I am feeling like a “terrible mother” today. My kids have been playing video games all fucking day. I’m 100% sure I could have done more to appreciate the extra time we have together this week; without all the extra pressure of school work and deadlines.

My only consolation has been the fact that my son seems convinced that every single kid in his class is allowed to play video games all day, every day. I’m actively trying to imagine that true today, because it’s taking a bit of the sting away.

If you called me – on any day of the week – and told me you felt like a “terrible mother,” I would tell you that I don’t believe there is such a thing. I would assure you it’s just t’s just a day. It’s just a fleeting moment in time, and it doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. We’re all just doing the best we can – with the tools we have access to, on a given day – and somedays that just HAS to be enough.

I would promise you you’re not the only one trying to keep up with unreasonable expectations of yourself or pretending there’s an actual job description you might be falling short of. You are also not the only one who wants to drop the kids off with a friend and legit “Gone Girl” yourself.

If you told me you had just had surgery last week and haven’t really been much of yourself due to pain and meds and sleep and more pain and more meds and more sleep, I’d probably get a little upset with you. How in the world, I’d ask, could you possibly expect to be anything more than junk a week after a part of your body was sliced open and some dude tooled around with your insides? How could you not understand that your body and mind deserve time to heal — that OF COURSE the people in your life should understand you’re not on your game.

My humbled opinion would be that any and ALL adults in your life demanding anything more than nothing of you right now be sent off IMMEDIATELY with a one finger salute. I would beg you to take special care of and be extra kind to you. I would point out that your kids are not losing any sleep over the fact that they’ve gotten to play video games with their friends and laugh together over absurdly long video chats no one else seems concerned about.

Plus, they’re leaving you alone, FFS. How many parents would opt for surgery (or amputation) and justifiably fuck off without shame? Plus plus, they probably think you’re the best mom they’ve ever had today, FFS! No kid ever died from having to make their own sandwich… probably. Whatever, SHHHH, I digress. And after I’d let you cry all over my shoulder and we were both covered in each other’s snot, we’d laugh. Dear God, we’d LAUGH.

We’d tell each other stories about when we were kids and our parents didn’t even know where the fuck we were most days, and how if it weren’t for street lights, they might never have missed us. Look how great we both turned out! And we’d both leave the conversation feeling heard and held in the kind of space neither of us wanted to shut the door on to hold anything in or keep anything out.And I would walk away praying to God I’d remember everything that was said between us the next time I was surely a “terrible mother.”

I would burrow myself under the trust and mutual respect between two parents who understand they can’t all be homers. Some days all we can do is suit up and swing. Sometimes it’s the fouls that offer much needed reprieve, because we don’t have to run and have time to replant our feet before the next pitch is thrown.Because it’s just a day. It’s just a fleeting moment in time, and it doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. We’re all just doing the best we can – with the tools we have access to, on a given day – and somedays that just HAS to be enough.

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1 year ago

I can so relate to this post! I really can. The thing is that if we are feeling bad, that makes us good parents because less than parents wouldn’t feel bad about allowing their kids to play video games or be on tablets all day. You are a true inspiration, and I admire you and your courage!