There’s a lot of talk these days about mommy wars and “SAHM vs Working mothers” but I believe the lack of a simple admission is the real way we are failing moms. We have the opportunity (daily I bet) to admit we are just as lost as the next mom and yet we put on a facade and act like we have it together. When clearly I don’t.
We had just dropped her big sister off at school and I was heading home with Hazel to tidy up the house before my exercise class started. As usual in the morning, we didn’t have a lot of “flex” time for anything extra.
It started with a simple request from my 4 year old. “Mommy, can we please go through the tunnel on the way home?” The tunnel is this little side street in our small town where two concrete tunnels serve as the “road” for a small portion.
I typically go out of my way each morning to drive through “the tunnel” but knew that today, I just didn’t have the time.
In my sweetest voice, I said “Honey, we don’t have time today but maybe tomorrow on the way to preschool?”
And then from the back seat erupted a little girl I was certain could not possibly be my own. She started yelling at me. Telling me what a bad mommy I was. Crying that we didn’t EVER do anything fun.
“You’re a bad mommy! I’m going to always tell you you are a bad mommy!”
I kid you not…I knew those words were from a toddler who was simply angry but they cut right through me. I mean, I have given my everything to my two kids and to hear that I was failing at the only job I’ve ever cared so much about was a blow to say the least.
It took me a few minutes, but I got my self together and explained to Hazel that it was okay to be angry she didn’t get her way. But it wasn’t okay to say hurtful things or lash out. We worked it out – there were lots of hugs and heartfelt “I’m sorry”s.
But here’s where I failed all of my friends who are moms…
Guess who I called up and told this story to…
Wait for it…
Not one single friend of mine heard this story. I didn’t call my best friend up to commiserate on the battles with toddlers.
I didn’t mention the drama to the girls I work out with every single day.
I didn’t post on Facebook the overreaction Hazel had or the fact that I wanted to cry.
I didn’t call my sister up (who has her own toddler) to talk about how scared I was that maybe the tantrums would get worse…or that maybe I was a bad mommy.
Want to know why?
It’s the same reason lots of us moms don’t share the ugliest parts of child rearing with each other.
We are embarrassed.
Ashamed that our own children could behave in such an awful way. Ashamed that we didn’t have the “right” answer to stop that temper tantrum in its tracks. And ashamed that we allowed our child to act/speak that way in front of us.
I write a parenting focused blog…about how to be a better mom, how to raise kind children and how to make family the heart of your home.
So you may think I’ve got this parenting thing down…let me be the first to shout from the mountain tops. I DO NOT!
Most days I’m as lost as the next mom. Some days I wonder what I was thinking imagining I could ever be as good a mom as my own mother.
But here’s what IS the truth…
We are ALL struggling to be good moms. We are ALL trying our best but realizing that at least once a day, we will fail. We will fail our children. We will fail our spouse. And we will fail to meet the absurd expectations we put upon ourselves.
But what we shouldn’t be doing is failing each other.
It’s okay to admit you had a bad day. It’s okay to tell another mom that your child pitched a tantrum of epic proportions because you gave them the pink cup instead of the blue one.
It’s okay to tell a friend that you aren’t sure you are doing any of this right.
Because let me tell you friend, only 2 good things will come out of your admission:
1- Your friend will breathe a sigh of relief that she isn’t alone…and neither are you.
2 – You will realize you are doing “this” right. Parenting is your thing after all. No one is getting it “right” all the time but as long as we are trying hard, loving our kids, and keeping perspective, as they say…”the kids are alright.”
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