It started with a discussion about Halloween costumes. I let the kids get fancy store-bought costumes this year, I texted my college roommates, all of them moms. I continued to talk about how I usually have them choose something from our dress-up bin or find something secondhand. I couldn’t fight the urge to explain myself. Then, my friend Katie responded.
Our kids have store-bought costumes, too. I do store-bought costumes every year. And then she wrote something that has stuck with me for months: That’s just the mom that I am.
Since becoming a mom, the voices in my house have increased in both number and volume. The voices inside my head seem to have done the same. Whether it’s self-doubt creeping in, comparing myself to other moms, or well-meaning advice and comments from loved ones, it can be difficult to tune out the extra noise. I should do more of this. I should do less of that. I wish I could be more like ____. I suck at this. It’s deafening sometimes.
My friend’s words let me take a breath. They let me own who I am as a person, a woman, and a mother. They steer me away from competition or comparison and toward authenticity.
My kids have iPads and screen time. That’s just the mom that I am.
I don’t like playing pretend. That’s just the mom that I am.
Sometimes, I forget to brush a child’s teeth. That’s just the mom that I am.
I don’t take a lot of pictures.
I care about the environment, but my babies all used disposable diapers.
I don’t do crafts.
I sneak toys out of the playroom and donate them.
We are late sometimes. For no good reason.
My kids don’t get baths every night.
The list goes on, and the refrain remains the same: That’s just the mom that I am. These words are not an excuse for cruelty or bad behavior. But they make space for diversity in mothers and our motherhood. They give grace instead of casting doubt or shame.
There is real freedom found in walking confidently in one’s calling. I’m thankful to have friends who encourage me to be the mom that I was made to be–the mom that I am.
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This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Words to Carry”