There seems to be an unspoken knowledge in our culture, good moms don’t have bad days. They never have to work hard to turn a bad day around because they simply never occur.
In fact, good moms must have it all together, work at a prestigious company, cook from-scratch meals using ingredients that most people can’t pronounce and most of all are never found without a smile on their faces. What would a mom ever have to frown about?
Typing it out and even reading all written out makes it seem absurd, even laughable and yet that’s what our culture seems to tell us, isn’t it? Good moms don’t get depressed. Good moms don’t struggle with parenting. Good moms have it all together and never take breaks. The children of good moms never misbehave or throw a raging fit in the middle of isle seven of the local supermarket.
I’m not sure when it happened, when we started expecting moms to be more than human. When we started thinking they had to lay down every other identity that they’ve ever possessed and exclusively hold the title of “mom”.
When you become a mom, it seems this is what the culture expects from you. Unless you want to be branded one of those people who (literally) hates her kids, or whines all the time, you must play the pristine part given you and never waver from the script of endless joy and peace.
Except, the thing is, depression is a very real occurrence. Not just depression, but bad days. Those happen, and they are completely and one hundred percent normal. In fact, I daresay both occur quite more frequently that we’d like to admit. Those hard “throw-in-the-towel” type of days happens to normal women like you and me. Not “crazy people”. Just regular, every day moms. Good moms even.
I’ve yet to meet a fantastic mom who hasn’t lost her cool with her kids at least once.
I’ve never seen a wonderful mama who was happy every minute of every day.
The truth is, life is hard. Life as mama is even harder.
That doesn’t make it any less beautiful or mean that any of us would change a thing or step down from motherhood if given the chance. Bad days have nothing to do with love or quality of motherhood.
They are just days. Simple seasons of life with lessons to be learned for both mother and child.
I want my kids to see me have a bad day. I know that sounds strange, but really I do. As they get older I want them to know that I’ve struggled with depression for many years. I ache for them to see the beauty and the reality of emotions even when they are all mixed up and topsy turvy.
These feelings that we have are not something to be shunned and certainly no reason to feel shame. Through our imperfections we can see beauty if only we take the time to look.
Today, remember that you are a great mom. Find a way to have fun with your kids, even if it’s through a cloud of tantrums and backtalk. Laugh with them, find something they love and do it with them. Embrace them for who they are and enjoy the snippets of sunshine in your day together.
Every moment won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean our days can’t be good, even when they are hard.
*addendum – depression is a very real sickness that affects many mothers. If you feel that you are experiencing true depression, don’t be afraid to seek medical help from a professional who can help you through it. Good moms ask for help too.
Have you been having some hard days as a mom? Check out these tips for stress relief straight from the mouths of awesome mamas!