Before I became a mom, I thought I knew.
I thought I had some semblance of what it would be like. What it would feel like. What I would do.
The things my kids would NEVER do. Oh goodness no. Not that. Never. Not MY kids. Not only MY watch. No sir.
And while some of my expectations were at least somewhat near the truth, one of the most surprising things about motherhood is how much I worry.
Sure I worry about scrapes and bruises and seizures and how quickly Henry is reading a chapter book. But that’s not really the worrying I’m talking about in this case.
I wonder if we’re doing it right at all.
If we’ve chosen the “right” parenting style.
If the hills we choose to die on as parents are really the ones worth dying on.
Or if the things we let slide are the ones that most definitely should not be slidden. Wait. That’s not a word. Go with it.
I don’t wander around wringing my hands and wearing grooves into my carpet, but I do often wonder if we’re somewhere along the right path. After all, you really, truly don’t know for sure how things are going to turn out until they’ve turned out.
And by then, it’s mostly too late.
So, it’s this crazy social experiment, involving the most important souls in your life.
I have friends with a similar parenting style.
Friends who practically do the exact opposite of what we do.
Friends who fed formula.
Friends who work full time.
Friends who live in the country. In the heart of the City. With grandparents under foot. With family on the other side of the country.
And let’s not even get started on technology allowances. It’s all over the place.
After all, where is that line between ending up with kids who are ax murderers and kids who, you know, do the right thing for the most part?
It feels scary that I’m such an important role in the lives of four other actual human beings. And that I could have it all dead wrong.
But for every ounce of worry I expend, I know that Grace fills in the gaps.
I know that our brand of parenting is just that: Our Brand.
It isn’t perfect. In fact, I’m certainly we are woefully wrong on some fronts. But it’s the way we show Love and Growth and at the end of the day we are doing the Best We Can With What We Know.
And while I know for certain that some day in the future, and even some days now, I will and have apologized to my children for times I made the wrong choice, I know that I can look them squarely in the eyes and say with 100% surety:
I always did my best. I always gave you what I thought was right. I always tried so very hard. And always, always, no matter what, I did it with more love than you can ever dare to imagine.
As a “seasoned” mom of four (which always makes me laugh, because I assure you I’m no more a pro at this as anyone else), I often get asked for parenting advice.
Sure, I have ideas on how to get a kid to sleep through the night. That dirt is the best learning tool. And when you should move to a big kid bed.
So when Johnson’s Baby asked if I would share about their “You’re Doing OK, Mom” video campaign, I fell in love. Truly. Because that’s really all I want to say.
To every mom.
Not just the new mamas nervous and awkward with babies squishy and fresh. Not just the mamas with toddlers underfoot, emptying cupboards faster than you can blink. Not just the mamas anxiously lying awake as the hour marking curfew ticks by. Not just the mamas worried about the life choices they have no control over their adult children making.
But all the mamas. All of these. And every single one in between.
JOHNSON’S® Baby CARES, the JOHNSON’S Baby brand’s charitable platform, is committed to ensuring that every baby has a healthy and happy start through educational and social initiatives, product donations, and financial support. As an extension of this promise, for every view of the “You’re Doing OK, Mom” video between now and Mother’s Day, JOHNSON’S Baby will donate $1 to Save the Children, up to $50,000. (Save the Children is an organization that gives children around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm.)
You don’t have to twist my arm to know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.
So watch that short video.
Encourage a corporation to give back.
And then encourage a mama.
Maybe start with the frazzled, yoga pants wearing, spit up on her shoulder mama with a toddler hanging off her leg and a baby with an ear piercing scream at Target. She’s there. She’s always there. Give her a warm smile, a wink, and a “You’re doing OK, mom. Promise.”
Because she really is.
Truly, madly, deeply, she really is. She especially is.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with The Motherhood and Johnson’s Baby, but I mean every cotton pickin’ word and if you’ve been around here long enough you know this is kinda my gig. Legit. Also: Really. You really are doing, OK. I’m not even just saying it. You so totally are. Pinky swear it.