Home » To The Mom Who Feels Like She Is Always One Step Behind…

To The Mom Who Feels Like She Is Always One Step Behind…

I am that mom who is always one step behind no matter how I try. I feel like I am always playing catch up to being a good mother. I find myself always wondering if I can do better, and if my best is good enough. Do you feel this way too?

Motherhood feels like this race and that has me rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off on most days.

From the countless melt-downs and daily sibling fights to break up (don’t even get me started on this), to the never disappearing, ever growing massive pile of toys to pick up… life with my boys always seems packed with things to do.

I’m that mom who hardly makes it on time to pick the kids up from preschool. The one that is always the last in the family to come home on a weekday. The one that that tries so hard to remember all the little details about their kids’ day to day needs, and yet somehow still manages to forget many more.

I wonder if my kids will remember how tired I always am after work, how I am sometimes short on patience and temper, how I am sometimes all zoned out after an especially long day at work. I wonder if they’ll hold it against me for it.

Playing Catch Up…

Trying and trying and never seeming to catch up. As my email keeps overflowing and work keeps churning in my head, my kids’ school backpacks come home bursting with papers and invitations for parents to join in the kids’ school excursions.

Can you come with me mom? my eldest son sometimes asks. Yet, despite feeling behind, I keep making sacrifices in my attempt to balance the deadlines at work and the needs of my family.

Kids in Singapore these days always has an enrichment class packed in their schedule – chinese, maths, ballet, gym, brain training, swimming, etc. I see dads and moms like me waiting for their kids outside enrichment centres during the weekends for an hour or so. I see Facebook groups of well-meaning moms discussing which is the best enrichment class to send their kids to. And I wonder if I am giving my kids enough.

Why are we always rushing the kids from one place to another? Why do we schedule play dates with strangers, wait, why is that even a thing? Is it really better to DIY slime and playdoh instead of buying it off-the-shelf (like how our parents used to?) #justasking

Parents these days are always doing so much. I feel like if I stopped for a minute to smell the roses and enjoy “one more minute” of watching TV with my child, he will struggle to catch up to his peers in the near future. :O

Why can’t we slow down and enjoy the growing up years?

I know of parents who literally make plans years ahead to buy a house and move closer to brand-name schools just so their kids stand a higher chance of getting enrolled. They donate time or money to heighten their chances. I shudder to think of having to figure out primary school enrollment for my son in a couple of years. Or wait, have people with K1 kids already started making plans…? :/

How can this be motherhood? How can I never ever seem to catch my breath and catch up?

I have a full time job (no, blogging is not my full time job) because we need dual incomes to raise a family in Singapore.

Just like you, I’m trying to navigate in a sea of organic baby products (X_x) and the greater than ever pressure on moms to get it right.

Do you sometimes wonder how come you can never seem to catch up?

Maybe it’s not about being ahead.

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe this whole motherhood “race” doesn’t mean needing to be ahead. What if the fear and uncertainty we have were signs of progress, not failure? What if the pressure to catch up were signs of love, not messing up?

What if being one step behind was actually okay?

What if being one step behind was actually the key to propelling us forward?

And then it all seemed clear to me.

It’s not about catching up…

All the times we worried about being one step behind was never about us trying to catch up. Those were just us trying our best to be a mom. It is our way of giving all that we can to our kids.

So fellow moms, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to want some me-time. It is okay to say how hard motherhood is.

As we keep trying to meet deadlines at work and trying to make it to those school excursions (or the ones we remember), tell yourself that you are not messing up. It’s just what motherhood is all about.

It is okay to feel like you are one step behind.

You can do this, we can do this. You know why? Because we are exactly where we need to be.

Please share your thoughts too in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. :)

Ju Ann


Read also:

My Motherhood Experience

I became a mom at 29 and my husband and I both live in Singapore. Juggling work and family is a daily challenge. We rely heavily on each other and on our helper. Here’s sharing my motherhood experiences where you’ll find a list of posts on my hopes & fears as a mom. I hope reading it will uplift you and give you a sense of camaraderie.


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