There was that time a stranger on the internet said I was selfish and lazy for staying at home with my kids. And the time a member of our family said Jonah would need therapy when he was an adult because we let him cry for 15 minutes in crib. There was that time someone told me our routine is too strict and then someone else told me it was too loose. There was that time someone suggested we put Jonah in day care because he was lacking social skills or something. There was that time ... and then there was another time ... and then another time ... and it never ends.
The most hurtful comment that has ever been said to me was when someone told me that I come across as if I don't love my kids. It was on facebook, of all places, and the comment was based on another sarcastic, complainy post about my terrible toddler and my exhausting newborn. I was complaining. For sure. But the comment this person made ... well. It killed something in me. Because at the moment I was reading her words, I was nursing one very colicky baby and dealing with Jonah's 10th "I can do what I want and that includes throwing a remote control at your face" episode of the day. This was after being up all night caring for my infant, putting the insane insomniactoddler back to bed a hundred times and getting up at the crack of dawn just to start it all over again. I couldn't remember the last time I showered, the last time I brushed my teeth or the last time I'd eaten a full meal. My hair was a mess, my back was sore, I was hungry and exhausted and here this person was judging me and my parenting based on one very sarcastic and vulnerable post on facebook.(I might've mentioned that I wanted to auction Jonah off, but come on. Who hasn't felt that way?) Saying I came across as if I didn't love my kids was like a kick in my already sore and crampy gut. I don't love my kids? areyoufreakingkiddingme?
So I sat there on the couch. Crying. Sad. Angry. Defeated. There I was giving every single thing I had to give to my children and leaving nothing for myself and someone had the nerve to say I acted like I didn't love them?!? It's so crazy and ridiculous that it makes me laugh now, but in the moment, I cried. Just as I was starting to let the chief of all lies use those careless and thoughtless words to belittle and depress me and make me question everything about my motherhood, my little boy snuggled up to me and said,
"Mom... you're the best ever."
And I was like, you know what? I AM the best ever. I love my kids with the fiercest kind of crazy love and they look at me like I hung the moon. And as far as they're concerned, I did. I've never felt a love deeper than what I have for my children and what they have for me and I refuse to let anyone take that truth away from me. Nobody will ever make me feel like I'm anything less than the fantastic mom that I know I am. It's so easy to let the opinions of other people convince us otherwise because motherhood is our achilles heel. It's the single most vulnerable place in our lives and when someone pokes it with a toothpick, we bleed. But I am the best ever and you are the best ever and we are being the best moms that we know to be.
So because you're amazing and because maybe you need a constant reminder in the same way that I do, please take this graphic as my gift to you. Desktop it, print it, hang it up and let it serve as a constant reminder that you really are the best mom ever. And don't let anyone's words steal that from you.