Failing At Motherhood – That day when you feel like a “Momster”

mom with her hands on her hip looking at her upset daughter with text failing at motherhood that day you felt like a momster

The other day, I went to pick up Little Miss E from preschool. She looked at me and scowled. “I don’t want you, I want daddy!” I tried to ignore it, laughed it off and commiserated with the other moms that were struggling with their four-year-olds. I tried to get Little Miss E to put on her coat and boots so we could leave, but she ignored me with the same grimace on her face as before. The teacher came out and I frankly asked, “how’s’ E doing in class?” (Secretly wondering if I was the only one that was struggling or if it was bleeding into school.) The teacher shared that it had been a tough day. As I was talking to her, E then kicked me and the teacher stepped in to correct her. My eyes filled with tears…I was sad and a bit embarrassed. Was this going to be one of those days?

Upset preschool girl withher arms crossed and frowning

Am I Failing At Motherhood?

We are only four years into this momming thing and I pray that I am not royally messing up my kids! Seriously, I need divine intervention in order for these kids to turn out ok! It’s clear that most of the time, I’m not my daughter’s favorite and I am well aware of my shortcomings that don’t help the situation at all! I lack patience, yell way too often, and am terrible at playing kid games. She might even say I’m a momster!

I’m not kidding when I say that on more than one occasion (e.g. daily) I’ve had one or both kids cling to my husband or nanny instead of coming into my outstretched arms.

Literally, my daughter has renamed Saturday to “dadurday” and in her mind, that means that she want’s nothing to do with mama…mama can’t sit next to her during meals, mama can’t help her get dressed, even if mama is fortunate enough to tag along, the talk of “dadurday” is non stop in her effort to communicate to me that she loves daddy more (or at least that’s how it feels.)

Where did I go wrong?

On any given day, it’s hard to pinpoint what the trigger is. Maybe it was a lack of patience, raising my voice, lack of quality time, or something else altogether. 

Lack of Patience

Let’s start with lack of patience. How many times have I said “hurry up?!?” … “put on your shoes”…”brush your teeth”…”get in the car”, you name it and I’ve probably said “hurry up” in front of it!

Mom with hand on him facing her upset daughter who is looking away.


Yelling…can you believe it, I’m a yeller, or at least I’ve become one. When I used to take care of my nieces or friend’s kids, I never yelled. To the point above, I had patience until the cows came home. But now, with the two most precious gifts I’ve ever received, I raise my voice daily! I’m not proud of it…but it does happen more often than I’d like.

Not Playing Games

So, my husband is awesome at playing games with the kids…he’s definitely more fun than mama. I do things like cooking or crafts with the kids, but, like my mom put it…”Play is like currency with kids.” It’s what they love and it speaks to their hearts!

The Worst & The Best

It sucks to feel like your failing at the most important job of your life! On a day like the one that I described above, my heart hurts and I fear the worst, but then, in the blink of an eye, things change. Something is needed for school, comfort is desired after a fall, a cuddle is sought at the break of day and the words that make my heart sing are whispered…”I love you mommy…you’re my favorite mommy ever!” Or, Baby G, who doesn’t have many words yet, wants “up” – he wants me to hold him while I’m cooking, cleaning, brushing my teeth…you name it. He doesn’t care what I’m doing, he just wants mama!

From Mom Fail to Mom Prevail

You see, the role of mama is so much bigger than a brief moment picking up your daughter from preschool when she’s having an off day. Losing your patience, raising your voice, or not playing enough does not define it! The depth of love you give measures the role of mama best.  Love is patient, love is kind…it rejoices in the truth…always protects…always perseveres!  It’s displayed most by just being…being there when a hug is needed, a pep talk is warranted, or a tear needs to be wiped away. Consistency- day in day out!  Love can be soft and squishy, but it can also be hard and difficult (a.k.a. tough love) – the times when you have to stick to your guns because you know there’s a greater outcome in the long run.

Content girl with her arms around her moms neck hugging her with her eyes closed.

What to do when you have one of those days

So, now that I’m back to acknowledge that I’m not a “momster” what to do when we have another one of those days?

Zoom out!

Broaden your perspective…remind yourself of your most recent hug from your little or the last time Y’all had a memorable time. Remember that a preschooler’s feelings change with the wind. One minute they “hate” you and the next minute you’re the best thing ever.

Lighten Up!

Look at the situation with a sense of humor. Remember, one day you’ll look back on this mom fail and laugh!

Acknowledge Your Strengths

The reality is, we’re not perfect. In my case, my husband really is great at playing with the kids and I’m not as great, but I am great at other things. We’re a team and together, we got the basis covered! I might not be great at playing, but I am great at organizing play dates and outings!

Keep Growing

Find others that have gone ahead of you, maybe that’s your parents, maybe it’s a mentor; maybe it’s an online parenting class. Whatever it is, seek the wisdom of others and continue to learn and grow your own parenting skills!

Pat Yourself on the Back

Parenting is hard! It’s a tough job. Think marathon…not sprint. That’s why we do things with our own kids that we likely didn’t do with our nieces/nephews or friend’s kids. Acknowledge what you’re doing right, give yourself grace for the rough areas, and commit to learning how to do things better with your kids.

The next time you feel like a momster and want to focus on all of your shortcomings, zoom out, lighten up, recognize your strengths, keep growing, and acknowledge everything you bring to the table. You got this mom…you’re not a mom fail you’re a mom that prevails!

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  1. Alexandra says

    March 27 at 3:40 pm

    Reading this and thinking how my own husband would’ve squashed “Dadurday” like a bug – probably by obviously preferring little brother over her to teach her empathy for you. Parenting is so much more than games and hugs. It’s molding little people to be responsible and self-disciplined members of society. And love is also speaking truth. If E dawdles when she’s supposed to be moving, there’s nothing wrong with telling her to hurry up – reminding her the world doesn’t revolve around her and that’s she’s part of a community. 😉

  2. Brandy says

    March 27 at 4:52 pm

    We definitely all have “those days”! Thanks for sharing! Nice to know I’m not the only one who totally looses it some days.

  3. Lisa Favre says

    March 27 at 6:32 pm

    I totally know where you’re coming from. I too have found myself yelling at certain times and I hate it. However, I think I do need to give myself credit for the great things I have done – self-acknowledgment is not wrong or selfish!

  4. Jordan says

    March 28 at 12:26 am

    Oh man, I needed this today. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and the encouragement. Such good advice, and something I will be taking to heart <3

  5. Emma says

    March 28 at 3:47 pm

    Yep, this is me. And I have way more patience with other people’s kids. But, I’ve noticed a LOT of parents are the same way. When my kids have a rough day I tell them, “We’ll try again tomorrow.” I’ve started saying this for myself as well. And sometimes I’ll say it about myself to my kids so they can see me acknowledging that I might not have been the best behaved as well.

  6. Linda says

    March 29 at 10:21 am

    Yeller here too! I always had those “loud cousins”. You know the ones that ALWAYS yelled at the kids during family reunions… I always thought I’ll never ever communicate like that when I have kids of my own! Well, what do ya know? I have and I do. But it doesn’t make me a bad Mom by any means. It is something that I work on daily. I believe knowing what your best and worst qualities are as a Mom will only help with your personal growth, your relationship with your children, and your overall intentionality in Motherhood. Understanding we ALL have faults but it doesn’t make us failures is super important. I think of my flaws as a way to be more intentional about my role as a Mom. I focus more on improving them and at the same time be there for when my child needs me to nurture and love on him. Because It’s in those moments when I truly understand my “Rockstar Mom” status.

  7. Caitlin Downs says

    March 30 at 8:45 pm

    I think it is important to take breaks. You may feel guilty because you are not playing with your kids enough, but you also need to do things that you like in order to have energy to spend time with the kids.

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