There are some days motherhood feels impossible — even though it’s normal for life to be hard. In line with my efforts to maintain good mental health, I’m processing my thoughts and feelings about being a good Mom.
I Try to Be a Good Mom
I try to be a good Mom. I practice patience. I seek guidance from family, friends, and experts — and read the books about parenting. I keep my children safe, fed, and clothed. I show them unconditional love and teach them about the magic hidden in our world. I try really hard to be a good Mom.
But there are a lot of times I don’t feel like a good Mom. No matter what I do or have done on that particular day, I feel like I’ve failed at motherhood.
The self-doubt creeps in on the bad days. The sounds of their feelings are hard to ignore: anger, irritation, frustration, disappointment, etc. Each one feels like a direct hit on my credit as a Mom. The negativity of their mood radiates out of their tiny bodies and seeps directly into my heart. Then I start to think it’s my fault they are behaving the way that they are.
I have two daughters with big emotions — my oldest is finally learning to control her feelings, while the youngest is still figuring everything out. With that being said, little disagreements can quickly turn into big arguments. The bickering seems to go on forever, until someone ends up sobbing or in an explosive tantrum. A morning tiff rarely dissolves as the day passes and the aftermath is often taken out on me.
Is it my fault my children aren’t perfect?
Sometimes I wonder if it is my fault my girls have big angry moments or short tempers with one another. My Mom will tell you I was a very emotional little girl before I went to elementary school. I had difficulty processing emotions and relied on solid temper tantrums. But one day I just stopped and since then I’ve tried to control my emotions internally. To be honest, that was not a great solution, but it worked until I met my therapist and learned healthier habits. As a Mom I have had a few ‘mom temper tantrums’ in front of my girls — could I have inadvertently taught them that is how to react when you’re upset?
The Definition of Good Mom
Spoiler Alert: It isn’t my fault. I don’t really think I am the reason my daughters have been acting the way they do. Children aren’t meant to be perfect — nor are their Mothers. It is NORMAL to have emotions and even more normal for a young child to not know how to handle the big ones.
What is the definition of a good Mom? I actually looked it up on Google and the definitions vary, but all have one thing in common. A Good Mom is present. She’s supportive, empathetic, authoritative, kind and respectful. She does Mom-things because she wants to and not to seek a reward or approval.
At the end of the day, I don’t need anyone to tell me I am a good Mom. I know I am a good Mom because I try. Just for the mere fact that I think so much about everything. My therapist says awareness is important; reflection and change are also just as crucial in motherhood. My constant desire to talk through all of my children’s emotional moments can be tedious and annoying (for all of us). But at the end of the day, if I can teach my daughters how to process the big stuff, to not squish it all down until it erupts at the wrong time — then I’m doing something right. And someday, they will be able to do it all on their own.