YOU: Thank You for Being the Best Mama You Can Be

By Deputy Editor, Angela Sutherland

You can always rely on kids to tell it like it is.

My Mother’s Day gift this year was one of those moments.

A typical school-made gift, it was a handcrafted flower with a space on the back for our mini-ones to write something meaningful on it.

In perfect primary pencil, mine said: ‘Thank you for being the best mum you can be’.

I’ll be honest, my initial reaction was to feel a little deflated. No grand statement declaring ‘You’re the best mum in the world’. Or heartfelt ‘I love you to the moon and back’. I’m just being the best I can be. A statement that, in our society, can also mean ‘thanks for trying but you’re a still a little bit sh*t’.

But then I stopped. Because in my 8-year-old’s eyes, in the moment he wrote that he genuinely believed that I am trying my utmost every day to be the best I can be.

I may not always get it right and I’m the first to admit when I screw things up, and mama guilt in this household is painfully real. Whether a working mama, a SAHM, a part-time mama, or an everything in-between mama, we all have those moments when we feel like we aren’t good enough. The weight of the world is on your shoulders. Your mind is chaos, your calendar is worse, you are utterly exhausted. But somehow, we sneak in enough time to show our children we love them.

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Being the best mama is many things…

It’s feeling utterly exhausted, but opening the door and facing the day.
It’s making it to work, despite the baby spew on your shoulder.
It’s crying in the bathroom and emerging again ready to try.
It’s feeling guilty after yelling at the kids for something small, and then loving them even more fiercely.
It’s calling out for pizza because cooking dinner sometimes is a task too far.
It’s reading an extra bedtime story, but skipping a few pages because you have a mountain of laundry to get to.
It’s not responding to that email because your child needs snuggling to sleep.
It’s having an  ‘I can’t do it anymore’ moment, and keeping going anyway.
It’s not showering for days then getting dressed up for a girls’ night out.
It’s going to bed knowing that the kitchen is messy, but your heart is full.

But most of all, it’s being OK with your motherhood journey. Every journey is different. Some carry the scars of a miscarried child, other’s a newborn that couldn’t breastfeed, a toddler full of tantrums, a teenager filled with opinions, or a child grown up and moved away.

So, know this, Mama:

You are doing a great job.
You are enough.
You are worthy.
With you by their side they feel they can conquer the world.
You have a stack of awesomeness to give today.
You’ve got this.
We’ve got this.
We are all the best we can be.