Thursday, August 27, 2009

good moms have bad days


I'm not talking about days where you have to wait in line for 4 hours with a teething baby at the DMV and you forgot the diaper bag at home, or days where you get stuck in traffic in August with a potty training toddler and your air conditioning is broken. Not those days. I'm talking about the days where nothing really atrocious happens, just run-of-the-mill life with small children, but you find yourself simply unable to cope.

Moms are typically more than happy to talk about the first kind of bad day, trading our litanies of "one thing after another," sympathizing with each other, and laughing so we don't cry. But we don't usually talk about the second kind. Why not?

Because it means admitting our inadequacy.
Because we are ashamed that we don't "have it all together" all the time.
Because we are afraid that other moms will judge us.
Because we don't want to hear suggestions of how we could have handled things differently.
Because we are sure that no one else has days like this.

I hate those days. But when the clouds pass and I have a moment to look back on a day like yesterday, when I had no patience and burst into tears or spoke harshly to my kids at the slightest provocation, I can see that it wasn't all bad. It served to tease out a few nasty lies that had been hiding amongst my beliefs about motherhood, which I am now glad to reject and actively resist. It served to remind me that I am inadequate, and that self-reliance will always land me in a mess. It is not my adequacy that makes me a good mom, but rather the specific gifts of God for the work to which He has called me. Good revelations from a bad day.

So let's talk about our bad days. We may not be able to prevent them altogether, but at the very least we can prevent them from being useless.

1 comment:

Sabrina said...

Well, I'll be the one to take the plunge and say...that is so me. There are days where the laundry is just more than I can manage emotionally, I can't think, I can't cope, and there's no good reason why. And it's really not very funny either.