“I’m such a bad mom.” As awful as this sounds, have you ever looked at your kid misbehaving and thought that?
Well, I did today.
My toddler is strong-willed. She is tough on a good day. Well, today was a bad day, so she was basically impossible. She was so cranky or as she corrected me when I said “stop kvetching," "Mommy, I'm whining” (at least she’s self-aware).
We actually got to the level where she had a full-on tantrum. Yep. She threw herself onto the floor because I wouldn’t let her run around and not hold my hand in a crowded mall. She sat on the floor, parking her little tushie down and hit the brakes hard. She screamed, and screamed until my husband picked her up, which was a pause, and then an even louder scream.
But that wasn’t the moment when I felt like a bad mom.
We were out for lunch, and my daughter was carrying on, throwing food on the floor, the time-out worked for five minutes after the fact, but then it was chaos again. I looked at her and thought, I am a terrible mom. I am a failure. What do I need to do to get my daughter to behave? What am I, as her mother, doing wrong?
I got down on myself. I was feeling lousy to the point where I was visibly upset.
My husband looked at me, “What’s wrong?”
“I feel like a bad mom. I can’t seem to get her to behave, maybe I need to do more, talk to a behavioral therapist...”
“Dan, she’s two and a half, they can all be little a**holes. You’re doing a great job.”
Gosh at that moment, I still didn’t believe him. I sulked in my bad momness. I pouted in it. I threw my hands up in the air on the toddler situation, while feeding my sweet 15-month-old fruit (and the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me).
But now as I look back, I feel a bit better about it. For one, I was able to have a good laugh at myself. Taking an almost three-year-old’s meltdown so personally is crazy. I did everything I could. I gave her two timeouts. I didn’t let her get her way. I held strong, and some days, my best isn’t going to be enough to make her behave. She is human herself.
Her bad day doesn't mean I am a bad mom. Like my bad day, where I do something I am not proud of (oh, there have been many of those…) is not a result on my mom’s bad parenting. We are all just human, and off days happen. I am not perfect, and neither is she.
Do I now believe I am a bad mom? Nope. I am doing my very best, and I love my children more than anything. That’s my own definition of a good mom that I give to others. So, I basically need to start taking it for my personal usage.
Even when our visions are clouded by our children’s bad behavior, and it's all we can see, know that our view at that moment is the only thing faulty. If we wake up each day and are doing the best we can, and love our children fiercely — then we are good mom’s.
This article originally appeared on the author's Facebook.