Not My Best Mommy
“I wasn’t my best mommy, today,” I whispered to my husband as he came upstairs from putting our three year old, C, to bed. A single giant tear rolled down my cheek as he reached across and grabbed my hand.
“Its OK,” he whispered back. “I know you were overwhelmed.”
As he turned on the T.V., I continued our conversation in my head. That shouldn’t matter. They deserve my best mommy every day.
Every night when I put C to bed, we say prayers. I listen to her ask God to bless her dog, the dolls, her little brother……then, I place my hand on her head and ask God to keep her safe and healthy. At the end I say, “Please God, help mommy and daddy to be the best mommy and daddy they can be.”
That day, I had been as far from my best mommy. I had been angry. I had yelled. I had completely checked out and let C sit in front of the T.V. all afternoon. It was easier to do that than to continue our battle of wills. After I shoved the children at my husband, I spent the evening searching job boards. If this was the kind of mommy I had to offer my kids, than clearly it was time to go back to work. They didn’t deserve this mommy. They deserved better.
Instead of doing the bedtime routine, I hid in my bedroom nursing the baby, leaving it to my husband.
As my husband snored next to me that night, the events of the day replayed in my mind ….. over ….. and over.
I went over every time I raised my voice. Every angry word. Every time I told the toddler to go to her toy room and stay there. And the tears fell.
After an hour or so, I got up and grabbed my journal. I wrote two sentences,
“Today was hard. How can I make tomorrow better?”
I came up with three things I needed to do differently the next day.
- Find an interactive activity to do
- Get outside
- Take 2 deep breaths every time I want to yell
The next day I had fun with my kids. We took wet erase markers and drew pictures on the windows. We played tag at the park. Each time I got frustrated I forced myself to take two deep breaths before I responded. I went to bed that night not feeling like I had failed my children.
As parents bad days and feeling overwhelmed are inevitable. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad parent for having a bad day.
The awesome thing is that each morning we get to start all over!!! It’s a clean slate.
If you are like me and you’ve had an overwhelming day with the kiddos. Take a few minutes before you go to sleep to write down three things you can do differently tomorrow. Then, forgive yourself and start anew in the morning.
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