Monday, November 15, 2010

In Which I Confess That I'm A Bad Mom

It's true.

I am a bad mom.

I let my daughters watch way too much television. (That's what they are doing while I type this post actually.)

I have stopped doing fun activities with them at home.

Neither of them have a very diverse diet. Vegetables are like a 4-letter word to both of them.

My three-year old can't recognize all the letters in the alphabet. Either that or her attention span is too short to finish the task. (Thanks to all that TV of course.)

My 14-month old has only spoken a single word. It's "ma-ma" so I should be happy, but she is behind her peers. I can easily blame it on her hypotonia, but I am always asking myself, is it actually because she doesn't get enough attention?

The three-year old hides whenever I go to pick her up some place. It's as if she knows that being with someone else is more fun than going home with mom.

Plus, I yell a lot. Way more than I ever thought I would. I actually hate yelling. I even make myself cringe when I do it. It would be impossible to count the number of times I've had to apologize to the three-year old for losing my patience with her.

Really though, I am just scratching the surface of my badness here... there are a million little ways I look at my parenting and can see that my girls will spend years hating their mother and trying to recover from their childhood on a therapist's couch.

Someone please tell me I am not the only one whose mothering has not turned out the way they thought it would?


  1. I'm not a mom--and I'm never going to be [smile]--but my brief stint as a surrogate father enlightened me to just how bad of a dad I am. And recently I've been seeing just how bad of a husband I am as well.

    I wish I could blame it on something other than my own issues--impatience, lack of grace, etc--but I can't.

    So... no: You're not alone. But rather than letting us stew in our badness, may we recognize the love and forgiveness offered us and continue to become more and more the people we should be.

    Here's to a better today than yesterday!


  2. Are you sure you didn't write this about me??? It's pretty much word for word what I would of written about myself. I'm right there with ya. ;)

  3. Oh honey - I have to tell you - I am also going through a severe case feeling in adequate.
    I think that as far as parenting goes you have to just pick what is important and focus on that. And I can tell you - veggies trump the alphabet.
    I am just proud that my almost 3 year old is finally singing the alphabet. And Anna, yea she is learning to read, but can't recognized the letter by name, only sound.
    And said mention 3 year old doesn't know all his colors.
    But, I do know that he is healthy, and happy and loved. And as I have seen with Anna, the other stuff works itself out.
    It is okay if projects and crafts are a special occasion thing - a treat. Some people do them daily. I am not that kind of person.
    I think that having toys that makes kids think and challenges them is better than a structured craft time in many situations.
    I also think that for toys - many of the older toys (potato head, tinker toys, tools, doctor stuff) are at garage sales and are just so good at letting kids think for themselves - and don't require batteries. :)
    A book that I had recommended to me was creative corrections...
    I have also been surprised at how my volume is much louder than I ever anticipated... and I always feel bad afterwards.
    I have found that one way to help is to turn off the TV and turn on the praise music. If I can get the kids singing and dancing to music their attitudes are better and mine is too.
    You are not alone.

  4. My household volume is far higher than I ever expected, I agree! I hate that. I haven't watched or read "She's Gonna Blow" but the title pretty much describes me sometimes. I hope to have a mom's night immediately after moving in to watch and/or study this book. I know the only relief is going for me to make a conscious effort to change and that will only come through God. I so often feel like I am dropping the ball, too, on education, interaction, etc. Is Abigale doing the stuff Jesse did?..maybe, maybe not, but he definitely got more attention since he was obviously the only one. The second addition definitely made a major difference in time & stress management but I wouldn't change a thing, of course. This mom stuff is a tough road to travel..but that is why we have each other! Love you!

  5. Your children are:
    1. Unconditionally loved
    2. Never abused (physically or emotionally)
    3. Always fed and clothed
    4. In a home with both a loving father and mother
    5. Taken to church to learn about God's perfect love, and to learn that none of us can match that.
    6. Given opportunity to learn
    7. Given medical help when needed

    I think that makes them 10 steps ahead of half the children out there (I've taught in public school, I know what I'm talking about!). Some children enter kindergarten not even knowing what a letter is.

    While typing this, my son is watching a movie because I was too tired to read any more books to him.

  6. I have had to scale back EVERYTHING. I found that I was expecting way too much of myself and my children and it was stressing everyone out. I am now I am mainly focused on teaching them to obey authority and making them accountable to God so that when they go to school they can learn everything else they need to learn. So we talk about letters a little less, but at least they will have the discipline to learn when they need to.
    Don't worry my friend. God chose to entrust you with the children you have knowing exactly what your weaknesses would be. He still determined it was a good fit! I often feel like my weaknesses are exposed to remind me vividly of my need for a savior!

  7. Bless your heart. How brave to put this out there and ask for comments! I am not that brave, but I am so much like that. When my two were little they watched WAY too much tv. I am too much of a perfectionist to do crafts with them...I got too frustrated. I HATE sitting on the floor playing Barbies or Lego. I LOVED mother's morning out days, and MOPS days, because I could do what I wanted. I felt so selfish, but knew that they were doing better than when they were sitting home glued to Disney Channel.

    ps. I'm praying for you today.

  8. I feel what you are saying, and I can empathize with these feelings for sure. Personally, I think I go through phases, according to whatever is going on at the time in my life. But I think these feelings of inadequacy are useful in that it makes me reflect, and that makes me grow.

    As much as you feel this way right now, I'm sure there are times when you feel like you are an awesome mom, am I right?

  9. You can add me to the list of bad moms too. With the birth of my 2nd child I have been lucky enough to be a SAHM, that was 8 months ago. I have yet to actually DO any of the wonderful activities I imagined I'd be doing. Heck, many nights I want to go sit in the bathroom with the door locked just to get away from the kids. (BTW, that doesn't work, they just stand outside the door and talk to me or beg to come in and refuse to leave until I let them in.) Sometimes I'm so over it. My 8 month old watches WAY TOO MUCH tv. I know it. But I like it when she leaves me alone. ;) You are awesome to write this post. I'm there with ya!

  10. Now you need to write a post about all the GOOD things you do
    There are many
    It will probably take you longer to write because our brains are wired to criticize
    But it will be a most rewarding post.
    Then you need to print it and leave it on your fridge or on your bedside table and read it every time you need a reminder!


  11. It is hard to find the right line between pleasing your children and not spoiling them.

  12. Ok, its your mom...and dad said it best when he wrote you privately "heck, do you not remember the stories/nightmares of our childhood we have shared with you?! You are miles above what we both had when it comes to just loving, caring and being with your children!" You try really hard to be a better parent than me and I think you have done it leaps and bounds but be reminded that there is NO perfect parent(s) on this side of Heaven! We all find faults with what we did or didn't do for our own children. But I can tell you that from our prespective, and even with all of the mistakes, tirades or bad choices we made or didn't make, we are very proud of the MOM you are! Remember, you and your brother didn't turn out all screwed up...and you both can read, write, and show incredible amounts of love to our precious granddaughters. XOXO's

  13. Jenn--You are way too hard on your self in this post! Alyssa didn't speak for nearly 2 years. I was worried until I realized it's her Phlegmatic temperament and being introverted like her daddy (Jason, whom you know very well). She is extremely intelligent, even at 8 years old now but she will generally "talk" when she has something "worth" saying. And as far as yelling goes, I have had my fair share of making mine cry--however, I ALWAYS made things right. I believe this is the key especially because I am human and it's important to demonstrate to my children that as their mother and sister in Christ I will make mistakes but I will make it right when I have offend or hurt my brother or sister in Christ. In my experiencing so far, words, actions, and behaviors in the home are caught more than taught. You are a WONDERFUL mother experiencing the same stages we all go through. I love you!


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