To the not-so perfect mother

Let me take this burden off your back, Mom. You see, you don’t have to be a perfect mother to be a good one.

Please, stop trying to be perfect, stop forcing yourself to fit into this image of a good mother dictated by everyone else, stop wanting to be a flawless, faultless robot because you can never be, no mother will ever be.

You will always have your beautiful flaws, you will make many mistakes along the way, you will cry, and get frustrated. You will have bad days and practice less-than perfect parenting ways. But you can be the best, the best mother in the eyes of your children which is what matters anyway.

You don’t need to compare your self with other moms or your children with theirs. We all have struggles, we all make mistakes, and we all have flaws. Some of us are just so good at hiding them.

Don’t let people tell you that you are inept at motherhood. Don’t ever let them make you lose sleep at night. You’ve already lost enough sleep when your child was born.

I can tell by the dark circles around your eyes and that unruly bun on top of your head that you’ve had a rough night. All you want to do is survive this day, and hope that tomorrow will be better. We’ve all had those, and I’m pretty sure you’ll pull through.

To the mom in the emergency room with a sick child thinking what she did wrong, feeling so guilty, enduring curious stares, and hearing snarky comments.

To the mom at the supermarket aisle, face red in embarrassment and trying her best not to scream at her toddler who’s rolling on the floor having a meltdown.

To the mom in the restaurant cowering in embarrassment because the baby won’t stop wailing and throwing food on the floor.

To the mom who is so sick and tired of being judged, ridiculed, picked on, and criticized. You are not alone.

Many of us have experienced this. Many of us have lost sleep over it. And I want you to know that at the end of the day these people, these people who rolled their eyes, gave you that look, and criticized your parenting, all of them, they don’t matter.

The only ones that matter really are the little angels who depend on you for their survival. Who look up to you and who love every single bit of your mistakes, flaws, and all. Who, even when you feel you’re ugliest, and worst will think you’re the most beautiful and most amazing woman in the world.

And as long as you know in your heart that you are doing the best that you can and you are able to raise good, kind-hearted people who will contribute even just a tiny bit to society, know that you’re doing good—not perfect but still the best mom in the eyes of your children and that’s all that matters.

*This piece appeared in an issue of Manila Bulletin earlier this month 

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