Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Today has been one of those days. I had a therapy session this morning that was particularly brutal, and although I came home to a smiling toddler, an hour later things unraveled. Hallie and I shared her very first public in-store tantrum, and I really didn’t have the mental energy to handle it. But what choice did I have? We were so close to checkout, and she’s still too young to understand a consequence of just ditching the cart and its contents. The screaming child on the floor was my responsibility, whether I liked it or not.

Then we got home, and since Hallie had been scolded outside of the store already, she was in heart-break mode. This is when she knows that she has done wrong and is feeling sorry for herself. So, she clings to me, and cries if I even dare put her down. I appreciated the apology, but my goodness. We struggled through lunch, she fell asleep in her high-chair, and I was able to nurse her until she was settled enough to leave my arms. That did take about 30 minutes, but we got there eventually.

Now, I’ve still got most of the day ahead of me. I still have some work that I should do, and soon enough I’ll have to wake Hallie up so we can get my husband from work. I’m already dreading the after-nap monster that emerges, because she just doesn’t enjoy life after nap. It’s more clinging, more crying, and this is on a normal day without the tantrums. I. Can’t. Deal.

These are the days when I just want to sit and cry. When I don’t feel like a good mother, because what mom lets her child cry at the top of their lungs in the store? I felt that awful embarrassment for the first time, worried someone was wondering why I would let my child do such a thing. And then I felt even worse for my drained energy. Hallie doesn’t know any better, not yet, and I should be more understanding, right? I’m second-guessing every move I make, and wondering how I’ll get through the rest of the day.

I already feel guilt for parts of the day that haven’t even come yet, like when my husband and daughter both want my attention. Will there be anything to give? Now, not only am I a bad mother, I’m a bad wife. The negative thoughts spiral quickly, and before I have a chance to stop them, I’m suddenly not enough for anyone, myself included.

But this is my message to myself, and to all those mothers who have bad moments and doubts. I am enough, and so are you. Despite my tiredness, when Hallie wakes up from her nap I will snuggle her so tight. I will be kinder to those around me, because I am feeling the effects of a bad day and I have no idea what kind of day they’ve had either. I will take a few minutes for myself to relax, and I will remember that not every day is going to be perfect. We are not perfect.

Hallie isn’t going to wake up mad because I told her she needed to behave herself at the store. She is going to wake up wanting her mommy, and I’m going to be right here. I am a good mother, and more importantly, I am a good person. All I can do is try my best, and ask forgiveness when I’ve made mistakes. I’m already planning a fun time this afternoon to shake away the morning blues, because every moment is a new opportunity for both you and your child to do better.

Motherhood is hard, and we are only human. You are enough. This is a message that you need to know yourself, so that your children will know they are enough too.