It is not easy to be a mom. The role does not come with an instruction manual or even a summary of tasks. It is a never-ending journey of love and care. From the moment a woman sees those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, her life is about to change, and it is not just about her anymore. Everything she does will be about nurturing and loving another human being more than herself.
The great thing about being a mom (other than your beautiful little baby) is that there is no one-size fits all way of being a mother. Every mother has their own flare, and their own way of doing things. That is because all babies are different, and their needs are different. What works for one baby may not work for another. This would make it impossible and irresponsible for all mothers to work and parent the same way.
While there is no ‘right way’ of doing things, there are definitely wrong ways. There are certain things that mom needs to do (or not do) to make sure that she is ‘mom enough.’ No mother wants to just go through the motions of parenting, they want to do the very best for their baby, and that means doing the exact opposite of everything you read on this list.
Sadly, there are many ways one can be just an OK mom. A mom who is doing the bare minimum to raise her children in a safe and loving home. Is that ever OK? Should we not be going above and beyond for our children? Sure, some will tell me to mind my own business, but a lot will also tell me that these are things that make someone just not mom enough.
12 She Needs A Clean House
What are your values when it comes to your home? Do you value cleanliness and organization above all else? If the answer is yes, then being a mother is really going to put a wrench in your plans. It is OK to want a clean and orderly home, but a mom needs to understand and come to terms with the fact that it will not be that way for a long time, possibly ever. Sure, children grow up and leave home but then comes grandchildren who will be running around and messing everything all up again.
Moms need to accept this and be OK with it. It is a time to let the little things go and doing the dishes and the laundry is one of them. All those things can wait, and they should never come before the immediate needs of your children.
11 Washing Her Hair Is Important To Her
Since we are on the topic of cleaning and keeping things organized, if you feel the same way when it comes to your personal hygiene you may be in for a shock. Taking baths and showers is something you will learn was taken for granted before you had children. Before you became a mom, you just had a shower. There was no thought that went into it, you just did it. Now that you are a mom you will notice that opportunities to shower and wash your hair are going to be few and quick.
Again, you need to be mom enough to realize and understand that washing your hair is not something that is on your priority list. Sure, no one wants to be dirty, but the showers you will get are going to be quick and straight to business. This needs to be something a mom comes to terms with.
10 She Is In A Toxic Relationship
When you are a mom, you now know that you do not come first. Well, you know that if you are mom enough. You know that your children come first, and your needs come second. A mom who continues to be in or enter into toxic relationships is just not doing her job. If a single mom continues to be in bad relationships, bringing them into their children’s lives, she is not doing all she can to protect her children.
This doesn’t just go for single mothers; married moms are guilty of this as well. If mom is in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship with her husband but refuses to leave, she is not being mom enough. Moms need to do whatever they can to make a stable and loving home for their children, sometimes that means that dating and love get put on the back burner for just a little bit.
9 She Hovers…
Helicopter parenting is a relatively new term, and it is used to describe mothers who ‘hover’ over their children. They are always two steps behind them making sure they are safe and not getting into any trouble. All moms are protective and don’t want any harm to come to their children, and there are many who think that only the best and most caring moms watch their children so closely. Nope, this is a mom who is just not enough.
While we want to watch our children and make sure that no harm comes to them, we also need to give them space once in a while. As their mother it is part of our job to make sure that they learn a healthy dose of independence. That they learn how to fix mistakes on their own, without mom interfering and doing it for them every time. We must remember that our children will grow up into adults one day and we need to give them all the tools to survive in this crazy world.
8 She Loves To Shop
A lot of women love to shop. A lot of moms like to shop. It can be great therapy for anyone out there, to go out when you are having a bad day and spend some money on yourself. Pamper yourself just a little bit, after all you deserve it. It is hard work being a mom. However, there is a line that gets crossed. A line that now means you are just not mom enough.
If you are spending beyond your means on frivolous things that you do not need, and neglecting bills and food spending, you are not doing your job. If you must have a designer purse, but your child is three sizes too big for the clothes they are wearing, you are not mom enough. We can not say this enough, your children come first and if you fully acknowledge that and make the necessary sacrifices than you are definitely mom enough.
7 She Has No Patience
No one knows how to test someone’s patience more than a toddler does. They will push and prode you until you are on the very edge, just to see if they can get you off the ledge. If you do not have patience, you will not survive, and you will not be mom enough. Everyone has limits to which their patience gets tested. We all have moments where we are sure we are going to snap, but most of us are able to recognize it and take the break we need.
Being mom enough is not knowing when is too much. When you make mountains out of molehills when it comes to your child’s behaviour you are not mom enough. When the slightest things set you off every day, all day, that motherhood may not have been the best decision for you. Sorry to be so harsh, but these are the realities of being a mom and making sure you are enough for your children.
6 She Can’t Change A Dirty Diaper
Newborns and young infants really only have a few needs. They need to be fed, changed and snuggled with love. If a mom can not do one or more of these things, it may mean that she is not mom enough. Changing diapers is not easy, not for a first-time mom who has never changed a diaper before. There are so many rules and guidelines depending on what the gender is of your baby. With a girl, you always wipe front to back to prevent any infections. A boy is a whole other ballgame, depending on if he is circumcised or not.
If a mom just can’t get the hang of changing a diaper, after months have gone by, she may not be mom enough. If she is constantly handing the baby off to Dad to deal with, then she may not be mom enough. Sure, changing diapers is not fun. It is gag worthy at the best of times, but it is these times moms need to suck it up and just get it done.
5 She Can’t ‘Just Say No’
Remember all those ad campaigns about drug awareness? The ones where the tag line was simply; ‘just say no.’ As cheesy as those may seem, they have a point. When you are a mom it is your job to just say no. Say no to excessive drinking, drug use and other addictive behaviour. It is human to suffer with illnesses, and have substance issues, there are hundred who are struggling right now. That is not what doesn’t make you mom enough.
What makes you not mom enough is if you have no will or strive to get help. This is a serious problem, and one that effects a lot of people. It affects the addict, her family and most importantly her children. If our priority is to make sure our children are safe, then a mom who is not making strives to get help is not doing that for her children.
4 She Works Too Much
Here is one that is on a grey-scale. It is not black or white. Some women need to work. Most women, in a dual income family still need to go out and work to be able to provide for her family. A single mother has double the pressure to bring in an income to give her children all she needs. A working mom is a tough mom, but there must be a line drawn somewhere. A mom who works so much that she has barely any interaction with her children is not mom enough.
We know times are hard, and we have to do what we have to do, but children need to be around their mother. They need her presence in their life, and to have some interaction. If you are coming home at bedtime and picking up extra shifts on the weekend, you are not being fair to your children. They are being raised by someone else, and mom needs to find other ways to make it work rather than never being around her children.
3 She Can’t Handle Difficult Conversations
A lot of people do not like confrontation. They don’t like to be a part of any tense conversations or debates, it makes them uncomfortable and they are looking for the closest exit. These feelings of avoidance all end when you become a mom, or they should anyways. When you are a mom, you need to make decisions for you children and a lot of them are very important decisions. You need to make medical decisions based on conversations with your doctor. If you don’t agree with what your doctor is suggesting, you need to be able to stand your ground and say how you feel.
When your little child turns into a teenager, there are even more difficult conversations that need to happen. Mom needs to talk to her children about safe sex, drugs and alcohol. These are not easy thing to talk about, but they are essential and a mom who can not bring herself to talk about such things is not mom enough.
2 She Has A Favourite
The good old question of which child is your favourite. A mom who is enough and who is doing a good job will always answer none, that she loves all her children equally. The answer should be none, and the answer should come automatically, like a reflex. If a mom must think about it, pauses or flat out says that she has a favourite child, then she is not mom enough.
Moms may not think that it is a big deal if they have a favourite as long as the children never find out. Sadly, we don’t have to verbally tell children things for them to get it. They are excellent at picking up on things that we think they are oblivious too. If a mom has a favourite child, she will be a little partial when it comes to decisions. She may not realize she is doing it, but she is, and her children are noticing.
1 Causes Damage
This one may seem obvious, but you are definitely not mom enough if you are causing any harm to your child. If your child is being harmed in any way, then you are not mom enough, and that can be said with 100% confidence. Our main priority is to make sure our children are safe, and it is awful enough when we turn on the news and hear of a child being harmed, it is another thing when this pain is coming from the child’s own mother.
Putting aside any mother who is living with PPD, as that is not an indicator if mom is doing enough. A mom who knowingly and willingly causes any kind of harm to her child is not mom enough. Even if this harm is in the form of emotions, maybe she is over-disciplining or yelling just a little too much. Even under-discipling can be a sign of not being mom enough, as that can have repercussions on growing children as well.
Sources: enkirelations.com, wehavekids.com