Do you ever have days where you literally feel as though you just failed at being a mother??
Yesterday was one of those days. For the first time in two years, I felt as though I failed as a parent.
Yesterday was the first time as a mother that I wanted to give up. My son had pushed me to my max. He had one more nap as usual, so I could have a mental break. I raised my voice more than normal, and my son got smacks on his butt and hands frequently throughout the day for misbehaving.
As a mother who struggled to become one, guilt immediately took over as soon as I put him down to bed. One who struggled with infertility should cherish every moment, the good and bad, right? Others who went through or are currently going through infertility are silently whispering to themselves that they wish they had the chance to experience a bad day with their child. Trust me, I get it. I was one of those people. When parents complained of their over rambunctious child, I envied for such an opportunity. So, I understand.
Sunday was anything but a day of resting. Sunday was anything but a fun day. Sunday kicked my ass. For once, I was looking forward to a Monday.
What.the.Fuck. Who even says that, right?
I’ll tell you who.
- A mother who had no time to pick up the house
- A mother whose meal consisted of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese-the same food her toddler requested for dinner
- A mother who had no time to work on her book she has been trying to finish for years.
- A mother whose hair stayed damp after her shower because she didn’t have time to blow dry.
- A mother who didn’t apply make-up because she lacked the time it’d take to apply it.
- A mother who didn’t get around to the dishes because her child wanted to read a book.
- A mother who was constantly being called away from what she was doing because he needed her to help him with something or see something
- A mother who only wanted to sit down for 5 minutes in order to catch her breath.
The list goes on and on.
This mother right here, had the right to wish the day was over without being judged. I love my son, but today wasn’t my favorite day with him, and that’s ok.
Let me tell you something, there will be great days with your children and then there will be really crappy ones. One day your child is an angel who behaves and plays nice while the next they’re painting on the walls and hitting the dogs with plastic golf clubs.
What’s important to understand is that when you have a bad day and you find yourself struggling to stay sane, that it’s ok to look forward to their bedtime so you can finally do whatever you need to or want to do. It’s ok to discipline your child (within reason) and it’s ok to selfishly want time for yourself. You don’t have to feel guilty for having those tough days and thoughts associated with them.
You don’t fail as a parent because your child had a bad day. It doesn’t make you a bad mother for yelling at them more or smacking their hands or butts when they misbehave.
It’s ok to have a bad day. Everyone has them.
On the hard days, I choose to remember…
I remember the first night I held my son in my arms. His little body curled against my skin. I would marvel at his soft skin and tiny, perfect features. He would seek me for comfort, nutrients, cuddles and love. And the only sound I’d hear from him was his sweet baby coos as he slept.
So, in that moment when he is seeking my full attention, I will put away the to-do list and I will listen and watch. I will soak in all that he has to share with me. I will engage with him and question him about colors and numbers.
The pile of dishes, loads of laundry, and the messes throughout the house are so small compared to that moment with my son. He is asking for nothing more than my undivided attention, my love and my support. Nothing might get accomplished that day, and I’ll be ok with that. There is so much to do every day, but some of those things will go untouched.
I will sit there with my son, ignoring everything I had set out to do that day.
At the end of the day as I reflected upon it, I came to some possible solutions to his madness. Maybe my son had acting out because he missed his father who worked 8 hours that day only to work over another 4. Maybe he had a rough week at daycare, and he needed a little more attention and love to make up for it. Maybe he was so proud of everything he was learning that he wanted to show me the best way that he knew how.
Yesterday was a rough day, but not only for me, but my son as well.
Yesterday I went to bed feeling like motherhood’s worst failure. I whispered apologies to my now sleeping, calm child. I asked for prayers to help me do better, be better.
I tuned out the days failures, and I ask for forgiveness again.
I am thankful, because when I got home from work today, I was greeted with little arms around my neck and unreserved forgiveness. So, today I am thankful for second, third and fourth chances.
Remember that the good will by far outweigh the bad.