When You Feel Like a Bad Mom

Today’s blog post is about one of the toughest jobs in the world – being a mom! Becoming a mother has been one of the most rewarding and joy-filled experiences of my life. There is nothing that gives me more happiness then the privilege of watching Quinn grow into a smart, curious, and hilarious little boy. I love him to the moon and back times infinity!

But every once in a while, I have one of “those days” where it seems like everything just, well… sucks. I think every mom, everywhere, knows exactly what I’m talking about – those mornings when you wake up at 4:00 AM after a night of broken sleep, only to start the day with a major toddler tantrum, followed by so. much. whining, which then continues all. day. long. Ugh. I’ve been there so many times and try to have patience, but then I just snap.

Oy. Those days hurt, and I feel like the worst mom ever. Unfortunately, those are the times when my “inner critic” comes out loud and clear. You know what I’m talking about, right? The one that tells me that I’m a “bad mom” and that I’m doing “a crappy job.” Maybe you have that same little voice in your head too. It’s the worst.

Our inner critic plays a big role in how we feel and, for better or for worse, the way we feel can make or break us. But the funny thing about feelings is that we don’t always have to listen to them. We often give negative thoughts more power than they deserve, and I think it’s time that all moms changed our thinking.

Being a mom is not easy. It’s a journey filled with plenty of rough and bumpy spots along the road. Monday can be great, but, by Tuesday, life has gone in all sorts of wrong directions, leaving me feeling frustrated, defeated, and simply like a “bad mom.” In those moments of self-doubt, I try to tell myself that while the day may have been a failure, I certainly am not! I accept it for what it is and move on. Tomorrow is a new day!

Raising a kid is hard, whether you have one or five. Don’t get me wrong – social media is an awesome way to find inspiration and build a community, but it can also lead to the ugly rabbit hole of comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. Scrolling through Instagram is like viewing a digital photo album with perfectly curated snapshots of someone else’s life – kids happily eating kale, walks to the park in the sunshine, a family outing where everyone is smiling (and not throwing tantrums). What we sometimes don’t realize is that these are just select magical moments captured on camera in what could have otherwise been a terrible day. That’s why I always try to keep it real with you guys and share the good, the bad, and the ugly!

I have had some not-so-fine moments as a parent. Everyone makes mistakes, even moms, because moms are human (whoa). But those same mistakes that we beat ourselves up over might actually help our tiny humans grow into strong, capable adults. Think back to your own childhood. Many of the adversities we faced as kids helped to shape us into the people we are today! If we were truly “bad moms,” we wouldn’t care. We wouldn’t second (or third)-guess our decisions or worry that we are making the wrong choices. We wouldn’t feel guilty for turning on the television just so that we can have 30 minutes to sit on the couch and drink a glass of wine, even if it’s just to save our own sanity.

I got into this whole parent thing with no idea how to do it. From Quinn’s early days of infancy to the first day of preschool, I’ve been pushed to adapt to situations and circumstances I could have never expected. No matter how many books I read or how much well-meaning advice I listened to, I would have never, ever been prepared enough for motherhood. I think back to the person I was before I was Quinn’s mom (it seems like a lifetime ago) and that Tina isn’t half as tough, resilient, flexible, or patient as this Tina is. I’ve come a long way.

Maybe you need to hear it like I need to hear it, so I am just going to say it: You’re a wonderful mother, and I know you are doing your best. You’re not just enough, you’re more than enough for your family. We’re all just doing the best we can, as mothers, wives, sisters, and friends, and it’s time we gave ourselves that credit.

Bad days happen, and I’ve learned to accept that they are totally normal. Sh*t happens, right? And bad days don’t make me a bad mom. Our life is full of tantrums, half-eaten dinners, super early mornings, and whining galore. But it’s also full of the sweetest moments I could have ever imagined – from singing “You Are My Sunshine” and”the shepherd boy” song with Quinn before drifts off to sleep, to him reaching out to hold my hand during a movie, to him laughing hysterically when we play “cats” together. Each year of motherhood just gets better and better. It’s also wonderfully beautiful. I can’t say that I’d want it any other way, and I’m sure all you moms out there would definitely agree!

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79 Comments

  1. Its hard being a mom, we don’t always know how to interact with other moms. I just feel you are all jumping on the words maybe said in frustration and maybe Jenna had a lot going on . Maybe not, but as a mom should we not give other moms the benefit of the doubt and just say, “hey Jenna, I am sorry you feel that way, that is not what I meant to say” Bullying a bully is not how we should be supporting each other

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