Confessions of a less than perfect mum

Writing this is probably not a good idea but I have to get what I’m feeling out or it will fester inside me and make things worse. So here’s the long and short of it: I feel like crap. And it’s not the sore throat, headache and fatigue I’m feeling that I’m referring to. I haven’t been the ideal mum lately. I don’t even really care about the ‘ideal’. All I want to do is give my daughters a happy childhood and I feel like I’m failing miserably.

With Robin it’s easier. She doesn’t understand my cussing when I have to carry her for another hour, biting my lower lip to distract myself from the pain in my arm and neck. She doesn’t see the tears I secretly shed when I feel dizzy from not having yet eaten anything at 6pm. She doesn’t realise how desperate I am for her to nap so I can have my first shower in two days. She smiles at me and I can’t help holding her closer and kissing the top of her head, inhaling the babyness which I know will soon start to fade away.

It’s Maia. It’s always Maia. The little girl who is now almost seven. The baby who made me a mother and who is a baby no more. The stubborn chatterbox who thinks she’s all grown up but who is really a sensitive soul longing to be held and looked at all the time. I’m failing her. This much I know. What I don’t know is how to stop myself from losing my patience with her. I don’t know how to teach her the skills and give her the tools that will help her grow into a well-rounded adult without making her hate me. I feel terrible writing this but maybe I wasn’t meant to have more than one child. I am nurturing one and failing the other.

I don’t know which way to turn and where to start from but something has to change. Something…or someone.



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  1. hanini, you know i feel really close to you. i wish it could be something we could do together, like learning latin (oh, who would have said it was actually easy compared to being a mother) or dieting! you know we’re in the same boat….let’s virtually hold hands and when you lose your patience with Maia pretend to be me telling you to get back on track and I’ll do the same the other way round with O. Will it help? I wish it could.

  2. Dear, don’t even think that thought! You’re not feeling well and the tantrums and attitude of a little girl get on your nerves more easily than usual! You’re lucky to have family there – have them hold R for a couple of hours, and have some alone time with Maia. Go for a walk, have a hot choc and talk to her. And don’t worry if you think you’re failing her now – she grew up having you as a wonderful role-model, a strong woman who managed to do a pretty good job all things considered. She really can’t go wrong value-wise x

  3. I am no mum so I should not even dare give an opinion but… I think all these thoughts are cause you lack a proper good nt sleep and hearty food.. You need to eat and sleep… hope it all gets better for you xx

  4. Remember we will always fail, but as long as we realize it we are in the right track because we keep trying to focus back on how we should have done things.
    Try to give M more attention but remember she was alone for a few years and it is hard for her to accept sharing attention, she still loves her sister I’m sure, but she also yearns to have you back 100%, … that is the oldest sibling, It is not you!
    We all want to give our children the best and tend to blame ourselves for our imperfections, but we are human too! We do get tired, angry and unwell sometimes. Try to get a good rest, keep focused and try once more. That is motherhood, it’s not easy, but I don’t want to trade it for anything else!

  5. I wish we were neighbors…I would fix you a cup of tea and give you a big hug.

    You are in a difficult transistion and probably running on fumes most of the time. We have three boys all born within three and a half years. I can remember locking myself in my room on the floor crying because there wasn’t enough of me to go around. No matter where I was, bathroom, shower, wherever, I had somebody with me. Then when my sweet husband would get home, he would want me too. ARRGGHHHHH….

    That said, it does get easier. If you can get someone to watch Robin just for an hour or two a week, get to yoga, take a few minutes for yourself, even just sit in the tub for an hour. If not, take a walk when your hubby gets home or on the weekend.

    You really are doing a fantastic job. Your children are well loved. Your husband is your friend and lover. Your parents, I’m sure, are proud of you.

    & you’ve got virtual friends who care and are cheering you.

  6. Thank you all so much. I wish I could find the words to thank you enough but I can’t find words that show enough gratitude.

  7. oh my… i have had those thoughts.
    i have had those thoughts that i am failing.. that i am not the mom i hoped to be.. that it is hopeless.

    i absolutely agree with sleep and eating. those do wonders. something that has helped me with my 6 year old chatterbox that sounds a lot like yours… is to lower my expectations of what she actually needs from me. i see her spirit lift and change when i set aside half an hour and just listen to her… ask her questions… focus on her. then when i really can’t i can tell her mommy is excited to talk to you during our mini date but right now i can’t.

    i also think being really open and honest with them is good. i have apologized to her for not having the time and energy that i wish i had. especially since i’ve been sick and pregnant.. i’ve reminded her that i did this for her to grow inside of me and we are all sacrificing as a family for this new baby. and remind yourself— these are STAGES. you won’t always be strung out.. i promise.

    i am not sure what your spiritual heart is but for me my relationship with God has been the lifeboat i fling myself into when i am drowning. He reminded me that there is such tremendous beauty in being broken and then being built back up. that being refined is painful and gut wrenching but if i let HIm, He brings me through the other side with depth, wisdom and maturity that i would never get otherwise. i remind myself often that i am in the ‘getting holy’ stage and that doesn’t always mean feeling happy. but that’s the beauty of stages… it takes perseverance.. it takes tenacity.. it takes guts. but that IS a momma’s heart. 🙂

    wheeeww. what an essay. 🙂 i just connect so much with what you shared here. this is a letter written to moms of little ones that encourages me on some of these things….

    hugs to you… be encouraged.. you are NOT alone… and you love those babies. xoxo

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