Have you ever had a thought and immediately mom-shamed yourself for it?
I’m talking about the type of thoughts that we mothers have on the sixth day of no more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep. You know that thought, the one you’d die for before having to admit. Please, I know you know. You have to know! I can’t be the only one.
Or wait, maybe it’s not a thought, maybe it’s an action. Maybe you’ve shoved your baby’s paci a little too rough into their mouth. Perhaps you’ve tucked in your wildly innocent toddler one bit too hard.
Dear Mama, your innermost thoughts in motherhood are more common than you may think.
I think, no, scratch that, I know they are.
Why do I know? Well, I am a perfectly good mom. From the start, I’ve loved my son. I’ve pictured my whole life with him in it and I’ve done everything in and out of my power to keep him fed, clothed, safe, and most importantly, loved. He is all joy and light. Really! His smile is bright and engaging and if you see him smile, you smile. But even then, I’ve struggled with uncomfortable thoughts and actions.
Oh man, have I struggled.
From when he was a newborn to around ten months, my son slept in two to three-hour increments. When he would cry uncontrollably, I would cry with him. The fear and the unknown, at times, broke me. In toddlerhood, I’ve found myself feeling embarrassed by his tantrums and his expressions. The crazy thing, though, is that his expressions are one of the things I love most about him.
Do you want to know my latest shameful action and innermost thought?
A few nights ago Liam kept waking up every few hours. I was exhausted from work and looking forward to some sleep. He woke up for the third time and I laid in bed as he cried. I waited to see if he would just go back to sleep on his own. His cry intensified and I just wanted to scream. I rose from my bed in what felt like a very swift movement and I looked over to his crib and yelled, “What’s wrong with you?! Go to sleep!” There was one second of silence and that second felt like a full minute. I stared at him in disbelief and I wondered if I looked as stupid as I felt.
Not only did I yell at my thirteen-month-old, I asked a question and I gave a command. (face palm)
After that second of absolute insanity, he screamed and screeched and cried louder than before. He cried as if I had indefinitely hurt his feelings. I rushed to him and I carried him and I hugged him as tight as I could. I told him how much I loved him and I gave him more kisses than I could remember.
I was so ashamed of myself. I felt guilty and in complete horror for the type of mother I had turned out to be.
A few minutes later, Liam fell asleep. I laid back on my bed and texted my husband who was working a night shift. I told him I had yelled at our son and that I was exhausted, but I never told him exactly what I yelled at him and I did not tell him how horrible I felt.
Moments like that and recent conversations I’ve had with other moms is why I decided to write more candidly about my innermost thoughts in motherhood.
I don’t think that enough attention is being given to the mental health of mothers everywhere and so I strongly believe that we need to take ownership of our wellbeing and start revealing ourselves together.
Dear Mama, I know your innermost thoughts can relate to mine and to those of the mothers who came before us and who will continue to come. No two of us are created equal and although we are all at different seasons of our lives, we all have these innermost thoughts we need to let go of.
If you want to share a thought, an action, a moment, or even a second in which you thought yourself a failure of a mother, please reach out to me. DM me or email me, I will reply and I will share your story because I guarantee you that there is at least one other mother out there that can learn from it and maybe feel like she is not alone.
I am a good mom and you are a good mom and I know that because if we weren’t, we wouldn’t feel so ashamed of these moments. We wouldn’t keep them to ourselves and suffer in silence.
I should mention that these innermost thoughts in motherhood are normal, but if at any time you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
So Much Love,