At 3:26 am I laid back down in bed wondering what to do next. All the parenting drama always happens around 3 am, doesn’t it? I was a brand new mom with a 6 month-old baby who refused to sleep. He just finished a night feeding and I settled him back into his crib.
I tip-toed carefully back to my bed, attempting to not even breathe. As I stealthily crept under the fluffy down comforter, I could hear him stirring on the monitor. I wondered: Should I got back and settle him again or do I give it a few more minutes?
There was an immense power struggle battling inside me.
On one hand, I wanted to pass out from exhaustion.
On the other hand, I felt so anxious about doing the “wrong” thing, I couldn’t sleep.
I desperately needed to figure my life out and find a solution. I was exhausted, wrecked with anxiety, and overwhelmed with my new role as a mother. As an ICU nurse, I spent countless hours managing complex machines and medications to save a person’s life. Meanwhile, back at home, I could barely figure out how to care for a happy, healthy, thriving baby.
Just one baby.
And I could barely hack it.
I grappled over everything as a new mom. Do I co-sleep, sleep-train or room-share? Do I bottle feed or breastfeed? Do I cloth diaper or disposable diaper? Do I set boundaries or let it go?
I mean, seriously, he was just a baby and I was already sure I was ruining him for life. I already was convinced I was making the wrong decisions. I spent countless nights awake worrying about my choices as a mother. I had no idea what I was doing.
The biggest mistake even good moms make.
On bad mom days you might be tempted to judge yourself even more harshly than that. Not only were you not at your best, but actually, you’re a terrible mom. A pathetic homemaker. The day was a disaster. You probably deserve an F minus in motherhood.
And on and on goes the litany in your head as you stew about the ways you didn’t match up or weren’t enough or were too whatever (angry, critical, impatient, disorganized, fill in the blank).
You snap a shot of your depressing laundry pile after the kids go to bed and share it on Instagram with a self-deprecating comment and the hashtag #momfail. It’s only meant as a joke, of course, but deep down it feels a little truer than you wish it did.
If this sounds even remotely familiar, you need to know two things:
- You are not failing. Most of us feel this way far more than we ever admit.
- All the ways you failed?? How awful you did today or last week? It’s just not true. You’re doing better than you think.
As moms the biggest mistake we can make is to decide that we’ve failed. To believe that we aren’t enough. To spiral down a path of negative self-talk.
Because here’s the thing…
All is well that ends well.
I couldn’t sleep and he was still stirring, so we might as well keep each other company in the middle of the night. Right?
Turns out, he was sick and needed me. I’m so glad I couldn’t sleep that night. I’m so glad that I checked on him. I’m so glad that worrying about your kids doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Print this free self-care for moms checklist.
This post comes with a free printable checklist to help with prioritize taking care of YOU. I always have the hardest time remembering these ideas. This printable simplifies it!
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- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Check things off as you go and don’t forget a thing!
Want more on motherhood?
- The Truth About Our #MomFail Culture
- 9 Phrases That Change Life With a Toddler
- What No One Tells You About Parenting Toddler Boys
- Why I Finally Quit Doing It All
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