How to Get Through Those “Bad Mom” Days
We’ve all had them. The days where we feel like all we do is yell at our kids, where we don’t spend any time playing with them, where we snap and take out our own frustrations on them and truthfully, days where we just don’t appreciate them as much as we normally do.
The days where we feel like a bad mom.
I’m definitely not saying that we are bad moms, but I think we can all agree that some days are better than others. I’m slowly learning this is just a normal part of parenting. There are days where everything seems to flow perfectly – hardly any whining or fighting happens, the kids nap at the same time, you get some work done, play with them AND somehow get a shower in and dinner on the table.
Then, there’s the days where nothing seems to go the way it’s supposed to.
This past week, both my oldest daughter and the baby have been sick. They’ve been extra needy and fussy, and both seem to always need my attention at the same time. To top it off, my little one is still teething like crazy.
One morning, I dropped off my oldest at school and then the baby threw up everywhere (and I mean everywhere) on the way home. Things just seemed to do downhill after that. It all came to a head that day and I just snapped.
I felt like the whole day I was just a mean mom. I was yelling at my toddler for the littlest things and I felt myself trying to stay busy just to avoid playing with them. (That sounds horrible, I know, but it’s the truth and you know I try to keep it real with you guys.)
I was counting down the minutes until my husband got home so he could take over and I could just take a damn shower. I felt horrible – I was mostly mad at myself for not controlling my emotions better.
The longer I do this mom thing, the more I learn how to manage these tough days. It’s not easy and you have to make a conscious effort to try and push past whatever negative emotion it is that has its hold on you.
If you suffer from depression and anxiety like I do, then the tough days can be extra tough sometimes. It’s okay though. I want to tell you that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to not be a perfect mom and it’s okay to have a bad day.
All we can do is try our best and try different things to help get us through the tough times.
Here are some things that I am practicing on those “bad mom” days:
1.) GO FOR A WALK
Getting outside helps me so much. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have multiple little ones. However, if I can get them to a park or even just go for a walk, it makes a huge difference. I can almost immediately feel my mood change once we get outside and get out into some fresh air.
2.) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS / LEAN INTO IT
I’ve learned so much about how having high expectations can completely ruin your day and your mood (which trickles down to how your kids feel). As a parent, there is no way to know how the day will go. The possibilities for things going unplanned are endless.
The days that seem to go best, are the days where I have zero expectations. I can try and plan as much as possible and hope for the best, but once you truly learn to embrace change and accept that things will not always go your way, the easier those bad days will be (I promise you on this one).
3.) MAKE QUIET TIME A PRIORITY
Quiet time in our house is non-negotiable. My daughter gets out of preschool at noon so when we get home, her and the baby both take afternoon naps. Sometimes, when my oldest is at school, my baby will take a nap in the morning as well.
These are two parts of my day that are crucial. The baby’s morning nap is when I get work done. If they both take an afternoon nap at the same time, this is when I can clean up a bit and take a minute to REST.
I used to feel guilty about sitting down and just taking a minute to myself, but I’ve learned that it completely recharges me and ultimately makes me a better mom. During one of their naps, I try to sit on the couch, close my eyes and meditate or just lay down with no TV and no noise. Just getting some genuine quiet time to myself during the day makes the rest of the day run better.
However, back to number two – try not to “expect” the quiet time every day. Do whatever you can to make it happen because I do believe it helps make us feel better but if it doesn’t happen one day, just let it go. There’s always tomorrow. Don’t let these things set you back or affect your mood.
If you feel yourself getting angry, step away for a minute and take some deep breaths. Just remind yourself that the moment will pass and quiet time will come eventually (even if it’s after your partner is home to help).
4.) CALL SOMEONE
When I feel frustrated with my kids or overwhelmed, it always helps to call my mom. It helps that she works from home, so she is usually available to talk but reach out to someone! Your best friend, a family member – preferably another mom that knows what you are going through.
Venting can really help you get out those frustrations in a healthy way.
As hard as it can be sometimes to apologize to a four year old, I still make sure I do it if I caught myself doing something that I ask her not to do (like yelling, for example). I think this is a huge learning opportunity for both the parent and the child. It shows our kids that we are human too, and we make mistakes and how to properly correct them.
I am far from perfect and I think that we are always going to have bad days but it’s how we learn from them that makes a difference.
What gets you through those tough parenting days?