Six Reasons I am Failing at Motherhood

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What’s a mom to do?

I’ve been seeing some…faltering shall we say, in the ways of my existence in general motherhood. Maybe some of you can relate. Or maybe you are all PPIEW (practically perfect in every way), in which case please teach me your secrets. Here are areas in my life that are below average at the moment:

1. Mealtime. I honestly can’t remember the last time I prepared a full-fledged home cooked meal. Mealtime sneaks up on me so often. Crap it’s time to eat again?! I’ve been through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for lunch more often than I’d care to admit lately, but I can chock that up to driving to Baton Rouge everyday for swimming lessons for the past six weeks (and we live way outside the city limits). I could and should pack a lunch from time to time, but that would be planning ahead and what can I say, I’m kinda terrible at that. And dinner is too often chicken tenders and a bag of veggies popped into the microwave for the win.

But you know what? My child is well fed everyday. It may not always be the healthiest, organic deliciousness that I envision, but her nutritional needs are indeed met. And a multi-vitamin never hurt anyone.

2. Sleeping. So my toddler still does not “sleep through the night,” as the saying goes. Some of you may balk at this fact. We don’t practice the cry it out method in any form, and I also believe that sleeping is a milestone just like anything else. That being said, I am tired. So tired.

But you know what? Though my baby isn’t the best sleeper, she has MANY other wonderful character traits that I deeply appreciate. She is kind, loving and engaged, just to name a few. She amazes me with her intelligence on an hourly basis. And at 25 months, the kid was completely potty-trained (Hallelujah!). I’m not saying that a child can’t be a good sleeper AND have all these qualities, but would I give up any sliver of who she is if it meant she would sleep through the night? Absolutely not. And, I know she will get there on her own time.

3. Time with my husband. I feel like this is often the plight of all parents with young children. There just isn’t enough time during the day. And, oh the exhaustion when the day is done.

But you know what? The hubs is in graduate school full-time while working full-time. I stay at home, but when our child is asleep, I’m often working from home as a freelancer. This is a temporary season. We both know that we love one another deeply. We’re also both trying to keep our head above water. I’ll see ya on the flip side, Hon.

4. Time for myself. I know this is so important, but I so often feel like there is no time to do so. I have mom friends who wake up before their children in the morning so they can have their quiet time or exercise. While this is a lovely idea, see #2 in my list of failings. I do make an effort to spend time with friends via lunch dates or (usually) play dates to have that much needed quasi-adult time, but it’s a rarity to see me sans child.

But you know what? I love being home with my girl. I am blessed to be able to have the amount of time with her that I do. Even though it is the hardest job I’ve ever had and I certainly complain at times, many moms do not have the choice that I am blessed to have. It’s true that if you want to hang out with me, you’re probably going to hang out with my daughter too, but I actually prefer it that way. And, I can be better about asking for help when I need some time alone.

5. Laundry. I don’t feel like I need to go in any more detail here. It is an endless pile of shame. I hate it.

But you know what? You suck, laundry. You suck hard.

6. Bath time. Either we’re outside way too late because it stays light out for so long and it’s everything I can do to get some dinner in her (see #1…) and in bed at a decent time (I won’t tell you what we consider to be decent around here) or she just downright refuses to get in the bath or shower (yes, she is a two-year old who prefers the shower).

But you know what? Thank goodness some research has come out lately on why it’s better to NOT bathe kids daily. Whew. And, she is in the pool everyday, so that has to count for something, right?!

So there you have it: my miserable failings. As I eventually get a hold on these, more challenges will inevitably arise. But you know what? Despite all my failings, I can say with confidence that I am a great mother. I fiercely love and take care of my child like no one else ever could. She is my most precious gift from God, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. And I’m pretty sure she knows it.

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My hope is that any mommas reading this whose current list is twice this long be encouraged and remember that you are great mothers. No one loves your children like you do, and they will never love anyone as they love you. Don’t forget that, even when you feel like nothing is going right.

Alternatively, you may have read this list and realized that compared to me you are WINNING at this motherhood thing. And that’s cool too. Keep rockin’ that PPIEW.

Do you ever feel like you are downright failing as a mother?

Fleur (which rhymes with ‘blur’ and is French for “flower,” in case you were wondering) is a former media relations and marketing professional happily turned mommy to two daughters, a spunky, sweet toddler and a roly-poly infant that is pure sunshine. She always assumed she would return to work full-time after maternity leave, but the role of Mother grabbed her by the soul, and she has been lucky to remain at home while still having an outlet as a freelance writer and the managing editor here at Red Stick Moms. A wandering heart to the core, Fleur and her husband of 10 years have traveled and lived in many places, but are happy to have returned home to Baton Rouge shortly after the birth of their first child. Based on her choices when it comes to motherhood and parenting, Fleur would likely be dubbed a “crunchy” mama, but her husband would just call it making things more complicated than they have to be…for the good of their daughters, he would TOTALLY add {wink wink}. Fleur loves Jesus, coffee, languages and words, hilarity that comes with honest conversations about this crazy little thing called life (solidarity, Sisters), photography, and the idea of sleeping through the night. She'd really love to sleep through the night.

6 COMMENTS

  1. 1. You are not failing at mother hood, I would say welcome to motherhood , children don’t come with instructions, GOD pretty much put the parenting instinct in most of us. You are learning what it takes to be a good mother, love your children, feed your children, bath your children, brush your children’s teeth, dress your children, and the most important is to love them and teach them about GOD and let them feel loved, you teach them right from wrong, and if they need a little swat on the bottom, then so be it, they get it, this teaches them that there is consequences for every wrong action, this is very important, I had three boys and worked full time and when they were younger the school had told the children that if we spanked our children it was abuse. I called children services and got the run down, you can spank them but you cant leave a mark, and that is just fine with me, so I sat all my children down and told them this, if you are bad, you will be spanked, and if you want to call someone about it, that is fine two, because you live in my house and you will follow my rules, and if you don’t like that you can do two things, 1. you can be good and follow our rules. or 2. you can go to children services and someone else can raise you. I have 3 wonderful well rounded men, they are great husbands and daddy’s, and because hey discipline there children, they are a joy to have around. all these studies done and all you have to do is read the bible, GOD has it all in there on how we should do everything. you are a beautiful lady, you are learning to be a beautiful mother, and in time you and your hubby will be back to normal, children take a lot of time and for sleeping, I had one and I would not let him take a evening nap, some children don’t need one, they are not all the same, when she does not get her evening nap she will start sleeping through the night, I never had time for me until they all moved out. lol but do take even 10 minutes just to sit out side, smell the roses. GOD bless

  2. You suck laundry, you suck hard! That’s the mantra of motherhood, and I LOVE IT!!! Love your post, and you’re doing great!!!

    • Thanks so much Jada! It’s totally the mantra of motherhood. I can’t imagine when I have more children…I’ll probably just be crushed under a pile of laundry, never to leave the house again 😉

  3. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has issues with a sleeping baby! Why is it the first question out of anybody’s mouth (parent and non-parent) is “is he sleeping through the night?” No, my 7 month old is not sleeping through the night! That dreaded question just makes me feel judged and that I’m doing something wrong. Well, maybe that’s just the sleep deprivation that has me a little touchy. I’m like you though, I wouldn’t trade a thing. I have a happy, healthy baby. I know eventually both my child and I will get an uninterrupted nights sleep. I just hope it’s sooner than later!

    • Yes Jessie! I don’t know why everyone wants to know how your kid is sleeping above all other things…I just don’t get it. Someone once posed the question to me like this, “Is she a good baby, does she sleep through the night?” Two totally different questions that should not be lumped together! Your baby will definitely get there one day, although I can’t tell you when because my 2-year-old still isn’t, but it has to happen one day! And there is never a question as to whether she is “good.” 😉 Thanks for your comment and hang in there!

  4. First time working mom of two jobs and I absolutely detest laundry! Although my child sleeps through the nigh (it just happened, we did not cio or sleep train) and there still are not enough hours in the day!

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