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I’ve recently been thinking about the mom I am compared to the mom I always thought I would be. I imagined after having kids that I would be a mother who loved to sew, bake, and play Barbies with them. I thought I’d be out building snowmen with my kids on the first snow of the season and carving pumpkins on Halloween without cringing at the texture of pumpkin guts. I thought I’d enjoy doing crafts with them and enjoy fun science experiments together.

Turns out, I’m a completely different type of parent, and that’s okay. The longer I’m a parent, the more I realize what my strengths and weaknesses are, and I’m learning to embrace my strengths and forgive myself for my weaknesses.

There are so many different types of people out there, all with different interests and personalities, but sometimes moms are forced into a box of “be this way, say this thing, and don’t you dare give your kid McDonald’s.” The truth is, there is no “right” way to be a mother, and thank heavens for that, because this world would be pretty boring if we were all the same!

Whenever I get down on myself for not measuring up to other people’s expectations of the mother I should be, or even my past self’s expectation of who I thought I would be, I remind myself of the things that I am really awesome at in motherhood, and it helps to put things into perspective.

I honestly do not enjoy playing Barbies or pretending to be certain characters, but I do love playing with my kids for several hours outside every single day. I’m awful at teaching my kids to do daily chores, but I’m adamant that we read books with them every night. I’m terrible at creating crafts for my kids to do, but I am wonderful at teaching them to appreciate nature. I’m pretty bad at keeping a consistent daily routine, but I can pack up for a family camping trip at the drop of a hat. I hate playing in the snow (thank heavens my husband likes it), but I am awesome at making them some hot chocolate when they come back inside. I’m positive that for every weakness I (and you) have, there is a strength to outweigh it, because that’s what makes us all unique.

I’ve spent far too much time trying to fit into a box on certain things and beating myself for falling short in certain aspects of my motherhood, and I’ve finally learned to just let some things go. Just because another mom prioritizes a certain thing in her household, doesn’t mean that it necessarily has to be important in mine. We are all different, and I’m just grateful that I have kids that want me as their mom, flaws and all, even if that means that they’ll have to do the majority of their crafts at school.

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