Mothers and Our Families: Never Perfect, But Always Great

by Birth Without Fear on November 10, 2011

As mothers, we want to always protect our children, do what we feel is best for this, love them unconditionally, teach and guide them with the hope they will feel loved, be happy and turn out better than us.

Women tend to criticize themselves, to never feel good enough. I know that I have these perfection expectations as a mother. That’s good to always want to be our best for our children.

The problem is… I am not perfect. Neither are you. (This is why we don’t need to tear each other down, but lift one another up). We can always strive to do better, apologize when we mess up and remind our little ones how much we love them often.

Our families each have their own ‘ebb and flow’. No family is the same and therefore should not be compared. This goes for us comparing ourselves to others or for any of us expecting another family to conform to our beliefs. No family is perfect. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Do not look at other family blogs or Facebook pages or what they have and think they don’t struggle. Work hard to make the relationships in YOUR family better and enjoy the blessings you have.

Cherish each moment that you can. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

Remember to be yourself…

Have fun…

Don’t compare yourself or  your family to others…

Whether you are an ‘average’ size family…

A growing family…

A large(er) family…

Or a single mom family…

No, we are not perfect, but we are great. We sacrifice many things to be parents, we kiss ouchies, listen to the same jokes over and over (and laugh again and again). We cook their favorite meals, read their (memorized) favorite books, dance, sing and even cry with them. We take them to the park and swing them up and down and cherish the moment they throw their head back and giggle as their beautiful hair blows in the wind and kisses their face. This is what motherhood is about. We don’t need to be perfect to be great.

Watch this short video that will speak to every mother regardless of religion, ethnicity or location. What we do have in common is we are mothers, we are caring and we love and serve others (for those that have not had the opportunity to bear children, you are still a woman…a mother who can love and serve others).

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“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.”  ~Mildred B. Vermont

*Thank you to all the BWF Families that shared pictures of your beautiful families!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dina Mander-Jones November 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm

<3 Wow! THAT WAS FANTASTIC!!!! Well said and completely wonderful!!!! I would have to say that was the absolutely BEST post, absolutely expressing how I feel about being a woman, a mother & part of my family. It is such a GRAND privilege for me to be a mother to and associate with my ten amazing children. I ADORE their individuality and CHERISH their uniqueness…… I think I will POST this blog post on my Facebook wall over and over again in the years to come. So BEAUTIFUL. Thank You Mrs BWF for sharing your talents and inspirations to encourage us all to be exactly who we are and aspire to be who we were each individually born to be, ourselves, loved and valued. XOXOXO, Dina

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April W. November 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed this post today probably more than ever. The video made me bawl like a baby. I have really been struggling with my 2 little boys lately, and really feeling like I am not doing so well. I have always wanted several children, and I feel like just 2 kids shouldn’t be so hard that I am losing my marbles. But right now it is!

I am so thankful for your blog, and so thankful for this post. I think I will read this every day for awhile until it really sinks in. I really can’t say thank you enough. Now off to fold laundry while the kids nap :-)

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Natalie November 11, 2011 at 12:15 am

Beautiful post! Made me quite teary :-)

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Megg J. November 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

Absolutely beautiful! I feel this everyday. Thank you for reminding us to treat each other kindly and to love the family we have. That video is one of my favorites, it always uplifts me!

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Landrie November 20, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I needed this today too. Thank you so incredibly much Mrs. BWF. You are a woman after my own heart.

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Briana November 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

This was exactly what I needed to read today. I cried through the whole thing! I have a 19 month old and a 3 month old, and they are the biggest blessings but today was a very hard day. I felt like the only mom who gets overwhelmed and feels like I have reached the end of my rope, but this made me realize that Inn not! Thank you!

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Alicia H November 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

lLve this.. I love the message too! When it first came out it made me cry and it made me cry again. Sometimes I need the reminder that while I may not be perfect I’m doing good.

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Daja November 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

The picture that comes after “Don’t compare yourself or your family to others…” was such a pleasant surprise! That’s one of my students!

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Nadia Perez January 30, 2012 at 5:02 am

Thats me alright! =-)

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Cassaundra November 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

Are you aware that the message in your text is directly contradicted by your images and video? Your words are saying we are ALL good enough, but your pictures send the very clear message (and a picture is worth a thousand words, so is a video worth a million?) that only the white, heterosexual, married, uppermiddle class Moms who follow Our Heavenly Father are in fact good enough. Why claim to be inclusive of everyone, and all religions and ethnicities and then use Judeo-Christian propoganda and make darn sure to have NO pictures of people of colour, or gay families and only one picture of a Mom with no husband and a video stating that Single Moms are actually only Moms whose husbands are “away”, so clearly unmarried or divorced Moms are NOT among the “good enough” right?

I have to tell you, I started out njoying the post immensely but now I feel like I was just ganged up on by the kids in the schoolyard and told VERY clearly: “we don’t want YOUR kind here!”

I hope that isn’t what you intended. If not, perhaps a change in, or removal of imagery is in order?

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Mrs. BWF November 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

No that was not my intention. The message is for ALL families. I shared the pics that BWF families sent in and not everyone in the pics is white, etc. BWF is very diverse and accepting. Sorry you felt this way and/or read into it like this.

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Nadia Perez January 30, 2012 at 4:53 am

@Cassaundra – My family picture is under the “Don’t compare yourself or your family to others…” That’s my future husband, we weren’t married when we conceived our 2 yr old son but we are getting married in 2 months. So I think you’re assuming and reading into the pics mainly because I’m NOT white either… I’m MEXICAN. lol but my future husband is white so not only does she show “people of colour” (who says that anyway???) but shes showing interracial couples so you should be happy about that. lol And We are more on the lower-middle class side, we just happen to have a friend that’s a photographer and he did this photo-shoot for free at the Walt Disney Concert Hall here in Los Angeles. =-)

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Melissa February 4, 2012 at 7:51 am

Clearly you did not view the video. If you did you would have noticed that there were plenty ‘people of color’, Asian, Mexican, white, black, Indian. May this post could have had more diversity; but couldn’t life? Are you less of a mother because a photo of your family wasn’t listed?

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Lulu January 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Just going to break this down a bit, because I feel like it:
“Are you aware that the message in your text is directly contradicted by your images and video? Your words are saying we are ALL good enough, but your pictures send the very clear message (and a picture is worth a thousand words, so is a video worth a million?) that only the (1)white, (2)heterosexual, (3)married, (4)uppermiddle class Moms…”
1. Not everyone is white in those pictures, I don’t think, although I haven’t asked them.
2. Maybe some of them are bisexual. Maybe that single mom is gay.
3. Who said they were all married? I don’t know how awesome your computer is, but I can totally NOT see the left hands of all of those people).
4. Who said they were all uppermiddle class? Maybe they’re broke like me. Professional photos = rich? Not for me, I just have photographer friends that take pity on my poor butt and give me free fancy family photos.
Blarg. What is with the picking apart everything today.
How about a, “Gee, thanks for your attempt to make us all feel good about ourselves!” or just leave it alone. Pick your battles people. For realz. :P

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Jenny Kuehnle February 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

YES! **applause!**
Well said, Lulu!

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Terri February 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I really don’t see how anyone could see that all of those people are white, and I always assume that BWF can only post pics that are sent to her, but…

You are also assuming that all of those women were born women and all of those men were born men. You have no proof (except for the pregnant ladies maybe). You also don’t know if the DNA represented in the pictures is what went into making those babies, for the aforementioned reason. I love seeing diversity…maybe we need to tell more of our diverse natural mamas about this so they can send pictures in?

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Annie February 4, 2012 at 12:18 am

All I felt from this whole post was love and encouragement and wanted to let you know that! I read through the comments and was surprised that someone could see/watch the same thing I did, and come away with such a negative tone! My goodness! Settle down! It didn’t even occur to me what nationality the families were, or if they appeared wealthy or poor…I actually had to go back through the pictures to see if I had missed something! Turns out, that no, I didn’t, I just had appreciated the pictures and the love they represented, instead of picking them apart….and I had felt peace and encouragement from the video, regardless of my ethnicity, religion, or wealthy/poor/middle class status. I definitely loved this post, and felt like truly it was shared in sincerity and love. One of my favorite posts. Thank you.

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MermaidMidwife March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

January, I want to encourage you that your work is so important. Even when the most encouraging posts get punched, please keep your head up. I love your openness to feedback regarding inclusion and I LOVE that you offered a follow-up post showing moms and families what are of many kinds and sorts.
I was reminded that some years back Mothering Magazine had some feedback that they rarely included women of color on their covers and it was well received. A more inclusive mind-thought was taken on and good change was made both in the publication and the website.
As for BWF, It is my hope that 3 things happen:
1) You continue to encourage the rainbow of families, ask for submissions directly…”Attention Mothers of Color: I would LOVE to have more stories and pictures that show off how diverse and beautiful this community is! Send them in!” Onus is yours.
2)More diverse mothers and family folk will make contributions to BWF because they know they are wanted and their contributions are so deeply needed, therefore giving you a greater pool of diversity. Onus on us.

Overshadowing this issue is something greater though. If #1 and#2 happen, something of a cultural shift has to continue. It most certainly IS TRUE that there are a great many, many women who are non-white, unwealthy, un-married, or LGBT that are rockin’ it as mamas! ..It is ALSO true that a quick look at research will illustrate that natural birth, homebirth, supported breastfeeding, switching care providers, filming births, benefiting from informed choice and ACCESS to resources that facilitate empowerment are far less part of “the birth movement” upsurge for those families that are non-white, unwealthy, unmarried, or LGBT. This awakening to inclusion and recognition of one another for our contributions to motherhood is a community and cultural issue.
http://www.precinctreporter.com/lifestyles/health/622-maternal-death-rates-for-women-of-color
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INc1a6u8yP4
http://lgbt.ucsf.edu/pdfs/Lesbian%20Health.pdf
http://www.calwic.org/storage/documents/wellness/bf_paper2.pdf
and finally,
3) It is my continued hope that the women who participate in BWF and the blob stop using the anonymity of a screen to attempt to school the writer. This blog takes a lot of time to upkeep and is run by a woman who REALLY cares. LADIES: if you have a point, please make it with grace and tact. When you shit on things that are inherently beautiful, like this post, you only make yourself look low class and judgmental.

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Sara McCall September 23, 2012 at 2:18 am

This is perfect!! :)

Thank you for writing this. I feel like so often today, mothers spend more time tearing each other down then supporting each other. And often, it’s at times when support is most needed!

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