Every night, after I put my kids to bed, I reflect back on my day. What kind of mother was I? How often did I raise my voice or shut down a conversation because I was too "busy"? Most of the time, my answers are immediately followed by regret. There was more I should've done, more I should've said, and more hugs I should've given. In other words, more often than not I feel like I've fallen short. Thankfully, there are a few things anyone can say to the mom who feels like she's failing, and trust me when I say I need to hear them on a pretty consistent basis.
As a work-from-home mom who's completely responsible for nearly every aspect of my family's lives, I feel the pressure to get everything right every single day. Most of the time, though, I fail to meet that (unrealistic) expectation. My son has an accident in his pants. My daughter argues when I make a simple request. My husband is preoccupied with work outside of the home so he's blissfully unaware of the daily struggles I face and, as a result, I'm on my own. Very little of my time is spent celebrating my parental accomplishments because, at least in my mind, every win is followed by another mistake.
I've been told this these feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy are part of being a parent. And, honestly, I don't have any magical answers to relieve my own self-angst. But I do know that failure is also a necessary part of success and, as parents, we should be cutting ourselves more slack. So with that in mind, if you have a mom in your life that's feeling particularly disheartened, here are a few positive, supportive things you can say: