I’m a bad mom– and other lies

“I am a bad mom.” How many of us have thought that, said that or typed it out? As I was cruising through many mom blogs today, I decided to see how many women had this same thought. The result? Way too many! I am not talking about moms who are neglectful, abusive or actually lack parenting skills. These are moms just like you and me who have bad days. And let me tell you something, ladies: We all have bad days. Bad parenting days. I had one this weekend. (We’ll just go with that one rather than airing out all of my bad mom days.)

I decided to sleep in and let my husband deal with the kids. Then, I had the nerve to work online for most of the day. Again, letting my husband do most of the weekend work. (Though, I have to say, for a mom taking the day off, I sure was doing a lot for the kids!) However, it was the times that I said no to reading one more story and no to playing a board game and even no to just sitting and watching a movie. Honestly? I felt like a bad mom in those moments. And honestly? I was not. And neither are you when you are doing something for yourself or your business.

The moms I came across said they were bad moms for things that are so ordinary, so everyday that I guarantee at least one reader of each of these can relate. (Personally, I related to all of them. I am not sure what that says about me and my Bad Mom Status.)

Let’s take Bad Mom Number One. She claims to be a bad mom for not having milk in the house for almost a day.

Tomorrow I HAVE to go get milk. It has been almost an entire day and the kids act as if they will die from calcium deficiency if they do not have milk in the morning. I know I am a bad mom for running out of milk.

Not a bad mom. A mom who was exhausted and just did not make it to the store that day and forgot to factor in “two extra milk drinkers for a week.” My daughter can only drink Soy Milk and she has gone more than one day without it when I forget about it until 10:00pm and am too exhausted to go out and get it right then.

Then we have Bad Mom Number Two. She is a self proclaimed bad mom because she does not like playing with her son the games he wants to play.

I hate playing cars and dinosaurs and house and all that stuff. I have absolutely no imagination at all and it bores me to death to do so. I watch Edd and Carter play together and pretend to fight monsters or wrestle in the floor and I sit there and wonder why I can’t get into it. I just can’t. Believe me I have tried, I last about 5 minutes before I am bored to tears and start thinking of the million other things I could be doing.

Sorry, but if that makes someone a bad mom, put me right up there in that line. Barbie? She makes me want to cry. Dressing that doll is like a lesson I once had in college physics. That I failed.

We shouldn’t forget Bad Mom Number Three. Her self proclaimed bad mom-ness comes from neglecting to take her 4 1/2 year old daughter to the dentist.

Little Barbie is 4 1/2 and she lost her first tooth today. I’ve been flabbergasted over the whole thing. She isn’t really old enough to lose a tooth? To be honest, I think she tried to open/break something with her teeth and knocked them loose. The bottom two front teeth to be exact. I am a bad mom because I haven’t yet taken her to the dentist…

I am going to have to plead the 5th on that one seeing as I fear the dentist more than I fear a million spiders crawling into my bed when I sleep. Taking myself or my kids every 6 months for a cleaning is unheard of for me. (It is every 6 months right? See? I don’t even know.) Move aside, Bad Mom Number Three. I think I dethroned you on that one.

And then we have a comment left on one of these posts by Janel who simply and honestly stated:

I think I am a bad mom because I put on the TV if I need my own time.

Do you think my youngest can sing every Dora song and High School Musical song by heart because she was programmed that way? Of course not. It is because sometimes Mom needs time to herself. And if an hour or so of TV keeps me sane, bring it on and help me stay sane.

What is my point? Easy. Moms, listen up. You are NOT bad moms because you forgot the milk, didn’t get to the dentist, let your child watch occasional tv or you are not jumping for joy when you are asked to play cars or dinosaurs for nine millionth time. You are human. You are normal. You are a good mom.

Why a good mom? Because for these things–these small, little things that really don’t add up to much in the big picture– bother you so much, they are obviously not only out of the norm for you, but show everyone who reads your words that you are aware. You are on top of your game with parenting so when one little thing happens, you feel as if you have failed. You have not. You are not bad. You just are NOT. Period.

Let’s give ourselves some slack. Are you being your worst enemy? If another mother came up to you and said she was a terrible mom because she forgot to send a bottle of water to school with her daughter–even though she knows she is supposed to every day– and now she must in fact be a bad mom, would you agree with her? Would you look her in the eye and say, “Yes! YES! You are a bad mom, you water forgetting horrible woman!” (I hope you would not because honestly, I usually never forget that water!)

We make mistakes. All of us. Relax. Enjoy your children while they are young. Enjoy being a parent while you have these wonderful kids in your care. And remember, you are not a bad mom. You are a human one.

Jenn is off to be a bad mom and watch her DVR’ed shows rather than making sure she leaves a note to remember the water tomorrow.

18 Comments

  1. Great reminder for us moms, one that we need to hear. I’m guilty of the same thing, feeling like a bad mom over such small things. Thanks for letting us give ourselves a break today (wasn’t that some fast food jingle at one time??).

  2. Kudos to you for point all that stuff out. I think to be a good mom, the first prerequisite is to love your child and let them know that you do. Be sure to let them know.

    I think that everything else follows after that.
    My son is grown, and we still really enjoy his company. And he seems to enjoy ours as well. And I’m sure I did lots of “bad mom” things when he was growing up. Where’s the rule that says you have to be absolutely perfect when you become a mom?

    Cas

  3. When I am having one of those days where I feel like I need a refresher course on parenting, my mom will often remind me about some of the “bad mom” things she feels like she did to my brother and I. I think we ended up okay?! My boys are thriving, goofy and think I am lame, my husband loves me and nobody has offered to lock me up yet. What more could a mother of 2 teenage boys ask for?

  4. Great Post!!!!!!! And absolutely true.

  5. You tell ’em, Mom! I feel like a bad mom sometimes because my kids don’t drink enough milk. So I compensate by feeding them yogurt and good Wisconsin cheese. Heck, they’ll get the calcium somehow.

  6. You are totally not a bad mom because you turn on the tv to relax. I do the same thing in the evenings. This is my time to just veg and relax. If I don’t then I am very crabby. If mama ain’t happy then nobody is happy!

  7. I saw this post pop up on BlogRush and I just HAD to read it.

    It’s so true that we’re harder on ourselves that me should be. This job is HARD and it seems anything less than unwrinkled and unwavering perfection just won’t do.

    You can’t yell. You can’t feed them processed foods (that’s a new one courtesy of MY mom today. Gee, thanks, Mom…). You can’t take a vacations.

    Do you know any other job that’s like that?

    Neither do I.

  8. I am not alone πŸ™‚
    Great post!

  9. I love love love love this entry. And you, I think. You are fabulous and I’m going to go read more right now so if you see stalkerish behavior in your stats, it is only me. Not that you know me so that doesn’t help much, but it’s okay, promise. Love this entry!

  10. I read this post on blogher.com and loved it. “I am a bad mom” is something my friends and I say as a joke. We know we aren’t bad moms, so when we say it, we aren’t saying it seriously. I even write about “Bad Mommy Moments” as a kind of joke, I guess so that people will relax a little bit more. I have seen too many women on anti-depression drugs. Women need not to be so hard on themselves.

  11. I am a “bad mom” too..my 5 year old will proudly sing every word to (the sanitzied versions at least!) of ‘Rockstar’ by Nickelback and ‘U + Ur Hand’ by Pink because her “bad mommy” refuses to listen to Kids Bop and approved Disney music. Call me a bad mom if you will but a little music in the car helps me keep my sanity!! Keep up the great blog Jenn–I enjoy reading it!

  12. I’m a bad mother because I am programmed to be the pazi for all family dysfunction…. well we have to blame SOMEONE – but when it goes right? I get the credit too πŸ˜‰

  13. Well, from a Dad’s perspective I just coincidentally posted a prime example of why I’m not a good Dad called Damnit Jim. I’m a Father, not a mother….”At some point during the three-hour wrestling match that ensued we both must have given up from exhaustion, as around 6:15 am I woke up in a fetal position underneath the end table using one of my Sketchers as a pillow. Adam on the other hand ended up on one of the throw pillows and looked like a soft shell taco.”

  14. Just this morning I told someone “I graduated from the Britney Spears School of Parenting” because I forgot to play tooth fairy. Does this mean I’m forgiven???

  15. I truly love this post. I shared it with a few of my mom friends.

    My best friend and I (whose relationship is managed via IM over the 1000 miles between us) are constantly chatting about our days as SAHMs, venting about our husbands, and saying “I’m A Bad Mom” among other lies that you speak of. We remind each other and reassure each other constantly that we are NOT bad moms.

    I know that I am not a bad mom because I let the kids watch TV while I get things done, IM alot on the laptop (I gotta have my adult interaction some how), play video games, and am a TV addict (love my new DVR). These are things that I have to do, to make myself happy and sane. “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is definitely VERY TRUE, because I have to keep myself sane and happy in order to be the best mom that I can be for my kids and best wife to my husband. And Ruler of The Household. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for doing what you do, your writing is amazing.

  16. I just read my teenage daughters diary. Wished I had’t. this morning I wasn’t such a bad mom.

  17. I guess I am a bad mom too because I try to break up fighting and yelling all day long and I am the bad guy by puttin them in their rooms for a timeout and then one of them kicks the dorr until I open it and screams on top of his lungs. So does that make me a bad mom for punishing them for running in the house too.
    Michele
    203-672-0681
    up to 60% off sale going on and xustomer appreciation sale!

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