I had it bad. So bad, I decided it needs a name: “I’m a Bad Mom”-itis.
Ordinarily, I can be a mostly upbeat mom. I have a mental list of how I want the day to go, and the kids and I just go at it, give or take half the list. I think we generally get along as a family, even when we have our share of upsets.
But the last few days we have seemed to be in constant conflict. Cognitively, I know that they are just adjusting to a new living situation and the start of the new school year. Still, it didn’t take long for me to start feeling bad about everything I’ve done as a mom for the past five years. This is “I’m a Bad Mom”-itis.
In every conflict, I thought, “This is what I’ve created. My kids are behaving this way because I am a bad mom.” I could always link some aspect of the child’s behavior either to my own bad example or my own ineffective parenting. The implicit accusations were weighty and depressing. I was ready to give up on the outcome. My five- and three-year-olds were already beyond my repair.
Well, I’m not feeling so bad right now (perhaps because they are sleeping?). But I still wonder, What is a mom to do when her kids evince (unwittingly) her parenting flaws? Obviously, we should improve our parenting strategies however we can. But in the 18+ years it takes to raise a child, there will be countless times we might question how that child is going to turn out.
What do you do when you doubt your ability to be an effective mother?