The other day I felt like a bad mom. Most days I end up feeling like a bad mom. I try to start the day on the right foot. I try to keep my cool and keep in mind that my toddler is learning the world around him.
He doesn’t know hot. Danger is an unknown concept. Furthermore, he doesn’t know he shouldn’t tip over the garbage can because it will make a mess he can’t clean up. He doesn’t know that doing it just minutes before dinner is done is especially frustrating to his mother.
All day I struggled to keep it together, to not yell, and to remain calm while my toddler displayed tantrum after tantrum. You see we are trying to teach him what he can and cannot do or play with. Being in the kitchen while I am cooking is one of those things. Knives, hot surfaces, and glass items are not a good mix with a toddler.
Naturally, I tried to calmly instruct him out of the kitchen, so I could soon empty the pot of water. My son, in an attempt to stay, grabbed the garbage can and tipped it over. Which caused me to lose my calm.
Losing that cool, I banned my son from the kitchen. While the pot overflowed and the coffee grounds from the morning laid scattered all over the kitchen floor, I yelled at my son.
Of course, after the coffee grounds were cleaned and I finally sat down to eat, I began to feel like a horrible mother. How often does this happen? How often do we feel like bad moms? Is it possible maybe that there is just too much stress on moms?
Everyone and their brother will tell moms to stop letting societal expectations of them bother them. The problem here lies in the mental training we all receive when we are young.
Society places expectations. We hear and see those expectations while we are young. Finally, those expectations become ingrained in us for life.
Here are some examples of societal expectations of moms:
Being a stay at home mom is best because they are raising their kids. However, they could also just have no ambition. Possibly even mooching off their husband’s hard earned money, while they do nothing all day long.
Working moms have ambition and work ethic. However, they don’t love their kids and are perfectly ok with someone else raising them.
Breastfeeding is best unless they attempt to feed their kid in public, then they’re public enemy number 1. Meanwhile, the formula feeding mom knows her limitations, but also are selfish because breast is best!
Mom who tells her kid to play inside is overprotective and a helicopter mom. Mom who tells her kid to play outside is raising free range kids with no supervision.
Organic food moms are too strict, withholding fun treats, and not letting their kids enjoy their childhood. However, if a mom decides to feed their child something that isn’t organic they are encouraging obesity in their children.
If a parent spanks their child for doing something bad they are abusive and teaching their child it’s ok to hit. If a child misbehaves people all around them will mutter something to the effect of, “If it were my child I’d beat their butt. She’s spoiling that brat.”
If you take your kid to the grocery store and they happen to throw a tantrum, people will have plenty to say about your mothering skills. Read more about that in Diary of a Mom: I’m not ignoring my son.
Parents decide not to do Santa because you don’t want to teach your child it’s ok to lie? Their childhood is ruined. No tooth fairy for same reason as Santa? Horrible parent!
Maybe even worse is all the ways society looks at education. Parent home schools because they want their child to have a better education than what the public school system gives? No no no, the child will not get the socialization they desperately need or they must be religious wack jobs.
Public school because it’s what the parents can afford? They should work harder to get them into that awesome private school for a better education. Private school for better education? The child certainly will not have their own identity if they are forced to wear a uniform!
On top of all of that and more, we are supposedly raising entitled children. Our children think everything should be handed to them, because we are the generation of entitlement.
Give me a fucking break! How can we possibly live up to the expectations of society? Let alone our own impossible expectations of what it is to be a good mom.
How can we possibly ever feel like a good mom, when no matter what we do society is telling us we are bad moms. It’s infuriating.
If every day we are hit with new ways that we are bad moms, is it any wonder that we lose it when our child misbehaves? Is it any wonder that we are struggling? Do this, don’t do that. Every single time someone talks to us about our kids it’s done in that “don’t you love your child” voice.
To make matters worse, people have been fed this bullshit lie that men are somehow never involved in their child’s life. Society believes that men are naturally horrible parents. So what is society’s reaction when a father does exactly what a mother does? “He’s such a great dad!”
Why are you looking at my husband with googly eyes calling him a great dad when we both literally do the same exact things when raising our son?
I didn’t get any type of, “Awesome job working 60 hours a week to provide for your family, you’re such an awesome mom!”
Nope, I got, “Don’t you miss your kid? Don’t you think your kid would do better if you were at home.”
No I really don’t think my child would have done better because we would have struggled a lot more! I made more money. With only one vehicle, it made sense for Rob to be a stay at home Dad while I worked. Yet I was absolutely criticized for this choice.
Then of course we got the “Well why don’t you both work? Then your child could socialize.”
Have you seen the cost of daycare. $50 a day at our closest decent daycare. So one of us would have literally been working most of the day to pay for daycare. Which would have been a criticized choice because we “really shouldn’t let someone else raise our kid.”
Which really means I, the mother, should stay home and raise our kid while we struggle. Insert massive eyeroll here.
It’s easy to say, “don’t let what people say bother you.” Honestly though, it’s a lot easier if people would keep their fucking opinions to themselves. My family is not like any other family, your family is not like any other family, there is no comparison.
Older generations, guess what we’ve progressed which means we just don’t do the same things you did. I don’t care that you or we turned out ok, it doesn’t mean it’s ok to do those things. We know better now.
Moms, I know we feel like bad moms a lot these days. So these last statements are solely for you. You are doing a fantastic job! Keep up the good work! No one could do everything you do for your family.
Agree or disagree, leave a comment below. Share this to all your mom friends. I look forward to the next installment of Diary of a Mom.