In the midst of our daily morning rush I swept through the house as quickly as I could, probably resembling a small hurricane and leaving my children looking like they had to bear the brunt of the 75mph winds. “Come on, baby, we have to hurry!” I urged my 2-year-old. We always have to hurry. We are always running close to 10 steps behind.

Most mornings, I linger in bed too long. 

Most mornings, I lose track of time while trying to make myself up just so. 

Most mornings, my kids don’t even make it out of their pajamas. 

Most mornings, by the time we have made it out of the door and I have all but flung my children into the car, I feel like a terrible mom

I take a step back though, to try to see what my boys see. 

Most mornings while I’m lingering in bed, my 2-year-old crawls in beside me. He lays his head on my chest and wraps his little arms around me. I brush the hair from his face and kiss his forehead while he breathes soft and slow, soaking him in because I know this won’t last forever. 

Most mornings while I’m taking my time in getting ready, my babies watch me while they mimic things like brushing their hair and their teeth. We laugh and they learn life lessons while the sun comes up and the world awakes. 

Most mornings when I make the decision to pack a bag of clothes instead of changing them out of their PJs just yet, they play and enjoy being little. They lounge in their footie PJs and remain blissfully unaware of the monotony that comes with adult responsibilities like putting on pants too early in the morning. 

Most mornings while I’m rushing them into the car, I sweep them up and spin them around once or twice for good measure. They shriek and say, “You funny, Mama!” while I hurriedly buckle them into their seats. 

I walk away feeling like a terrible mom because I look through eyes weighted with expectations and an adult reality. My boys though, looking through eyes wide open, see a mama who snuggles them, teaches them, and plays with them.

Sometimes I start to doubt myself because I’m a single mom. I’m a working mom. I’m a mom who runs late to virtually everything. I’m a mom who sometimes “plays” by making up games in which I can pretend to be asleep. I’m a mom who can yell too much. 

Through their eyes, though, I’m just their mom. 

Their mom who is there for them every single day without fail. 

Their mom who works hard to provide for them. 

Their mom who is so busy spending time with them, sometimes it puts her behind. 

Their mom who plays with them. 

Their mom who loves them. 

Give yourself a break, mama. You don’t have to be the perfect mom. You’re already perfect to your babies, because you’re theirs.

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I Want to be a Perfect Mom—But I’m Not

I Thought I’d Be a Better Mom Than This

I’m Done Trying To Be the “Perfect Mom”

Shelbie Tanner

I’m a full time bookkeeper, but my favorite “job” is being Mama to my sons. I have a love for all things personalized, early morning cuddles, and way too many sweets. Writing is my favorite way to talk about how much I love motherhood and my hope is that the things I write will resonate with other moms.