10 Truths You Need to Hear When You Feel Like a Failure as a Mom

By Beth, Contributing Writer

A few days ago I had one of *those* days. The baby wasn’t sleeping well and had been up half the night, I didn’t get to shower, the house was still a complete disaster because we’d just moved into it a week prior, and I was feeling extra sorry for myself because it was a Saturday and Chris was headed out to work for an extra long day of flying.

I figured it was inevitable. The grouchiness, that is. I made a feeble effort to be kind but it was pretty well just a big ol’ snowball effect of slightly sharp tones, impatiently barked commands, cold cups of coffee, and way too many expectations.

By the end of the day I was nearly in tears. I was mad at my kids and mad at myself. The worst thing of all was the disconnect I felt from them as their little hearts and mine clashed and throbbed all day long.

I posted a status on my personal Facebook account about achieving an “F-minus” in motherhood. Sweet encouragement and words of truth began popping in on my status and in my inbox from mamas who’ve been there and totally get it.

As wisdom and truth began to permeate my heart I could feel my lungs constricting slowly, my shoulders relaxing a tiny bit.

These are some of the truths that were given to me at that time, and a few others I have come across elsewhere. Perhaps you might need to hear them from time to time, too?

  1. Our failures, weaknesses, and sins are not who we are. You are an amazing mom who sometimes has rough spots. Tomorrow will likely be better.
  2. It is easier to believe the lies when you are tired and stressed. Don’t let your sleep-deprived or stressed-out brain trick you into believing the junk being thrown your way. Stop it in its tracks, and your mood will likely improve.
  3. It is the sum of days not just today that shape your kids. Everybody has an off day now and then but it is the whole sum of a childhood that makes a kid who they are – not one bad day.
  4. The fact that you even care means that you can make a plan for improvement. Instead of having a pity party, use your negative feelings to inspire a better plan for next time.
  5. Your failures are a chance to model godly repentance. Heaven knows your kids need to learn repentance too, right? Ahem.
  6. The Lord is full of grace and he is glorified by you admitting your failures and turning to him.“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God. You will not despise.”
  7. We often fail when trying to do something we are not good at or gifted in. Do as Paul instructs in Romans to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought”, and take stock of your gifts and personality in order to shape your mothering style. Don’t hop on board the “ought to” bandwagon – it’s plenty crowded already.
  8. Your hard is hard. Don’t berate yourself for “not handling things well” or for feeling overwhelmed. Realize that this season of mothering little ones is difficult whether you have an only child or a mini-van full, and don’t compare your hard to someone else’s.
  9. Those visions in your head of everyone else’s house being cleaner than yours? Not true. Maybe some are cleaner, but certainly not everyone’s. Ahem, *cough, cough* not mine!
  10. It’s ok to go to bed super early. Sometimes it’s best to just bid the day farewell and pull the covers up. Sometimes your best strategy is to get some extra rest and try again tomorrow.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Do you ever feel like a failure as a mom?

original top image source

About Beth Ricci

Beth blogs at Red & Honey, a lifestyle blog for the naturally-minded homemaker. She recently began a passionate love affair with coffee and her life will never be the same. She has had three babies in less than four years, is a professional laundry-avoider, and loves to stay up way too late making weird stuff from scratch that normal people tend to just buy in a store. Hence, the coffee.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. I thank God that I ran into this site looking for homemade carpet freshners! This article was a blessing of encouragement that I surely needed! I have been really stressed lately because it seems that I am having difficulty doing anything right… I really needed to read those words!

  2. Catherine says:

    Thanks you for this… I bookmarked this, knowing I would have days when I needed it again. Today is one of those days. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  3. One word: FABULOUS!!!
    I think we all need to read this from time to time, whether we are new, young mothers with little ones or whether we are seasoned mothers struggling with teenagers. Thank you for the words of encouragement!

  4. My daughter is 24 and I was a failure as a mother.

  5. Friday, I thought to myself, “This has just been a bad mom day.” But then another thought followed: “Hold up. Are you a bad mom? No. You love your son. What did you do for Noah today? You fed him healthy meals, hugged him and told him you loved him multiple times, and read him stories when he was upset. Sure, you spent too much time online and didn’t interact with him as much as usual–but you weren’t a BAD mom. You were a DISTRACTED mom, which is NOT the same thing. It’s okay to forgive yourself and do better next time.”

    As mothers, I think we are so quick to label ourselves as “bad” or “F-” when we aren’t perfect. But having an “off” day does not equal “bad.” Thank you for this essay!

  6. This past Sunday I had one of these ‘F-minus mornings’. I am always the first up in my house on Sunday, which annoys me but shouldn’t! My husband’s work schedule is 6 days a week so Sunday is his only day to sleep past 6am. So while I am up getting myself ready, brewing coffee, making a quick breakfast, laying our 3yo clothes out, the 2 men of my house are asleep. We had 13 minutes to get out of the house on time for church and my precious little boy objected to every piece of clothing in his dresser and closet, ugh! He only wanted to wear his jammies to church. After trying to coerce him gently, bribe, threaten to take away things, nothing worked. Now sufficiently late, I lost it. I definitely needed church once we got out of the house. But I am so thankful that’s where we were headed. I hugged my son extra tight and kissed his face, and told him I was sorry for yelling as I dropped him off to Sunday school. Throughout the worship service I sobbed. I asked God to forgive me for falling short as a mother, and prayed I be filled patience. I never want my son to feel belittled. Our children are so precious, innocent and pure in their young ages and I want my son to revel in this time of his life as it will not always be this way. I am so thankful that my son was very happy to see me when I picked him up from Sunday school. As if my terrible morning never happened. And I am so thankful that it was just that a terrible morning, not day!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 10 Truths you need to hear… from Keeper of the Home [...]

  2. [...] you feeling like a failure? We encourage you to click over to Keeper of the Home and read Beth’s beautiful words of encouragement. Make a comment Become an author! [...]

  3. [...] writer (an unpaid thing, in case you’re wondering). In fact, my first contributor post (10 Truths You Need to Hear When You Feel Like a Failure as a Mom) went up this week at KOTH, in case you missed it. I am humbled by the amazing response it’s [...]