I Wasn’t A Good Mom

278 Comments

toddler_tantrum

Dear Daughter,

Today, I wasn’t a good mom. The morning came too soon after a long and exhausting night. I rolled out of bed and put pants on an hour before you normally woke up. When I came into your room you were ready for me, your hair tousled and your smile crooked. “I up!” You said reaching your arms out to me. “I pay wif toys!”

I didn’t smile, not because I don’t love you, but because I just needed more sleep. And then the day came and you stuck stickers to the couch and I grumbled under my breath. You tried to play tag and kicked me in the chest and I yelled, “BE NICE TO MOM!” I realize now, I wasn’t yelling that at you. I was just yelling at the world. But how could you know that? You couldn’t, and I’m sorry.

And when I went upstairs to go to the bathroom and you said, “NO MAM GO PODDY!” And I said, “Shut up!” It wasn’t my finest hour of parenthood.

I’m sorry I cried when you ate my lunch. The lunch I bought for both of us to feed my feelings. Because my feelings needed chicken nuggets, but apparently so did you. And I’m sorry I put you in time out when you made your plate do a little dance on the table. I’m sorry I didn’t kiss you when I put you down for nap, choosing instead to run away and lay in the guest room bed and just dwell in some silence.

I remember my own mom having days like this, when she seemed on the edge of something terrible, and we children tip toed around her, afraid and convinced it was us. I want you to know it is not you.  It is never you.

What this is is my heart hurting for things and reasons that fall outside of you. I’ll be better tomorrow, after Coke, after a crime show and after some sleep. But being a parent means many things, one of which is that I cannot always be the selfish mess I want to be.  This makes me a better person, but it is also oh so hard, when your eyes are tired and your back aches. You don’t need to know this now. And when you do need to know it, you will understand. But I want to apologize just so you know that I’m trying my very best, even when some days that best is a wreck.

I hear you up from your nap. You are singing Taylor Swift, shouting “Neber, eber, EBER!” And then there is something about a rubber ducky. I’m going to get you now. We are going to eat fruit snacks and read some books. We’re going to snuggle and put some stickers back on the couch.

And tomorrow, I’m going to try again.

I love you.

Your Mom

Comments

    • 2

      Smizzycakes says

      …and that my friends is the true essence of motherhood (parenthood for that matter). Days like this… the days that force you to see the real you. I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  1. 4

    realtormom says

    ThankYou For Sharing This. Good Reminder For Me About My Own MOod Swings And The Impact They Have On My Kids.

    • 6

      Grown and Flown says

      But parenting isn’t about any given day, it is about the months and years and over those I bet you are an amazing mom!

  2. 8

    Mom Off Meth says

    Oh there are those days. Everyone has them. Not just moms right? Thank goodness our kids love us, and we show them we are human. You sound like a very good mom.

    • 9

      Arnebya says

      Exactly! It’s unfair and unrealistic to give our kids the impression that mom has it together all the time, that everyone feels this way; it’s not just parenthood-born. It is person/life/career/who ate all the goddamn Fritos-born.

  3. 11

    Arnebya says

    It is the resolution to try harder. We have those days. We ALL have those days. I’ve had to write my own apology letter for not being nice sometimes to each of my children (although, oddly, it feels worse when I do it to the littlest one), for opting for mean when I know full damn well I am being mean. And then there’s the next day. The next day gets better. Sure, it will likely happen again, but as long as you keep trying, you got this. You got this.

  4. 12

    Alaina says

    aw, we have these days all too often. She won’t remember. All she will remember is how much she loves you and how much you love her. Hugs and here’s to a better day!

    • 13

      Amy Raymond says

      Sorry to let you know, but every little good and unconscious thing u do they store in their physical and emotional memory. All my “sorry’s” didn’t help, she became the person she did because of my good and bad or unconscious acts, words. We reap what we sow, i wish i could do it all again coming from what i know now.

      • 14

        Michelina says

        I agree, Amy. It’s awful but they do remember. I am 38 years old and I’ll never forget being 2 years old and saying to my mom “I love you” and her reply, “you’d better.”. Was she having a bad day? Probably. My dad was away in the service, we lived with my grandparents and she barely spoke English. But, I remember. It hurt me for a very long time.

      • 15

        Susan Dax says

        Amy, that’s just your opinion, NOT fact. My Mum has a temper and used to shout when I was growing up, yet she was, and is, the best Mum in the world. I always knew how much she loved me.

        I think it’s very sad that you appear to be blaming yourself for whatever you think is wrong with your child. You were not the only influence in her world, and in the end people make their own choices.

        Sure, a child might remember the occasional bad moment, but as long as there are many more good moments than bad you’re not going to warp them (unless it’s a VERY bad experience, anyhow.)

  5. 16

    Kiran says

    Oh Lyz – don’t we all know the feeling? And for those of you who don’t, congratulations. But I know that this is all too human, all too real, and all too right on the nose for me.

    The fact that you can recognize that you didn’t give your daughter the best tells me that you are a great mother. And especially if you follow through on making her tomorrow better.

    We all need to work on perfect. And sometimes we just have to remember we are all too human and our kids will come to understand and appreciate that too, one day. Mommy is NOT an automoton.

  6. 20

    amanda says

    I had one of those days yesterday and felt like the worst person in the world! I just couldn’t control it. Thank you for sharing, and it makes me feel better to know it’s not just me!!

  7. 22

    Gretchen says

    Loved your raw honesty, made me cry. We all have had days like this, even with our older children, (7 and 11) it is a little easier at this age because I can at least apologize to them but it still hurts inside. Hope today is better!

  8. 23

    Life with Kaishon says

    I think you are a great mom just because you recognize that some times you have bad days. Don’t we all.

  9. 25

    Urban Flowerpot says

    YES. I love you for putting this into words. I just snapped when my son wanted to get up extra early but it’s really the migraine I woke up with talking :(

    Thank you for writing this…and making me get all teary n sappy.

  10. 27

    Cassie says

    I can really relate! I feel this way almost every day right now. Having a newborn and a toddler, there is no such thing as sleep, rest, relaxation, or even calm. I am exhausted and that makes me snappy. I feel for my toddler who not only has a new brother to adjust to, but a grumpy mommy. Sorry Mr. Skinks!

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