You’re having a day. You’ve spoken too harshly at your child or maybe plonked them down in front of the TV so that you get just a couple of hours of quiet. Maybe you bought take-out instead of cooking, or maybe you’ve let the kids’ dirty laundry pile up too much. The thought comes up almost automatically: I am a bad mom.
All moms face this spiral of guilt and shame but it is important to remember–you are not alone. Every mother has days like this. Here are some things you need to hear when you do:
You Are More Than Your Mistakes
So you had an off day. You made decisions that you wish you hadn’t and you feel the remorse. But remember, this is not who you are. You are not a bad mother. You are a good mother who’s been in a tough spot or two.
Nobody Is Perfect
Motherhood is a work in progress. Nobody is a perfect mother from the second they become one; instead, these are skills you acquire. Try not to let the negative self-talk overwhelm you. You are on a journey and learning to be a parent.
It Is Okay To Be Confounded
Don’t reprimand yourself for being overwhelmed. You’re only human and you have your own thresholds of tolerance. Don’t obsess over the “shoulds” and “oughts”.
The Sum Is Greater Than The Parts
The lessons you impart to your child will be for a lifetime. No single day will ever shape a child’s whole childhood. So know that although bad days happen, you are striving to make their childhood great. Have faith in your abilities. Remember that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
Tomorrow Is A New Day
Sometimes, the best course of action is to put the bad day to bed. There is always the promise of tomorrow, a clearer head, and a clean slate.
Invest In Yourself
Motherhood is sacrificial; you have to learn to give up on many things to accommodate your progeny. But it is not selfish to think about yourself. Create a self-care routine, divvy up household tasks with your partner, and intersperse the most taxing things throughout the week so that they don’t all happen at once. Investing in your well-being will give you more energy to take on the world.
The very fact that you feel bad is a sign that you care. Remorse means that you want to be the best version of yourself for your child. No truly bad mom would care about the impact she was having. So cut yourself some slack and turn to this handy list of reminders for those rough days.