The Days They’ll Remember

mom-and-daughter-rain-boots Image via Shutterstock

On the best days I patiently, creatively ward off Monsters. I am able to convince my children that we have magic Monster-proof paint on our house, or that the Monster is actually very tiny and wearing a tutu and singing Puff the Magic Dragon.

On the worst days, I get horribly, loudly frustrated when my child comes upstairs for the fiftieth time, “Just go to freaking bed, already!” is the last thing they hear from me before they go to sleep.

On the best days, everyone is groomed, including me. Clean, sweet-smelling children. Nails clipped, hair combed and braided, faces free of food or boogers or whatever that brown stuff is.

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On the worst days, they walk around like little wild animals and the first time I see myself is in the mirror as I brush my teeth going to bed at night. I am usually a little frightened by what I see.

On the best days, I look them in the eyes when they talk to me. I put the computer down. I get down on the floor. I mentally force the memory of their sweet voice saying, “Mama, Wook!” to stay with me forever.

On the worst days I say, “Oh my god, you need to stop singing that song right now before I fling myself out the window.”

On the best days, I can sit and watch without intervening as my child attempts for the thirtieth time to put their favorite, stained, disgusting t-shirt on in the right direction. I don’t reach forward to help them even once.

On the worst days, I wrestle them into their clothes. The ones that I want them to wear. They cry. Their blotchy face clashing mightily with their beautifully coordinated outfit.

On the best days, I am the memory-keeper of their lives. I am the one who will tell them that, at seven, they seemed physically unable to sit down at the dinner table or that, once, at two, after sitting on the potty they looked down and said, “Holy Shit!”

On the worst days, I say “Hurry Up!” over and over and I rush around and I look past them toward whatever I have to do next. And I forget.

On the best days, I look away from the mess; the clothes, the dishes, the floors, the bills, the whatever whatever. I say, “Do you want to go outside and go for a walk?” And everyone is so ridiculously excited about this that I feel bad for not looking away more often.

On the worst days, I let the stress of living life get to me. I talk with that Crazy Mom voice that I don’t even know that I have. It happens.

On the best days, when the homework crying inevitably appears, I slide the work aside and give them a hug because it isn’t always that important.

On the worst days, when the homework crying inevitably appears, I talk and talk until even I don’t understand what I’m saying. And I realize once again why I could never homeschool.

On the best days, I take a large dose of Chill The F*&$ Out. I take it and I do, I chill out. Life is usually not that big of a deal.

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On the worst days, I push and try to control everything and ultimately fail and then feel bad and Ugh. Why.

On the best days, I sit and I read to them. I read and I read until they are ready to be done reading. I read until piles of books line the side of the chair and they look at me hopefully, “One more?”

On the worst days, I don’t have any time to read. Not even one moment to read to them.

On the best days, I think, “Please remember this.”

And on the worst, I hope they forget.

Related post: 12 Reasons Why You’re a Great Mom

About the writer


Joelle Wisler is a writer and mom living in the mountains who loves quiet Saturday mornings and other mythical things like personal space and time to think. She named her blog Running From Mountain Lions so that if she ever meets up with a big cat, at least she can go down in a blaze of irony. Her writing has been flung haphazardly about the internet, but she writes regularly for Scary Mommy and The Huffington Post. She made The Today Show's List of Funniest Parents on Facebook and contributed to the anthology Scary Mommy's Guide To Surviving The Holidays. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

From Around the Web


April G 7 months ago

So true. I hope they remember our best days.

Shannon {Cozy Country Living} 11 months ago

I really love this! It’s so true, we all have good and bad days, but I surely hope my children remember all the good:)

Louisa 11 months ago

We all have good days and bad. I hope my twins rember the good days and how we all overcame the bad days. I use to be friends with alot of the overachiever pintrest moms, and cut them out of my life when it started to become a personal attack on my parenting skills. I think that everyday I can hold them, kiss them, marvel at them, is honestly the best day ever even when they are sticky and a bath is but a distant dream.

Jennifer Lamoureux 11 months ago

Love this. We are all in the same boat .

Phyllis Antonicelli DiAmbrosio 11 months ago

This is terrific gina

pjgngram 11 months ago

Honestly written equals beautifully lived. Your kids will remember the “good days”.

sarah 11 months ago


Your Moderate Mama 11 months ago

On the best days, I think, “Please remember this.”

And on the worst, I hope they forget.

It is nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way!!!

Shannon Wilson Gerber 11 months ago

i want all the days to the best days but am disheartened when i realize how many are the worst. ugh it’s hard

Dana Hay 11 months ago

Great to know I’m not the only one!

Susie Gascoyne Lanzafame 11 months ago

Boy did I need this today! Thanks!

Stephanie Curtin Melanson 11 months ago

Ahahahahaaa love thisssss

Vicki Lamb 11 months ago

crazy mum voice you never knew you had… Yup.

Jennifer McArthur 11 months ago

I love this!!!! I want to print it and put it on the fridge to remember everyday

Samantha Sotello 11 months ago

I needed this today! This whole week, actually.

Katrina Quattlander 11 months ago

The truth of this makes me ache.

Gina Marquardt 11 months ago


Denise Susan Nicholls 11 months ago

And breathe……nice to inow im not the only one who gets so wound up in daily life I worry they will only remember. Bad days…only remember me yelling in frustration

Kevin Williams 11 months ago

More Dads need to step and creat magical days as well… We want to be remembered to…

Mindi Stillings 11 months ago

This made me feel so much better. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing wrong. I always feel terrible after a bad day and hope that my son doesn’t remember me getting frustrated and yelling.

Kelsie Kelly 11 months ago


Melanie Stodghill 11 months ago


Melissa Rice 11 months ago

Tears. Just had a rough night with my 3 year old and can totally relate. Thanks for this.

Jenny Kruschke 11 months ago

Ooh the feels…

Lisa Morgan Echols 11 months ago

The article was good. What made me cry are the comments here, the knowledge that so many other mothers deal with best and worst days just like me.

Maritza Orozco-Ramos 11 months ago

Love it!!

Amanda Winstead-White 11 months ago

This blog is really great… Bethany Wolfe

Tara Himes 11 months ago

Definitely needed to read this after the last few days

Fabiola Vergara-Rubí 11 months ago

OMG! This one actually made me cry… I thought I was the only one that from time to time feels like a total failure, I love my children beyond words, and my heart aches when I remember all those numerous times when I have lost myself on daily life and miss all of those precious little things that make life worth living. Great post!

Amber Marie 11 months ago

That hits… everything. The truth, the feels, the all of it. Definitely truths.

Sarah Bills 11 months ago

My daily prayer

Valerie Watson Scheg 11 months ago

So many tears. I needed this after the evening that ended with yelling…to know I am not alone, both on my bad days and on my good ones.

Carolyn Werner Haney 11 months ago

Love this.

LK Lancaster 11 months ago

And tears.

Bonnie Gibbons 11 months ago

You always post the best blogs/stories!

Kristy Billingsley 11 months ago

Love this!

Melissa Taylor 11 months ago

What Mom cannot relate to this post and it’s sentiment?! Loved it!

Dana Irene Hamilton Smaldino 11 months ago

So true! I had a friend pass away last year and it has had me consumed with the thought “if I died right now, I hope the kids only remember “good day” mommy!”

Angelic Ferrari Westfall 11 months ago


Renee Reid 11 months ago

Here’s to more good days than bad days! This felt like it came straight from my brain. A nice reminder that we are human, and it’s ok

Kimberly Durandetto 11 months ago

Ugh the feels

Kelly McDowell 11 months ago

I absolutely can relate to this, especially as they get older. My only hope is that my good days out weigh the bad……

Debbie Cormier 11 months ago

Yeah today was one of the worse yesterday one of the best! Glad it’s not just me!

Kathleen Linz 11 months ago

Exactly. Exactly.

Samantha Lankford 11 months ago

This article made me cry. I do hope she forgets my bad days and I hope I give her more good days than bad.

Giselle Castillo Wrobel 11 months ago

The last two lines. My fervent prayer.

Vicci B. Chuc 11 months ago

I needed that, because today was one of the worst days! I screamed at my six year old daughter because she couldn’t remember which is a b and d, or that have has an a not an i! Ugh

Beth O’Dea 11 months ago

LOVE this, every word of it resonates!

Veronica Oswald 11 months ago


Vicci B. Chuc 11 months ago

LOL I just tell my kids if there was monsters none of us would be alive because we would have been eaten shortly after being born! Harsh? Oh yah! Works though. That or I just say they are the monsters, or I am so mean the monsters are scared of me. Plus I have magic mommy dust and will spread it over them so they won’t have bad dreams

Tiffany Robinson 11 months ago

One day at a time.

Kristy Roberts 11 months ago

While 99% of your posts I laugh til i nearly pee…this one made me tear up. Off to make craft activities because even if my skull and crossbones looks like a drew it with my feet…the fact my daughter thinks I can make ANYTHING is something to be treasured :)

Heather Poyhonen 11 months ago

Amen. Thank you. I hope my kids only remember the best days.

Laura Capler Pagac 11 months ago

LOVE this!!

christina 11 months ago

This hit every nail on the head.. I hope she just remembers the good and not my more than half the time crazy.

Brandi 1 year ago

This is the best article I have ever read about parenting. I can relate completely.

Andrea 2 years ago

wow, thank you….for not letting me feel alone in this !!!

MamaChelle 2 years ago

Thanks for this. Today has been one of those worst days while yesterday was one of the best days and I’m crying right now because this hit so close to home. I really pray that they only remember the good days.

dontblamethekids 2 years ago

I think this has been going on for generations, and the future generations will all turn out well, just like we did. Hopefully a little better. Otherwise, my children are screwed.

Pam 2 years ago

So true! This could be a greeting card (not a Hallmark card but, like, a Papyrus card with a beautiful, simple graphic….)

A 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this! I’m always so overwhelmed and stressed, but I’m going to try and make tomorrow’s snow day one that she’ll remember. :-)

Kelly 2 years ago

Perfectly describes my life as a working mom! So great to hear we all share the same successes and struggles

Honeykbee 2 years ago

I love this. Thank you for this.

4monkeys 2 years ago

Your blog has been popping up on my Facebook feed quite a bit lately and I have to say it’s so refreshing to read something so true and real. Pinterest loving supermoms are a charade. Real moms have bad days.

    Joelle Wisler 2 years ago

    That’s really the best thing I’ve heard all day. Thank you!

    Melinda 11 months ago

    I’m so much happier since I deleted my Pinterest & Tumblr and started living more offline. I read books again! It’s amazing!

      Sarah 11 months ago

      I am with you… my mind get overwhelmed!!!

      Books are my happy place!!!

Anita Davis Sullivan 2 years ago

All my days have both- the constant battle between being my worst and my best. Trying though, always trying.

Shenna 2 years ago

Good stuff. May they never forget any of it and may that only help them understand we are all human.

Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

They will remember mostly good stuff. My mom swears she used to lose her shiz with me and my sister… but we only remember her as being calm, rational, and on-top-of-everything. =)

momofeveryone 2 years ago

Sorry of my lIfe. A dear friend of mine just lost her two year old this past week. It hit home how much I miss because I’m trying to be everything. For a little while I think I’ll just be mom and read to the kids.

Snotty Noses 2 years ago

So true! One of things I find most difficult about parenting is picking yourself up when you’re feeling down/low/sleep deprived. But it has such a knock on effect. When I’m grumpy everyone seems to be grumpy. Finding ways to get out of the fog is difficult.
On another note, have you ever seen ‘monster spray’? It’s great, you take an empty spray bottle, decorate a label with your child, fill it with something sensible (perhaps air) and then they can have it to spray at the monsters when they go to bed. Works a treat.


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