Am I a terrible parent?
I had one of those days recently.
You know the ones where from early in the morning you just KNOW nothing will go right. Where the tension and irritability kept rising, where every response out of my mouth had to be measured and held short to refrain from yelling at my son, or at the poor unsuspecting adults around me.
The day started out with my son screaming bloody murder because of a diaper change, and I usually get the first few ones of the day changed with no fuss. Not that day, right off the bat it was a fight.
Then I had to choose if I wanted to cook breakfast while carrying him or hearing him cry and tugging at my pants.
Another fight for said breakfast.
And another diaper change fiasco.
And all of that was before 8 am!
By the end of the day, I was in tears, my son finally asleep beside me, because he would not sleep anywhere else. I was in the middle of one of my biggest pitty parties ever. My husband was deployed, my son was losing his mind, causing me to lose mine.
Then it started, the part where I began to think of what a horrible mother I was. I let my kid watch tv all day sometimes, or allow him to survive the day eating nothing but puffs. Kept him in diapers longer than I should have, didn’t bathe him for two days straight. Heck, I didn’t even take a bath for two days straight!
I went to sleep like that, feeling like the biggest failure, the worst mother on the planet. But then, the next morning the storm had passed, and some reality began to seep in.
I remember, before having kids, I swore I would limit my children’s electronic usage time, I would make sure they ate a healthy variety of food each day, they would play outside and interact with children, bathe daily, read daily. Well, this was all planned pre-child.
There are days I can achieve all of that, but there is nothing wrong when you cant do all of the “planned” things.
TV all day, well I get tired. So if my son is content watching Peppa Pig all day, then go for it! It’s not like its happening every day. So if you need a down day, there is nothing wrong with making the TV your nanny.
A healthy variety of food, haha, yeah! I have a kid that if I let him survive off of breastfeeding at his age now (17 months), he would. So while MOST days I offer a nice mix of foods in hopes that he will nibble on a few of the things before him, there is nothing wrong with the days he just eats puffs. Toddlers are weird little creatures, and some days it may just be red foods, or green, or puffs for breakfast lunch and dinner. As long as it doesn’t become an everyday thing, have at the puffs kids!
Daily baths, well ideally yes, right before bed. But after fighting eight diaper changes in the day, sometimes I just want him to go down to sleep without a fight. So he stays in the same clothes he’s had on all day sans bath. It’s not like he was playing in the mud. A quick wipedown of the face hands and feet and off to bed he goes.
Going outside for sunshine, yeah see above about tired mommy and TV days.
Sleeping on his own and quietly, not my kid. We co-sleep, he won’t sleep for long if he is by himself. Lay him in bed with me, and he sleeps like a rock all night no problem. By himself, a whole different story. So one day he’ll sleep in his bed, hopefully before he goes off to college.
Cant clean, because he wants you sitting beside him watching, said Peppa Pig, sit beside him. No one will die over a little dust and mess. Odds are it will all be there tomorrow for you to clean.
So amongst this brilliant realization that just maybe, I am not the worst mother in the world, also came the knowledge that everything will be ok.
In an ideal world, things would go about differently, but that would also mean that your baby wouldn’t be how they are now. My kid wouldn’t be the spunky, hyper, animal loving pain in the ass he is, and the truth is I love him just like that. I would not want him to change.
So along with learning that everything is not in my control and that everything is ok, I learned that it is also ok to feel. I am allowed a pity party.
It’s ok not to be perfect. I promise while someone’s house may be cleaner than yours, but not everyone else is. Mine is probably messier!
Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Each has their battle they fight with, from the outside looking in it may seem like they have it together, but you just never know.
Leave with this.
You are enough! You are not the worse mother in the world, and your house isn’t the messiest, your child isn’t going to ruin a day of TV.
Here is to hoping for a better tomorrow.