Those are words we’ve all said to ourselves at least once in our parenting lives! Right now, I can’t even think coherent thoughts as I listening to my baby girl crying in her cot. And a voice louder than hers is the one telling me that I’m a bad mom.
Bad for leaving her to cry herself to sleep because she’s tired. Bad because I want her to sleep so I can get stuff done. Bad for wanting to get stuff done instead of spend time with her. Bad for wanting to be at home with her but then wanting her to give me a moment’s peace.
And I listen to that voice and do nothing to stop it. Because somewhere deep inside, I believe it all.
We are constantly comparing, constantly judging and constantly scolding ourselves. We look around us and there are just so many success stories. So many mommies who juggle the many things that they are faced with each day and post pictures of themselves on Facebook or Instagram in cute selfies with their beautiful children who are just “my whole world”, “my angel”, “my reason for living”, etc.
And here I am, looking at the tired, watery eyes of my child as she gasps after crying for so long and feeling like all I want to do is cry with her. Here I am, looking at the piles of dirty dishes with last night’s supper caked onto them. Here I am, feeling like all I want to do is plonk my child down on the floor, close the door and walk away. It’s at this point that I resent all those women. All those women who have it all together. Those women who manage to find a moment to put make up on. Or can turn on the hair dryer without sending their child into hysteria. I despise the Pinterest mom who posts hacks to clean her house, cook dinner and make instruments for her child as well as have a romantic after-dinner surprise for her husband all in a day’s work without feeling frazzled.
Then, I take a step back and realise it’s all a lie!
Maybe not all of it. But there is no way life can be that good, ordered and amazing all the time! And the sad thing is that we allow lies like this to filter into our hearts and chide us for not being better. It’s frankly quite exhausting! And if you’re anything like me, your inclination is to just give up. Resign yourself to the fact that dinner will be frozen fish and chips for the third time this week. Accept that you will never have time to tackle that mountain of dishes. Slump at the thought of your child having to eat dinner before you again because you haven’t got it ready on time. And you know you really have to accept defeat when your child is yelling for food and you’ve burnt dinner because you’re not paying attention (how hard is it to burn frozen fish?!?) You thrust your screaming child into you unsuspecting husband’s arms as he walks through the door and leans in to kiss you, yelling at him for not being home half an hour ago. Please tell me you’ve been there!
I don’t know about you, but funny, reading about how bad someone else’s day was makes me feel just that little bit better.
I can say all the things you want to hear. I can tell you that you’re an amazing mom. But even if I do, will you believe them? Because I don’t know that I would.
So instead, what I am going to do is tell you that you are not alone. This post is a testament to the fact that there is at least one other person on this planet who doesn’t have it all together. There is someone else out there who is trying but failing.
It’s me. I’m there with you.
But, it also doesn’t mean that we’ll just have a pity party, you and I, while our crying children are clamouring for our attention. There are two things that we need to realise.
We will have bad days. Sometimes we will have bad weeks. But there is still joy to be found. There are still ways to look back on the day and realise that things did go right, even if most things went wrong. And, hard as it may be, to try and be thankful for these small mercies.
Secondly, we are the moms. We are the ones who feed our families and keep them alive. We are the ones who keep the house semi-decent. We are the ones our children want when they are sick or sad and need comfort. Granted, the pressure is huge and sometimes we do wish that we didn’t hold all that responsibility. But, if we think of it the other way, we are the ones giving our families what they need. We are the ones who they want to hold to and cry on when things aren’t going well for them. And that is a privilege! Who do you want when you’re having a bad day? Mom? Why? Because she was the glue that held it all together. She was the one who fed you. She was the one who bandaged you after you came off your bike. She was the one who held your hair when you threw up. And in her arms, you found the comfort you needed.
One day, when your children are going through the same things you are, they will say “I just want my mom!”
And in that moment, you will know that you weren’t such a bad mom after all!
Tags: children, depressed, desperate, mommyhood