I am a bad mom and here’s why:
I don’t always find a good balance between working and playing.
I let my daughter sit in front of the TV for hours so I can get work done.
I say “no” more often than I say “yes.”
I prioritize my own self-care, which sometimes means letting my baby cry so I can rub my feet for 5 minutes or take a shower.
I don’t provide my 3 year old with constructive, creative, learning-related activities everyday. We’re lucky if we make it to the playground 4 days out of 7.
My 5 month old baby has yet to go to “storytime” or “circle time” or any of the other “baby-fun-time” events yet because they never happen on the days I am able to go with him. Plus, I need those mornings to myself when his sister is at school and he sleeps and mommy can actually write a blog in peace.
Someone else puts my daughter to sleep 2 nights a week because I work at night.
Someone else holds my son while he cries because he’d rather have his mommy hold him when he’s in pain from teething, but mommy has to work sometimes during the day to pay the bills.
Actually, mommy LOVES to work. Mommy enjoys the work she does. Working is important to mommy, even though being away from her kids makes her feel equal parts guilty and liberated.
I lose my temper more than I think I should.
I am occasionally mean to my 3 year old. Mostly this is because I am acting like a 3 year old back at her, but in an adult body with an adult-size voice, and adult awareness (which includes adult decision making that I sometimes forget how to do).
I insist that my daughter eat more vegetables and fruits and less processed food. She doesn’t totally understand why she can’t eat an entire bag of pretzels or goldfish or a whole loaf of bread and this infuriates her.
I don’t let my daughter splash huge amounts of water out of the tub during her bath. Sometimes this makes me feel like I have no sense of fun.
I try to prevent my daughter from napping in the afternoon because I want her to go to sleep at night before 11pm.
I sometimes feel like I am already doing better with my son than I did and do with my daughter because I am trying so hard to not repeat the mistakes I’ve made with her. I wonder why I can’t just fix them with her in the present instead of realizing my mistakes after they happen.
I think I love my kids more when they are asleep than when they are awake.
The truth is, I don’t ever wish that I’d never had my kids.
I love them ferociously and tenderly. My heart aches when we are apart. When my children smile, the whole entire world lights up. Through them, I believe in the power of hope.
Lately, my 3 year old daughter has had some separation anxiety because her daddy is off in training to be an officer in the Air Force. Every time I drop her off at school or leave to go teach a yoga class or drop her off at her grandparents house, she wants to kiss me and hug me 500 times. If we don’t say goodbye thoroughly enough, she has an epic meltdown. It breaks my heart. It also feeds my mommy ego a little bit. I need a little bit of both–the heartbreak and the ego boost.
Mothering is not an easy job.
There is nothing that gives me more joy or comfort than holding both of my babies in my arms. There is nothing that is more gratifying than calming my son or singing my daughter to sleep.
There is nothing more sweet than hearing the words, “Mommy, I love you.”
Except for being able to say “I love you, too.”
So maybe I’m not a bad mom.
Maybe I’m just a mom.
Maybe mothering is the hardest work there is.
And no one is tougher on herself and her abilities than a mom.
Today and every day I need this reminder.
I think we all do.
This one is for all of the mamas out there who are struggling through an awful, difficult, exhausting, emotional day.
Take a deep breath. Hang in there. You are not a bad mom.
You are just doing the best you can.