Let me tell you the story of MHC’s terrible, awful, no good, very bad day.
Actually, it’s probably been about a month of terrible, no good, very bad, but let’s focus on today.
Today, I woke up, fully planned to kick today’s ass. I really did. I had my game face on, I was excited. Truthfully, despite some personal setbacks, I’ve been super jazzed about life. I’ve been writing some really great articles. I’ve been pitching some awesome stories. I’m currently working on something I’m really excited to share with the community. I’ve been transferred to another location as part of a business restructuring and I’ll be starting at my new store in March. It’s closer to my house and the girls’ school. And then I’m treating myself to a week’s staycation to rest and recharge from my crazy February schedule. I’ve been enjoying the gym. It’s been awesome.
Which brings me to today.
Today my kid had an epic tantrum. Like EPIC. I left for work feeling a shitty mom, a shitty neighbour, and a shitty human being. I spent all day in kind of a funk because I felt like the WORST MOM EVER. I work so damn much to keep us fed and clothed that I feel like I’m not giving enough time to them. I mean, I pay someone to clean my house now because I want it done and I have no time. Then they act out sometimes because they are kids & kids do that sometimes. And sometimes I yell back because moms yell sometimes. And in the end, I just feel like an asshole.
Sometimes I get caught up in the social media trap. I see everyone’s seemingly perfect kids and lives and no one worries about money, their kids always behave and everyone’s house is immaculate and I think “why can’t I be that person? Why am I not the person with the dream job and the perfect car and kids who never ever talk back?” Sometimes I just feel like I can’t measure up. I’ll always be white trash trying to make good. My self esteem takes a hit and I just feel awful. Good moms balance. They do it all right. No mistakes ever. Not like me, who just keeps fucking it all up.
Then I come home, lay in my tub, do some yoga, and recognize that this is total bullshit.
Everyone has a bad week or month. Everyone has one of those days where they took a time out to bawl their eyes out because they are so burned out and feel like they handled it all wrong and sit up late at night thinking they are a horrible parent/partner/friend. But if you keep thinking really positively and focus on the good things while making changes, you’ll make it through.
Today, I was lucky enough to have my friend Paul call me to help me feel better. Bad days happen. Shake it off. Another friend texted me a positive affirmation. My best friend Melissa texted me positive Seth Rollins memes because she gets me. But when I asked each of them why I was failing as a mom, they all reminded me of a time that they did not win parenting. Or housekeeping. Or relationships. Or jobs. It’s easy to feel like you won’t measure up when you’re constantly comparing yourself to invisible competition and FB highlight reels. But I’m not failing as a mom. Or a person. It was just one no good, very bad day.
When I feel like the world is gonna crush me, I immediately think of everything good that has happened, big or small (a trick I learned from Katniss Everdeen). I think of the nice ladies at Hudson Bay who gave great customer service. I think of the feel good story I found on Reddit. I think about the cool things my kids do. I think about how much I’ve improved at the gym. How rad my friends are. And suddenly, I don’t feel like my life is garbage anymore.
There’s no instruction manual on how to juggle single parenting, career, home, and being a decent human being. Sometimes I’ll get it right. Sometimes I won’t. But I can’t spend my days beating myself up about the days that I don’t. If I do, I’ll never have any good days. So, the next time there is a no good, very bad day, I’ll take thirty seconds to remember that I’m not competing with the highlight reels, it’s okay to not know how to handle everything and sometimes you just need to learn on the fly and forgive yourself if you didn’t do it right and learn for next time.