the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mom days


i pick up the brush to do her hair and she pushes her glasses back onto her nose.

“mom.  i can do it.  i will brush my own hair.”



i knock on the bathroom door.  i can’t find her.  i don’t know where she is.

“mom.  i’m going potty.”


i follow her into her bedroom to make sure she picks out her clothes for the day and doesn’t put on her snow pants back on.  she pushes the door shut before i make it in.

“leave me alone!”


when a girl is ten, she needs a little space.  i think.  my girl has down syndrome so she is ten, but she isn’t.  sometimes i act like she’s three because she can still act like she’s three.  but she’s always ten.  so she pushes her door shut in my face when i can’t tell the difference.

i’m failing little by little.  every hug is premeditated these days.  every kind word a discipline.  i have to make myself do it or i’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be done.  i’m not liking these three small people i have to care for.  i don’t know if it’s the heat or my heart or a combination of both, but basically i suck at being a mom right now.

part of the problem, a large part, okay all of it – is me.

me wanting children to be something other than they are.  they’re kids.  they’re changing quicker than my brains can process it.  i’m alway catching up to where they’re at.  physically and emotionally.  mentally and spiritually.  they take life in leaps and bounds and i’m still changing out winter clothes for summer.  i’m slow and lumbering behind their agility, their summer limbs diving into the future.  always breaking old records, always before i realize it.

another year.  another summer.  i hear my voice yelling and what am i really saying?

“stop it!  slow down.  be just like me.  do everything my way!”


i remember sitting in a restaurant with friends who tell the truth.  she looked across the table at me and said this ~

“maybe you need to let some of the rope out.  you keep them on a tight leash and you need to trust that you’re doing a good job.  you need to trust that they are good kids.”

there are reasons for tight leashes and there are reasons for letting the rope out.  but there really is no reason not to enjoy my children.  this summer.  this only summer where he is eight and she is four and she is ten.  it’s the only one like it in all of creation and how will i spend it?

better today, i hope, better.

and now for a bit of an announcement…  i’m very excited to tell you that on monday i am making a small ebook available on my site.   i have decided to put my memoir up for you, the kind folks who stop by often and share this space with me.  thanks for your reading eyes and open hearts.  i hope you’ll come back by and pick up a copy.  until then, have a wonderful weekend friends…

10 replies on “ the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mom days ”
  1. as always, lady…love your honesty!! i’m pretty sure all of us moms can relate! “you need to trust that they are good kids”—love that and you need to trust that you are a good parent even on the sucky days:) we are only human, right?

  2. I have a memory of yelling at one of my kids, pretty harshly. And I called an older, wiser friend to break down and cry. She told me that our kids are filled with grace for us. For our mistakes. And I see that everyday and am so thankful that Father knows how much grace to give our kids to survive living with us.

  3. You capture what we all feel sometimes. I know I think I suck at being a mom sometimes too. Others tell me otherwise, but oh, some days. Each day I remember I get a fresh day tomorrow. Parenting is hard and that is a gross understatement.

  4. i drop by now and then to feel your words, and every time i find something that i need in that moment.

    sometime in the next three weeks, i will (finally) become a mom. i’ve never been so joyous. i’ve never been so scared. getting pregnant and staying pregnant has been a long lesson in acceptance and hope, and in letting go when i am so inclined to try to control, well – everything. i know that being a mom will be a continuance of this lesson.

    your words remind me that i need to keep trusting myself and god, and to stay open to the joy in every moment. thank you.

  5. Grace –

    Thanks for your words. And congratulations! It sounds like you’re coming through lessons only God can teach – blessings on meeting your long awaited baby!

    – Zena

  6. Remember when we were kids and there was always a swing that was lop-sided. I would stare at it, “can I swing on that slant”? Aw, the other kids have the straight swing. Well, that unlovable swing was the best fun, and it was mine.

    So I gather being a Mom is like swinging on a slanted swing. You can still swing just as high and alter your balance. Then there are days where you get the straight swing, all your bones, breathing, excitement, joy, both shoes can be seen in alignment high above the clouds. All is well, but there hangs the slanted swing ready for a new experience.

    xo alyson

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