I’m a Failure as a Mother

With mother’s day approaching, it is important to talk about mothers. I saw a joke that said “Dads can do so little and get credit for it. Women can do something little and become villains for it.” It’s true though, isn’t it? “Oh… you formula fed your child? You must not love them enough to sacrifice your time and energy to nurse.” “What do you mean that you like to cover up when you nurse? Do you like eating with a hood over your head?” First of all, I do. In fact, I have a hood on over my head while eating a PopTart that my son didn’t finish but I couldn’t bring to throw away while children are starving while drinking a coffee. (deep breath) “Oh, you don’t baby wear?” “Oh, you’re babywearing wrong, you’re a freaking monster.” I could really go on and on about this, but I feel that my sarcasm got the point across just fine so far.

Most days, I think I have my stuff together. I nail my work deadlines. My kids are doing well in school and their various activities. But my house is a literal disaster zone most days but I only have so much energy to clean when I know 10 minutes later a teenager and a 5-year-old are going to tear through the area and destroy everything that I have worked so hard for. It’s like building a nice card house; it took you forever and it only takes 2 seconds to have a room full of cards. Luckily my kids are nice to me, they skip the card house and just throw the cards, the box, and anything else that they can on the floor. It’s more efficient that way.

I cook good meals, most days. Some days I give up and just make mac & cheese because I gave up on life that day. But I try really hard. Most of the time, it’s nothing organic though. That’s way to expensive and confusing to me, plus I’m certain organic is just used as a marketing ploy to steal my money. I’m too smart for that, mostly.

Most days, I feel like a failure. That’s easy when your kids learn to say “You’re the worst mom ever.” I know, how dare I expect you to do things like wear pants. I go downstairs and see a basket of laundry that I swore I was going to bring upstairs yesterday to fold and put away. I’m pretty sure that basket is still downstairs. I don’t even remember anymore. My youngest thinks his clothes just magically appear in his closet. Which doesn’t matter because his clothes are apparently not good enough anyways.

Through all of the tears (mostly mine), it’s hard not to feel like a failure. You could do 100000 things right during the day and in the one moment you fail, you think that you really are the worst mom in the world. Here’s a little secret though: You’re probably not. I always tell my friends (and myself) when we’re having those “slump days” as moms, remember these things:

  • Did you try to feed your kid?
  • Did you try to wash your kid?
  • Did you try to read to them/spend some quality time with them?
  • Did you all make it through the day relatively unscathed?

Then you did it. All you can do is try. I served my kids an amazing meal. I can’t force them to eat it. That’s not my failure. They were picky that day. They can fend for themselves if they don’t want it. Is my kid wearing the only two socks that were remotely clean, maybe not really and they don’t match? Probably. Does that mean I’m a failure? Not to me, he was given breakfast, hugs, kisses, and is off to school on time with only a few tears from both of us. My sanity was mostly intact. Does that mean I’m a failure to you? Probably, but I did mention that I have a teenager and 5-year-old right? I don’t care if I’m a failure to you. I don’t have time to.

Happy Mother’s Day, because even if everything has gone wrong today they still love you the next.

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Who Needs Flowers?

My husband is a good man, as I often state. In the years he’s known me, he learned one thing: never send me flowers. It’s not that I don’t appreciate flowers for their beauty, only their beauty actually planted. I don’t see the point in flowers, they are just dying plants that only last a week at best and you pay a lot for. Maybe I’m just too cheap to truly appreciate a bouquet of stargazing lilies, but it causes problems on days like Mother’s Day where it’s customary to give your wife flowers to show your adoration. He always makes do with surprisingly thoughtful gifts that make me laugh that other men get off easy just buying some roses and having their ladies swoon at their feet. Not my husband, he doesn’t like to take the easy way in anything.

Usually he can’t keep his gift a secret from me. 2 years ago at Christmas time, he comes over to me with a box. “I can’t keep it a secret, I’m too excited. You might as well just open in now.” It was barely 2 weeks until Christmas, and his joy in giving me a present he thought I’d love turned him into a kid waiting to open his presents at Christmas time. That is the type of person he is. He doesn’t really care what he gets, but the joy in our eyes when we love our presents turns him into a giddy schoolgirl.

This Mother’s Day was different. He kept his mouth shut though I kept guessing what it was that he got me. He smiled maniacally, playing a game with me of “you’ll never figure it out”. I knew I figured it out though, but I knew I’d be shocked and thrilled when the day came. Sure enough, with a knock at the door and the shrill bark of our overly anxious dogs and in comes my husband and son with my surprise: An Edible Arrangement. Now, I knew this was coming but my fat pregnant self couldn’t help but be giddy and touched all the same. My number one food craving has been fruit, and here was a giant bouquet of my favorite food in gigantic size. The card was signed with a “love” from my husband, my son, and my unborn son. It was adorable, and I don’t normally call things adorable. No other word seems to fit.

I devoured that thing in a day. I regret that now, not just because all that delicious fruit was gone but because my stomach still hurts from my lack of willpower. Apparently, your appetite reaches “bottomless pit” mode at 6 months pregnant. The pain is worth it, so so worth it. Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the things we do as mothers every day and to celebrate all our mothers for everything they do for us. So all Moms, including all the Moms in my life, you are awesome and don’t forget it. It’s all worth the pain.