Parenting Expectations vs Reality: Why We Are Bad Moms

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Truth bomb time.

I’m an awful mom.  Really.  My kids are wrecked for life.

Well, that’s what the average keyboard warrior would have me believe.

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I (Me. Their mom. The person who gave birth to them, and loves them more than anyone.) know that I love my children and would do anything to keep them happy, warm, loved, fed, and snuggled up tight for as long as possible.

What happens when you vulnerably expose yourself online? When you reveal the tenderest flesh of your heart, trusting your ‘friends” (ie, followers) to build you up, and tell you that, despite your insecurities, you have it all together?

Parenting expectations vs reality

Sometimes, we post about our parenting insecurities online, and we are met with backlash.  Maybe it is in the form of a derisive comment or unwanted message.  Maybe it’s in the form of a family member taking you aside in private at a gathering. But it happens to all moms.

Knock on wood, this has not happened to me recently, but I wanted to address an epidemic that I see tainting social media on a daily basis. A mom makes an innocent post.  Maybe she posts a picture of her messy house. Maybe it’s a picture of her baby drinking a bottle of formula.  Or maybe her kids are watching TV so she can get things done.

Usually, most of her friends are supportive, their comments showing understanding, and the very 2018 sentiment of “You go, girl.” But sometimes… sometimes there is THAT PERSON. Maybe it’s an aunt that you haven’t seen in years but don’t have the heart to de-friend.  Maybe it’s a friend from a mommy group. They see your post, and they can’t help but comment or message you telling you that you suck at this momming thing.

We have all had it happen.  Hell, we have all done it to others.  I have. And I know anyone reading this has.  At the very least, you have THOUGHT those things about someone. So what can we do? How can we learn from this, and make Facebook and Instagram kinder places?

Parenting expectations vs reality

Minding Your Own Business 101

YES, sometimes it is helpful to say something. (For example, if you see someone post a picture of their child in a car seat and is not strapped in correctly. That is a matter of safety and a POLITE message is acceptable if it comes from a loving place.)

But… we need to remember: Not everything needs to be commented on.

  • That mom who does not work outside of the home and has a messy house? She might be going through a really tough situation that is depriving her of the energy needed for house work.
  • Baby drinking formula? Cool, that baby is being fed.  NEXT.
  • The mom whose kids are watching TV? Listen, moms need time to chill.  Parenting is very taxing, and yes, sometimes my kids watch TV. And I watch TV.  Quietly.  On my phone. With subtitles.
  • The mom who is just desperate to make it through the day so she can take a bath and down a few glasses of wine? Despite what you think, she actually DOES love her children. Being with little ones all day is really freaking hard.

What can you do instead?

I wrote a post recently all about how long our days are as moms.  A day in the life of a mom is so hard  

  • Offer a play date so you guys can catch up and have some adult conversation while the kids play.
  • If you are in the position to, offer to help with child care so she can get a break.
  • Cook dinner for her to help lighten her load.
  • Most importantly, STOP JUDGING HER.

Yes, bad moms exists, but more often than not, we are all just tiny specks floating in a sea of diapers and chaos and mucus, hoping we can make it til bed time. Confession time: I love baths, working out, watching TV, letting my kids watch TV, and venting about the day to my husband. Also, I love my daughters.  With all my heart.  So does that mom online. Remember that.

parenting, positive affirmations, checklist, positive mom affirmations

(Download this picture and print it out. You can write in your own affirmations and tape it to your bathroom mirror!)

Here are some great resources if you need a confidence boost:

Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide (The Positive Parent Series)
Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms
You Are a F*cking Awesome Mom: So Embrace the Chaos, Get Over the Guilt, and Be True to You
Parenting expectations vs reality

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Have you ever been the victim of mom shaming? How did you deal with it? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “Parenting Expectations vs Reality: Why We Are Bad Moms”

  1. Totally agree. If you cannot say anything nice, say nothing at all.
    Nobody knows how hard parenting is until you are actually doing it. And every kid is different and we all do the best we can. Which sometimes is not as good as we want it, but we are plenty good at beating up on ourselves :p

    Karen, mom to eight |

    1. Mom to 8, wow! I agree sometimes we are our own worst critics, and the last thing we need is shaming from others. Thanks for reading and feel free to share!

  2. That’s a really lovely post? I have 4 kids and do my best…but it’s easy to be self-shamed by”perfect” mums out there on social media. I love it when people are honest & admit they’re not perfect either! I also think- do we want our kids to grow up believing we all have to be perfect & it’s not ok to try & ‘fail’ & try again?…

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