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When Even Good Moms Fail

When people tell me I'm a good mom, I smile sheepishly. Internally, I'm basking in the maternal glory of such a compliment.

I don't need validation, but it's nice to receive. None of us know what we're doing, but on most days I feel like I'm parenting in a generally right direction. I try to parent with grace, intention and love. There are plenty of moments, though, in which I fail.

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Most people are reluctant to share anything but the highlights of their life on the Internet. I get it. I like seeing beautiful pictures on Instagram, reading snappy quips on Twitter or watching heartwarming videos on Facebook. But all this makes for a bright and shiny visage of motherhood in which we should all be making cute crafts, singing Disney covers in the minivan and looking effortlessly styled.

I fail on a regular basis. I don't post about it on social media, because I figure no one wants to see that stuff. But it happens and it's part of my experience as a mom, so it must matter, right?

I responded by yelling, "I will not have yelling in this house!" and then immediately buried my face in my hands because I was doing no better.

Here are some recent #MomFails of my own:

1. I overcook or over-salt something as easy as scrambled eggs. I get frustrated when my toddler spits them out, until I try some myself. I toss them and reach for some granola, which I suspect is too sweet, but which I know she will eat.

2. I forgot mommy-and-me class was canceled, which means I got us up bright and early for nothing. Worse, I had to pull my tearful toddler away from the locked, empty classroom as she wailed, "Schooooooool!"

3. I'll lose it and yell. The other day, my daughter was running in and out of my office, yelling. I responded by yelling, "I will not have yelling in this house!" and then immediately buried my face in my hands because I was doing no better.

4. It's Thursday, a.k.a.: the hardest day of the week, so I raise a white flag and order pizza. I'd love to feed her something full of vegetables, but on some nights, it's just not happening.

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5. Somehow, I managed to hurt my back the same week I needed a root canal. I'm lying in our living room feeling like a mess, while my daughter uses me as a stage for her dolls and blocks. I don't think letting your kids watch TV is bad, but even I feel uneasy about back-to-back movies.

There are benefits to being more open and honest about our struggles with day-to-day motherhood. We can crack that aspirational glean of the parenting web and create something more true.

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It might also inspire moms having trouble to reach out for help rather than feel isolated or ashamed. Somewhere out there, a mom just forgot to pack her kid's lunch or let her toddler stay up till 11 p.m.

That doesn't mean they aren't good moms.

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Image via Jay Miranda

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