An Open Letter To The Mom in Doubt

December 8, 2016

This post is sponsored by Minute Maid and is part of the #doingood campaign to remind hard-working parents like you and me that we’re doing much better than we think. All opinions are my own.

Dear fellow combat veteran,

Yes, you, in the trenches, pressing on through the grenades and fire fights. I’m with you. I’ve been at this job for a little over seven years now. I remember in the beginning thinking that Motherhood might magically get easier over time, or that one day I would wake up and feel like I had it in the bag. I envisioned the day a second child would come, and that would be even easier since I was no novice to rearing children. I would continuously get better at Pinterest projects and my kitchen menu would expand to meet the needs of my beautiful family. That was my expectation. If you are laughing at me, I don’t blame you.

Six months after Grayson was born, I found myself going through a divorce. Enter single mom life. All of a sudden I was away from him more than I was with him. I needed food stamps and WIC to keep food on the table. That first Christmas, I could only afford to spend $10 on him. Sometimes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse babysat so I could shower.

Fast forward a couple of years to when Grayson and I moved out of state, and then later found out we would abruptly be moving back. I was in pieces. I was so angry at myself and consumed with guilt for feeling like I never knew the right answer. I felt like I had made all the wrong decisions. All I knew for sure, was that I loved him more than anything and I wanted his life to be perfect.

I had a therapist named Ann, in Iowa, before I moved back to Georgia, who told me something I will never forget. I was so stressed, asking her if Grayson would be ok with the move and the changes. I was verbally worrying about every tiny detail of what we would do, how it would happen, and how I needed to prepare for the worst. She stopped me and said:

“Katie. Children are resilient and they can handle a lot. Children have made it through tumultuous times without a mark. There is no proof that change will damage a child psychologically. The only thing we know for sure that matters, is the happiness and well being of their primary caregiver.”

In that moment, I realized that it wasn’t about perfect decisions. It wasn’t about spending a fortune on Christmas, fancy Pinterest projects, being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, or zero screen time. I was already #doingood and I didn’t even know it. The key to #doingood is knowing that you already are.

That’s why I’m so pleased to be partnering with Minute Maid for their #doingood campaign. To remind myself, and other parents, that we are #doingood! It’s about celebrating the everyday things we do – big and small – that make a positive difference in our children’s lives. Even if we don’t think we are #doingood in that moment, we are!

I started to think about my own childhood. I didn’t remember the little details. I remembered the security that no matter what, my parents were there for me and loved me. It wasn’t complicated at all!

Here I am, two kids deep. It never got easier. My menu never expanded. I still make the same 3-5 things for dinner. The second child turned out to be a bigger challenge than the first, and I have yet to make a fun craft with them this year. But, guess what? I am the same exact mom I was seven years ago. I love my kids no less than I ever did.

What I want you to know is that no matter if you are working 24-7, you never cook, you haven’t always made the best decisions, or your wallet never allows your kids to have everything they want, I want you to know that you’re still #doingood. It’s just that simple. (It really is.)

All my love and caffeine,

Katie

Do you have someone that could use a bit of encouragement? Another quick and easy way to tell someone they are #doingood is with Minute Maid’s Letter Maker – it’s the greatest gift you can give a parent (or someone special!). Take a few minutes to watch this emotional video from Minute Maid, and be encouraged to tell someone they’re #doingood.

Lastly, I’m excited to announce the winner of the Pinterest contest! Congratulations to Jessica Burkett! Please email me at twelvesixblog@gmail.com to claim your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered!

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20 Comments

  • Reply Ashley Peavey December 8, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Wow! Thanks for sharing, what a great read. Before I had kids I thought I would be a great mom. Now that I have two – I doubt this everyday. This is exactly what I needed to read. We traveled with my first born for the first two years of his life and I can’t help to think that his anxiety about being away from me at all comes from that. The fact that we are always there for them and loving them is really all that matters though. We are all going to have our ups and downs, but we are all really doing good!!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      EXACTLY.

  • Reply Aimee December 8, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Katie. What a special message. I’ve been doing this motherhood gig for seven years, too, and I still sometimes forget that no matter how rocky the journey, as long as I am mothering with love and intention I am #doingood. Thank you for the reminder. <3

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you for reading and for being on my team!

  • Reply Taylor December 8, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I teared up for real. I needed to hear this! Being mommy and wifey gets to be so hectic and exhausting! I beat myself up sometimes for not being able to do it all – when in fact, what I’m doing is more than enough! Thank you for this post!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Me too! It’s so hard sometimes! You got this. ❤️

  • Reply Jessica Burkett December 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Loved this post!! I am proud of you in such a huge way. I am grateful for your transparency and commitment to be an honest and encouraging voice in a vapid world. And even more grateful for every teachable and brilliant moment of our friendship. xo

    AND YAY re: winning!!!!

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 8, 2016 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply JeeYoung W December 8, 2016 at 11:21 am

    You are an amazing mama. And this is such a needed message for all of us moms to hear. Thanks for sharing your struggles and triumphs. <3

    • Reply katiemcrenshaw December 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      This means so much.

  • Reply Meg O. December 8, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Love you and your heart. It’s so hard to put things in perspective…. we moms are always the worst at guilting ourselves for not being “enough.” This is such a great reminder that we, indeed, are doing good!!

  • Reply Sara McCarty December 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Beautiful story and sentiment, Katie! Love everything about this. Your children are so blessed to have you as their mama.

  • Reply Patricia December 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    This is such a powerful reminder. All the negativity that we feed ourselves, that I feed myself, needs to be replaced with messages like this! We are doing good and I’m so happy that you shared!

  • Reply Jessica December 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    This is such a beautiful and inspiring post. You are an amazing mama! Thank you for this powerful reminder!

  • Reply Cathy Goodwin December 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    As a single Mom, this really spoke to me. I too often let the self doubt in and need to remember that I am #doingood. Thank you for this!

  • Reply Trista Peterson December 8, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    I LOVE THIS! There are some days where I feel like I’m really on top of it… and then there are most days, where I feel like I can’t do anything right, I’ve lost my patience, our house isn’t clean, I haven’t cooked a meal in days… but then you realize your kid loves you just the same whether you spend an hour cooking them a giant dinner or 1 minute pouring them a bowl of cereal. So thanks for the positive reminder! 😉

  • Reply Shahla December 9, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this reminder. Motherhood is hard and nothing like I expected. The kids had grilled cheese for lunch AND dinner today. I felt like a failure. This is what I needed to read.

  • Reply Mireille Beckwith December 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    You are a wonderful mother! And writer too! xo I guess it’s because we get each other. Or you are just really good 🙂

  • Reply Susan December 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    As always your ability to speak from your heart…I thank you along with so many others. What an encouraging inspiring message to
    All of us…your children are so extremely lucky to have such love you are giving, strength you are showing and life you are living! ❤️

  • Reply Shannan Panganiban December 12, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I too struggle with feeling like the days pass and I’m not “getting better.” Just like you said about meal times and craft times.. I keep thinking, “one day I’ll be good at that.” But you are right.. kids don’t remember those things. They remember the love they know and feel! Thank you!

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