© 2020 by Shauna Leigh VM.

Proving Myself to Myself (and You to Yourself)


Am I the only one who talks to myself? Of course I'm not! I'm alone all day with a bunch of Littles. Who else am I going to speak with who is half as interesting and informed than me? Well, although my toddler sometimes makes riveting declarations and often entices me to look at things in the world a bit differently - In a fabulous way, really - , on most days, I am my own companion until the hubby gets home. So yes, again I'll admit, I talk to myself.

I don't think I'm the only one who also takes it a step further and says that I also debate with myself. Often in the form of a critical concern I have in parenthood or life in general. I'll pick an adversary in my mind - usually someone in my life who generally fits the bill for playing devil's advocate - and I'm off! I know the topic and my stance, and I invent their responses. I challenge myself and tickle my wit. I prove myself to… well, myself.


Sometimes we need that as parents - to prove our amazing selves to someone - and, most times, we aren't given the real-life opportunity to do so.

So here I am, deliberating about why in the world my house seems to be so messy! It's starts off with the typical “mom guilt” - which is really caregiver guilt that extends to anyone who provides the main house/family care often associated with the stay at home parent, if there is one, but definitely isn't limited to that. I mean, common, we live in 2017 here! This guilt is so all encompassing that it took me through topics such as messy or dirty vs. clean or tidy, all the way to how I raise my kids, how good/bad of a parent I am - spoiler, I'm a fantastic parent, just like you! - and what a judgmental world/ society we live in that I'm actually sitting here debating over all these things with exuberant self doubt! As written in women's health magazine, this guilt can make you think and do a lot of silly things. The No Drama Momma also writes about some causes that are throat-punch worthy.

Even if it sounds crazy - don't worry, it sounds a tad loony to me too - I am going to share this internal debate with you in order to share some of my self realizations which, I believe, you can and should relate to. Why? Not because I'm Mrs. Perfect mom - that's laughable, really - but rather, just the opposite, I'm not perfect and I never will be and that's a good thing! If you don't believe me, take a read and see for yourself…

This mess is continuous. I clean and tidy, perpetually, yet still it looks like I've done nothing.

Is it better for the house to appear clean by virtue of its tidiness or should I actually take the time to truly clean? But whenever I do that the portion I'm not currently scrubbing gets hit by my toddler tornado. It takes a lot of time and focus to do a thorough clean but even tidying means I'm picking up the same toys/books/remotes/pants - even the hubby is guilty! - about a million times over, just to keep up appearances. That's ridiculous, I don't have time for that! - here I am doing a combination of deep clean and quick tidy as I analyze the seeming futility of my compulsive behaviour -

And what about my role as caregiver/teacher/playmate/wife? Where does that fit into my keep-the-house-not-looking-like-the-aftermath-of-a-bad-house-party schedule? I'm just the lead clown in a circus of my own making - literally - , juggling my jobs and roles like a clumsy acrobat.

Maybe if I set up the kids with a movie I can get the main floor cleaned...

But they say too much screen time is bad for the Littles. But certain shows apparently boost social skills and empathy so I should let them watch some, only certain shows, and then limit otherwise. Then what? When do I clean? During the 20min show? Or should I let them play outside? Yeah, that's better! Ohhhh, but don't let them play alone in your small, completely fenced, totally visible backyard or someone will call children's aid. Have they been fed and watered recently? Sun screened? Did their feet get dirty? - heaven forbid! - oh dear, they've scraped a knee! Call the paramedics! Okay, inside play… wait a minute… now there are toys everywhere again! Aaannnddd full circle.

Well then, what about those “my kid is so well behaved… they would never to do something like that” arguments that question my ability to raise my kids or - worse! - that judges and compares the abilities and disabilities of innocent children just because my house isn't immaculate.

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If you were just a little more strict, if you didn't feed them processed sugar, if you had a better schedule… my kid doesn't freak out like that, this other kid I know can do that already, - and my personal favourite - you know *normal - energetic - toddler behaviour* can be a sign of *lists a number of over-diagnosed, misunderstood psychological illnesses of which they know nothing*.....

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Yeeaahh…You know what?


My kid is free spirited, opinionated, energetic, spontaneous, emotional, creative, empathetic, and clever. She runs outside barefoot, argues what she believes in until she's blue in the face, has meltdowns over little things - that feel big to her -, spends hours quietly colouring, painting, doing play-doh or crafting, asks to do her - home-school - lessons for the day, and gives hugs to everyone. She also watches TV and movies - sometimes all day -, she plays outside while I'm inside tending to the baby and my endless cleaning, she eats candy and typically has an iced treat daily, she is high energy and occasionally difficult to settle. She also eats almost anything we serve for dinner, helps with chores and errands happily and eagerly, and she loves quiet reading time before bed. If any of those things makes her or I dysfunctional in any way then those judgmental people - predominantly in my mind at the moment, granted - can kiss my butt because clearly they haven't experienced the full force of true, unfiltered toddler hood.


Why am I even considering whether or not I'm a good momma? What makes me - and, from what I read online, many other parents - question their ability to provide the best for their kids? It makes me reflect on what a judgmental society we live in that I'm actually debating over all of this - while washing the dishes, putting away toys, praising my Little’s artwork, cleaning up spit up, and singing ‘happy and you know it’ for the hundredth time just to hear my smallest little laugh. I'm a damned good parent and you'd be hell-bent to find a better one for my personal tiny humans.

We all do our best and that is more than good enough. I say more than because of this: can you imagine doing your BEST - I mean, giving your ALL, 100% - at work every. single. day? If you said yes then I either don't believe you OR you have a pretty damned amazing job - kudos if you do - but not many can make that claim. As parents, we know that our role is extremely important and we work ourselves to the bone caring for our Littles. We give our all, always.

So stand strong, go against the sheepish, oppressive way society makes us think, and hold your head high knowing that you're amazing, your kids are amazing, and you don't need to prove yourself to anyone cause the universe already knows your worth!

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