Today I Wasn’t Enough, But That’s OK

September 30, 2016

Its a bad day not a bad life

Today was one of those days. One of those, ‘I’m not cut out for this’ days. Rocket man just wasn’t feeling it and as his mum and safe place, he felt very OK with letting me know. At 15 months old communication takes the form of behaviour, so we’ve had screaming, food throwing, collapsing on the floor in hysterics and complete displeasure in pretty much everything.

When I look back and put it into words it all sounds a bit pathetic. Things like throwing his lunch on the floor, refusing to have his nappy changed and walking from room to room whining. But at the time it feels like an enormous mountain to climb, with flimsy walking boots and no supplies. Each individual act is manageable, but put them all together and I’m left counting the minutes until wine o’clock and questioning why I ever thought I was mother material.

I find these times so draining, but I know other mums wouldn’t get half as stressed as I do. They’d pick up the lovingly prepared spag bol and say, ‘Oh well, try again tomorrow.’ Or turn changing a nappy into a game and not worry about wee-stained carpets. But that’s just not me. It’s not the way I’m wired. On days like today I have to bite my tongue, zone out and go to the happy place in my head.

IT FEELS SO PERSONAL

If I’m honest I never feel like I’m on my ‘A’ game when it comes to all things motherhoodery. I try. God do I try, but I always fear I’m lacking. I’m not even sure what ideal I’m trying to reach. I guess the perfectionist in me wants every day to be spent laughing, singing and dancing in the kitchen. And thank goodness we do have those days because they keep me nourished to cope with the doom days.

I think it’s teething that’s caused the outbursts and my logical head says it’s normal for kids to have off days. I should understand that sometimes my little man just doesn’t fancy anything to eat and doesn’t want to play any bloomin’ games. But somehow it feels so personal.

My burgeoning toddler is finding his way in the world and that means testing mummy and daddy. On a good day I see the funny side of his antics, but today I’m tired and worn down. That cheeky grin as he pushes his food on the floor feels like an act of defiance against me and I can’t help but shout in frustration. I know I should be ‘validating his feelings’ and helping him understand his impulses, but I’m too shattered to do anything more than clear up the mess, check how long it is until Hubster is home and put a bottle of vino in the fridge.

Its just a bad day not a bad life

 

IT’S JUST A BAD DAY

Having children is the biggest test of many people’s lives and it certainly is for me. I feel incredibly lucky to be a mama and we’ve made wonderful memories in the last 15 months. I’m so excited to see Tutti grow and imagine what he’ll be like as a young man. In fact, I think that’s half the pressure. The realisation that how he turns out and whether people deem him ‘well brought up,’ is all on our shoulders. And as the stay-at-home parent I feel that pressure even more fiercely.

I want so much for him to be happy and healthy. For us to be a close family and to enjoy magical moments amongst all the chaos. But on days like today I know I wasn’t enough for my little boy. He needed me to be strong and show my love for him despite his tantrums. Instead I did everything I could to remove myself from the situation. Not physically, but mentally.

But you know what? I’m sensible enough to realise that today was just a bad day. We have lots of fun times and rub along together very merrily. The fact I even care about all this stuff shows I am a good mum. Tutti is a happy and healthy toddler, who climbs onto my lap for quiet-time at the end of every day and won’t go to sleep without a mummy cuddle. Throughout the day he comes to me just for ‘a love’ and his beaming smile melts my heart. He’s a chirpy and curious little chappy, with the odd outburst to keep us on our toes!

I’ve mentioned before (Becoming a stay-at-home mum) that motherhood isn’t my natural habitat, so it’s easy to feel like I’m never enough. But I am. I am enough because I know I’m trying my very best.

I wasn’t enough today, but that’s OK because tomorrow is another day…

How do you cope at challenging times?

Dear Bear and Beany
Diary of an imperfect mum
A Cornish Mum
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18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rob

    Great post! These days there’s so much ‘advice’ and opinion on how to parent, it’s impossible live up to all of that all of the time. I don’t think one should feel guilty for not always fitting that mold. As for the spag bol – I feel your pain. It can feel like a kick in the teeth when you put care into cooking something wholesome for the kids only for them to turn their noses up. But it’s not personal, it’s just kids. As you allude to, the very fact you’re thinking about how your mood or actions might be impacting your son in itself means you are a great Mum. Sounds like you’re doing a great job. All the best.

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Aww thanks Rob. Sometimes you just need to hear ‘You’re doing a great job.’ Hubster says it to me, but I often say, ‘Yeah whatever!’ The joys of motherhood, but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. x

  2. Reply

    Themotherhub

    Ah but you shouldn’t take it personally ! Toddlers are hard work – let him take some of the blame 😬 The resilience of mothers is remarkable.

  3. Reply

    Amie

    I know exactly how you feel, it’s like reading my own writing! So days I really feel like the worst person in the world for getting angry and snapping when the house descends into chaos, I’m just glad I’m not the only one! – great post 🙂 #picknmix

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Aww Amie I’m willing to bet we’re definitely not the only ones! It makes the good days all the more special. x

  4. Reply

    Alana - Burnished Chaos

    You’re certainly not alone in these feelings. I don’t cope well at all at times like this and can find myself shouting at the kids over the most rediculous things that on good days I could just brush off or even laugh at, and I am always left feeling like the worst mother ever. Thankfully children are quick to forgive and a cuddle and a chat about our feelings always helps. Hope you have a better day tomorrow x
    #Picknmix

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Aww thank you Alana. The rest of the week has been much better. The rubbish days make me appreciate the good days even more. x

  5. Reply

    A Cornish Mum

    My boys are 10 and 12 now, so we are well beyond this point. I still remember it well, though and a toddler in a bad mood can be absolute hell. Hoping your week got a whole lot better! Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  6. Reply

    Lianne harris

    I hate the low days when you question why you chose to do this, but I always try to remember the good moments (we all know you cannot have a perfect 24 hours with a child haha)
    If I struggle to find a moment then wine helps. Or jack Daniels. Or both. All depends on how bad the day has been!!!
    Just remember you are not alone and even though I’ve only been in this situation for four months, if you want to talk or vent I’m happy to lend an ear xx

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Aww Lianne thanks so much for your support. Thank goodness for alcohol! x

  7. Reply

    Rebecca Taylor

    Oh my goodness! I feel like I am reading my own thoughts! What a fantastic post – so beautifully written. I completely relate to every single word. Thank you so much for sharing. #Sharingthebloglove

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      That means so much Rebecca, thank you. So nice to know I’m not the only one that has days like that. x

  8. Reply

    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I could have written this post myself. I’ve had a fair few days like this, where it’s not a big thing that tips me over the edge, but just the series of little frustrations. And I feel rubbish that I can’t just rise above it and let them go, but in the moment, they’re a big deal. But on balance, I know that I’m a pretty great mum, and we have way more great days than rubbish ones. And it’s not the rubbish ones they’ll remember when they’re older, it’s the lovely memories that they’ll hang on to. Thank you so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Absolutely Katy, the good times definitely outweigh the bad. In fact having bad days make the good days even more sweet. x

  9. Reply

    One Messy Mama

    This is the exact reason why I started blogging. With all the advice out there it seemed like everyday I had a moment where I felt like I wasn’t enough. And you are so right. It’s just a bad day. When we stop and look at all the little things we might have missed during this bad day, we are pretty blessed indeed.! Thanks for his reminder! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      Absolutely. It’s so easy to get bogged down in ‘What has happened to my life?’, but they are just bad days and you’re right, we are so blessed to be mamas. x

  10. Reply

    Laura - dear bear and beany

    I have lots of moments where I don’t think I am good enough and I am not sure what I am trying to achieve, some fake impression of what the perfect mum looks like. But I know deep down there is no perfect mum, we are all just trying our best to do one of the hardest jobs there is. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    1. Reply

      Kirsty

      I think so many mums feel the same way. You’re so right, we’re doing such a hard job and we should be praising ourselves, not putting ourselves down. x

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