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Why Can’t I Be “That” Woman?

bipolar momSometimes I look around and I wonder why I can’t seem to get it together. The laundry isn’t quite complete, the counters aren’t quite clean enough, I sometimes skip bath night, and dinner often consists of instant mashed potatoes and a quick marinade chicken.

My kids yell for clean pants and my husband hollars for clean underwear. I ponder what the nights “fend for yourself” meal will consist of, and I hang my head in shame. Why can’t I be “that” woman?

I ask myself all the time why I lack the motivation to be the mother I should be. I don’t throw these big wonderful birthday parties, I cancel play dates, I struggle to make it to work, and the dishes are my teenagers job. Again, why can’t I be “that” woman?

I look at other mothers who savor their job. They cook dinners, run errands, have regular play dates, get involved with the community, and plan exceptional events. They do this while I sit on my couch, green with envy, wondering how they do it! Do they fall apart? Do they have moments where the couch is their safe zone? Do they fight with their husbands? Do they yell at their kids?

How do these mothers seem to have it all figured out while I struggle just to tuck my kids into bed every night? How do they do it?

I am struggling these days with the solid fact that I can’t be “that” mom, I will never be “that” woman, and I can’t be “that” wife. It hurts a lot.

I also struggle with the questions “am I just lazy?” or “are my kids going to hate me?” or even “how can I do it right?”

I also make a horrible friend. I cancel lunch dates, dinner dates, and drink dates with my friends. While it seems like a great idea at the time, once the time comes around I can’t leave the house. Eventally the invites stop, the friends distance themselves, and I am still all alone incapable of being “that” woman.

I can’t shoe shop, dress shop, or do the lunch dates. I have lost many great friends because I cant be “that” woman. I know for a fact I need that time to separate myself from being a wife and a mother, yet when the time comes, no matter how hard I try I cannot follow through.

I am left now with the very simple fact that I will never be “that” woman. I can’t be the woman who goes out neatly groomed, hair done, make up perfect, clothing ironed with the matching cute shoes to tie it together. I wont be the woman with a tied up schedule full of play dates, lunch dates, and happy hour dates with her friends. I wont be the woman who always looks “put together” and wearing a smile.

I am incredibly envious.

Instead I am the mother without make-up wearing a stained t-shirt and yoga pants, hair in a pony tail, struggling to get her kids on the bus to dread the afternoon fast approaching. I will always attempt a meal plan that never pans out, a cleaning schedule that never works, and a husband who wonders why I cant get it together.

My kids will continue to go to school missing their Friday folders and half of their homework done because it has been misplaced, and a teenager that is failing high school.

I feel like I will always be the mom I didn’t want to be, and the wife my husband didn’t sign up for. In my own way I like to tell myself that the “important” stuff is covered like good values, self-respect, a loving home, and a safe haven. Sometime I think that is not good enough.

Why cant I just buckle down and be “that” woman? The woman who has it all figured out and put together?

Laundry photo available from Shutterstock

Why Can’t I Be “That” Woman?


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APA Reference
, B. (2012). Why Can’t I Be “That” Woman?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Nov 2012
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