“I’m Failing as a Mom.”
Does this thought run through your head more often than you toddler wants to run through the house naked?
I hear you, Mama. It is a constant deliberation on repeat in my head, too. I get it. You’re struggling HARD and you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Nothing seems to be going right and you feel like you’re drowning in 2 feet of water at all times.
Let me guess, this is probably how your day started:
You woke up late this morning because you couldn’t fall asleep last night. Your mind was racing 10,000 miles an hour thinking about all of the things that you have to do tomorrow, all the things you didn’t get done today, and now you’re adding all of the unfinished tasks up in your head and wondering how in the ever-loving Kingdom of Unicorn Farts you’re going to fit all of that into your day. Once you finally fall asleep…
The baby woke up for a middle-of-the-night feeding and/or your toddler who always sleeps through the night woke up with a night terror because his night light was casting monstrous shadows again. I mean, you can’t really be mad at them because they needed you; and those baby snuggles paired with that intense cuteness are the only things that don’t make you want to bash your head against a brick wall repeatedly until you pass out (that’s sleep, right?).
Nevertheless, you are dog-ass tired and the alarm you hope you never have to hit just went off. Yep, that one. The “oh shit, get up NOW because you’re already late!!!” alarm. The backup ringtone that makes you do the panic dance from hell is now playing and you’ve got more moves than Michael Jackson in a thriller video getting out of bed.
You’re running around like a Bat out of Batman Hell and can’t even take a shower because you know that blow drying your hair and straightening it will only create a larger time deficit. So you slap on some war paint, toss a can and a half of dry shampoo in your hair and use baby wipes to give yourself a quick bath. You’re welcome co-workers – I hope you don’t mind the Medicated Clean/Jr. Whopper scent me and my personal brand of chemicals just cooked up.
Now that you’ve finally got yourself in the yellow, you remember that it’s your day to get the kids ready- SOMEONE HOLD MY BEER WHILE I TRY NOT TO PUNCH THIS DAY IN THE FACE (God, I wish I had a beer right now). You now have to bust some serious mom-ass to get the kids ready. Of course, due to the dynamic Mom-Laws-of Physics you ran out of diapers in your diaper caddy and JACKPOT the wipes need a refill, too. So you savagely rip open a new package and leave it laying on the floor because now you have to get the toddler ready. You then pull up your already high-waisted pants (because that’s your ENTIRE wardrobe now), take a deep breath and prepare for battle as you walk into the toddler jungle like Steve Irwin tackling a ferocious Crocodile. As you wrestle with the beast trying not to get scratched and bit, you realize that in your haste of being so busy last night; you forgot to get the clothes out of the dryer which coincidentally contained your toddler‘s only pair of clean pants. So you frantically run downstairs to the dryer and get them out and trip over a lego or two while doing your morning cardio (I’d still rather step on Lego’s than do actual cardio). You finally get the kids together, head downstairs and toss a half-thawed-in-the-microwave Eggo Waffle at your toddler so he can eat breakfast in the car.
Finally, you’re at work and you’re only 5 minutes late! Work is an oddly welcoming break from family life but starts morphing into a different kind of stress. You go balls deep into your computer and … Sweet mother of pearl, how is it already 2pm?! A co-worker says she’s running to Taco Bell and you take her up on her delivery offer because you just remembered you haven’t eaten anything all day. You know you won’t have time to leave the office with all of the work shenanigans going on, so you end up eating your cheap and quick meal because you know you need some kind of nourishment. Hey, tacos are a food group, right? As that beautifully engineered octagon shaped burrito gets more action than you’ve had in weeks, it starts to sit heavy in your stomach and you get serious nutritional remorse while you do an imaginary walk of shame by the made up produce section at the grocery store in your head with a piece of cheese stuck to your lip. Look away!
Finally, GO HOME TIME! As you drive home to pick up the kids from daycare/school your husband texts you a funny meme, but you can’t focus on that right now because you totally spaced on dinner tonight and forgot to take meat out of the freezer. So you text your husband back immediately to see if he can pick up a roasted chicken. You get to daycare and it just so happens to be one of those days where your kids don’t want to leave. You pull them out by their flailing limbs kicking and screaming while side eyeing the other parents with the gaze of horror on your face and give them the oh-my-god-i-swear-this-never-happens face explanation.
Pure exhaustion is now your main power source as you strap the ever-so-sudden wooden plank toddler into their car seat. Oh hey Pinocchio, when did you get here? You start turning out of the parking lot and they magically start giggling and babbling adorable nonsense in the car. THANK YOU for putting on the most believable I-have-the-worst-mother-in-the-world act in front of ALL the daycare parents. What kind of bi-polar witch sorcery are you playing at?!
Since your husband never texted back and apparently threw his phone into a shark infested abyss right after he texted that meme to you, you decide to heat up the oven and toss a frozen pizza in for dinner. Now it’s time to feed the baby as you dodge your toddler’s attempt at trying to eat 47 snacks before dinner. Your husband finally gets home and a sigh of relief comes barreling out of your chest because you finally have some help! He comes in with a big smile on his face and asks how your day went. Well Andy, I would rather be naked on a yacht somewhere eating a peanut butter filled brownie wrapped in a cookie, but that’s neither here nor there.
Time to divide and conquer.
Now it’s bath time and for the love of everything alcoholic, ALMOST BEDTIME. You give the kids a bath, get them ready for bed and they instantaneously melt your heart with their smiles, warmth and complete innocence as you read them “I Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. You finally feel your heart start to soften again and realize that as much as you wanted to sell them on the black market this morning, they’re totally worth keeping.
THE KIDS ARE IN BED.
You start getting the cold and wrinkled clothes out of the dryer and fold them in your quiet state of mom-numbness. You take out that last wipe that got dried out from the package that got fiercely ripped open in a haste of fury this morning. You refill the diapers and wipes, clean up the mess from the bath, do the dishes from dinner, pick up the minefield of Lego’s, try to make a healthy lunch for tomorrow, feed the dog (sorry, almost forgot about you, Reba!), let the dog out and tell your husband you love him because that’s the only intimacy you’ve both shared with each other all day. (That burrito incident was just between you and me.) It’s now midnight and you finally crawl into bed knowing you have to do it all over again tomorrow. You think about that book you read to your kids and start crying while feeling like a complete failure of a Mother because you barely made it out alive today.
So yes Mama, I can see how you feel like a failure. I can see how you feel so exhausted because a day like today is too much for anyone to handle. But you are not a failure. You fed your kids, clothed them, bathed them, went to work to support them and even cried over them thinking you didn’t do enough for them today. The truth is, you did everything right. I know you see those moms on social media that look like they have it all together. You know the ones that brought the homemade, sugar free, wheat free, dairy free, gmo free, bpa free, rbst free, chocolate free, chocolate chip cookies shaped like each kids favorite dinosaur with a frosting neck tie. Meanwhile, you’re over here like, yeah I had to stop by the gas station to get gas and these were on sale because of the damaged packaging. But the truth is, even those Mom’s struggle at something that you absolutely ROCK at. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I know it can be so overwhelming when it feels like your weaknesses are taking over.
My Mom always told me that one day I will look back on all of this and ask myself “How in the hell did I do all of that?!” Even she can’t answer me when I ask her how she did it all, and without iPads! She told me that you just keep going and you keep pushing because you just have to in order to survive.
But what if I did a complete 180 on this seemingly daunting and what feels like it will never end scenario? What if I told you that you are actually doing everything right? What if I told you that all of this stress, pain and exhaustion is actually creating fulfillment and purpose in your life?
STFU, Christi. I’m going to stab you.
No seriously, do you want to know the reason why you feel so fulfilled yet so incredibly run down?
Put on your positivity Pants (still high waisted) and take quick stroll down the Tony Robbins high five lane with me while we explain…
The Tony Robbins 6 Core Human Needs:
Life is about creating meaning. Ultimately, the more you help someone else, the more happy you become. Do I even need to say it? Selflessness is a key trait of Motherhood.
If you’re not growing, you’re not experiencing real fulfillment. As Moms, I feel like growth is one of our strong suits. Our patience, our love and our commitment to our families have grown leaps and bounds from where they used to be. Remember in college when we debated buying our girlfriend at the bar the next round of shots because she still owed you that $4.35 from that Starbucks run 3 weeks ago. #growth
#4 Love and Connection:
As Moms, we should be given the Golden Wine Trough award on a daily basis for this one. We seem to carry an empathy and sentimental connection for our kids that is unlike any other. We have the ability to calm any situation when our kids are upset or sad and feel like we could flip over a car to save them in the face of danger.
We all need to feel special, important and needed. OH BOY do kids make you feel needed. I feel like we’ve got this one in the bag, Mamas. Think I’m kidding? When’s the last time you peed alone without a knock at the door or fingers wiggling through the threshold? Also, according to every mom on the internet “I’m doing it wrong” and in my book, that makes me pretty damn special.
We’ve got uncertainty on fleek! Our whole life is uncertain and there isn’t a day that goes by that you wonder what kind of moods your kids are going to bring to the table when they wake up. Let’s get real, we love surprises… on our Birthday, but not when it’s the unexpected and uncontrollable kind. Those are called problems. However, Tony explains this unwanted phenomenon as growth because much like a muscle, it’s only during times of strain and pressure that we grow. #guru
This one might be our kryptonite. Nothing is certain in the Mom world so we often feel like failures just because we fear the unknown. “Is our kid going to behave for 5 minutes when we run into the store to grab milk or will he have another 2 year old breakdown in front of the cashier because I wouldn’t let him get the green spatula?” All the way to – “What kind of person is my son going to be when he grows up? Am I teaching him the right things for him to become a kind and genuine person?” Unfortunately, Mama, this is the one we struggle with the most. Uncertainty is a real bitch.
So when people ask you how Motherhood is going and you re-actively say, “I feel like I’m drowning 99% of the time but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!” Huh? What just came out of my mouth? I think I blacked out.
What I’m trying to lay out for you here is that as Moms, we pretty much have 5 out of the 6 Core Human Needs under wraps. So yes, according to life, you’re killin’ it, Mama. You’re getting an A++++++ on Motherhood. Just look at what you do every day. You do enough, you are enough, you have enough. In fact, you have it all!
You are so badass and you don’t even know it. What superhero do you know that quits when it gets hard? Not you, that’s for damn sure. You may cry in the shower and drink one more glass of wine than what your Mother In Law deems “appropriate” but the struggle is what makes this journey of Motherhood so F’n rewarding!
This shit is not for the lighthearted. You literally created a human being from scratch, cooked that precious babe for 9 (let’s be real, 10 months), then painfully and LOVINGLY tore your body apart to get them out. That’s some serious Martha Stewart/David Blaine bad-assery going on there.
The reason you feel like you’re failing is because you are! But you get back up every single time you get knocked down because you know that’s what you have to do. The best part is, you do it all for those little beating hearts that know you as the safest place God ever created. So keep failing and keep doing the little things because it’s the little things that add up to the big things in life.
Written with Love, Hope and Sexy Burritos
by Christi Brown