Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Heather}

We focus on what we are not, but what if we took the time to realize all that we are? What if you took time to focus on accepting yourself for the mom you are?

Long before I became a mother I had a lot of preconceived notions about what kind of mom I thought I’d be.

I was going to be the best mom.

The mom who never yelled. I would only speak softly, and my obedient children would listen.

I was always going to bake fresh cookies. I would never want my children to ingest all those chemicals from the store bought ones.

I would look put together every single day. I mean how hard would it be to put on a nice outfit?

I was going to be the mom who played for hours with my kids. Surely there was nothing else that needed my attention like perhaps the laundry, cleaning, bills, groceries, pets, basically an entire household.

I was…

Then something funny happened.

I became a mom.Like a real, legit mom with a baby and everything.

It was right about this time I got a big dose of reality. All those preconceived notions I held were awfully hard to keep up with.

Keeping the house immaculate is hard when every toy you just picked up is now strewn across the living room…again…for the 10th time.

Baking fresh cookies is difficult when you have a crying baby and a toddler running around the house.

Not yelling or losing your temper means you’re a robot and possibly have no human emotions.

Why put on clothes when you’re just going to have change in five seconds after getting spit up on?

Despite all this I forged ahead much like so many other mothers that I know do.

I refused to back down. I would not be diminished in my efforts to be the mom I thought I should be. I would continue on until I made myself the mother I thought I wanted to be, the perfect mom image I had in my head.

So for many years I continued to force myself to do things I didn’t like to try to fit into my own self-prescribed mold of what made me a “good” mom.

And try as I might it didn’t actually make me a better mom. In fact, sometimes it just made me a little crazy.

And a crazy mom is not a fun mom.

At the end of the day all I really wanted to be was the fun mom.

I’ve been a mother now for almost 9 years (no one is more shocked about this number than me). I’ve come to appreciate more and more what all those preconceived notions cannot only do to you as a person, but to your kids and ultimately your family.

That’s why I encourage you and every mother out there to accept the mother you are today. Right now. In this very moment.

Throw out the preconceived notions you had of the mom you were supposed to be or the things you thought you would do and accept who you are as a mom right now.

Accepting myself as the mother I am has been a process, but it is completely worth it.

It opened up my eyes to better understanding myself and my role as mom. It helped me see that putting more pressure on myself to be a “better” mom was not making me a better mom at all. The more pressure I put on myself-and the less I accepted the mom I was-the more stressed I became.

And we all know what happens when you add more pressure and stress to your mom life. It makes it even more chaotic and stressful. Who needs that in their lives?

I’m not saying that we can’t grow and change in our mom role, in fact we should be striving to learn, grow and change as a person in general. We should definitely be trying to do that as a mom as well.

What I’m talking about is different.

I’m talking about letting all the preconceived notions you held or still hold on to go, so that you can accept the mom you are right now and learn and grow from there.

Shedding those preconceived notions has allowed me time and energy to actually be the mom I want to be by doing the things that are actually important to me. Instead of focusing on all the things that I think I’m supposed to be or do. I’m now focused on doing things that bring me joy in mothering.

How can you start accepting yourself as a mom right now?

Let Go of What You Dislike

I am not the mom who wants to play Barbies.

I’m just not. For some reason, weirdly enough, that bothers me. Why can’t I just get down on the floor and play Barbies or baby dolls with them?

When I get down on myself because I don’t want to do that specific activity I remind myself I didn’t actually like playing with them when I was a kid. Why did I think that would change as a mom?

One day I realized if I let that preconceived notion go, I would be so much happier. If I wasn’t worried about that one activity, would I be able to focus on other more important things?

Yes. Yes, I would.

At What Do You Excel?

As moms a lot of us tend to focus on the negative. We tend to see what we aren’t doing right or what we messed up. Take a moment to think about all the ways you do good everyday with your kids. Think about how you serve them in other areas, even if they are areas you weren’t expecting to be good at.

I might not love to play Barbies, but I love to help them with puzzles, bake with them, or snuggle and watch a movie.

I like to take them out to eat, and go exploring for hours.

Just because I don’t like to do some activities doesn’t mean I don’t excel in other areas.

Focus on Your Strengths

When you figure out what are your strengths, what brings you joy as a mom, that’s what you need to be sharing and focusing on with your children. The happier and more comfortable you are in your role as mom the more your children will see that and that’s what they’ll remember.

Make time to do activities that you excel at with your kids. I make time to bake with them or plan days where we get to spend time exploring and learning. It’s not perfect, but I think it helps my girls learn more about me as a person, not just as a mom.

Letting go of preconceived notions is tough.

I still struggle with it daily. But learning to accept who we are as a mom is important to being a good mom.

I’ve tried for years to fit into my own mom stereotypes and all it brought was guilt.

Accepting myself has made me a happier mom and a happier woman. I also think it helps to further teach my girls to accept themselves as they grow, learn and change.

Modeling this behavior is so much more important to me than playing Barbies.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

Do you fully accept the mom you are? What are your personal struggles with acceptance?

We focus on what we are not, but what if we took the time to realize all that we are? What if you took time to focus on accepting yourself for the mom you are?

Heather of Just Becoming Me contributor to Mom Motivation Mondays series at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival GuideHeather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

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