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Days I Feel Like a Bad Mom

Being a wife and a mother is important to me.  Very important.  It’s what I most want to succeed at, and it’s what I sadly most often fail at.

I had all of these ideas about this weekend.  We were going to finish getting ready for Christmas.  Our tree was already up, so all we had to do was decorate it and put up all of our other decorations.

It was going to be great.  We were going to have Christmas music on in the background.  The lights of the Christmas tree would softly illuminate the house, giving it a warm glow.  Afterwards we would have hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie.  It was going to be amazing.  We would all feel so close and safe and loved.

But of course it didn’t happen that way.  We couldn’t find the box with the ornaments.  The kids were all running around screaming, touching everything they weren’t supposed to touch.  The baby was cranky.  We couldn’t find the lights that I wanted, and when we found them everyone was upset because they weren’t the ones they liked.

It was a nightmare.

And I feel like I failed us all.

I try so hard to keep things running in this house smoothly.  But they never turn out as planned.  So I’m trying to figure out if I’m planning wrong, or if I’m not trying as hard as I think I am.

I’m the mom.  It’s my job to keep everything together.  To make sure everyone feels loved and comfortable and cared for.  To make sure the memories are made.  To make sure everyone has what they need.

And so when that doesn’t happen, my mind starts to spin out.  I start panicking.  I start losing my ability to get things done.  And I yell.

I try to be honest when I write.  I like to think that by being honest, I can help other people feeling the same way feel like they are not alone.  But it’s hard to be honest.  It’s hard to say that most of the time I don’t feel like I don’t stack up as a mother or a wife.  I worry my nagging and my snips and my yelling are hurting little hearts.  I worry that they will grow up not knowing how amazing they are.  I worry that they will hear my frustration running through their heads.

And I worry that they’ll grow up being lazy because they will see me not able to keep up with it all.  I worry that I’m not teaching them enough discipline if they don’t have to clean up after themselves some nights.  And then I worry that I’m expecting too much of them when I do require them to clean up after themselves.  I worry at meals that I’m yelling too much trying to get everyone to eat a balanced meal.  And then other days when we have pizza for dinner around the coffee table in the living room I fear that I’m spoiling them.

I worry about them at bedtime.  I hate the rush that always ensues trying to get them to bed on time.  It doesn’t feel normal.  It doesn’t feel calm.  It feels stressful and trying and tense.  And yet if I let up, then I worry about their sleep and if they are getting enough.  And I try to start earlier, but as early as we start, it never seems like enough time.

But most of all, I just worry that who I am will hurt who they will become.  I want more than anything to protect and nurture and inspire and lead them.  I want them to see how very much they are worth.  I want them to embrace the good that is within them, and I want them to feel confident to chase after whatever it is that they want to chase after.

But am I?  Or are all my weaknesses too much for my hopes and dreams to overcome?  Will they look back twenty years from now and remember the soft light of the Christmas tree, or will they remember the mom who was so grouchy because she was always so worried about failing them all?

I hope they see the good, and I hope I see the good.

Right now I seem like a really large hurdle to overcome.

Photo by mdanys

Days I Feel Like a Bad Mom

Amanda Knapp

Amanda Knapp is a mother, wife, writer, former writing teacher, and lover of the written word. She writes for Psych Central, Mothering, Catholic 365, and her own blog, .

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APA Reference
Knapp, A. (2016). Days I Feel Like a Bad Mom. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 5 Dec 2016
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