Deep breaths, mama, deep breaths.
A popular author and blogger from Australia, Constance Hall, shared a photo on Facebook this week of her and her children out to dinner that has now gone viral. The photo is great, yes, but it was the message behind the photo that many are identifying with.
Hall shared in the caption of her photo:
“A couple of weeks ago a child therapist that I know looked at my kids and said, ‘You’re such a good mum.’
Feeling like a total fraud I blurted, ‘I don’t feel like a good mum.’”
She continued to talk about her personal parenting inadequacies in her Facebook post like losing her temper or wondering how she’ll ever have enough patience to get through the day. Or the next day.
Sound familiar? ?
It did to the thousands of commenters who related to the sentiment of her post. The post received over 300k likes (and counting), over 175k shares and close to 23k comments. Many of which were messages of understanding and gratefulness for reading Hall’s story.
But it’s what the therapist said to Hall that immediately made Constance feel better (and by way of Constance’s sharing, all of her commentors feel better, too.)
“Babies cry, it’s how they communicate. Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain.
But guess what Con? It’s better than silence.
A house full of screaming kids and fighting teenagers and a parent who’s being thrown every question and request is a healthy one to me.
It’s the silent children, the scared toddlers, the teenagers that don’t come home and the parents who aren’t in communication with their children that I worry about.
And kids don’t drive you crazy, you were crazy already. That’s why you had them.”
We all have those moments when we feel like we’re not doing anything right, like we’re not even good at being a mom. Heck, even the photo Hall shared is totally appropriate to this mindset. Because let’s face it—going out to dinner with children is an activity that, if you’re a parent with little ones, will understand is not something that often leaves you feeling like you’ve received a “World’s Best Parent” award. ?
But sometimes all it takes is an outsider to share their perspective with us for us to see how amazing we really are.
Hall shared that hearing what her therapist friend had to say immediately lifted her spirits. And others’ spirits, too.
“I read somewhere that kids can act so crazy with their parents because we are their safe space. That they have to control their behavior out in the world and when they get home with their parents they can let go of everything they have held back because we are their safe space. I keep telling myself this when they are driving me bonkers—it’s their way of saying they feel safe and loved.”
“My therapist once told me that it's all the worrying that we are crap mums and feeling like we are going nuts that actually makes us great mums.”
“Omg, I’ve never thought of it like this! Yes! You’re absolutely right.”
“Oh, I so needed this today! This is exactly how I’ve been feeling, it is very reassuring that I’m not the only one.”
Hall ended her Facebook post on an encouraging note to all mamas—to take deep breaths and know that we’re all doing a good job.
Because we’re all doing our best. And our best is actually pretty darn good. ?