There are so many ways I’m failing as a mom.
Maybe you’re reading this to help yourself feel better about the way you mom – I’m sure it will help. Maybe you’re reading this because you feel like you’re drowning, too – You’re not alone! Or, maybe you’re just bored – I hope you’re entertained by my shortcomings. Whatever reason you’re here, thanks for not abandoning me. Thank you for helping me hold onto my sanity. I see how many people read and share this, and each one helps me validate that I’m not nearly as forsaken as I feel.
I. Can’t. Do. This.
I am not qualified to mom. It’s harder than I ever expected. I feel like I’m failing, constantly.
When I decided to become a mom, I thought I knew exactly what that meant. I understood there would be long nights and tough days. I knew they would fill my heart with happiness and heartache. I read all of the right books, taught daycare classes for several years, and knew exactly how to captivate and keep control of an entire classroom. Parenting should be a breeze.
Except, it’s not.
I have three kids with three impossibly different needs that all contradict one another. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but everywhere I go I’m overwhelmed by all of the smiling moms who are dressed, wearing make-up, and are blessed with endless patience. Of course, these moms have angelic children with rainbows shooting out of their stain-free rompers as the skip down the lane in blissful silence.
I know they see me, too. I’m wearing gym clothes because I’ve outgrown all of my jeans. I inevitably have some sort of bodily fluid along the front side of my shirt with yesterday’s make up smeared. I haven’t showered in a day or three so I’m rocking yet another pony tail. Yep, I look Wal-Mart-o-rific.
There is no rainbow or skipping down the lane with my children. I have a pouting child throwing food out the back of the cart, one screaming about the cookies I said no to 15 minutes ago, and one who is so slow a tortoise could run laps around her. These are my monkeys; it is my circus.
I know what I should be doing. I should be more firm, but kind and loving. I should not spew out “if you, I will” statements without calmly considering the repercussions. I should take deep breaths and calmly help them process their feelings and engage them in rainy day activities so they’re not so apt to argue and wrestle.
But today, I can’t mom.
I have a heaping pile of post-vacation laundry screaming my name and I need to wash my floors. We’re almost out of milk and bread, but the gas station seems as daunting a task as the overrun with weeds garden. My boys are wrestling on the floor taking turns crying for the 400th time, and the “Mommy I need’s” are exhausting.
There is nothing in this world I want more than to be the kind of mom they deserve. Sometimes I am, but today, I’m failing, miserably.
I’m too loud and quick to anger. I don’t want to play monster trucks on the floor anymore and I’m hiding in the kitchen cooking the most difficult box of processed mac n’ cheese I’ve ever endured. It might take an hour. I’m ignoring the screaming and arguing and praying it stops before someone cries. I’m counting down the hours until Daddy gets home and letting the tears silently fall.
Here’s what’s really crazy – I beat myself up over it as it’s happening. As the self-loathing grows, so does the inability to mom. It’s debilitating.
I love my kids more than words can possibly describe, and I’m trying. I’m trying harder than I’ve tried for anything else in my entire life.
Maybe that’s what being a mom is really all about. It’s about the willingness to adjust to your surroundings. It’s about accepting imperfections and learning from mistakes. It’s about being willing to admit that I’m in way over my head, and I need help.
Please, help me. Lift me up in your prayers. Ask me, I mean REALLY ask me, if I’m okay. Chances are if you’re noticing you need to ask; I’m not. Come have play dates and encourage me to do better. Remind me that this, too, shall pass and that my kids won’t be scarred for life because I failed today.
Most of all, tell me I’m not alone. If you feel like you’re failing let me help you. Together, we can do this.
Tonight, when I tuck my kids into bed, I’ll breathe in the gifts I’ve been given. I’ll whisk the hair behind their ears and kiss their soft cheeks, thankful for the love and forgiveness they offer me – even when I’m at my worst.
I sucked today, but tomorrow is a new day.