The Days When I Don’t Love It

posted in: Life, Motherhood, Parenting 144 comments

He is screaming with all his might, as he trots behind me. I am walking at a brisk pace, wanting to put distance between us and his school, and get to the car as quickly as possible, so we can whisk ourselves out of there, sparing the building inhabitants, the showdown I’m convinced is about to happen. 

He stops, his legs seem to buckle, and I pause, turn around and see that he’s about to prostrate himself on the ground. A full-blown tantrum is about to occur. Do I stop and pick him up? Look him in the eye and tell him to get  a grip? Do I hold him by the shoulders and tell him that I will not stand for this, that he will not get his way, can we please just get out of here?


I turn back around, and walk the last few paces to the car, unlock it, turn the engine on. He runs towards us. I know my son. He is too cautious and wary to lose sight of me. He worries he’ll get left behind. He’s still crying. His face is red, his forehead as sweaty as mine is. Unmoved, I tell him to get into the car and he does. I can almost touch his resistance. Without another word, I move to the other side, buckle the toddler into his seat, who has been strapped around my chest this whole time, bewildered by the commotion. 

He is still bawling. I am still unmoved. I buckle him in, get into my seat and zoom off. I turn on the radio, and turn it up. It’s music versus my son’s voice. No one is winning.

As suddenly as it started, it stops. I look at him through the rear view mirror, and see that he’s calmed somewhat. Still taking gasping breaths, but calmer. 

I feel like crying myself. I catch the lump in my throat before it moves to my eyes, to stop stupid prickling tears threatening to blur my vision. 

The mood is sombre as we arrive home. I hand out lunches and the TV is turned on. I head to the bathroom, quietly locking the door. 

I hate myself. I am a terrible mother. I don’t love this. Why is this happening? Why can’t he be like other kids? Why does everyone’s children seem so well-behaved? Why can’t I be more zen? I am totally fucking them up. They will grow up to detest me. I am terrible at this. I don’t love this, I don’t love this, I don’t love this. Why don’t I love it? All of it? 

It is a day, one of many, where I count down the hours to bedtime. It is a day when I just want to be left alone, nobody touch me, please. It is the day when I am convinced that I suck, I really, really suck. It is a day when I feel unworthy. It is a day I wonder if that’s their lot, to be stuck with me, such a shitty, shitty parent. It’s a day when I just don’t love this motherhood thing much.

Mom quote by Susan Squire

This post was really, really difficult to write. I did not write this to ask anyone to tell me that I am not a shitty parent. I wrote it because motherhood, at least from where I sit, is not all sunshine and rainbows. I wrote this because I want to be honest – to myself, my children, to you. It’s not always peace, calm and joy. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, it’s fucking hard. Most days, I question myself endlessly. And every single day, I love my boys. I love them fiercely with all my being. It doesn’t make it any less difficult. It just makes it easier to get up in the morning to do it all over again. And that, is the real picture. 

PS: I do not suffer from depression or any other mental illness. 

Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.

I’d love for you to check out my friend, Greta of Gfunkified’s blog auction to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She has 45 items up for bidding from September 30 to October 7, and all the information is on her Facebook page and blog. There are amazing items like jewelry, gift certificates, handmade items. Buy something nice, and do a good thing! Thank you.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • September 30, 2013 greta

    Some days JUST SUCK. I had one this week, too. Tomorrow will be different.
    greta recently wrote…Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Blog Auction Fundraiser #LLSauctionMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      I hope so, Greta. We’ve had one too many sucky days this month.
      May your tomorrows be awesome!

  • September 30, 2013 Kerstin

    I’m sorry Alison, but that last sentence made me laugh out loud. I saw myself standing about a block away from my house, right in front of the 7-11, totally losing my shit on my then 11 year-old-son because he was having a total fucking meltdown over his one shoe being tied tighter than the other one. People probably thought I was suffering from a mental illness.
    Parenting is hard and I think we do the best we can do day after day. I also ALWAYS love my kids, but if they were either employees of mine or even clients I would have fired their ass a long time ago.
    What does that say about us as mothers? That we are people, not robots; that we have emotions and crappy days, just like the kids. But, we never don’t care. Even when I’m ready to google a juvenile bootcamp I can send them to over the summer, I still love them and want nothing but the best for them. I think not letting yourself feel those feelings would make it even worse.
    (And I know this is no consolation, but IT GETS BETTER!)
    Kerstin recently wrote…Third post this week, because I have a lot to sayMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh Kerstin. This is my absolute favorite comment ever.
      You’ve made me feel so normal. So very fucking normal.
      And yes, I would have fired their asses at least once a week. I’d also fire myself regularly. Sigh.

  • September 30, 2013 Jennifer

    I’ve been there so, so many times. Being a parent is hard. It really is. I don’t think we’re meant to love every minute. Things that are worthy are worth fighting for. That means sometimes there is a fight. Some days are just that.The thing is we go back in and keep going because we love and we care and we are GOOD mothers. I am. And you are. Both of us. All of us. Bad days don’t make us bad mothers. Just makes us human.
    Jennifer recently wrote…How to Patch a Hole in Your WallMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Some days, I feel like a pretty bad human being. Like I don’t even know how to be a kind, compassionate person. That’s when I kick myself and hope that I can get through the day to tomorrow, so I can try again. And thank you.

  • September 30, 2013 Elaine A.

    I adore your honesty and know that it helps me and others to not feel so alone on the days that are not so great. I mean BAD. We all have them, it’s just part of it all. Thankfully, we have great days too. I just felt similar to this earlier today actually, when I realized my boys had fibbed about something. The cool thing was that they had each other’s backs but they did lie so then I thought, man what a crap mother I am! But you know, I can’t think that way. Kids fib, they just do. And we all had a good talk and learned from the situation. Anyway… I get it. I SO do. Love ya, Alison! xoxoxo

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      That’s because you’re a good Mom, Elaine.
      (also, it makes me kinda proud for you that your boys stick up for each other)

  • September 30, 2013 Christine

    Some days absolutely just suck and it is fucking hard. I feel like I lose my shit with my kids all the time and I do fear that I’m messing them up and I think all the images of parenting = rainbows contributes to my sense of being a terrible parent. I don’t always love it (today was definitely one of those days) and I do wish that I was more zen with them. But we keep trying yes? We love them and we keep trying and we keep doing the best that we can.
    Christine recently wrote…Friday Round-Up: Life PrioritiesMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      That is all we can do, right? Try again. And again.
      (I made you swear! Heh)

  • September 30, 2013 Ilene

    I have days where I am a totally shitty parent – where if you saw me, I’d be afraid you’d never want to speak to me again. I love that Susan Squire quote – I’m going to try to remember it the next time I have a day that I don’t love it – which will happen sooner that I’d like for sure.

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh hon, I wouldn’t not want to know you just because you lost it with your kids once in a while. We all do, don’t we? *hugs*

  • September 30, 2013 Mytwicebakedpotato

    I have had those thoughts, said those words, felt your pain. In the earlier years, I remember going to a birthday party and I watched the other parents socialize and laugh and I had sweat dripping down my face as mine kept me on my toes. We have all had those bday party moments and it is hard to forget it. It is hard but we also know it is freaking amazing πŸ™‚
    Mytwicebakedpotato recently wrote…ProgressMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes it is, can be, freaking amazing. Some days, that knowledge is the only thing helping to keep my head above water.

  • September 30, 2013 Scary Mommy

    You can’t love all of it because it ISN’T all lovable. And you are human, which is good to see because 99% of the time you are grace and beauty. But it sucks, just the same. And we’ve all been there. XO

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh Jill, I don’t know about grace and beauty. I do manage to wear clean underwear most days, and not yell 50% of the time, so I guess that’s a win?
      Thank you. xoxo

  • September 30, 2013 Sarah

    I doubt it will make you feel any better, but I have that exact same experience with my 3 1/2 yr old son on a regular basis. Did the “walk away from him in a parking lot” thing today, in fact! I feel so ragey sometimes at the ridiculous behavior and I can’t figure out what I did wrong to make my kid so bad.
    Sarah recently wrote…Menu plan, September 29-October 5My Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Sarah, that is exactly my thoughts some days! What did *I* do wrong? It goes as far back as pregnancy – did I miss my prenatal vitamins some days? Did I not think enough beautiful thoughts? Did I hold him back from preschool too long? And so on.

      It’s not our fault. It’s temperament, and let’s face it, little kids are not always rational. Commiserations, and hugs!

  • September 30, 2013 heidi

    I’m with you. The tantrums have stopped but now it’s attitudes and tones and stuff-they-don’t-want-to-do I’m dealing with. We’re all figuring it out as we go. I appreciate your honesty because all of us could use more of that. Parenting is tough and it’s made easier when we know we’re not alone.

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh, the tween years. I hope that by then, I’ll have more experience under my belt to deal with that with more grace and composure.

  • September 30, 2013 Katie Sluiter

    I have to echo what Jill said…it’s not all lovable. I DO suffer from mental illness and I have to tell you that reading this from someone who most definitely does NOT, makes me feel so much better. It makes me realize that the bad days? that’s not in my head. That is just life. We all have these feelings. I am not alone. And neither are you, friend.
    Katie Sluiter recently wrote…Project 365 {week 39}My Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh friend, those hard days are definitely not in your head. Mothering little ones is NOT easy, and you do that on top of a full-time AND part-time job. You are doing so good, Katie.

  • September 30, 2013 tracy

    I love you. And your P.S. made me giggle. Someday we will drink wine or coffee together or maybe spend too much money shopping – and these days will seem so long ago. xoxoxo
    tracy recently wrote…Gateway DrugsMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      I am *this* close to moving to MN and make you keep your word.
      Love you too. xoxo

  • September 30, 2013 Alma

    I looked at my 12 year old son with tears and said ” I just don’t want you to hate me later on” . After hours of an off an on argument it felt good to say that. That was a few days ago. Today my 5 year old whined most of the day asking for my attention like I was going away. All I wanted was a shower and time for me. I can say that I have questioned if I suffer from depression but honestly we all go through it.
    Thank you for sharing your moment of insanity in such a honest heartfelt way… a way we all can understand.
    Much love and strength to you my friend. I heart you.
    Alma recently wrote…AbuelaMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Oh Alma, you are a good Mama, your boy won’t hate you!
      And the little ones – I get why they whine. But yes, sometimes, we just NEED that time to ourselves.
      xoxo to you too.

  • September 30, 2013 Michelle

    I’ve had those days too and you are right, they really suck! I had one at the beginning of the week. I got in my car and drove off and drove around for a half hour. I’m lucky because my kids are all older and I can do this, but my husband was also home. I just needed to remove myself from the situation for a little bit. Parenting is really hard work. Some days it’s the best and it makes you forget about all the tough days. Don’t beat yourself up. And I am so not zen…ever.
    Michelle recently wrote…Teaching Character: There is no I in TEAMMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Michelle, there are so many moments when I wish I could just drive off and be on my own for a while. Try and find that zen somehow. But we all know how that goes, I can’t even go to the bathroom alone. πŸ™‚
      It is hard work. Not for the weak, right?

  • September 30, 2013 Shannon

    I really believe that there is not one single parent in the whole world who likes it every single day. Not one. Because some days it just sucks.
    Shannon recently wrote…Hello Down ThereMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Shannon. I feel a little less alone, and a little less small. xo

  • I, too, have those days, that I wanted to give up probably because I am fed up. Taking care of 2 pre-teens plus a 6 year old, is really still a hand full. there are days, that I wanted to cry, and I do, at night when they are fast asleep and sometimes it feels good. I feel you there…
    Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal recently wrote…Arielle: Not A Baby AnymoreMy Profile

    • September 30, 2013 Alison

      You definitely have it harder than me, commiserations!

  • September 30, 2013 Kim

    It is not all good days and photographic moments. Motherhood is hard. Some days are ones that I question everything and wonder if I am just screwing everything up. Some days I beat myself up because things are so different from my plan, my mental picture of things. It is not easy – and not lovable 100% of the time.
    Kim recently wrote…Between the LinesMy Profile

    • October 1, 2013 Alison

      It most certainly isn’t easy or lovable all the time. Sigh.

  • September 30, 2013 Sharon

    I have a moment like this at least once a week. Some weeks it’s once a day. Thank you for your candor. This is what motherhood is really like, but in a world full of happy, shiny, smiling perfect family photos, few are brave enough to admit it. <3

    • October 1, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Sharon. It’s good to know that I’m not alone.

  • September 30, 2013 Thekitchwitch

    There’s no shame in being honest. Some tasks of motherhood are NOT fun and sometimes almost unbearable.
    Thekitchwitch recently wrote…Just Write: WipeoutMy Profile

    • October 1, 2013 Alison

      I’ll admit, I was worried about publishing this post. But you’re right, there should be no shame. Thank you. xo

  • September 30, 2013 Teresa

    The way you handled the tantrum is EXACTLY the way a non-shitty parent does. Rest assured, just because I rarely post these kind of days, does NOT mean they don’t happen. Regularly. Sending big hugs.
    Teresa recently wrote…Cody cough updateMy Profile

    • October 1, 2013 Alison

      I hope so. I really try not to yell. Especially in public. Thank you for the hugs!

  • September 30, 2013 Shell

    Some moments (or days) do suck. They’re hard and emotionally or even physically draining.

    I try to remember that other people’s kids have these same moments, but I’m just more acutely aware of the ones that my own kids have because I’m the one who has to deal with them.

    Hang in there. And thanks for such an honest post. xo
    Shell recently wrote…9 Soccer Mom ProblemsMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Shell. Truly.

  • September 30, 2013 Julia

    I’ve definitely had days like this. Parenting is hard and when you are with someone all the time you are bound to have these tough moments. I liked your disclaimer that you don’t suffer from depression. So many times when I have found motherhood to be tough I’ve had people assume that I must be depressed. But I’m not some days are just like you described. Hugs : )
    Julia recently wrote…Happy Fall Y’all!My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I felt that I had to say that I don’t suffer from depression because I’ve had people suggest that maybe I do – but you’re right, some days are just hard, even for us regular people.

  • September 30, 2013 Terumi

    I love your honesty and the quote. Thank goodness for quiet moments in bathrooms to regroup! Thanks for sharing

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Yes, thank goodness for bathrooms! Thank you for reading.

  • September 30, 2013 Leighann

    Motherhood is hard, whether you suffer from a mental illness or not. I don’t think that the post made you seem like you had one and I don’t think that a disclosure was needed. We all struggle and want to provide the best that we can for our children.
    You’re doing a great job and doubting yourself is normal and natural.
    Leighann recently wrote…I RememberMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I’ve had some people suggest to me that I may be depressed when I write such posts – hence the need for the disclaimer. Just in case, y’know. πŸ™‚ Thank you for understanding.

  • September 30, 2013 Angela

    Ohhhhh yeah, I get this. Motherhood is such a roller coaster, it’s all highs and lows and good and bad and all kinds of craziness. Thank you for sharing this and helping all of us moms who don’t always love the ride feel better. And I also loved your P.S.
    Angela recently wrote…What We DoMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Angela, thank you for reading!

  • September 30, 2013 AlwaysARedhead

    I wish I could count on one hand the number of times I lost it and thought of myself as a bad mother, but with three kids, one hand won’t do it. You are not alone in your thoughts.
    AlwaysARedhead recently wrote…How many of us adults behave like children?My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I appreciate your understanding!

  • September 30, 2013 Mamarific

    Thank you for your honesty. I felt your desperation in every word, and I’ve been there myself, many days. Those are the days when I wonder what I’m doing wrong, and why everyone else seems to have it so easy. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone πŸ™‚
    Mamarific recently wrote…Beyond the Black CelebrationMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank YOU for letting me know I’m alone.

  • September 30, 2013 Onica {MommyFactor]

    I’ve had days like this. Many. Truly sometimes mothering does suck and our kids are awful. I can admit that πŸ™‚
    Onica {MommyFactor] recently wrote…Taste Testing New Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss ReviewMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      They can be awful, can’t they? Sigh.

  • September 30, 2013 Alexandra

    Alison, you’ve captured this so perfectly, that it needs to be shared. I believe in my heart, that these days are universal. Can you submit to BlogHer? And to mamalode? It’s important that young moms SEE that these days happen and we shouldn’t feel isolated and berate ourselves for reaching the end of our rope. Mothering is hard, and some to the point days exist, where we feel we are the worst. What we are having is a very hard, difficult, survivable day. Community and honesty make it survivable. Not living in shame, make it survivable. Being vulnerable and knowing others will judge and tell you this is wrong, makes it a risk… but I can tell you honestly, when my boys were little, and 3 under the age of 5, there were days I’d go in the bathroom and cry from the overwhelming moments. You do good work here, A, I’ve said it before. It takes bravery to put your truth here, and prepare yourself when the public reacts. xo

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh Alexandra. You speak to my heart as always. I don’t feel brave. I feel slightly scared. But thank you, thank you for assuaging my fears. For letting me know that I’m doing the right thing here. xo

  • September 30, 2013 Kimberly

    I’m glad that you did write this because no one talks about the dark behind the fluff. It is terribly hard and we are all allowed to have these thoughts. It doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible mom. I know that people hate hearing this but being a mom is a job. Do people love their jobs all the time? Do moms despise the 30 pound management some days. You bet. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. Know that you are a good mom. You are…see those smiles on their faces. They need to see us have bad days too. It’s normal for growth…at least I think it is πŸ™‚ But they can’t see us drinking…nope…unless it’s in a coffee mug. I win at parenting.
    PS. Moms with mental illnesses have the exact same struggles as “sane” moms. Putting that disclaimer, I hope, was to make us not worry about you….because this post does not reflect how people with mental illnesses “typically” feel when they are raising their child. Same. Exact same. We all beat ourselves up.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Sewing Basics For Ding Dongs Like Me | How To Use A Sewing MachineMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      It is normal to have bad days. I put the disclaimer for two reasons – 1. Yes, I don’t want my friends to worry about me. It was just a hard day. 2. I’ve had readers suggest to me that maybe I do suffer from depression, from a couple of posts some time back, because I was pouring my heart out about feeling terrible. I am absolutely not trying to depict a day in the life of someone who does struggle with depression, because I don’t know their reality.

  • September 30, 2013 Tamara

    Man, I love that Susan Squire quote.
    I have good days, and then I have days in which I’m pretty sure my kid is the worst kid on the planet, and I am the worst parent. Nearly every cold Monday morning, I swear I have reached my limit and I hate the person I am – barking orders at my mellow girl. Making her rush for what? Preschool! Usually we’ve made up by the time I buckle her into the carseat. Which is nice.
    Sometimes I shake my fist at the ceiling at the chaos of our lives – this beautiful, blessed life that I chose. I suppose that’s life.
    Tamara recently wrote…Live To Tell.My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      It is, it is life. C’est la vie, yes?

  • September 30, 2013 Anna-Leigh

    All I can say is I too have been there. Thanks for verbalizing. Long distance hug to you, mama πŸ˜‰
    Anna-Leigh recently wrote…Learning to See ~ How My Camera Phone Keeps the Memories RealMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, thank you so much.

  • September 30, 2013 Natalie

    Motherhood is hard business…and the one job that can make you feel like a failure at a drop of a hat. We are only humans, and we can’t help but react a certain way even it is our own children. I have had my child slap me in the face…and the thoughts that went through my head…are ones that I do not want to repeat. It happens…or should I say SH#@ happens? Because it does. Head up girl…we get more days and hopefully it will be better than the last.
    Natalie recently wrote…Six Years Ago…My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, shit happens. And I’ve had my kids hit me in the face too. The worst is actually the biting. I get so mad when they bite. Restraint. Restraint. Restraint. Sigh.

  • September 30, 2013 Kristen

    Oh Alison, this is my fear when my husband and I talk about having kids. My fear that the bad days will outnumber the good. My fear that the challenges will be more than I can overcome. Thank you for your honesty!
    Kristen recently wrote…When it hits the fan… take coverMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh Kristen, please don’t let my story and experience deter you from starting a family if that is what you want, what you’re meant to be. There are so many joys in mothering, all outweighing the challenges. This was just one bad day.

  • September 30, 2013 Kristin

    Thank you for this post, and most especially for the quote. I put so much pressure on myself to not lose patience when my kid is just being a 2 year old. But it’s so hard sometimes, especially this weekend when I had a horrible cold and was exhausted and he just. wouldn’t. listen sometimes.
    Kristin recently wrote…A Case of the “Shoulds”My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I know EXACTLY what you mean. Commiserations.

  • September 30, 2013 FitBritt

    Wow Alison. This is a very real post and very well written. You are brave to put it out there.

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much.

  • September 30, 2013 Susanna Leonard Hill

    Oh, lord, Alison! We ALL have days like this, and not just here and there. (At least, that’s what I tell myself… at the very least, I can promise you *I* have had plenty of those days!) Motherhood is challenging! You’re on your own the majority of the time. There is no manual. And every child is different – what works for one gets you nowhere with another. But I understand that is is also challenging to be 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5. There’s so much to learn. The world can seem big and scary. You have so little control over anything in your life and you lack the perspective, understanding, or ability to articulate what you’re feeling much of the time. Sometimes the only way you can express yourself when you’re little is to melt down. That doesn’t make it right. We all have to learn to behave and use our words. But it does make it normal. You are not alone in having a screaming child. And you are not alone in wanting to get away from it all sometimes. Hopefully, when you tuck him in bed later and he wraps his chubby little arms around your neck and tells you he loves you (with or without words) you will have a moment to remember that there is good too πŸ™‚ And as my mom says, “this too shall pass”. Before you know it he’ll be going off to college and those tantrums will be a thing of the long-ago past!
    Susanna Leonard Hill recently wrote…Meet Charlotte Gunnufson – Author Of Halloween Hustle!My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Susanna, you have no idea how much your comment meant to be. And to offer me the perspective from the child’s eyes – that is so helpful. Sometimes, we really need to put ourselves in their shoes, and remind ourselves that WE are the adults . Thank you.

  • October 1, 2013 Tonya

    I don’t know a mother alive (or dead) that isn’t in touch with this feeling. You are not alone, my dear sweet, amazing mother and friend!! xoxo Thank you for sharing a very real and raw emotion. Some days are just tough.
    Tonya recently wrote…If It’s A Boy…My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      They are, aren’t they? Thank you. xo

  • October 1, 2013 Arnebya

    You are absolutely correct. Some days it’s just fucking hard. There’s nothing else to it. I refuse to believe that those parents we see who have it all together all the time don’t experience the same thought of shitty days; I think it’s universal. And I like to think that there’s always someone looking at us the same way. I don’t think we’re SUPPOSED to love something all the time. Everything is supposed to give push back, make us work. And admitting that our precious snowflakes are sometimes behaving in a manner that we detest as much as scrapable shoe shit is just being honest.
    Arnebya recently wrote…BlogHer SyndicationMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      OMG I don’t know which part of your comment I love most – about the push back, making us work, or the snowflakes = shoe shit. xo

  • October 1, 2013 Kerry

    This day sounds like my last Friday. As I picked my two boys up from school, my daughter went into hysterics. I had parents looking at me, giving me eyes of pity. She threw herself on the sidewalk and refused to move, so I needed to wrestle her – kicking and screaming – and carry her back to the car. I was sweating big time. By the time she got home, the tears continued for another 45 minutes. And then suddenly, it was over. Motherhood certainly isn’t easy – and there are days where it leaves me exhausted, annoyed and pissed. But I just keep telling myself everything is a phase. Hang in there.
    Kerry recently wrote…Think Pink in OctoberMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh Kerry, I’ve done the wrestling part too. And nearly 4 year olds are heavy especially when they’re fighting you. Commiserations. And thank you.

  • October 1, 2013 Nicole

    You are not a horrible mother. You are just human like the rest of us. But, you are far braver than most of us. There are days that I can’t stop watching the clock, counting down every never ending second until bedtime. On those days, I hate it too.
    Nicole recently wrote…Sneak Peek: My BookMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I don’t know about brave, Nicole. Foolhardy, maybe. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Dana

    I’m sorry you have days like this. I do too, and while I don’t wish them on you, it makes me feel a little better knowing that I’m not the only one. It does get better as the kids get older, but that just makes the sucky days stand out even more. I hope today is a better day!
    Dana recently wrote…Dessert PocketMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      After that epic tantrum-y day, yes, we’ve had better days, thank you. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Lisa

    This is so great! I have written something similar, but didn’t have the guts to hit publish. There are definitely days when I don’t want to do this motherhood thing anymore because it is hard and sometimes it does suck. I appreciate your honesty.
    Lisa recently wrote…Big News!!My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh Lisa, publish that post. If it’s you being real, then there’s nothing to fear. Do it. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 When I Blink

    You nailed it.

    The sweet days wouldn’t feel so sweet if the crap days weren’t so very crappy by contrast. Both are real.
    When I Blink recently wrote…Looking Bad Is The New Looking GoodMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      You’re absolutely right. Thank you.

  • October 1, 2013 Jessica

    I think we all have those kind of days, so you are not alone! Parenting is hard and if it were all roses and sunshine we wouldn’t be able to appreciate those days when it is roses and sunshine, or when it feels that way.

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      No light without dark, no good without the bad, right? That’s just the Universe, balancing out. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Leah

    It’s the plain and simple truth. Some days, and sometimes many days, suck.
    Leah recently wrote…Monthly Snaps of LifeMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Ditto, my friend. Ditto.

  • October 1, 2013 Stacey

    I have so been there. My oldest child was a piece of cake. My second child challenges me furiously on a daily basis, and there are so many days that I literally have to lock myself in a room before I lose it. There are days when she makes me feel like the worst mom on the face of the earth…but thankfully, the days when I do feel like a pretty decent mom outweigh those bad days.
    Stacey recently wrote…What I’m Into: September 2013My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      My oldest is the challenging one. In a way it’s good, because he sure prepared me for motherhood second time round. My second boy seems so easy. πŸ™‚ But yes, the good days definitely outweigh the bad.

  • October 1, 2013 Jeanne

    I hear you! Sometimes there are days when you just want to shout STOP at the children. And days when you look out your rear view mirror and see a little child crying and running up the road behind your car. (That really happened to me.) Your P.S. made me smile. πŸ™‚
    Jeanne recently wrote…Home AgainMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Aw, that’s so sweet! (and a little sad, heh)

  • October 1, 2013 angela

    Some of the days are so, so difficult. You are right that there’s so much love, but there’s also such a struggle to stay patient and kind and caffeinated some days…
    angela recently wrote…NightfallMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Sometimes, I think I need a caffeine IV just to keep it together. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Stevie

    Oh Alison, it’s awesome that you can share this side with us. If you told us it was all sunshine and rainbows, I’d be skeptical. And while I haven’t been a crappy mom (yet), I’ve been a crappy wife, daughter, sister, friend at one time or another. We’re not meant to be perfect. Kids aren’t perfect and neither are moms.

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Perfection is overrated anyway. It’s the imperfections that make us, and life, so much more interesting. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Maureen

    Your honesty is what I love, and no judging from here! Gah, I have my good days and bad days too. You are awesome, enough said!
    Maureen recently wrote…The Day My Heart SoarMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Maureen. I’m far from awesome, but I’ll take what compliments I get. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 melissa

    I love it when moms write posts like this. Not because I like to see them in pain but it’s something I constantly experience and experience really well. I can comfort them or tell them “I’ve been there…lets go hide in the closet where the kids can’t see us stuff our face with chocolate now.” There have been days where I just completely balled my eyes out because my kids did something, I flipped, then felt bad for flipping out. All I can say in my mini 6 years of parenting is..shit just happens. We will NEVER have this parenting 100 percent down.
    melissa recently wrote…Pintober day 1My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      You’re right, we definitely can’t be 100% awesome all. the. time. Shit does happen. We can only hope to turn things around the next day.

  • October 1, 2013 Rabia

    Thank you for writing this. I have many, many days like this. My middle son is especially headstrong and defiant. And then my littlest one sees those behaviors and copies them. Reading this makes me feel a little less alone in the shittiness that accompanies child-rearing.
    Rabia recently wrote…Ten on Tuesday: Things I Learned From not Having a Washing MachineMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you feel less alone, but I’m sorry for the shittiness you have to endure!

  • October 1, 2013 Jen

    I am so sorry about that, and it is amazing how things like this can escalate and the emotions that go with them. PS We don’t suffer from depression or mental illness, this is just called Life of a MOM. Some days really just suck, but it will get better!
    Jen recently wrote…Halloween Door Decor #SpookySpacesMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, some days suck so much. Such is the life of a mom, you’re right. πŸ™‚

  • October 1, 2013 Barbara

    Bravo for being honest! How well I remember feeling like the worst parent. How much I worried I’d screw my kids up for life. How much I always loved them when they were sleeping angels! Lol. Good job, keep it up!

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Ditto on the sleeping angels, lol. And thank you!

  • October 2, 2013 KeAnne

    Oh, Alison. I loved the post and boy, could I identify. My 4-year-old has been working on transitioning to Pre-K & being, well, 4 and the whining, crying & tantruming have been non-stop. There have been weeks in which my interactions with him in the morning and at night have been nothing but tantrums. It’s been really difficult and soul-crushing. Hugs to you. You know that parenting will be hard, but sometimes, you don’t understand how hard it will be.
    KeAnne recently wrote…A Vestigial Organ Bites the DustMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      KeAnne, I’m sorry for what you’re going through with your 4 year old. What you described sounds awfully familiar. As many moms here have said, it will get better, hard as it is to see past the daily fog of tantrums and yelling. Commiserations and hugs.

  • October 2, 2013 Jasi

    Completely legitimate experiences. We all feel this way and while this is a good post, the disclaimer is my favorite part. lol. The sad truth is temper tantrums, like traffic, are these frustrating bumps in our day. I absolutely freak out for a minute and then shoot it all back into perspective- it’s just for a minute, it’s not the worst thing ever, i’m grateful for.. (mantras ensue). But this all happens after I’m written up in the school newsletter as a crazy driver setting a bad example “for the children”. U-turns are not appreciated in the drive up line. What’s my line..”It’s only a minute. It’s not the worst thing ever. I’m grateful…”

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      I know what you mean. It’s not the worst thing ever, though in that very moment, you feel like it is. But it’s about perspective. This too, shall pass, and say that on repeat 100 times. πŸ™‚

  • October 2, 2013 Shana Norris

    Alison, thank you for being so honest in this post. It’s hard to be this transparent, and to put it out there for the world to see. It always seems to resonate with others, though. The honesty is refreshing and redeeming and encouraging.
    Shana Norris recently wrote…Turning Regrets Into Lessons LearnedMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you Shana. I did hesitate to publish this, but I’m glad I did. Everyone’s so amazingly supportive!

  • October 2, 2013 just JENNIFER

    I hate that you felt you needed to say you’re not depressed or otherwise suffering. Sounds to me like you just had a normal bad day. I hate you had to say it because of how easily many people jump to conclusions. (HUGS)
    just JENNIFER recently wrote…30 Day Plank ChallengeMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      You saw right through me – I was worried that people would jump to conclusions. I’m glad you understand. Thank you.

  • October 2, 2013 Leslie

    I could have written this post this morning (tantrum over having to eat last night’s dinner for breakfast), last night (having to eat dinner), two, ten or 100 days ago. This parenting gig is HARD. Sometimes it’s helpful to check out this website: Definitely helps put things in perspective.
    Leslie recently wrote…More Fun Costume Ideas!My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      It helps to know I’m not alone. Thank you for the link!

  • October 2, 2013 Shefali

    God know I have had those days! and God knows I have felt like a shitty shitty mom on those days. And I have often wondered the same thing. Why me? Why is my kid so misbehaved? How come everyone else got the easy kid?
    And yea when hubby gets home at the evening, he does not know why I am in such a foul mood, cause the baby is probably just being her usual cute self and I am saying “Just don’t touch me!”

    All I can say is, no reassurances required Allison, you are completely normal AND tomorrow is another day. Thank God πŸ™‚
    Shefali recently wrote…The Baby SitterMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, thank God! Thank you Shefali.

  • October 3, 2013 Chris Carter


    I have been there and back more times than I can count. BRAVO for your honesty!!! You are surely not alone.
    Chris Carter recently wrote…Things That Make You Go NO!My Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Chris. I know I’m not, based on all the great comments here. So grateful for my readers and friends.

  • October 3, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    Motherhood is hard, we all have days like that.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Flying TrapezeMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      It is, and we do.

  • October 3, 2013 Adrienne

    Some days do suck! I loved your disclaimers at the end. We don’t have to be suffering mental illness to explain why we don’t love motherhood some days. Hang in there. It’s cliche, but I find sanity in knowing that there’s always tomorrow. Unless of course you wake up and tomorrow seems to be going just like yesterday. Than I suggest going back to bed.
    Adrienne recently wrote…My Son Never Stops TalkingMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Hah! Yup, some days, I REALLY wish I could just go back to bed. And stay there.

  • October 4, 2013 My Inner Chick

    I love your fucking honesty!

    You Are A RockStar!

    My Inner Chick recently wrote…13 Things That Turn Me OnMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Kim. For your friendship and support. Love you. xo

  • October 4, 2013 Lady Jennie

    Coming from one who is treated for depression and therefore a big advocate for awareness, I still think it’s sad that you have to clarify that. Just because one is feeling lousy about a bad parenting day (which we ALL have) does not mean we are depressed!

    I can’t count the numbers of days I’ve had like this. But I do think you have a more tender heart than I do because they don’t affect me as much. Or maybe I’ve completely forgotten? Needless to say, though I KNOW you didn’t ask for it, you are an admirable, worthy, loving mom.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Fall This YearMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      It is true. I hope I haven’t offended those who do suffer from depression. I don’t mean to imply that those who do, have days like the one I just described. I just worried that some might jump to conclusions, so I wanted to clarify.

      And thank you for your lovely words, Jennie.

  • October 5, 2013 Nina

    I am so with you, Alison. And I really applaud you for articulating how so many of us feel is such a thoughtful, honest, and brave piece of writing.
    Nina recently wrote…For Those of Us Still WritingMy Profile

    • October 5, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much, Nina.

  • October 9, 2013 julie gardner

    When you desperately want to be good at it, parenthood is impossible.
    It’s only easy for the ones who do not care.

    And yet we still do it. The impossible. And sometimes it’s just too hard.

    You are not alone. And I hope (all the time) that my kids’ memories are as selective as mine is.
    I hope they remember how much I loved them and forget how many times I lost my shit.

    • October 9, 2013 Alison

      Oh Julie. I wish for the same with my kids. They may have to blank out the first 5 years of the life. πŸ™‚

  • October 9, 2013 Katie E

    Thanks for this reminder too (obviously I’m catching up on your blog today). Too many days have been sucky here lately too – and I’m bad about not talking about it and bottling up and have recently been remembering that if I share what’s going on with others, I accomplish a couple things. First, I don’t feel so dragged down and burdened and resentful because of my problems. Second, my friends remind me I’m not crazy and I’m not alone πŸ™‚ I hope this post accomplished some of that for you! And I hope the sucky days are outweighed by less than sucky days.
    Katie E recently wrote…Catching Up #iPPPMy Profile

    • October 9, 2013 Alison

      You’re definitely not crazy or alone, Katie! I encourage you to write about those hard days, even if it’s just for yourself and not to be published. It’s so cathartic.

  • October 10, 2013 Andrea

    I love this. I do not always love motherhood. There have been many days when I want to run out the front door and never return. Raising humans (while being limited humans) is HARD. You are doing your best. They will be fine. Take solace in the fact that the memories of the times I sat in the bathroom (or outside) and cried while my kids cried are fading for me, and have completely faded for them. Love covers the majority of what we perceive to be our failings.
    Andrea recently wrote…DIY: The Most Delicious Quickie LasagnaMy Profile

    • October 10, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Andrea, for the reassurance. Thank you. xo

  • October 11, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Days like these I hope get erased from our memory banks, because we all have them, and they suck…really, really suck. But I think we need to have these days to appreciate the good ones (at least that’s what I tell myself) πŸ˜‰
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…I’m Back!My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      You’re right, Jen!

  • October 18, 2013 toi

    Some days suck and sharing with us make us feel human too. Monday I cried because I couldn’t catch the lump in my throat in time
    toi recently wrote…Wednesday On Writing: Mingling With Other WritersMy Profile

    • October 18, 2013 Alison

      I’m sorry you had a hard Monday *hugs*

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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