So let’s be real. Who is a perfect mom? If you would have asked me that when I was pregnant and then asked me now I would have two totally different answers.
During pregnancy I always told myself I would be the mom who does it all. I figured I would be able to easily do this since I wouldn’t be working. My plan was to keep my house immaculate (I thought this would be a piece of cake), get all of our grocery shopping done during the week, have dinner ready when Eric got home, exercise, and of course be the best mom possible to Olivia. When I was pregnant I had so many fellow moms tell me something along the line of “it’s okay to not do it all.” This always made sense to me when it came from moms who worked. But I always wondered why the stay-at-home moms were telling me this. Honestly, I just figured they couldn't manage their own time.
Well, I now get why they were telling me this. Being a stay at home mom is a full-time job itself. And putting that added pressure of being, what I thought was perfect, only made it more stressful.
I wanted, so much, to be the mom who did it all. This was partially because I thought since I was no longer contributing monetarily to our family I had to make up for it in some other way. Now, in no way did Eric ever put this pressure on me. In fact, he tried multiple times to tell me it is okay to not cook and do it all. But I still had the mentality on needing to contribute to our family.
When Olivia was a newborn it was so difficult to get daily tasks completed. Olivia has never been a great napper. The second I put her down and started doing something, she woke right up. It’s almost as if she could hear me pulling the mop out of the closet. Her not taking naps made typical housework hard to accomplish. I wasn't able to get the job done when she was asleep and when she was awake I wanted all my focus to be on her, not on cleaning.
Not only was simple housework hard, dinner was my biggest challenge. Olivia has the worst witching hour(s) until she was about 3 months old. This period of the night always started around the time I would prepare dinner. So essentially I gave up trying to cook and dinner became Eric's job. Eric loves to cook - and he makes amazing meals, so I was winning in this department. But after working a 12 hour day, I hated making him cook dinner right when he got home.
It wasn’t until Olivia hit around 3.5 or 4 months old that I really began to accept what I could and couldn’t do. If I got it done throughout the day, great! If not, oh well. My reason for staying home is to spend time with my daughter. It is not to make sure my house is perfectly clean or dinner is on the table every night. When I first became a new mom I wanted Eric to be proud that I was the “perfect mom.” And to me that meant our house was clean and organized, dinner was cooked, and our daughter was taken care of. My expectations of myself took some time to change, but they now have.
Now, I still want Eric to be proud that I am the “perfect mom” but my definition of that has changed. In fact it’s constantly changing because there really isn’t a perfect mom (in my opinion). But I know I am the perfect mom for Olivia. I care for her in every way possible. I love watching her grow and learn. When I see the look in her eyes when she discovers the crinkle sound on a new toy or her laughter - those are my favorite things. Giving her raspberries on her belly is the absolute best. Enjoying these moments with my little girl is being the perfect mom to me.