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Stop. Please. For the
love of all that is Holy, please put down the bats that you are constantly
beating yourselves up with. Your kids
don’t need you to bludgeon yourself—neither do your partners, your friends, your mothers or your bosses. Other mothers don’t need that either.
It’s simply wasted energy that we could put to much better
You’re not “the worst mom in the world” just because you’re
frustrated that your 3-year-old has an earache. Again. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child
when you’re happy he’s finally asleep for the night. The days can be wretchedly long; some of them
demand more of us than we can possibly accomplish—physically, spiritually and emotionally.
No one is going to call Child Protective Services just
because your toddler’s tantrum in the Target parking lot broke the sound
barrier. No one expects you to lash
yourself for hours because your kid melted down in the grocery store. No one thinks your children should be taken
away from you because you missed a school event because, in juggling your home
life and your work life, something had to give. It’s OK if sometimes it’s your role as “the perfect mother” who shows
up for everything.
Nobody wins when you turn yourself into a punching bag.
It’s not true that you suck as a mom because your kid is
having trouble making friends at school or will only eat food that’s white or
likes to spend her free time pummeling her little brother. None of those are good occasions to pick up
that bat and whale on yourself. It may feel like the perfect time, ThankYouVeryMuch, but it’s not. All it’s going to do is sap you of the energy
you need to find solutions to situations that are scary, complicated, overwhelming.
I get it. You yelled
at your kids and saw the flash of fear in their eyes. Of you. It feels like a mini-death to be the person
who makes your kids recoil in fright. But beating yourself up as a way to make it better? It won’t work. I’ve tried it. After I beat myself up, I simply feel more
strung out and have even less emotional reserves, which in turn leads me to
yell some more.
That, my friends, is called a vicious cycle.
So, let’s put the bats down. When we fall short of our ideals, let’s reach past the weapons of
self-flagellation to something more nourishing. Like a time-out for Mommy. Reassurance from a sympathetic mother who’s been there. A bath. Some serious slack. A full-fat
snack. A heaping plate of