In this social media driven parenting age, it’s easy to feel like you’re doing something terribly wrong when parenting is hard. After all, everyone else is posting that their children are awesome, that they bring them joy every day, blah, blah, blah. So when you have a moment of realization that you’re not really–ahem–enjoying or even liking your kids so much right now, you think there’s something wrong with you.
But lean in. Let me tell you a secret… At least once every 2 weeks, most moms think “I’m the worst mom in the world… all my kids have done is watched too many tv shows, and I snapped at them too often…” That’s basically what every mom feels. You’re not alone. And the other part of the secret is that it’s okay. It’s totally alright that moms are imperfect and in need of a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus everyday. You will feel better after reading the 5 mom true confessions below.
It’s totally alright that moms are imperfect and in need of a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus everyday.
Momfession #1: You always love your children, but you don’t always like them.
That’s right. I said it. Sometimes I don’t like my kids. They can be selfish, moody, antagonistic, and defiant. Who wants to be around that? But underneath the struggle, you always love them and keep persevering toward better days. One silver lining I’ve noticed is that my level of “like” for my kids tends to go in cycles: When one is driving me crazy, the other is pretty delightful. Until next month when they change roles. Either way, it keeps me mindful that even their most unsavory stages are temporary. Kind of like me and PMS. (I guess we all need grace…)
Momfession #2: Some days you’re just phoning it in.
I don’t know about you, but my level of enthusiasm for A+ parenting practices is a little unstable. For a few weeks, we’ll be all nutritious dinners and organization around here, then mom just hits the skids. Suddenly people are ironing dirty shorts for school and eating an inadvisable number of Pop Tarts. It’s absolutely all you can manage, and you’re just grateful to make it to bedtime without a more significant disaster. You know what? It’s okay. You’ll get your mama mojo back in a few days and start fresh with a better plan. Take a deep breath, put that frozen pizza in the oven, and just do the next thing.
Momfession #3: You worry way too much–and often about the wrong things.
It’s not that there’s never a time to worry as a mom. Heaven knows there are plenty of good reasons. But a lot of the worrying we invest in is toward things we can’t control or change — or things that just don’t matter in the end. That’s a waste of good worrying, mom. Focus on the things you can influence, and pour your energy into a plan to influence those things. The rest of it you have to leave in God’s hands. Pray more, worry less.
Momfession #4: You may have a favorite kid.
Here’s the deal: Your kids are distinct individuals, with different personalities, strengths, weaknesses and interests–and so are you. Some you’ll connect with easily. You’ll just “get” them and they’ll get you. Others will require more effort. You love them all the same because love is a choice, not an emotion. But if you realize that one of them is wired up a lot like someone you’d choose for a good friend, it doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just makes you self-aware. And that awareness can actually help you to do what it takes to develop a better connection to the kid who is harder to reach. Also of interest: Your favorite may change (see #1).
Momfession #5: If you received about 150 fewer “crafts” from your child per year, it would be okay.
I understand how we got here: Preschool teachers, Sunday School leaders, and Moms Morning Out directors need to keep your child busy when they are in class. Totally understandable. The answer? A craft! The problem comes after school and/or church when your child brings their soggy construction paper and glue creation to you, beaming with pride as if it’s a Renoir. Then you, of course, are required to gush with joy and compliments about the sheer beauty of the thing, and then what? Yes. Display it. Forever. Because there is no appropriate time, according to the American Psychological Association*, to allow your child to become aware that craft #46 is in the bottom of the garbage, covered in coffee grounds. So you’re forced to make a choice: Either A) allow your home to drown in a sea of crafts or B) dress as a ninja and unload 75% of your craft collection from your minivan into a dumpster, in a bad part of town, in the middle of the night. *Fact I made up.
Okay, what about you? How do you handle it when you’re just not that thrilled about parenting?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.