I get it.
You’ve changed your last diaper for the day. You’ve sang the wheels on the bus song for the last time, and you’ve said “NO”, “don’t touch that” “Get down from there” more times than you can count.
You’ve read every book on the bookshelf, and you’re still finding yogurt on the high chair, table and floors that you swore you cleaned yesterday . You haven’t pee’d alone all week and your last shower was… 3 days ago?
She spilt her milk during lunch and somehow managed to write all over the walls with crayons during her nap time.
Your coffee got cold while you were running around chasing her, and you forgot a snack when you went to the park so she screamed the entire way home. Her nap was cut an hour short by a massive poo, and she then refused to go back to sleep.
So you’ve had a bad day. I get it. I’ve been there. And will probably be there tomorrow.
You don’t get to turn off. You can’t look away for a second. You brain doesn’t get a break and your conversations are kept to the most basic level (if there are any). You feel as if you can’t form a complete thought all day because there is always a toy making a noise, a baby needing your attention or the next meal to plan for.
It’s what we sign up for as parents, to have a lot of frustrating days filled with no sleep and poopy diapers. It’s a lot of giving. Especially in the beginning, it’s selfless giving without a lot of receiving.
It’s ok to have thoughts of wanting to go back to work. And longing for adult conversation, lunch appointments and a commute where it’s just you and your radio.
You feel guilty because you’re having a bad day. You don’t think you’re showing her enough love, or don’t feel like playing with her or aren’t giving her the attention she is asking for. Your innocent girl is asking for love and because of your bad day that you can’t shake, you think you are taking it out on her.
Give yourself a break. It’s just one day.
It’s OK to have doubt. You are making hundreds of decisions every day on what you think is best for your child, and doubt is inevitable. Especially with the competition and judgement that we get from other moms, doubt creeps in on those bad days.
Don’t let the doubt cripple you. You are her mom. You spend the most time with her. You know her cries and her smiles. You know what is best for her. It’s OK to doubt, but respond to your doubt with confidence that you are doing what is right for you and your family.
Despite all of the confidence you have in your own parenting ability. Some days are just bad.
It’s ok to be done parenting for the day. It’s ok to be happy when bedtime rolls around and they are fast asleep. It’s ok to count down the minutes until you husband comes home so you can not-so-obviously pass off your baby to him for the nighttime routine.
… and it’s ok to miss them after they go to sleep.
Don’t let yourself feel guilty about having a bad day, because being a mom is one of the hardest jobs you will ever take on. You don’t have to make grand gestures to let her know you care, your morning hugs and good night kisses are constantly showing her love. You are her safety net, who she cries for at 3 am for comfort and who she looks for in a crowded room.
She doesn’t see your bad day, she sees a supermom who stops what she is doing to read her favorite book and prepares her favorite peanut butter sandwich for lunch time. She sees someone who will have a tea party with her at 10 AM and a dance party in the living room in your PJ’s.
So on those bad days, when you think your head is going to explode, your baby will cuddle up to you, saying it will all be OK. She will make you laugh in the midst of doing something very naughty. She will give you a spontaneous hug or throw a giggle your way to warm your heart.
It’s OK to have a bad day. That day will end. And tomorrow is a new day.