Having A Bad Day Doesn’t Make You A Bad Mom
You wouldn’t believe it if you browse through the mom posts on your Facebook feed, but every mom you know has those days. You know the ones I’m talking about: the days where nothing goes right, where you get a late start or forget something important, when your kid sits in front of the television longer than you’d be willing to admit in public, or you snap at them harshly for a display of totally normal kid behavior. We all want to do right by our kids, but it’s criminally easy to think you’re screwing it all up. People aren’t exactly running around broadcasting their worst moments to the world. It’s easy to forget we all have shortcomings and wish we handled certain things better.
Lately I feel I’ve been having more bad days than good. I recently started working from home after being a stay-at-home mom for three years, and the transition has left my entire family scrambling to establish a new routine. There are days when everything goes perfectly according to plan, but then there are days like yesterday where I was trying to balance two kids and a husband who was too sick to drive himself to a doctor on top of my responsibilities to my job. Sometimes I feel like I have so many balls in the air that I can’t catch any of them.
I remember feeling like that when I wasn’t working too. I would put so much pressure on myself to make sure I was entertaining my kids constantly and keeping up with things around the house. I worried that I was never doing enough and took on way more than I needed to just to prove to myself that I was doing a good job. The truth is, I would’ve been doing a good job either way.
It’s easy to compare yourself to other people and to berate yourself for what you feel you should be doing or who you think you should be. Even if you aren’t comparing yourself to others, it can be tough to feel like you’re doing the right things, making the right judgment calls, and always being the best parent you can be. Those feelings are totally normal. In fact, when I talk to other parents about my hardest days, the thing I’m struck by most is how many people can relate to what I’m saying.
We all have a story about our worst moment, our greatest struggle, our biggest mistake, and our most embarrassing mishap. I used to get so depressed thinking no one else in the world could understand how I felt. I thought I was a bad mom if I didn’t absolutely love being a mom every second of every day, and it took me years to understand that no one actually feels that way. I mean, yes, we love and adore our kids, but parenting is universally hard. No one gets it right 100% of the time, and certainly no one enjoys it when they’re in the trenches dealing with things that are truly shitty (sometimes literally shitty).
Instead of dwelling on the negatives, focus on the things you’re actually doing right and how awesome you are for trying so hard. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, hug your babies, and vow to make the next five minutes better than the last ones. Everyone feels like they’re failing sometimes, but it’s our desire to get it right that makes us great.