get that it’s a little silly and not to be taken super seriously.
That said, I just don’t get it and it is not at all the standard that I’d like to hold myself to in motherhood.
You see, so far motherhood feels like the most important, most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. It is also the thing I would be most devastated to fail at (although really, how do you qualify failing here?). I have no plans to strive for mediocrity in motherhood and really, I don’t know why anyone would.
There’s no need to make parenthood a competition. Maybe that’s where the sentiment stems from? Moms comparing themselves to other Moms unnecessarily?
I’m sorry if seeing all those “perfect” Moms on Instagram posing perfectly with their “clean”, “well-behaved” children or traveling to Europe with their babies makes you feel like you’re the “okayest”. You’re probably not. But what if we didn’t accept that? What if we didn’t strive for it?
Saying I want to be the best Mom doesn’t mean I have to hold myself to unnecessary standards of perfection.
For me, it means giving my child my full heart and best effort that I can, in each moment that I’m able. It means reading him one more book when I’d really rather be reading mine. It means staying up late to cook another batch of carrots and sweet potatoes because it makes me feel good to know I’m giving him good nourishment. It means putting my phone down and engaging with him and helping him sort his toys by color or stack some blocks even if truthfully, that’s not all that thrilling for a grown adult.
The thing is, our kids have nothing to compare us to. I’m Ben’s Mom. I’m the only Mom he’ll have and I’m going to bet that he’s pretty happy with my mothering so far. The fact that my arms are basically his happy place tells me I’m doing something right.
When I think about other important roles in my life, I think about how I’d feel if someone described me as “okay”. I also think about how I’d feel if N only tried to be an “okay” husband. Truthfully, I’d be sad to my very core.
I don’t want to be an “okay” wife, an “okay” friend, an “okay” daughter, or an “okay” sibling. That’s not okay with me. I want to be great. In these, the most valuable roles of my life, I want to be the best.
And maybe, just maybe, if I keep striving to be the best Mom I can be, he’ll always believe he has the world’s best Mom. Even on my imperfect days.
I’m not the world’s okayest Mom. I might not be the world’s best Mom, but I’m damn sure gonna try.