I’m a good mother. You are, too. We love our kids. It’s a love that grows stronger and deeper with each passing day.
But some days are hard, and long, and exhausting. Some days, when kids are screaming and running under our feet and eating boxes of granola bars out of our pantry – are trying. And just when we think that day can’t get worse, the one where you’re fueled by coffee and chocolate chips, the day when the washing machine breaks and the paint spills, the day when your house turns into a circus act – on that day, you step on the sharpest Lego made by man and realize that indeed it can get worse.
I’ve had those days. Maybe you have, too?
Mine came this week. I started a new adventure, one I’ve been wanting for so long. I’m working from home each day with no daycare. I know this is a privilege many women would love. I don’t take this opportunity I’ve been given lightly.
But here’s the tricky part. I am the help. I am the daycare. I am the mom. I’ve always been mom, of course. But for the past seven years when I saw my kids during the weekday hours of 9:00 am through 4:00 pm, it was because someone was sick, or I had the day off, or it was time for a vacation. The day to day routine looks very different these days. And last week, on day two of the new mom routine, I had a mini meltdown.
“Mom! I’m hungry. What should we eat?” they questioned.
And I looked at them and then looked at the clock and seriously wondered who was going to feed these kids. Ten seconds later, when I realized the answer was me, the meltdown began.
I slopped together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turned on a cartoon, walked quietly back to my office nook and sobbed.
What kind of mother forgets to feed her kids lunch? How will I possibly get my work done each day with kids at home? What if I can’t do this? What if I made a mistake?
It was the first time in seven years of motherhood that I felt like a bad mom. Even though I love every ounce of those kids and they love me right back. I still felt it.
That voice in my head kept telling me I couldn’t do this. It’s a sneaky voice that preys on my emotions when I’m tired or scared or worried.
“Why would you stop daycare, Leslie? You can’t do this! Who do you think you are?” I heard.
At the end of the day, when my house was quiet, when it was just me and the glow of the computer screen, a message popped up from a dear friend. She also had a rotten day; a day full of kid pee in a brand new home; a day full of frazzled nerves and worried anger.
And as I read her words, I realized she gets frustrated, too. Even though I know she is a beautiful, wonderful mom to her babes. She stays home with them, and sings to them and plays with them and loves them so well. She makes it look so easy.
But all moms have hard days. It made me remember that you’ve probably felt this way too. And you, like me, could use an encouraging word.
And so mom, I want to send you a reminder. You got this. Even on the toughest days, your kids love you and all your perfect imperfections. And you love them, too. You are a good mom. You are a good mom. You are a good mom. Remember, believe, share and don’t forget to repeat this mantra over and over the next time you forget to feed those kids.