Last week, I had a really, really bad mom day.
And by that, of course, I mean that I was a horrible mother.
I woke up in an instant bad mood to Jake screaming and the realization that his crib was filled with poop, something that no one had apparently noticed in the two days I was gone for work.
I felt my irritation growing from the second I stepped out of bed.
The kids were getting on my nerves.
The housework felt like it was burying me alive.
My phone was ringing, my inbox overflowing.
I can’t do this. Everything sucks. Why can’t he just stop crying??
I felt sorry for myself. Then I felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself. I wrote a post to try to snap myself out of my bad mood, but then I felt too whiny and deleted it.
I just couldn’t shake my bad mood.
So instead of trying harder or putting on some music or god forbid, getting out of the house, I did what I hope I am not alone in doing–
I’m ashamed to say that I took it out on my kids.
I snapped at them when they didn’t listen.
I sighed when they asked me the same question for the 1,000th time that day.
I sat at the kitchen table, waving off their requests to play with them, absorbed in my own thoughts and brewing in my bad mood like a bitter cup of tea.
In short, I felt like the most wretched mother to ever walk the earth.
But do you know what happened the next morning?
I woke up with a smile on my face. The sun was shining. We made double chocolate-chip cookies. I caught up on laundry. We got out of the house. (To go grocery shopping, but still.) I worked like a mad woman while Jake napped. Things ran smoothly.
And perhaps most importantly, later that afternoon, when Ada crossed her arms and flounced her hair at me, I hugged her and tilted her chin up so I could look into her eyes.
I told her that we were all allowed to be in a bad mood every now and then. It’s ok to feel sad sometimes. Because wasn’t Mama in a horrible mood yesterday?
And she broke out in a laugh.
“Yes!” she giggled. “You were!”
And on her merry way, she went off to play.
One bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom.
It happens to all of us.
At least, I know it happens to me. Of course, I wish I would have handled it a teensy bit better last week. But I didn’t. And I can’t change that. But I can forgive myself and not throw away five years of good mothering for one bad breakdown.
I am a good mother. You are a good mother.
And I will have bad days every now and then. And so will you.
But it does help to remember–
There’s always the promise of chocolate chip cookies the next day, if things are really that bad.
And in other news, here’s what I’ve been up to at Babble this week!