To The Mom Who’s Pretty Sure She’s Screwing It All Up…

Isaiah loves art. He’s full of imagination and he LOVES to create. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

The other day I complimented him…telling him what a good painter he was. 

“Yeah. I am.” he replied.

His response tickled me. And then it made me think. If only we could all have that kind of confidence. If only we could share that same sort of self-assuredness out loud, and not feel any shame. 

There’s a quote floating around on Pinterest. Have you seen it?

It goes something like this…

To the Mom who's pretty sure she's screwing it all up...

The first time I saw it, I was all…how fast can I pin this?! A resounding YES came over me. It reassured me, and made me feel like my crazy was somewhat normal.

But the longer I thought about it, the more it started to bother me.

The “why” hit me the other day at lunch. We were all sitting around the table, when I realized I forgot to turn in some important school forms. 

“Ugh. Mom of the year.” I said out loud, sarcastically. (Because three-year-olds understand sarcasm, right?)

Minutes passed, and I still couldn’t let my “Mom fail” go. 

“I CANNOT believe I did that. I’m such a bad Mom.” I said, under my breath.

It wasn’t the first time those words had come out of my mouth. But this time, something wrestled with my heart.

I looked at Isaiah. My little sponge. Sitting there, eating his peanut butter and banana sandwich. Listening to every word I muttered, and sensing every bit of shame I was projecting onto myself. 

He understood it all. 

All of a sudden, the emotions came flooding. 

Our children are born with this inherent sense of confidence. And we worry, as we send them off to school or out into the world, that their confidence will be broken–that others will make them feel like less than they truly are. When really, it starts right in our very own homes. 

When we berate ourselves for “screwing it all up”…our kids are there. Watching. Listening. 

We’re teaching them to doubt themselves, before anyone else gets the chance to. We’re teaching them to break themselves down, in a world that is waiting to do that for them. 

The thought of my children learning to punish themselves for their mistakes, all by watching me? Heartbreaking.

So to the Mom, like me, who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up…

STOP. You aren’t. In fact, you are doing an amazing job. You are loving your children. You are tending to their needs. You are doing the best you can. Know that, and BELIEVE it. 

Let’s teach our children to believe in themselves, by believing in ourselves first.

Let’s show them how to love themselves, by loving ourselves…even when we mess up.

And most importantly, let’s model the importance of God’s grace, by showing ourselves a little every day.

Because I know I could use some. 

Couldn’t you?

Today, Isaiah and I did some painting. 

I told him I was a good painter, too. 

20 Responses to “To The Mom Who’s Pretty Sure She’s Screwing It All Up…”

  1. Carrie Rogers

    I’m standing up over here, clapping loudly. Yes. Yes and Yes. Well done, Momma!!

  2. Nichole Mills

    You have no idea how much I needed to see this today. THANK YOU.

  3. Tami

    Great post! Even this “non-mom” needs to be reminded to stay confident

  4. Elle

    I am constantly struggling with the feelings of a momma ‘fail’. Thanks for posting this!

  5. Susan Evans

    Whenever I get any negative self-talk in my head, I try to stop it immediately. I try to focus on the things that I do right.

  6. Andie Thueson

    So true!! I I try to show them everyday to believe in themselves and they can accomplish anything… But I need to down play my mom fail moments! Even when I fail at least I’m an active member of the game! :)

  7. Tammy

    Wow! What an eye opening moment. I literally never thought of it this way, but you are absolutely right! All my son is going to hear now is how wonderful and perfect I am. Lol

  8. Sonia

    This was just the motivation I needed to read! Thank you soooo much for the encouraging words! I’m a mother of a blended family and you’re absolutely right, most of the negativity starts at home. They break each other down worse than anyone outside our house could. Hopefully,with what I’ve learned today, i can start being a better role model and add some sunshine to our home.

    • Alli Aars

      Thanks for the sweet comment, Sonia. I am so glad it motivated you! It was a light bulb moment for me, for sure. Just remember, you’re doing a great job. Tell yourself that every day. (I have to!). Thanks for reading. :)

  9. Aine Teahan

    Hi Alli,
    Thanks so much for this thoughtful post! I try to be a role model for my little 6 year old but it’s not always easy! But you’re so right – kids are like sponges and they pick up on everything. I love watching my little boy while he’s painting – he’s so free and is not worried about the outcome. I wish I could be more like him when I create. Thanks for the article – it certainly made me think. Ax

    • Alli Aars

      Thank you for the sweet comment, Aine. It’s so hard isn’t it? It’s still something I struggle with every single day. Thanks for reading. :)

  10. Vanessa

    I have a 19 month old and a 5 month old, both girls and I always worry they’ll mimic my bad habits like yelling in frustration and smacking things lol but this was encouraging to read!