Being Worried You’re A Bad Mom Is A Good Sign You Aren’t One

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Mom Guilt

“It’s more and more common these days for women to open up about the struggles they are having as mothers. It is absolutely brilliant, and the type of progress we as women need to know we aren’t alone in our struggles.

However, there seems to be a sad reality to this. And that is as much as women are finally at a point they feel they can talk openly, it is so often followed by, ‘Am I a bad mom?’ or ‘I feel like such a bad mom.’

Mom carrying her baby in a messy living room with her other three kids
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

It’s these moments when you are stuck questioning your entire self-worth and abilities as a parent that can destroy you from the inside.

Being worried you’re a bad mom is a pretty good sign you aren’t one. Sounds a little redundant, I know.

But if you are worried you are not a good mother, then there’s a mighty big chance you are constantly trying for your children.

selfie of mom and her baby looking like the just woke up from a nap
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

You are looking for a way to make yourself better and their lives better. You are aware and can acknowledge when things are right or in need of change. If you were not a good mother, you wouldn’t care about that.

Not wanting to constantly play with your children does not make you a bad mom. Now, I’m by no means saying you shouldn’t play with your kids ever, but there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to ALL THE TIME.

Mom and her toddler daughter reading a kid's book together
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

Allow Yourself Breathing Space

It’s okay to not get down on the floor and play with them. It’s okay to watch them play while you drink your coffee or get other things done. Yes, playing with your kids is extremely important, but so is letting them play independently, and you being able to enjoy a moment in the day. There’s no shame in not wanting to join in all the activities, games, and things. Sometimes it’s okay just sit on the side and watch.

toddlers sitting at the table making beads jewelry and watching cartoons on an iPad
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

Just because you don’t make everything from scratch or don’t buy all organic doesn’t mean your kids aren’t eating well.

Cooking from scratch is great. I personally make most of our meals and treats this way. Not because it’s ‘better,’ but because I like to cook/bake and have the kids join me. A balanced meal is a balanced meal.

Whether you season the meat yourself or it comes already seasoned in a package, whether you make the dough yourself or buy it ready to cook. It doesn’t matter as long as most of the time you are trying to get them to eat all the necessary foods their little bodies and yours need.

Who cares if one night you make hot dogs, store-bought chicken nuggets, or order a pizza? Constancy makes more of a difference than once in a while.

toddle brother dressed as Batman holding his baby sibling dressed as an avocado
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

They get hurt, and sometimes nothing you do is going to stop it. Now, I will be the first to say I can be a bit of a ‘helicopter mom.’ Especially when it came to my first. The first two years of her life, I did everything in my power to make sure she didn’t get a scratch, bump, or bruise.

Guess what? This was honestly futile. She turned out to be the clumsiest child I’ve ever met. She will be 7 in July and has had stitches twice now. Why? Because kids are going to do what kids do.

mom holding her toddler girl at the doctor's
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

The first time she fell down our stairs, and the second she tripped out the door on her way to school. Could these things have been prevented? Maybe. I mean, we told her 1000 times, ‘We don’t be silly on the stairs.’ And maybe we could have told her to slow down on the way out the door. However, kids are kids.

They’re rough, they’re always on the go, and when they’re little they don’t always pay attention. All we can do is give them tools and try and teach them to be careful (obviously not put them in dangerous situations). But, we need to accept the fact sometimes they might get hurt.

Not wanting to be touched or hold someone 24/7 is okay. Ever heard of being ‘touched out?’ It’s a real thing and a lot of stay-at-home parents go through it.

Mom receiving a kiss on the cheek from her shirtless toddle son
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

Sometimes we get to a point in the day when we’ve held children non-stop, had someone climbing up to us, tugging on our clothing, or just in our lap. This happens even if you try to go to the bathroom.

Just like how a parent can get burnt out, you get touched out. You just don’t want to be touched or hold anyone anymore that day. It happens and it’s okay.

Remember, just because you’re having a moment you don’t want to be touched doesn’t mean you don’t love your children. It doesn’t mean you don’t love being a parent.

It simply means you’ve been overstimulated and just need a few moments to rest. THAT IS OKAY.

Mom sitting next to her toddler girl holding a cup of coffee
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

In the end, I can’t stop you from experiencing mom guilt or tell you to cook with your kids. What I can tell you is you are a good mom for trying your hardest.

And you shouldn’t ever let things someone says make you feel any sort of way. After all, no one can tell you how to feel. You got this, momma. Pick your head up. I believe in you and the amazing mother you are.”

Outdoor family portrait of a mom and her 4 kids sitting on a branch in front of a lake
Courtesy of Ashley Cirka

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley Cirka of Canada. You can follow her journey on Twitter. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Ashley here:

‘Postpartum depression isn’t real.’ ‘You’re spoiling them with too much attention.’ ‘Here, let me show you the right way to do it.’: Mom reacts to unsolicited parenting advice

‘My home isn’t quiet or as clean as I’d like. There’s always an appointment or task on the to-do list. My husband and I are clearly out numbered.’: Stay-at-home mom chronicles life with 4 kids

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