I think we all have days when we feel like we are bad moms. We all do our best to keep it together while sacrificing our personal time in return for family, but it can get tiring. Exhausting. Downright imploring.
One minute we’re on top of this mothering world, doling out healthy lunches in one hand and paying bills with the other, and the next you’re side-swiped with a hefty dose of karma to reign you in.
You will recognise these bad mommy days (BMD), from the moment you wake up: Baby puke all over the crib and an odourous diaper that could rival a stink bomb. Waking up late and your kids dragging their feet so effectively you wonder whether they have decided today is the day to put mom away for good. The other day I was literally stuck behind a bus on the way to catch my daughter’s bus, only to be stuck behind our bus and almost missing it… Well, you get the point.
If you are having a BMD and you have survived breakfast, of course what you would love to do at this point is go back to bed and start over.
But no. You, brave soldier, will endure this day.
You will show this day you mean business.
After all, you look after everyone, all of the time, even that time you had a BAD case of gastroenteritis coming from both ends.
You are a superhero.
They call you mom, after all.
But the day just doesn’t get any better: Your sick toddler refuses to take a nap or eat anything but sugary juice and half a container of rice puffs for lunch. You spend the rest of your day listening to your tired and hungry toddler cry about everything while you hold back all of the swears, and to top it off you have no time to hide-out and eat your private stash of ice cream before your older kids get home from school.
Somehow it ends up being 3:45 and you are still in your god-awful pajamas, have pulled nothing out of your ass for dinner, and you still have to pick your kids up from the bus, cook dinner, eat dinner, and get them to their activities in record speed with a crying toddler on your hip.
This is when the mom rage sneaks in, vowing to disembowel anyone involved in affecting the master plan since one minute out-of-place would send the whole evening out of alignment – a burnt dinner, hungry children, late yet again…
As mothers we have a lot of responsibilities hung on our shoulders. Day in. Day out. Most of the time we love our lives and would rather do nothing more than spend time with our families.
But when the going gets tough, we literally have no choice but to just lean-in or risk being obliterated with negative outcomes.
For better or worse, we are the super glue that holds our families together.
Regardless how many children we have, their ages or circumstances, one thing is certain: We are all constantly performing a juggling act, and we do it really, really well 99.9% of the time.
Almost too well. In fact so well, that onlookers may get the impression that what we do isn’t hard at all. Because we are so good at what we do, that other 0.1% hits us even harder. Those BMD’s that we cannot avoid make us feel like failures, because we are not only expecting far too much of ourselves, but of others – including our kids.
We are always in search of more, to do more, to be more.
Don’t get me wrong – I am all for self-improvement. After all, I am the Queen of over-indulging in grandiose expectations – last week alone I researched getting a new puppy, becoming a lactation consultant or nurse practitioner, how to build a chicken coop, all the while being 100 years pregnant, working full-time and parenting two busy children. I love planning and dreaming for the future, and I’m sure you do too.
All I’m saying is that this seamless life that we moms have perfected, flitting from one activity to the next, focusing all of our time and attention on our children, could be setting our families up for unhappiness. At least when it comes to my kids, I know they would much rather spend an afternoon cuddled on the couch with us all together shoving our faces with popcorn, than do basically anything else that may require real pants.
I’m starting to wonder whether mediocrity is more of a desirable goal, because I’m sick of feeling like a bad mom because I forgot about the damn “farm day” or that I’m always forgetting something in my son’s diaper bag.
The scheduling. The cooking. The cleaning. The organizing. The teaching, loving and supporting. Our badassery is off the charts!
So, if like me you find yourself having a really big BMD and find yourself dreaming about running far, far away, just remember that it’s the world’s way of reminding you to step back and take some time for yourself.
And you’re not a bad mom, trust me.
If you don’t believe me, just ask that little monster pulling on your pant leg while wiping his snot on your trousers (who are we kidding, we’re still in pajamas). Wise beyond his years, he knows what you do not:
You are worthy.
You have captured his heart for keeps.
Because, of course, he calls you mom.