Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good Enough Mom

Today was a crappy day. The kind of day where one thing after another keeps going wrong. Any one of those things wouldn't be enough to ruin your day but add them all together and you get a day when you'd rather just go back to bed and start over.

After struggling through the day, we got to the critical point that comes every afternoon: after school but not yet dinner time. During this time ever single day, the little people in my house fall apart.

"She hit me!"

"He is looking at my stuff!"

"I need pribacy (privacy) and she won't leave me alone!"

"He stole my toy!"

You get the picture. We were at that point this afternoon when I decided to join the ranks of the Tired and Falling Apart. I separated the kids and forbid them to even look at each other. I stomped my foot. I pointed my finger. I yelled.

Oh yes, I did.

When I finally left the room to make dinner, they were playing nicely together. It was then that the guilt set in. I lost my cool over my kids acting like...kids. It has always been a pet peeve of mine to see adults chastise kids because they aren't acting like adults. I have sworn never to do it. Yet, here I was standing in my kitchen on the verge of tears because I allowed a bad day to get the best of me.

I'm not saying that I'm usually perfect or that I never lose my cool. Let's be real. It's just that I knew as I stood there that my meltdown earlier was because of me and not because of anything they did or didn't do.

By the time Big Daddy got home, I explained the whole thing to him near tears.

"This doesn't make you a bad Mom," he offered.

I knew this. I really did.

As Moms, we tend to beat ourselves up over the tiniest of decisions, words and actions. We expect nothing short of perfection from ourselves and when we don't deliver (because it's impossible!) it takes forever to get over it and move on.

The difference between being a Good Mom and a Good Enough Mom is realizing that you messed up, apologizing for it and moving on. I spent the afternoon feeling like Good Enough Mom was miles above me. I assure you that tonight I will fall asleep thankful to be a Good Mom.


  1. I have lost my cool with my nieces and nephews and felt like a terrible Auntie before, so I feel you, Heather!! I think we ALL do or say things as adults that we SWORE we'd never do or say! I happen to think you're a wonderful mom, though!! xoxo

  2. I always cringe when I think of the ONE time I went over the edge with Audrey and Jane. They were both in high school, and we had just returned from a family ski trip. The boys and my husband had run off to a basketball game, and I was left to unload the luggage, skis, poles, boots... and I had asked Audrey and Jane to help. Well, they had boyfriends to call, and I was left with a car full of stuff. It was a Sunday evening, and I needed to get unpacked and ready for school the next day. By the time I was half-way through, I was freezing, my bones were aching, and my patience had been tested. And my continued requests for help had been ignored. At one point, I picked up a cooler and hurled it onto our front porch. Of course, at that moment, Audrey and Jane appeared. The cooler burst open and ice flew everywhere. Audrey and Jane began to laugh... not what I needed. I went on a rant about being ungrateful and selfish and all those good things. I remember feeling out of control and not being able to stop. It was scary. And Audrey and Jane quickly stopped laughing. They sometimes remind me of this incident... and I always say, "Yes. You remember the ONE time I lost control, not the MILLIONS of moments of total patience."

    Ah. Motherhood. We must give our kids SOME THINGS to remind us of even years later. Right?

  3. I have been there. There are days when it is hard to just let the kids be kids. Those are the days that make you an even better parent than before.

  4. We're in the trenches together, Heather. We may be miles, and miles, and MILES apart but I am right there with ya. I dread the time after school and before Daniel gets home. It's usually only an hour and a half but still... it's usually ugly.

    I hold myself to such a high standard - one I can never reach as a mother. Why do we do that to ourselves?? It's crazy.

    Here's to you, good mama! Your children adore you!


  5. I'm right there with you too Heather. And as if the day wasn't already bad enough - the guilt of how I act usually pushes me over the edge =(

    I know you are one terrific mom though.

  6. Oh, Heather. I have totally lost my cool. You are SO not alone. I remember my Mom telling me once, "If you lose it once, they will remember." So 3 nights ago the boys were wrestling... and then it turned to real wrestling. They wouldn't stop. I just yelled at the top of my lungs... STOP IT!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!! They froze (somewhat in fear)... finally! I felt so bad later... but I knew I needed their respect. You know?
    You are an amazing mother!!
    xo, Audrey