Bean is sitting in his high chair staring at me with an obstinate glint in his eyes, his mouth shut, as I try to give him a spoonful of food. He swings his arm, batting the spoon away and the food goes everywhere. Before I can even think about what has happened, my emotions get the better of me and I scream: ‘EAT THIS NOW!!!’.
To Bean I must look like an angry bear in slow motion, jowls shaking, spit flying out of my mouth with balls of pure fury where my eyes normally sit. I have lost it and I feel like a monster. Almost immediately a wave of dread washes over me. This has not been a good day.
When parenting is hard
Since becoming a mom, I have had a few of these bad days. Days where the silence at home and the lack of mental stimulation allow my mind to throw flashes of past mistakes, deeply buried away, into the forefront of my daily thoughts. Days when these memories consume my entire being with guilt and self-loathing. Days of frustration and boredom as I watch Bean build yet another tower, while I reminisce of past adventures. Days when I feel my self-worth slowly slipping away, my only real role being mom and wife.
“Nobody talks about their intense self-doubt, insecurities and fear; of the constant question at the back of every mom’s mind: ‘am I doing the right thing for my kids?’”
Nobody tells you about these days. Nobody talks about their intense self-doubt, insecurities and fear; of the constant question at the back of every mom’s mind: ‘am I doing the right thing for my kids?’; of their heart broken into a thousand pieces when they get angry or frustrated with their children. Nobody talks about the guilt that weighs heavily on their soul as the working mom goes on yet another business trip, or the stay-at-home-mom finally does something for herself.
It’s OK to be imperfect
And we should talk about it – we all have bad days. It’s normal and as such we should support each other and help each other be the best moms we can be. We should be able to trust in each other, knowing that moms can form a safe space to just be. We have all made mistakes in the past – without them, we would not be who we are today.
What really matters is how we move on from these days, how we work through the negativity and how we, as we work through these issues, become better parents and in so doing, become better versions of ourselves. What really matters is that we are all doing the best we can.
Although there are bad days, these are outweighed by good ones and I know that I am a good mom. I know that I do my best to be the best for Bean. So, for now, my resolution is to be kinder to myself, to let go of the guilt, to let go of the negativity and self-doubt and to let go of judgement (of myself and others).
I am not a perfect parent, and that’s ok.
Written by Alexa Gerrard