Have you ever found yourself having one of THOSE days?
You know, one of those “I’m SUCH a BAD mother” days.
Over the last week I’ve had a stretch of those days where, for whatever reason, my buttons are easily pushed. I’ve yelled a little too loud or a few too many times, over something a little too insignificant. Maybe I’ve threatened, bribed, criticized, judged the kids using words or phrases that I promised myself I would NEVER use.
Maybe I even held my child’s arm a little too roughly. Maybe my anger crept out and in my two seconds of solitude I felt down, really bummed-out; judging myself for getting it all wrong. Maybe I even broke down and cried, saying “I just can’t do this anymore.”
“WHY?” I ask myself.
Why do I feel like this? Why have I been so sh*t with my kids all day? All week?
And deep down in that second of solitude I know the reason. One day it is because I am tired. I was up all night with a sleepless baby, or a sick child.
Another day I argued with my partner and am living the hang-over of that argument. The next day I am anxious about going back to work or managing work demands on top of everything else.
Some days it may simply be about a grey, rainy day without any adult company or support around, and kids bouncing off walls. The reasons can be endless but ultimately they are about one thing, and one thing only.
Because there is no MAYBE around the statement that “motherhood ain’t always easy.”
And this is true for working Moms, stay-at-home Moms, married Moms, single Moms, step-Moms, younger Moms, older Moms, adoptee Moms.
We are all in this journey together.
And most of us enter it with romantic visions of clean smiles, hugs and moments of shared peace and fun. These images conveniently miss out on a few common-felt Mom feelings and experiences, though.
Lack of sleep, altered dynamics with your partner, family and friends, a changing sense of identity, external expectations and pressures, and new (and ever changing) routines and pace of life are a few of the life challenges that motherhood brings with it.
Being a mother brings with it blissful highs but it also stretches us to our limit and beyond! Being stretched to our limit is not something we may have expected.
It was not part of the deal.Each and every “bad” moment stretches you beyond the person you were before you became a Mom. Click To Tweet
Just as you never will have experienced the highs of loving your child before becoming “Mom”, you will never have experienced the lows, either.
So, MAYBE, being a “bad mother” is really about being stretched. And maybe the key to successful mothering is about breathing into those moments the way you might breath into a yoga stretch.
Maybe its about breathing into that space, and in that moment, without judgement. Maybe its about taking that moment in time, feeling into yourSELF and learning more about yourSELF.
This is that space between who you have been until now and who you are becoming as a mother and a woman. Breathing yourself into alignment time and time again.
This makes it ok for our kids to see “angry” once in a while. Ok for them to see our tears, our vulnerability. It makes it ok to get it wrong and apologize afterwords.
Consider this: Being a “perfect Mom” is not possible.Being authentically YOU as a mother, is really the only possibility. Click To Tweet
Falling down happens. Getting up can happen just as often. Being alone is sometimes necessary. But feeling alone is not.
Yes, “bad Mom” moments are part of life. They are part and parcel of that never ending exercise of navigating towards more balance and joy. Because, after all, with growing little people in our lives, our goal posts are forever changing.
- What would it feel like if we saw these “bad Mom” moments as messages, lessons, learning opportunities?
- What would it feel like if being authentic became your destination, and getting up from each “bad Mom” moment with compassion, forgiveness and a learning attitude became the nature of your journey?
- What if you could do this with the support of a group of like-minded Moms who held your hand?
Ponder this possibility. And know that you are not alone experiencing these bad Mama moments, days, weeks…
Acknowledge yourself for being honest about the tough days, for living them with authentic feelings, for simply surviving them.
And when you are feeling strong and ready, gently step towards learning from these moments and stretching out into yourSELF just a little bit more. And at the end of that day, when you are ready to tumble into bed and erase the day, take a moment to simply be and reflect.
Here’s a simple exercise that I call the Bad Day Debriefing.
Doodle, draw or write out what happened and how you feel about it. Imagine yourself downloading it all from mind and heart, to paper.
Once you have scribbled it all out, end this short exercise by writing the following on a new line:
“I forgive me”
“Today I learned __________________________________, and I am grateful for it.”
Finally write 3 things you are grateful for today. Kiss your inner wrists and lie down.
Sweet dreams sweet Mama!
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