Thursday, September 18, 2014

Confessions of a Terrible Mother

I have something to admit. Something I hate to even type, much less say out loud. Being the perfectionist that I am, I can barely bring myself to think it. But here it is:

Some days I wonder if I was really meant to be a mother. 

There. I said it. 

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a mom. I have never imagined my future without children, a family. And yet some days, when I'm losing my patience and nearing my boiling point with my spirited (read: stubborn, smart, challenging) toddler, I wonder if I was really cut out for the job I so willingly took on. 

Maybe I've made plans to hit the playground and story time at the library, but it's 2 PM and I have yet to get myself dressed after a morning of time-outs. Maybe I woke up with the goal of (finally) getting the laundry washed and folded, but am climbing into bed without even washing my hair much less the mountains of dirty clothes that just keep growing. 

Days like these (and oh-so-many other examples) make me feel like a complete failure as a mother. The voice in my head tells me I should be able to do it all, to keep the house running, keep the kids fed and entertained, keep it all together. But almost every day I go to bed reciting a mental list of all the thing I did wrong--or didn't do at all. 

I try to remind myself that I'm only one person. I listen as Hubby tells me I'm doing fine, doing all I can. Still the voice needles me, telling me I can--and should--be doing better. 

"Your toddler doesn't listen to a word you say. You need to teach him to be obedient," it says.  

"You didn't do the dishes today? Tomorrow you have to wash them and put them away."

"Why can't you make time for your writing? If you really wanted it you'd find the time."

Over and over these thoughts run through my head and I start to feel overwhelmed and under-accomplished. I wonder how someone who wanted something so badly could be so utterly terrible at it. 

And then my toddler comes over to me and says, "Snuggle the mommy," asking to curl up with me for some cuddle time. He kisses me and tells me he loves me and holds my hand and I realize I can't be as terrible as I think I am at this parenting thing. I do the best I'm able to do, and at the end of the day that's what matters. 

Am I going to mess something up every day: get angry, skip chores, fail at being perfect. Absolutely. But as I snuggle up with my toddler I realize I'm not messing up nearly as badly as that voice in my head wants me to believe.

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