How I Embraced Being Just an “Okay” Mom

How I Embraced Being Just an “Okay” Mom

If only all moms felt more confident admitting this!

By Jeanne Sager

There’s a mom I’m connected with on social media who is my parenting hero. It’s not because she’s beaten cancer with two small children at home -- although that’s true too. It’s because of the photos she’s been sharing regularly of her youngest daughter face-down on the floor at a number of local stores, pounding her fists in frustration.

They say a photo speaks a thousand words, and to me, her pictures say, “I’m not perfect at this parenting thing, but I’m trying the best I can.” They say, “We’re all in the same boat, and I’m not ashamed to admit my boat has a leak.”

A thousand words? Okay, maybe not, but you can imagine the rest.

Most social media is rife with the opposite: Moms who have it all figured out and aren’t afraid to tell you in 140 characters or less. Examples of moms who appear to do it all and have it all as long as you spend half your day scouting the perfect craft ideas, décor inspiration, and kid-friendly dinner recipes online.

For the record: It shouldn’t take failing at any of these things to make moms to realize that a blog full of perfect pictures has been edited to the nth degree before anyone hit “publish.”

Reality doesn’t get edited.

Kids yell. Kids get messy. Kids take that dinner you spent an hour preparing and feed it all to the dog while you’re not looking because “he looked really hungry, mom!”

It’s the parents who are able to poke a little fun at themselves, to admit the whole thing isn’t perfect, who make me feel like I’m doing just fine at this parenting thing. I don’t have to make it to every school event. I don’t have to volunteer to be snack mom at every soccer practice. I don’t have to stay up until 2 in the morning ironing clothes that my daughter will drop in the middle of her bedroom floor and wear three days in a row because “eh, they didn’t smell dirty.”

When another mom admits that she doesn’t have it all figured out, I hear that and a thousand other things.

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I hear, “It’s okay to admit that we’re not perfect.” I hear, “It’s okay to just be okay.


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Just “okay” moms feed our kids healthy foods most nights, and sometimes we declare it a cereal-for-dinner night because we’re exhausted and at least there’s calcium in the milk and whole grains in the (slightly) sugary cereal. Just “okay” moms wash their kids’ clothes … at least the ones that make it from their bedroom floor to the washing machine. Just “okay” moms put a roof over their kids’ heads, and plant kisses on their cheeks every morning.

So yes, we might lose the paper that tells us when chocolate fundraiser money is due, but we do manage to email the teacher to check. We forget that Thursday is pajama day (again – WHY?), but we make up for it with pajamas all day at home on Sunday.

We do things wrong.

But then we try to make them right.

There are phases of parenthood when you feel like you’ll never be clean again, phases when you feel like you’ll never be able to form full sentences again, phases when you feel like you’ll never be fully sure if you’re doing it right.

But so long as there are moms who aren’t afraid to admit they’re just okay, we’ll all be okay.

How have you embraced being a “just okay” mom sometimes?

Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer, photographer and social media junkie. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter, and way too many pets. You can follow her @JeanneSager.

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