I just got off he phone with one of my favorite moms in the whole world. She said in tears, “I am the worst mom ever.” She proceeded to tell me the story of events that transpired this morning that made her think this. I gave her some encouraging words and told her that of course she was a good mom, but she hardly heard what I said. She kept replaying the negative thoughts over and over and couldn’t believe what I was telling her. Her story was not unlike many of mine, and I am sure many of yours.
The story goes like this:
Mom: “(insert child’s name here), please pick up your room.”
Child: “No, I don’t want to.”
Mom in a raised voice: “I am asking you to pick up your room. Please do what mommy is asking you to do.”
Child in a slightly more frustrated voice: “No, I am not doing that. I said I don’t want to.”
Mom, now yelling and very angry: “Pick up your room! If you don’t, you will have no TV for a year!”
The child typically responds with yelling back again, and the cycle continues with all the yelling. Or maybe the child starts throwing a fit or runs away. Whatever the response, it is not the desired one.
Now feelings of guilt are overwhelming. “I can’t stop yelling at her!” “Why did I lose my patience again?” Why am I such a bad mom?”
This mom thing is hard.
We are often unsure of ourselves. We want the best for our children, but we often don’t know what that means exactly. It is really easy to get down on ourselves and believe that we really aren’t good moms. This is not true! We must constantly be reminding ourselves that we are doing a good job! You are amazing! We all need encouragement from time to time. Take this opportunity today to encourage another mom. Tell her she is doing a great job. Let’s stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mom. Because guess what? She doesn’t exist!
Encouraging Words: How to Recover From a Mom Mistake
- Use the mistake as a teaching moment. Be humble. Say sorry to your child. Explain that sometimes you mess up too. When your child sees that you make mistakes and sees true sorrow from you, it shows them how to do the same when they make a mistake. What a valuable lesson your child has just learned!
- Catch yourself thinking all the negative thoughts. Take these thoughts and get rid of them! For every negative thought, try to think of something positive. If you are struggling, ask a friend to help you!
- Try to learn from your mistakes. Evaluate the situation and problem solve. What kind of a consequence or a reward works best for your child? Is it possible to reword your question to better motivate your child to obey the first time?