Do you ever just feel like you are failing at this Mommy gig? Are there times when you feel like you have given 150%, but still come up short? In “Confessions of a Mom in a COVID-19 World”, I expressed my feelings about not being the best and most fun mom to my kids while quarantined. I was worried that I would drown under the pressure and fail my children (yes, I know, very dramatic!).
Even though we are somewhat returning to normal life, these fears have not just magically disappeared. I still have days where the house is a complete disaster, the laundry is out of control, the sink is full of dishes, and I have nothing planned for dinner.
When this happens, it is inevitable that my anxiety and grouchiness will result in me having a short fuse, way too many expectations for the children’s behavior, and possibly a few glasses (or a bottle) of wine. By bedtime, I’m feeling guilty about my attitude and frustrated with myself.
I recently saw a Facebook post where a mom gave herself a failing grade in parenting for the day. Words of encouragement and solidarity filled the comments section. As I read through some of the comments, I realized that I wasn’t alone in my fears and frustrations. I started to make a list of “Mom Truths” to refer to when I feel like I should throw in the towel.
Stop the negative internal talk
Don’t let your stressed-out, sleep-deprived mom brain fool you into believing that you are a failure because you have a rough day now and then. Instead, think about why you love being a mom. Accept that motherhood can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining at times. Focus on the times when it is the most rewarding job in the world!
A single day does not shape a child
We all have tough days, but it is an entire childhood that shapes who a child will become. A rough day every so often is okay! Take the challenging days and have them serve as lessons to build you into the confident, patient, and loving role model that you want to be for your children.
Throw the “Perfect Mom” title out the window
As moms, we often feel this need to look like we are perfect. This just adds unnecessary stress to our lives, and doesn’t do any good to our families. We need to throw the idea of the “Perfect Mom” out of the window, because no one is perfect despite what you see on social media. Everyone messes up, but some people choose to hide that part of themselves.
What is hard for you may not be hard for someone else, and that’s okay
Don’t apologize for not handling things well or for feeling overwhelmed. Motherhood is a sacrifice and we all have our own battles to fight and stress to overcome. Reach out to friends and family for reassurance that you aren’t alone, and that this rough patch of motherhood will pass. We shouldn’t diminish our feelings by comparing our idea of hard to another person’s.
It is okay to take a break and go to bed early!
Truth be told, sometimes it’s just better for me to crawl into bed early and turn the lights off on a particularly hard day. Of course, in the darkness, my mom guilt rears its ugly head as I play back the day in my head. In those moments, I tell myself that my children are safe, cared for, and loved, and I wouldn’t trade being their mom for anything in the world!