It can be tough to be a mom today.
Moms are expected to be everything. To cook amazing meals that are healthy and use only organic ingredients. To keep a nice home with personal touches worthy of a Martha Stewart inspection. To be fully involved with their kids' lives and provide just the right mix of assistance and independence. To balance work and family with ease. To be mom, wife, friend, and helper.
Failing any one of these - even remotely - can be a blow to a mom's self-esteem.
Add in some sort of challenge (say...ADHD) and your mom-esteem really takes a beating.
There are days when I feel invincible, like the best mom on the block. On those days, I am sure that God delivered my son specifically to me because no one else could give him the same balance of encouragement, structure, and love.
Then, there are the rest of the days.
It is really hard to keep up your mom-esteem when your son is screaming at you. Because you have made his life miserable. Because you said it's time to turn off the TV. Or because you want him to put the stick away.
School is really hard on mom-esteem. I don't know if there ever was a time when parents weren't judged by how their kids do in school. But I know that the stakes seem awfully high these days.
Typical conversation: Other mom: "Did your son finish his project on his favorite world culture?"
Me: "What project?"
Other mom: "You know, the one where they have to bring in some example of another world culture. Trevor chose Malaysia and we are making nasi kandar for the whole class."
Me: "Did I miss this? I don't know anything about this."
Other mom: "Your son is in the gifted program, isn't he?"
Then there's doing homework. I mean, they do teach this stuff in school, don't they? Some days, it just doesn't seem that way. And I feel utterly incapable, which is hard to take for a well-educated woman who generally thinks she can do it all. But how do you explain the executive, judicial, and legislative branches when your 8-year-old just doesn't seem to get it? Or make a strong-willed child read a chapter book when he really wants to read a picture book he knows by heart?
Of course, ADHD itself is hard on mom-esteem. Yes, the main body of evidence suggests that these kids are born this way. And living with Dylan's undiagnosed dad would suggest that there is a definite genetic component to it. But then there's the suggestion that pesticides are a factor. That lack of exercise exacerbates the symptoms. That guten or casein or sugar or dye are to blame. There's plenty there to beat up the old mom-esteem.
And if you aren't willing or able to radically change your whole life to see if it makes a difference? It's a wonder we moms even get up in the morning.