I’m not a bad mom. I’m a really good mom who’s had a few really bad days.
In my heart, I know it’s true. But I sometimes can’t get my brain to believe it.
It’s a feeling I’ve been struggling with for a long time, but it’s not something I thought I’d share with anyone. You know how it is: You want the world to think you have it all together, but you’re melting down internally.
I’m three clicks past exhausted, so I’m not as engaged with Baby Bird as I should be. I feel like I’m not doing enough to help her grow, and I wonder if she’d be better off in daycare. I wonder if she’d be happier with them than spending every day with me.
Sometimes we lie in bed in the middle of the day — Baby Bird watches “Dinosaur Train” and nurses, and I cry. They’re tears of sadness (sometimes), frustration (most times), and exhaustion (always).
Sometimes I miss my “old life”: I had the freedom to go, to sleep, to let my mind wander. Less responsibility. I felt like my life had some consistency. I felt like I was really good at my job and knew what I was walking into each day, and now I’m thrown for a loop everyday.
Sometimes I question whether I was ready to be a mom. Sometimes I wonder whether having a baby was a mistake.
I ALWAYS love my daughter — I love her more than anyone else — but sometimes I don’t like being a mom.
Then those thoughts pass and the self-chastising begins. A good mom would NEVER feel like having her child was a mistake. A good mom would be content with her new role, even if she feels incompetent 90 percent of the time because the “job requirements” are ever-changing.
A good mom would have it together by now.
I know the June Cleaver crap is just that — crap. I know what I’m feeling has nothing to do with Baby Bird or how much I love her. It’s the stress of life. It’s the exhaustion wearing on me. But it’s really hard to banish the negativity.
I feel like I’m failing because I’m a control freak and things aren’t going as I’d planned. I want to slow everything down so I can get a handle on the situation, but life doesn’t work that way. Parenting doesn’t work that way.
I know I’m not a bad mom. I’m a freaking awesome mom. I’ve just had a few really bad days. I know the storm will pass, but living through it is tough.
If you’re reading this and you’re having a rough day (or week), and you feel like you’re failing your kids, stop and give yourself a break. Parenting might be the hardest job in the world, and you’re doing it day in and out.
If you’re doing the best you can in this moment, take that as a win and try to do it again in the next few moments.
And take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. It’s not you, it’s just life.
The frustration will pass. The sadness will pass. The storm will pass. I really believe that — I have to believe it.
I’m walking through the rain, too.