I haven't done much (any) scientific research on the topic, but based on anecdotal evidence (my friends) I believe there are a lot of things we mothers do that cause us unnecessary guilt and shame. We do these things to survive a particularly challenging day or to preserve our last shred of sanity. We don't tell anyone because we assume they are our own secret skeletons, never to be spoken about aloud for fear that everyone will realize we are actually imposters.
So in the interest of my own mental health, below are a few of my less than stellar mom moments. These are just the ones that keep me up at night. I have a lot more skeletons that don't particularly bother me, so I have left those out for the sake of brevity.
- When my toddler wouldn't stop running over my feet with his indoor scooter I grabbed it and yelled that if he did it one more time I would throw it in the trash (I meant it and he knew it).
- I recently let my toddler eat three cupcakes for breakfast because I just didn't want to parent him that morning.
- I don't consistently feed the baby real food because it's a lot of work, it's excessively messy and he hates all of it.
- Sometimes I drive around longer than I have to just to enjoy having both children physically restrained and out of my line of sight.
- There are days (usually when someone is sick... usually) when all the screens that exist in our house are on and in the toddler's possession for hours on end.
- I check my phone more than I like to admit.
- There are days when no one in my care consumes a fruit or vegetable or whole grain.
- I stopped watering down the juice.
- Sometimes I tell my toddler we have to leave because he misbehaved but really we were leaving regardless.
- I raise my voice and say things like "because I said so" and "you better shape up!"
- I drink waaaaaaaaaaaay too much caffeine for someone who breastfeeds.
- I don't have the baby on a nap schedule yet because I don't like having to be at home for certain times of the day.
I could seriously go on and on and on and on. The moments I'm proud of don't get a second thought but I'll never forget that shit with the scooter. On my deathbed I'll be thinking about his little face contemplating his new Christmas scooter getting hauled away by the garbage truck on Monday morning. Maybe this is why kids don't generally remember things this early in life... It gives us about four years to get our shit together before we do real damage. Or at least that's what I tell myself right now. I'll have to think of a new self-soothing mantra once the real damage is being inflicted. I'm open to suggestions.