Have you ever had those days where you realize that you kinda stunk at being a mom that day?
I had one of those this week and I couldn’t stop feeling guilty about it. It was a day that started all wrong. My 16-month-old can’t seem to sleep past 5 a.m. these days and on this particular day he woke up at 4 a.m. We had just finished dealing with stomach bugs and colds, when I sat up and realized my sinuses were clogged and my ear hurt. I knew that this was going to be a day where my temper was short and my feelings were sensitive. I’m not a good patient.
And I was right about what was going to happen.
I snapped at my kids and husband, and complained about everything under the sun. I was just plain grumpy and not feeling well. And that night, I cried.
I cried because I felt as if I had let motherhood down. I wasn’t supportive of my daughter wanting to do my hair because I didn’t want to be touched, and I wasn’t patient with my son when he wanted to help me push the vacuum. I just wasn’t a good mom that day.
I woke up the next day and realized that I had a second chance.
The nice thing about having children is that they don’t seem to hold one lousy day against you. I woke up, walked into my daughter’s room and said, “I’m so sorry Mommy was crabby yesterday and not feeling well. I know I wasn’t much fun.”
She looked at me confused and said, “Mommy, you are always fun.”
Really? I am?
Funny how they see things. I thought she would remember that day vividly and tell her friends about her mean mommy when she went to preschool. However, the only thing she remembered about that day was how funny I made my sneezes sound. It actually wasn’t intentional, they just come out that way.
So that started me thinking. Maybe we, as parents, should try to beat ourselves up less, and take the toddler approach to life. People have bad days. People just feel crabby sometimes and aren’t nice. It would be great if we could all think like toddlers and forget all about it the next day. Seems things could run a little smoothly in life if that was possible.
So today I decided to be happy. Simple as that.
Even though I have a sinus infection and double ear infection, I have decided to be who my daughter thinks I am – fun.
And so far it’s working pretty well. I might actually have myself convinced as well.
Danielle Herzog is married and a mother to two children. Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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