When we first decided to start a family, I was sure my husband and I would make the most epic parents. Overconfident? Maybe just a little. I did, after all, have my BA in child development, worked as a nanny and felt completely confident in my abilities to be a mom. I felt prepared (or so I thought) for the trials and tribulations that naturally came with motherhood. Fast forward six years later, and I ask daily, “Why isn’t there a fucking manual for raising these kids?!”
I don’t know if it’s the age of my kiddos, my daily struggle with time management or the feeling of just being stretched too thin, but lately I am convinced that I completely and utterly SUCK at this mom thing!! I used to feel like I had my shit together on a regular basis, but now I feel like most days I am just barely keeping my head above water. I work a part-time job, while still managing our hectic household on a full-time basis. I have a five-year-old who is wise beyond his years and cannot be fooled with ANY reverse psychology. My three-nager turns into a gremlin every hour on the hour, well, because he’s three! They are smart, sweet, fun, full of love, and I couldn’t fathom life without them…BUT they make me question my sanity every single day!! I think a lot of moms feel guilty saying that out loud. Motherhood is supposed to be amazing and loving and beautiful. Well, it is all of that… and more! But life is messy and motherhood is messy and it’s ok to say out loud “I’m totally sucking at this”.
Here are a few things I have learned along the way (and that I continue to remind myself of daily):
- Feeling like you suck as a mom at certain times is completely NORMAL. We are all trying to figure this shit out!
- Your children still love you unconditionally, even when you turn into a crazy mommy-monster. They depend on you and they are proud of you. You need to be proud of yourself for being their mama bear.
- These are some of the most trying moments of your life (and some of the most innocent and beautiful). Gently remind yourself that “this too shall pass”.
- Drinking wine to cope is sometimes completely necessary.
- You are GOING to make mistakes.
- You HAVE to forgive yourself!
No one ever told me about all the mistakes I would make as a mom. No one told me how horribly guilty I would feel some days, and that sometimes I would feel like a downright shitty parent. TRUTH – There are days when my kids aren’t bathed, their clothes don’t match… or better yet, they spend the day running around the house in their underwear. Some days our TV is set on auto-pilot to play an entire season of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I have locked myself in the bathroom just so I can have 10 minutes of no one looking at me, touching me or breathing on me. I have completely forgotten to feed them breakfast and they sustained on gummy snacks and crackers until lunch time. I completely lose my shit when I have heard “mommy” for about the 100th effing time, and I turn into the Incredible Hulk when I have to constantly remind them to “use your listening ears”. There are days I yell. Sometimes I overreact. Sometimes I completely lose my temper and my patience. I’m not proud of any of these things. In all honesty, they are embarrassing even to admit to yourself, let alone other people!!
On the days that I feel like I am failing…. as a mom… and a wife… and a human being, I beat myself up. I cry. I get angry. I punish myself for not being better. I put other moms on a pedestal. I envy them for being so wonderful and patient and fucking awesome. But, then I dig down deep, pick myself up and remind myself that I am doing the very best that I can at the TOUGHEST job on this planet. I am not perfect. I make mistakes in the parenting-game….daily!! But, I AM a great mom. And you are too!! It’s so important to make and own up to our mistakes. This is how we grow and continue to become a better version of ourselves. Remember, we all lose our shit! Some more often than others. It’s ok! We all make mistakes. Forgive yourself! And know that you always have at least one mama friend (that’s me) who is in your corner! I accept you and praise you and I am so incredibly proud of you for being one brave, kick ass Motherlucker!