Mother, Mamma, Mommy or just plain Mom are just some names for the woman in your life that will help raise you and love you unconditionally forever and always. A mother endures the good, the bad and the ugly from their children and always hands out hugs and kisses. They are the rock and the support throughout the good and bad times in your life.

A mommy will always hold you near and dear while wiping away your tears. A Mamma will kiss your owies and make you smile. A mother will try and take all your pain and sorrow away and make them hers.

Real moms

But what is it really like to be a mother? I mean really truly, open your feelings and mind and state the truth? Is it all roses and sunshine? Is it ok not be crafty or to lose your patience? Do you have to volunteer at the school every month or can you just lounge at home and eat Oreos and drink milk on the couch during the school Halloween party? So I am here to tell you the truth about being a mom and while I am at it, what is a true mom?

First off, a mom can come in all shapes and sizes and even genders. I say this because the list of mom’s is never ending. There is the biological mother, the foster mother, the step-mother, the single mother, the single father, the grandparent, and so much more. 

A mother is a caregiver and unconditional love giver, housekeeper, cooker, baker, taxi driver, psychologist, doctor and discipliner. They are the ones who bear the burden of everything good and bad as the days grow on. They are the ones who might get left behind; as they do so much they don’t get as much appreciation. 

[Check out our article What is a father?]

Young mom cheering her baby

A mother is the person who may have birthed you and cuddled you throughout your first couple years of life. A mom is the same person that will be sick with the flu, throwing up in the middle of the night with baby in stow. I have been there. I have cared for my newborn while barely able to care for my sick self. Somewhere deep down, you figure out how to manage. Somewhere along the line you figure out how to be your own perfect mother that works for you and your children.

A mother is the person who cooks your meals and is proud to set the table with healthy options such as the roast that took 6 hours to make, the potatoes, carrots and maybe even the homemade bread. A mom is the same person who looked in the mirror throughout the day at her dark circles around her eyes, her “mommy tummy” that she hasn’t quite learned to love yet and maybe even with tears in her eyes for no apparent reason. The tears are a mixed emotion of happiness for the wonderful life she has, but maybe coping with the feelings of failing her own self by “letting herself go.” Being a mom has a lot of responsibility and its 100% ok to cry sometimes and let your patience run thin. You are only human even if your children want you to be there superhero all day every day.

A mama could be the person who is wearing her yoga pants and holey sweatshirt to pick you up from school in her minivan. The same person who has Spice Girls “Wannabe” playing as loud as possible, dancing in the driver’s seat and singing at the top of her lungs. She is the same mom you love, but don’t want to acknowledge her as your mom when you have to get in the van. The same mama who will grab your hand and start to shake your arm and make you dance and laugh while other kids look. You may think she is embarrassing, but some of those kids wish they were doing what you are doing.

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Mom teaching her little girl

[Check out our article The First 1,000 Days — A Parent’s Perspective]

Your mom is the same person that may get dressed up with a pretty dress, curl her hair and put on a full face of makeup just to go to the grocery store. She may even volunteer at every single school function she can. Your mother could be the head of parent teacher groups and even start a mommy and me play group in your town. Your mom might even look 100% on point every day. That type of mother is being her own perfect mom. I have no judgment, and neither should you. Being a mom is difficult enough and we should all praise each other.

Moms come in all shapes and sizes and there is no best mom. There is no perfect mom nor is there the cookie cutter diagram of what a mother should be.

My Motherhood

I want to take this blog style now and be real on my life as a mother. 

I have a teenager and a toddler. Yes, I know…OH MY GOODNESS your kids are so far in age. Was that planned? Why did you wait so long? Aren’t you sad your kids aren’t closer in age? Or the dreaded, when are you having your next one. No, I am happy that they are this far in age and love how we planned out our family. I also have many friends and family who have 2 kids close in age or 6 kids all two years apart. I’m happy for them and I am happy that they are doing mothering their way!

For years I had this image of the perfect mom in my head and I wanted so badly to be that person. There were so many mothers that were fighting over signing up for volunteer work at the school. They were always dressed to the 9s and making play dates with their mommy groups. I remember when my oldest who is driving now, was little. The mothers were always making these elaborate crafts with their children. And then there was me. I hate doing crafts, I am a terrible baker and believe it or not I highly dislike volunteering for school stuff. I tried all that stuff and it just wasn’t me. I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself and I needed to find my own mothering path.

[Like this article? Please also see A 1000-Day Journey – How the first 1,000 days of your baby’s life will change you forever]

Mom and baby girl buying bananas

I live in my sweatpants and oversized sweatshirts at home and I shouldn’t lie… I go shopping in the same attire in public. I wear my hair in a messy bun almost every day because, well…. I can. I have learned I can be whatever type of mom I want to be as long as my children are taken care of and are becoming good human beings. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do some crafts, baking and volunteering because I feel like it’s good for the mind and what not, but it’s not my “thing.”

I am the ADHD mother. I will sit down and grab the XBOX controller and game with my kids, thanks to Amazon. I will start running like a wild woman through the house playing chase. I have even broke my own stuff by throwing a ball in the house. I sometimes give myself a time out for not following the house rules. 

Young boy and sister sitting on a car seat

I warm up my car in the winter for 45 minutes because I am not allowed to put a winter jacket on my toddler in her car seat, so it only makes sense that I make it 100 degrees in the car and pull it up to the front door while I run outside and toss her (gently of course) into her seat. Meanwhile, I am normally wearing my stained sweatpants, boots and a sweatshirt while I am shivering in the cold.

I’m also the “you should” mom. You know what I mean. You should probably bring a sweatshirt with because it may get cold. 

You should take an extra pair of socks because mudding in a gravel pit on your 3 wheeler may get your feet wet. Yes, I let my children play in the mud and are normally dirty 23 hours of the day. I am also the “doesn’t always follow through” mom. What I mean is that my teenager will tell me they are cold and I am looking at them in their t-shirt thinking, didn’t I tell him to grab warmer clothes, but I didn’t follow through. So what do I do? I tell him, I’m warm enough and give him my oversized sweatshirt to wear even though I am freezing. However, by raising my children the way I want, being kind and teaching them the way I want, he will look at me and refuse to wear it sometimes because he knows I am cold. And he wants to be kind and make sure his mother is taken care of.

My kids also have learned kindness through me being “real.” They don’t live in a bubble and I explain the true tribulation people endure such as homelessness, health problems and such. My me being the mom I want, they understand and have compassion for all walks of life. They know just because someone is dressed perfectly everyday doesn’t mean that is the right way. They know the just because a person is walking in the grocery store wearing leggings and a stained shirt doesn’t make them any less than another person. Their mother has taught them to learn to love and help a human no matter what and to not judge based on what they see, but by getting to know a person.

Story time!

After having a long day at work and just overall feeling like I am one question away from losing my mind for the day, I walk into my house. My goal is to unwind with a nice glass of milk, wine, whatever we have and maybe even sit in the tub with candles and some nice music for a bit. However, as soon as I walk in the door, I see a sink full of dishes, mud all over the porch floor and literally toys in the entry way with a trail throughout the kitchen as far as my eyes can see. I want to lose my mind, but I hear something that changes my entire day. I hear my husband, hormonal teenager and sassy toddler giggling. I hear the sounds of laughter, snorting and ultimately hiccups coming from the living room. My heart literally melts and I remind myself that a messy house is not a big deal and a bad day at work is left at the door because this is my true happiness. Being a mamma is what makes me happy no matter what. As exhausted as I feel, this sound of my happy family makes me feel more joy than I can express. It makes my sorrows of the day go away. 

[If you’re enjoying this article, we think you will also enjoy our other article How Can Parents Give Their Children the Best Start in Life?]

Mom showing a story book to her baby

On the different note, there are days that I am in the best mood ever. I might have even just cleaned the entire house (which I hate doing by the way) and I am waiting by the school buses to pick up my son. He gets into the vehicle and I ask him how his day went. Then the third nuclear bomb drops. You know the third one that never happened after Hiroshima? I mean why would I EVER ask how my teenager’s day went? His response is something similar to how I need to stay out of his life and not talk to him about such pressing matters. I need to just let him breathe and lay off his case. So, me being the perfect mom tells him that he needs to knock it off or else. I always like to leave the or else on sentences like this because than I can make up my mind later what that will be. It leaves it a mystery. And I won’t lie, that moment sometimes messes up my entire mood. It brings me down from cloud 9 and I have to breathe and remember he’s a teenager and kids don’t mean to be like that on purpose.

My toddler can also snap in a moments time. She will ask for food and tell me she is hungry. We scour the entire house for that perfect meal. You know the one I am talking about? The one that you find after looking in the fridge for the 8 millionth time. The meal that takes about an hour to make and you really don’t like making it. So, I get a small snack of like apples or something for little Miss Sassy Pants, I mean my adorable, always perfect toddler while I make this meal. The meal is done, but it’s still hot and she won’t stop asking me “is it ready yet, is it still hot” to the point I kind of want to put ear plugs in. After it’s ready to eat I make a plate and set it on the table for her. She sits down and says one of two things. I’m not hungry or I don’t like this. I feel so appreciated at this time. It’s the job of a mom though and honestly I wouldn’t trade it for the world because your kids can be the worst to you because they know they can trust you and that you will always love them. 

Feeding baby on a high chair

I have found that happy medium on not letting the little things bother me. I have learned that by being my true “real” self and teaching how I want, my children are growing to be amazing people and will continue to thrive. My ways of parenting and being a mom can be unconventional, but it works for us. 

Secret; I have also let my children go to sleep with food stuck in their hair, play clothes on and a dirty face because I refuse to wake them up and cause world war 3 to happen. I can always wash them up in the morning.

So next time you see “me” walking around with my fly down, hair a mess and kids in tow, don’t just think I don’t have my stuff together or that I must be overwhelmed. Just say hi and smile. Your way of being a mom isn’t the only way.

And lastly, being a mother is not a definition you find in a dictionary. It is not watching certain people and assuming that is the perfect definition of a mom. It’s not one way or the other because the PTO mom, the sweatpants mom, the jock mother, crafty mama and every other mom is the right type of mom. So, the best advice I can give for a mother is the following;

A mother is the female parent who knows your deep dark secrets and can embarrass you in front of all your friends at any given time.

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Jillian Robinson - one of the Stuff4Tots editorial team
Jillian Robinson (RN)

Jillian is a registered nurse and mom of two.  Her eldest being a teenager and her youngest a toddler.  The wide spread of ages, coupled with her medical background, give Jillian a unique insight into the challenges and joys families and parents face at each stage of life's journey.