Don’t Feel Like a Failure as a Mum, Because You’re Not, Even On Your Worst Day

Here’s an honest question for you; do you ever feel like a failure as a mum? Or as many of us have come to call it – mum guilt! Saturday was one of “those days”. Shaniah hasn’t settled at bedtime for what feels like an eternity. On a day where we had called out AA (who were incredible!) because our works van had a hole in its 2 WEEK OLD radiator, and the food shop that we had attempted before the AA call out was a complete and utter shambles. In all honesty, I was feeling mighty sorry for myself.

I figured it was inevitable, the grouchiness, that is. I made a weak effort to be patient, to be understanding, but it was pretty much a descending spiral of slightly sharp tones, impatiently forced commands through gritted teeth, and the unquestionable lack of caffeine mixed with the ridiculously high expectations. by the end of the night, I was closer to tears than I’d care to admit. I was mad with Shaniah and I was mad at myself.

I posted to my Instagram stories how if parenting had an exam, Saturday I would have achieved a big fat F-minus! No sooner than I posted, I started to receive encouragement and words of truth from parents who have been there, who understood, who got it! As truth and wisdom pervade my heart, I could feel my lungs becoming less heavy and my shoulders less tense.

Shaniah and I watching the sunset

The truth is, on days like this, where nothing seems to be going right, tiredness is taking over not just in yourself but in your child too, it’s easy to get frustrated, it’s easy to become irritant, it’s easy to feel mum guilt.

As I sit here writing this (Saturday night at half ten) my daughter is fast asleep, a hot drink calmly consumed. I’ve come to reflect on just how much Shaniah, we’ve all been through in the past 4 months. In January, as we brought in the new year, nobody could have predicted that in just a few short months, the WORLD would be in lockdown, that a pandemic would swoop across our planet faster than a child grabbing something they were previously told they couldn’t have. Truth be told, the world seems rather scary to us adults right now, I cannot begin to imagine just how scary it is to a child, a child who overnight, had to stay home, had their education, as they know it, postponed. She was suddenly told not only can she not see her friends anymore, but that she cannot see her extended family either.

I sit here and I think about just how much has been put upon Shaniah’s tiny little shoulders, it is oh so understandable that she would be unsettled. In a world that seems rather scary right now, an extra cuddle from her parents and the repeat of her favourite film, no doubt comes as comfort in these uncertain times.

So she didn’t go to sleep at her regular time, she may even have come down a few more times than usual. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, it really is okay. The routine will return to normal, and with is so will normality. Truth is, nothing is really normal at the moment, We are all learning how to live in the midst of a pandemic. Routines can wait, cuddles cant.

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 a high spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson.

So, If I have learnt anything, it’s that you need to know your limits. Don’t overdo it and then feel like a failure as a mum, because you are not, even on your worst day.

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