I was sitting at a stoplight away from home on business one day when my children were young, and I found myself fantasizing about a life alone in an apartment in that city. One where I didn’t have to pick up cheerios off the floor, one that was modern and easy. It caught me off guard and I was ashamed of myself for dreaming about leaving my family and living alone.
A few minutes later, I realized that I didn’t really want to run away. I was just overwhelmed and tired of the constant demands of being a mother of three small children. Being a good parent doesn’t always mean feeling great about it. Sometimes our thoughts and emotions get the better of us. Below are some common negative feelings all moms have and ways to handle them.
1. Embarrassment by your child’s behavior.
At some point, your child will throw a tantrum in public, get caught stealing, tell everyone in the church to pray for you because you’re sad you found a gray hair, or ask loudly about the man with a very large purple birthmark. Yes, all of these things happened to me. Don’t worry, you’ll have a chance to return the favor one day when they’re teenagers and everything you do embarrasses them.
2. Fear you will mess them up for life.
None of us do everything right but God has a plan. If you pursue parenting with His guidance, you should not fear. What you are doing right is making a bigger impact than what you are doing wrong.
There is always something to feel guilty about. Let go of perfection. It robs you of joy and connectedness.
4. Ashamed for not always feeling tender toward your child.
Sometimes parenting comes with contention and conflict. This can make it difficult to feel loving toward them. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them.
5. Wanting to escape.
There used to be a bubble bath slogan for Calgon that said, “Calgon, take me away!” It showed an overwhelmed mom luxuriating in the tub after a hectic day. Give yourself a mini vacation for an hour or a couple of days from time to time.
6. Not knowing how to handle a situation.
It’s okay to tell your child that you don’t know what to do about something and that you need a few minutes or a day to think about it and get back to them. You don’t always have the answers right away.
7. Want to do what’s best for you and not what’s best for them.
It’s tempting to want to finish their homework for them so they’ll just get to bed in time for you to watch The Bachelor. And occasionally you’ll do things like that. We all do.
8. Too tired for sex.
After the demands and responsibilities of a full day, it’s tough to want sex. Your mind and body are spent.
These are just a few of the things all moms feel. Tell us: How have you handled experiencing these feelings?