Ever felt like a complete failure as a mother? I’ve experienced the word “failure” being part of every mom’s vocabulary. Yesterday was just one of many days where I felt like a failure. The girls watched too much TV. We didn’t get out of the house. I didn’t do any cleaning or laundry. No one took naps. We ate all of our meals at the coffee table today because the dining room table was covered in stuff. I lost my patience with them frequently, and I don’t think I put any clothes on them; we compromised on underwear only.
And as I wallowed in my self-pity and piles of toys, I got to thinking. I can’t be alone. I can’t be the only mom who feels incompetent. I’m a go-getting, type A, tenacious type of person who attacks motherhood with undaunted determination and familial resources, and I often feel out of my league.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Ruminating on all of the things I should have been doing definitely did not make me feel better about myself. Couple this with all of the things I already struggle to like about myself, and we have a feeling-like-a-failing-mom-moment. These are hard to pull ourselves out of, especially when we live and work in our shortcomings. I literally can’t get away from the dishes in the sink or the laundry piling up. I might get out for a yoga class, but they’ll be waiting for me when I get back.
There’s no magic fairy to take care of all of these little things that compile into an overwhelming, unstoppable force. Yev does the best he can, but even he can’t work full-time and pick up after all three kids and two dogs.
So ladies, how do we change how we feel about ourselves? I’ve learned to change my expectations because I refuse to be continually disappointed in myself. I will not live a life of shame and self-loathing, and that is what we will find if we follow that path of perfection. We will only deepen our insecurities and reopen our scars.
I made a decision today to accept my situation and tell Yev. I can’t take care of the house like I usually do right now. L & R need a lot of supervision because of potty training, and baby V has begun making her own demands to be included in every activity. It was really difficult for me to admit that I needed help because I really pride myself on my home, but then I remembered: this is marriage. We lean on each other in times of adversity. I don’t need to do this alone. I don’t need to do any of this alone.
Where are you on this journey? Have you felt the lure and pull of failure, dragging you down to a bottomless pit of shame? It’s a painful place to be, especially since we can’t take care of our children when we feel horrible about ourselves. If you’re in this place, reach out and ask for help, but also know it is impossible for us to be flawless mothers every single day. I accepted a long time ago that I would mess my kids up in one way or another, and although I cannot offer perfection, I can promise to pay for therapy ❤.