I’m doing it again. I’m putting it all out there for the world to read. I’m openly admitting that I have some really sh*tty days as a parent. And that a lot of the time, I am just an okay parent. And I am learning to accept that it is okay to be an okay parent.
This post is about some of the hardest moments. The times when you just don’t know how much more you can take. The time when you end up locking yourself in the bathroom and crying. When you talk about how bad you need a break and dream of a few days all alone, with no kids yelling for you. When the guilt of not being a perfect parent really starts to weigh down and you don’t feel good enough. When you wonder if you are the parent that your children deserve.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We know that no one is perfect. We know that no one can do it all. We preach it to our children. But why is it so hard to practice what we preach?
Some days are great as a parent. Some weeks, months and even years are amazing. We smile and laugh and take pictures and realize how beautiful life is. But there are also the bad moments. The bad days, weeks, months or years that we want to forget about. The ones we hope others don’t see because we don’t want to be judged. Because we are ashamed that we didn’t do better.
I am so guilty of this. I talk about how to not let the day to day grind of parenthood and life get you down. But this past week was an especially epic #momfail for me.
My husband was in Florida with the baseball team for spring break and I was at home alone with our 2-year-old. The first few days went surprisingly well. I realize now it was the calm before the storm. But then Henry had a couple tantrums; my pregnancy hormones got the best of me; the dog had another infection in his ear; the house was a mess; my to-do list was piling up and I had to work my normal 8-5 job.
I lost it. I had a complete and total meltdown. I let my temper get the best of me and yelled at Henry. He was just being a normal, unruly toddler that was testing me. I felt so bad I ate half of the Easter candy I had hidden away for his Easter basket while crying. I snapped at the dog. Then I made a huge mistake and looked at the happy smiling families on Facebook that were enjoying their spring break on the beach in white and khaki coordinating outfits. And I cried more.
I was so mad at myself for not having the house clean, the laundry done, the baby’s nursery started, and the dishes done all while taking care of a toddler at six months pregnant and having one less adult in the house.
It’s time to ease up. Time to stop setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Time to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else, especially on social media. And time to stop feeling bad for being just an okay parent.
So this is for all of you okay parents.
The ones that let the laundry sit in the washer for three days, then have to rewash it before putting it in the dryer where it will sit for another week.
The ones that let their kids survive off of microwaved hot dogs and slices of cheese.
The ones that have thrown away more sippy cups than they can count, because they were found two months later full of what used to be milk.
The ones that let their kid eat dirt from the dirt pile at the ball game.
The ones that let their kids watch too many cartoons on the weekend so they can drink their coffee without interruption.
The ones that have bad days and yell at their kids for tracking mud into the house.
The same parents that love their kids more than life itself. The ones that are way too hard on themselves for not being perfect.
Perfect is boring. And I can guarantee you that even though you consider yourself an okay parent, your child sees you as the best parent in the world. So give yourself a little credit. Life is messy, and you’re doing the best you can. And that will always be enough.
For more, visit my blog at HashtagMomFail.com!