About a year ago, I decided to go against the supermom grain by referring to myself as the “world’s okayest mom.”
It started out as a snarky kind of thing, cheekily flying in the face of a social media feed filled with endless self-congratulatory statuses and news pieces devoted to moms and “Pinterest stress.”
And while I can’t say those things have made me feel inadequate as a parent (even if I wonder how those who pat themselves on the back 24/7 manage to get anything done one-handed), casual conversations with moms across Facebook and Twitter clued me into an inferiority complex running rampant in the motherhood I didn’t realize was so widespread.
Social media has a way of making parents – especially moms – feel like crap.
Mainly because we’re doing parenting wrong.
If we have a home birth then we’re tree-hugging hippies who don’t value the wondrous delight that is modern medicine. If we prefer a hospital birth then we don’t trust our own bodies to calmly deliver a tiny human into a serene pool of patchouli-scented water while a doula plays the sitar.
If we have children with special needs and as a result question doctors and their vaccines, then we’re nutbags who advocate communes and hairy armpits. If we’re okay with everything modern medicine promotes, then we’re completely destroying our children’s natural immune systems, thereby destroying their chances at surviving a paper cut.
If we bottle feed, we don’t really love our kids or we’d be trying to bond with them through our breasts as nature intended. But if we do breastfeed them, then we obviously want to raise kids who will still want milkies as teenagers.
If we handcraft the favors our kids give out at their eco-responsible birthday parties and serve organic cake with carob frosting, then we’ve been inhaling too much artisan glue harvested from the hooves of unicorns. If we hand out cheapie stuff from those economy-sized assortment bags and feed everyone store bought cupcakes with icing so blue it dyes their tongues for weeks then we’re totally phoning it in and our kids will suffer.
If Kate Middleton could easily be our body double and five seconds post-birth our bodies have already snapped back to their pre-baby slimness, we care too much about superficialities and should tell other moms what our flaws are so everyone can feel better about themselves. If our bodies are scarred and stretched and well padded years after our kids stopped being babies then we should really consider photoshopping every single photo we share online.
Parenting is already like doing Jean Claude van Damme’s epic split in perpetuity (and he didn’t even have kids hanging like sloth babies from his legs), yet society is continually makes it harder by judging everything mothers do.
I’m over it.
Moms deserve more confidence, not more competition.
And that’s where this whole “world’s okayest mom” thing comes in.
Since deciding to be the “world’s okayest,” I’ve become much more confident in myself as a parent.
Smiling more and second-guessing less has become second nature, and letting my kids see me as a nerdy, imperfect human being has been an unexpected game changer wrapped in a glittery life lesson. Mainly because my two look to me as they navigate their way through the world. If I’m more comfortable in my skin, they’re more comfortable in theirs. If I’m feeling confident, they feel more confident.
Kids reflect what we project, and since confident people are more likely to succeed, I of course want to give my kids every opportunity to cultivate that confidence for themselves.
And in the spirit of spreading hi-fives all around, DGOE has partnered with Invisalign, the modern orthodontic treatment allows you to straighten your teeth and improve your smile without metal braces.
A discreet alternative approved for tweens, teens and adults, Invisalign allows you to perfect your smile thanks to a series of removable aligners that gradually move teeth over time and cost about the same as traditional braces.
Your orthodontist simply gives you several sets of custom molds/trays that slide over your teeth, and you change them out every few weeks. Invisalign is just as effective in treating minor issues (bonus: Invisalign Express Treatment) as it is complex problems – think underbites, crossbites, overbites and more.
If part of your own confidence movement means getting braces as an adult, take the Invisalign Smile Assessment to find out if you might be a good candidate.
And try being the “world’s okayest” instead of the “world’s best.” You’ll find the more you love your own decisions, the less you need others to validate them for you.
Photo credits: Invisalign, DGOE