To The Mom Who Feels Like A Failure
It was one of those days where every little thing frustrated me. Everything kept piling on and I kept reacting in ways I didn’t want to react. It was like a snowball that couldn’t be stopped.
Nothing major went wrong, it was just a lot of little things that turned into a big thing in my mind. I found myself feeling like a failure, and I really couldn’t understand why.
When I put the girls to bed that night, I told them I would try to be better for them tomorrow. My three year old said, “Ok, Mom” and rolled over and fell asleep. She had no idea that I was feeling like a failure. She hugged and kissed me without hesitation like she does every night.
Why did I feel like such a failure? Why did I feel the need to analyze my every move that day? Being a mom is such an important job. But there are days when I feel like I am far from the Mom I wanted to be. I want the best for those girls, and for our family. I don’t even compare myself to other moms (most days), I compare myself to the Mom I was yesterday. Am I doing a better or worse job than I did yesterday? When my answer is worse, I feel so selfish and guilty for how I handled the day.
Here’s the thing. We all want what’s best for our kids. But what happens when we don’t give them our best? What happens when they honestly just get the worst side of us? Here are a few things to remind yourself of when you feeling like you’re failing.
- Bad days do not define my motherhood. Praise the Lord. If my motherhood was defined by that bad day I would be a blubbering mess. What do I do at the end of a really good day? Am I focusing on those days more than the bad ones? I believe God gives us those good days filled with sweet moments to remind us that just because we had a bad day, doesn’t mean we’re a bad mom.
- Grace upon grace. I don’t have any tattoos, but if I did this would be plastered on my forehead. I couldn’t do any of this without the healing and saving grace of Jesus. In those moments when you feel like you cannot handle anything else, remember that you don’t have to. I don’t believe the saying “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.” I, on my own, could not handle the miscarriage we went through a few months ago. But I do believe that He is there to walk alongside us to help us get through the hardest of days.
- Lies from the enemy have to be stopped. So many lies throughout the day are spewed into my heart. Some examples: You were not cut out for this. You’re failing. You’re ruining your kids. The list goes on. If we don’t realize these lies are being spoken, we won’t be able to stop them. We have to learn to recognize the truth, and disregard the rest.
- Let them hear you apologize. What about those days when you have reacted poorly or said something hurtful? Sooner or later, our kids are going to realize that we are not perfect. Most likely sooner. We teach them to apologize when they have wronged another person, and we need to do the same. We are their biggest example. Sitting down and apologizing to them for the way we acted is an opportunity for them to see how forgiveness works first hand.
- Address frustrations ASAP. This is where I usually go wrong. I know I’m frustrated, but I just keep thinking about how frustrated I am instead of getting to the root of what caused it. Kids will be kids. And they will frustrate you (can I get an amen?). But most of the time when I am frustrated, it’s not because of one particular thing my kids did. It’s my own heart issue that needs to be dealt with. Sometimes I step back and look at the stressors in my life. I analyze things like how my marriage is doing and what our finances look like. If we can get to our own heart issue, we are less likely to snowball down into frustration land.
The days are long, but the years are short. I’ve heard that since I because a mom and strongly believe that it’s true. On those days that feel so long and you’re counting down to bedtime, know that they will come to an end. And you’ll look over at that sweet sleeping baby and wonder how you were ever so upset with them. #amiright?
The good news is that His mercies are new every morning. So when those tears start to come because you’re disappointed in yourself, let them come. Cry and know that God’s holding you tight and listening to every prayer you’re praying. That prayer for more patience – He hears it. The one that asks for guidance with discipline – He hears it. The prayer to speak more kindly – He hears it. He hears each and every one.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
I don’t have a magic coping strategy to feeling like a failure. I just know that when bad days come, my only peace is when I bring it all to the Lord. Let him guide you and strengthen you through those hard moments.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’d recommend reading 10 Ways To Simplify Your Life This Week. It’s full of quick tips on how to simplify your schedule, your home and your finances.
We are all in this together. If today was not a great day and you said things that were unkind or hurtful, remember that we serve a God who redeems. You are a good mom because you’re trying. You’re reading the books and articles about how to do this Mom thing well. You’re talking to other moms to see if they’re experiencing the same thing. We are all at our core trying to do the best possible job we can.
Other coping strategies that have helped me as well:
- Hot glazed donut(s)
- Fancy Starbucks drink
- Meaningless trip to Target (without children)
- Binge watch Grey’s Anatomy
- Bubble bath with candles
You are doing an incredible job, and those littles are so lucky to have you.
Love + Donuts,