When the movie Bad Moms came out, it was a breath of fresh air for all of us—moms who’ve been told we’re “bad moms,” either by our kids, our spouses, our MILs, society, or even that annoying voice inside our own heads. We spend our lives trying to make everything okay for our kids, meet their needs, make sure they eat vegetables, have clean underwear, have friends at school, and feel loved and safe. But holy shit is parenting exhausting and isolating and lonely sometimes.
So yeah, sometimes we do “bad mom” things like drink too much wine or say too many swears or let our kids have too much screen time so we can have some damn peace and quiet.
Do those things make us bad moms or just moms trying to get through the grueling life of parenting? Pretty sure it’s the second one. Either way, it’s time we stop feeling judgment (and stop judging ourselves) and give ourselves some grace for the amazing job we’re doing—even if our kids played a shit-ton of video games this summer.
“According to my 7 year old today I was a bad mom because I only let my kids have one pancake.”
“I sometimes I give my kids cookies for breakfast if I just don’t feel like making breakfast. Then I give them a banana and cheese stick so I feel better about my “bad mom” moment”
You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t when it comes to food. If you give your kids too many pancakes and cookies for breakfast, you’re a bad mom. But if you don’t let them have fun treats, you’re a bad mom too. What is the right number of fucking pancakes and cookies to achieve good mom status?!
“my working mom friends tell me about all the activities their kids are in and it makes my head spin. SAHM and my oldest just signed up for soccer at 7. am I a bad mom???”
“My DS12 is the worst player on the rec soccer league. He loves it and I am so glad he does but honestly watching him play is painful. I am glad he is resilient and loves to play but awareness of your skills or lackthereof is good too. Feel like a bad mom.”
“Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t go to curriculum night because I just didn’t really feel like it. Does this make me a bad mom?”
Are you a bad mom if you don’t put your kids in a shit-ton of activities? Or if you do, but it’s painful to watch because they’re horrendous at it? Or if you skip curriculum night or don’t volunteer for the PTA or forget to bring snack on your assigned day? Answer: NO.
“I feel guilty and that I’m a bad mom – my kid’s watched me care for my narcissistic mom, always putting them second to her for their whole childhood. Finally strong enough to stand up to her, but worried my kids feel they come second.”
“I feel like such a bad mom. I just can’t seem to get it right.”
“I’m trying to emotionally prepare myself to tell my family Kid2 won’t be having an in person first birthday party. They haven’t seen him since Feb and it’s not gonna go over well. Pray for me, and all us bad moms in our time of need.”
Mom guilt is enough to make us feel like bad moms every day. And COVID forcing us to isolate them just adds salt to the wound, since they don’t understand why they can’t have birthday parties or go to school with their friends.
“I don’t *think* that getting buzzed and hanging out with my kids (on occasion, once a month or so) makes me a bad mom, but I still feel guilty. Wish I could relax and enjoy it w/o alcohol”
“I went on a trip alone for the first time in September and ever since I came back it seems like my 14 month old son only wants my husband. It makes me think I’m a bad mom or that I’m doing something wrong and I can’t shake it.”
You are not a bad mom for having some me-time—whatever that looks like.
“I always hated when mothers told me they would never put THEIR precious children in DAYCARE. Well, no one was available to watch my kid for free while I worked, and I had to make sure we were housed, fed, and clothed. How does that make me a bad mom?”
“I am the optimum target for the moms in my DD’s school: full time job, phd, college professor and published author and have accomplished all that while being a single mom by choice. They think I’m a “bad mom”. I think they are morons.”
“Can you have an aversion to pumping? DS 6 months, nursing has been total hell. Since going back to work he rejects the breast. I pump all the time, can’t keep up. I strapped in just now and started sobbing. I can’t do it anymore. I’m a bad mom.”
And you are definitely not a bad mom for working, putting your kids in daycare, and quitting that dreaded breast pump.
“I no longer believe that “bad moms” exist. Exhausted mothers get tired of begging for help and snap.”
“DS5 puked all over bed, wall,&floor in his room. Bathroom 10 ft away. I feel so horrible for raging while cleaning it up. I do not know how to make up for it. This is why being bipolar makes me a bad mom. Should’ve never had kids. I’m so sorry baby.”
“I was a bad mom yesterday. I lost my cool with my 4YO. Mama is sorry baby. I love you. I’ll try harder.”
You are not a bad mom if you snap. This shit is hard.
“Neighbor shamed me for yelling at my kids. It was a rare moment of complete exhaustion and overwhelm. I am doing my best but people only notice the bad moments.”
“My husband makes me feel like crap when it comes to the kids (4&1 and 1 due in Jul). The baby only whines when I’m around and he never fails to tell me this. And with the older 1 I’m not hard enough on. Makes me feel like a bad mom.”
“Don’t marry someone with a narcissist parent! I just found out that my MIL has been telling my DC (behind my back) that I’m a bad mom and that I don’t take good enough care of them. I can’t believe the brainwashing of my very young DC”
And if others in your life are making you fee like a shitty mom, you need new people. You deserve a village of support because motherhood is the hardest job on the planet.
Pretty much every mom out there has felt, at some point, like she’s doing a shitty job. If you’re in the trenches of self-doubt and feeling like a failure, you’re not alone. But here’s the truth—there’s a good chance (a really good chance) that you’re actually not a bad mom. And that, in fact, your kids love you and know you love them and that you’re doing great. Take a breath and cut yourself some slack, Mama. You got this.