I’ve learned in many relationships that if there isn’t an equal amount of give and take one partner may feel they can’t ever have a bad day. The partner almost feels like they’re not entitled to ever feel bad. They feel they have to hold the family together and that means no bad days. Here’s the problem — whether we want to admit it or not, EVERYONE has bad days. Mothers, Fathers, Children, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, Therapists, Doctors, Nurses, Cops, etc. EVERYONE has their day where they just want to curl up in bed for the day. Sometimes all it takes is a bad night of sleep for someone to feel their day is crashing down on them. Sometimes it’s a death. Sometimes it’s financial difficulties. Sometimes it’s a mental illness. Either way, who are we to judge who can have a bad day over who can’t?
We ALL have bad days, whether we admit we do or not.
Now, I’m a single mother of four and I’m in charge of every morning and every evening with my children. I’m in charge of making sure they get on the bus with pants on, making sure they have their homework, making sure their hair & teeth are brushed, and making sure they’re on time! I’m also in charge of making sure I am ready to tackle my work day. Once our work/school days are over it’s my job to make sure they’re fed, cleaned, homework done, read to, and put to bed. It’s my job to make sure they also call their father, even if sometimes they feel it’s a chore. It’s my job to make sure this all happens five days a week. Come Thursday I’m spent. I have a specific schedule each morning which enables my children to never be tardy for the day. I take advantage of the fact that their school feeds them breakfast. I’m that crazy Mom who wakes up at 4:30am three to five days a week JUST to work out. That’s my “Me” time. I get an hour or so during the day to have some “Me” time, but that’s usually cleaning the house or feeding myself…but it’s something that I find enjoyment in because it makes me feel I’m helping prepare myself for future good days. I’m helping so I don’t feel overwhelmed on the weekends when the kids and I can do things together OUT of the house.
Find your “ME” time. EVERY DAY!
I’ve seen when I let my bad days be known by my children they all react differently. My youngest is three and he turns into this silly cuddle bug. He tries to make me laugh with his dance moves and silly faces and makes sure I get tons of hugs and kisses. My youngest daughter is seven and she gives me space. She is usually the one who tests boundaries (her favorite thing is to point out I have boobies and a belly)…so this is a welcome break! My eight year old tends to get emotional and tries to make sure HER day is worse than mine by making up ailments and by just being a crab. My oldest is 13 and he will make sure the others stay on track, he will help around the house, and he will make sure I’m not too stressed out. The way they all handle it reminds me that we are all different.
1 Peter 4:10-11 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
A therapist after my divorce taught me to give myself a set time each day to worry about things. I was overly anxious, always worried about what was to come. I was worried about things out of my control. I was worried about lies being told about me. I was worried at how my babies would handle a divorce. I was worried about making the right decisions for my family. I was worrying about EVERYTHING! And let me tell you…my life is FAR from stress free. It’s chaotic! It’s confusing! It’s nauseating some days. But, when it gets to be too much I take a break and give myself that 30-45 minutes in the morning to worry. I have learned that if I give myself that time to worry and I write my worries down in a notebook I can go back and fix them. I can go back to my worries and write down how I will fix the problem. My worry time was two hours at one point. I would allow myself to worry as I drove or got ready for the day, writing down the worries when possible. Now, I’ve looked back at my worry book and it’s my goal book. It’s those worries with a plan of execution. I have a plan of how to not let these worries affect my day.
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” – Ovid
Moms — It’s OKAY to have a bad day. It’s OKAY to tell your kids that you don’t feel your best that day. It teaches them it’s OKAY to reach out when they have a bad day. You see, I wasn’t allowed to have a bad day without my partner reminding me why his was worse. I wasn’t allowed to be depressed. I wasn’t allowed. I was required to be the happy mom. I was the caretaker for the entire home. But, guess what? We ALL have bad days. It takes letting some people truly get to know you, flaws and all, to be able to look at you and say “Hey, you seem out of sorts today. Is everything okay? Want me to shove chocolate in your mouth? Want to go for a run? Want to take a nap while I watch the kids? Do you want me to just sit here and let you cry on my shoulder?” We don’t need that person to fix our sadness. We just need to feel validated and heard. We need to feel loved. So, next time you see that Mom who may have a short fuse just let her know it’s okay. Let her know she’s loved. Let her know these bad days will evolve into good days eventually. Let her know she’s not alone.
“Bad moments don’t make bad moms.” – Lisa Terkeurst