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I Regularly Feel Like I'm Failing as a Parent

I Regularly Feel Like I'm Failing as a Parent

I've got the best of intentions, we all do, so why does motherhood feel so terrible sometimes?

Right now, I'm sitting here trying to wiggle in a little bit of work. It's my happy place. My kids are running around me, they're safe, they're laughing.

But I feel anxious.  

I'm not sure whats happening and how long it'll last. I cannot remember how long it's been going on, but some days feel like I'm suffocating.

Somedays I feel like I'm failing, a lot of days actually.

There are times I feel like getting in the car and driving away. The yelling, the fighting, the screaming, the nagging, the teasing, the back talking, it breaks me.  

This summer started with great intentions of spending quality time together. We'd make incredible memories, after all, we only get 18 summers together before they're adults.  

It seemed like the perfect thing todo. It almost sounded too easy, no schedules, no homework, only free summer days.

But it sucked.

I hated myself most nights because I'd lose my patience.  I put the kids to sleep screaming, I was exhausted, and for some reason, they weren't.

It was almost every night.  

My husband would lay next to me with a grin and I'd shoot him a glare.  Don't even think about touching me right now.

I couldn't think of anything else.  My heart would still be beating hard from the rush of it all and I felt terrible inside.

Why won't they just listen? Why won't they just go to sleep? Why are we arguing after such a nice day together?  Why is my last sentence of the day always a threat!?

I would feel gross after. I wanted to cry. Or crawl under my covers and hide from the reality of feeling like shit.  

Am I failing them?  

I got angry with myself for not having more patience.

I wondered if other parents felt this way too?

It's an isolating feeling and not one that's a great conversation starter with an acquaintance.

I felt ashamed of myself.  

This guilt happens a lot and I always find myself waking up the next day hoping for a clean slate.

Kids are so resilient, they aren't focused on what happened the night before, they're ready to adventure their way through the day.

If I feel exceptionally bad, I'll talk to the kids about my impatience with them.  It always ends with a 'that's okay mom' from them and a 'no it's not' from me.

It still lingers in the back of my head. I remember the empty feeling and the breaking point. I remember the feeling of having failed them.

I am still anxious.

I promise myself to do better, but deep down I know it'll happen again.  

Those days, I wonder if I am doing them justice or if they would be better off with somebody with more patience.  

How do others handle these situations when I'm flying off the handle?  

I think of how bittersweet parenting can be.  

recently laughed at a funny meme I saw that said my two favorite things 'being with my kids and being away from my kids'.  

Spot on.

I think the lonely feeling gets put on steroids after a quick scroll on Instagram.  Everybody looks perfect.  Are they not experiencing motherhood the same way?

Do they not have highs and lows?

Do they ever lose their patience?

I always have to take a step back and breathe.  

All that is not real.  

It's curated.  

There's no comparison.  It's not even worth an ounce of thought.  Of course, they do.  

So what about the kids?  

How are they doing through all of this?

They're lucky to have a mom that loves them so deeply.

They're fortunate to have a mom that cares enough to think about it and try to do better.

They're loved. And they know it.

So even the days you break down and question everything about yourself.

Take a deep breath, look in the mirror and force out a smile.

You and I, we're a work in progress.  

It doesn't always feel good the way that training for a marathon might not.

You're not perfect, I'm not perfect, but life has a beautiful way of working through imperfections.

You are a damn good mom.

Those humans are lucky to have you and you're lucky to have them.  

Cheering for you ma.  

PS: If you want a mom tribe who gets you and all of this beautiful mess of life, join us in our free private FB group here. We'll make you feel like a superhero ;)

Read next:

How to not raise asshole kids

I'll take the imperfect body to live my best life

We've gotta let the kids fail


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