When I’m Not the Mom I Want To Be

Sometimes I’m not a good mom.

I yell.

I lose my patience too quickly.

I get too wrapped up in what I want to be doing, and forget to consider you. How it must feel to have so little control over your own world. So little say in your life.

Sometimes I get so used to all the many things you can do, that I begin to expect and demand too much. Especially when it comes to your ability to control your own emotions. To say how you really feel.

When you are sitting there – in time out once again – with tears streaming down your cheeks and I see the look on your face that tells me you really don’t understand…it kills me. I’m the one misbehaving. I’m the one who forgot – once again – that you are still only two. Forgot to put you first.

I tell you I’m sorry.

I try to explain.

I tell you how much I love you, as I choke back my own tears. I pray that this won’t be the day I repeat this same mistake over and over again.

What a confusing, mixed message for such a young person.

How do you internalize it? Process it?

I dread the day when you become old enough that all will not be forgiven after a hug and kiss.

I don’t mean to take your love for granted. I am so afraid that one day it will no longer be unconditional. That you will recognize when I am being a bad mom and call me out for it. Make me earn your love and trust back.

I don’t want to have to earn them back because it means I will have done something to lose them.

I’m sorry. For all the times I yell. For all the times I’m not patient.

I hope that, when you are all grown up, you will look back and remember a mom who was loving and playful and kind. Not a mom who was always angry, tired and frustrated.

I hope you’ll always know how much I love you. How hard I’m trying. How, as much as you are new to life, I’m new to being a mom.

I love you. I really, really do.

24 thoughts on “When I’m Not the Mom I Want To Be

  1. A hug and a kiss will always work, as long as they know it’s sincere. They’re tougher boogers than we give them credit for, but of course an ICU nurse knows that already. Our 2 year old is our “handful” child and it pains me to see his mom pained at scolding him so often or so loud or whatever. She feels terrible sometimes I can tell, but what can you do? There’s no perfect way to communicate with a two year old who’s misbehaving. It’s nice to know that we’re all sort of in the same boat.

  2. Aw, I think most parents feel that way from time to time. Sometimes our best won’t feel like its enough, but if we don’t let that get us down, then we can find the strength to try again. Apologizing and admitting mistakes to our children also teaches them that we all make mistakes and that it is important to apologize, do what we can to right the wrong, then forgive ourselves and move on. Thanks for sharing this difficulty with us.

  3. I dread those days, too. Where my son will look at me like the fallible human being that I am and I will have to accept that.

    I love this post! Good for you for being brave enough to say it out loud!

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog! You are a great writer and I am sure you are a fantastic mom! Give yourself more credit!

  5. A sign of a good parent is that you think you can do better, be a better parent. Don’t worry. After all the time-outs my kids have had over the years, my oldest kids who are in their 20s still tell me they love me. It will be the same for you because one day your child will realize that the limits you imposed were out of love.

  6. You have made me feel normal! I’m having one of those days dealing with chicken pox on a 2 and a half year old and I’m tired and quite shouty! I was beating myself up about being angry and then I read your words, felt for you and in turn felt for me! We are only human not superwomen (even though we like to think it)! Thanks for the wake up call! Strength to you!

  7. As many of your other readers have said, we’ve ALL been there. During the year that Keira was 2.5ish to 3.5ish, I felt like I was there a lot. But I think she learned from me admitting my mistakes, giving her a hug and trying for us to have a better day.

  8. I completely understand and feel the same way all the time. Lo’s ot is convinced he has spd but can’t diagnose it and the challenges that come along with sensory issues have me feeling so guilty all the time when I lose patience. You’re an amazing mom, I know all three of your cuties will appreciate that as they grow.

    1. Oh man, I know EXACTLY what you mean! It can be so hard wondering “is this sensory? Or just a tantrum? Or just his age?” Ugh. I still ask those questions almost daily and Zoey will be 5 soon. Glad you have him seeing a good OT. Is he 3 yet? As soon as he is 3, you can contact your school district for an eval. They will do everything: motor, speech, cognitive, social, psych, self care, etc. and if he is delayed in any area he will qualify for free preschool. It has made a HUGE difference with Zoey.

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