Do you ever have those nights where you crawl into bed after a long, hard day and replay every single thing that happened that day? And then find it difficult to fall asleep because you keep thinking about all you did wrong or the things you could’ve done better?
This happens to me. A. Lot.
Lately I have been having a lot of those nights. I don’t know if it is pregnancy hormones or lack of sleep or stress or all of the above, but some days I’m just not myself.
Sometimes I’m a mommy monster.
I went to a pre-screening of the movie “Mom’s Night Out” (which, by the way, is AWESOME! Seriously, go see it in May!) last week. The main character, Ally, was explaining the mommy monster moments she has by comparing herself to the incredible Hulk:
Fine one moment,
Insane and enraged the next.
When I try to go to sleep after having a day like ^^that^^, I start feeling loads of mommy guilt. Here is a typical conversation in my head:
“I shouldn’t have lost my temper so easily when I stepped on yet another Lego.
I shouldn’t have snapped at my kids so quickly when they were bickering.
I shouldn’t have yelled for the millionth time when the kids didn’t listen the first time.
I shouldn’t have told my kids “one more minute” when I wasn’t doing anything majorly important.
I shouldn’t have slammed the door in frustration after repeatedly telling the kids to shut it.
I shouldn’t have sighed in exasperation after picking up strewn toys for hundredth time that day.
I shouldn’t have lost my patience so fast when one of my little ones needed help (again) in the bathroom.
I should’ve been a better mom.”
I feel like my kids are going to grow up only remembering those moments where mommy lost her cool, and nothing else. “Am I cut out to be a mom? Am I ruining my kids by setting such a poor example for them? Why did God ever think I could do this?”
Looking on Facebook and Pinterest, following other mommy bloggers, playing at the playground, seeing the seemingly flawless interactions between other moms and their kids. “Wow. I am such a failure. My kids deserve so much better!”
The mommy monster voice rings in my head, reminding me of all my shortcomings.
Sometimes that voice is so loud it is hard to remember all of the good-mom-things I did that day:
The time I cut the skin off my son’s apple because he doesn’t like the taste of it.
How I prepared three full meals for my family (even though one consisted of cereal and burnt bagels).
Going to the park (alone) with all five kids.
Taking pictures, capturing memories.
Sitting at the table coloring and painting pictures.
Cuddling on the couch watching a lazy-day movie.
Wiping runny noses for the thousandth time. (I think each baby should come with a lifetime supply of Kleenexes at birth!)
Sounding out words with my 6-year-old and 4-year-old.
All of the “I love you”s and hugs I gave out that day.
Sometimes the mommy-monster-moments of the day need to quiet down so we can remember that while, yes, there are going to be moments where we lose it and our skin turns a shade of green and we say things we regret (we are only human, after all), there are also ten times as many good-mommy-moments we did that day. Those are the moments we need to focus on and remember at the end of a long, hard day.
God didn’t call us to be perfect moms; He called us to trust Him in all of our imperfect moments. When we are weak, He is strong! So in those moments where you feel your blood boiling because your daughter found the scissors and decided to give herself a haircut, take a deep breath and remember that this time at home is short and our kids are learning from us and how we react in situations.
And if you lose it (because we all do), give your sweet kids the biggest hug in the world and apologize (teaching your kids humility), and then forgive yourself. Bring to your memory all of the good things that went right that day and move on. Repeat the process as often as needed.
Let it go and remember you are not alone. Life is a learning process. You’ll sleep much better, I promise you! 🙂