We all have bad days – those days when just everything gets on top of us and it all ends in tears. And not just the kids’ tears.
You know those days when it’s not just about what happens, but how you’re feeling?
Some days you can cope with being elbow-deep in nappies, burnt toast, tantrums and nap strikes like a boss. Some days, just a whimper about not liking their lunch can send you over the edge.
Last weekend I had a bad day.
I’m sure I didn’t wake up in a negative mood but I became gripped by one pretty quickly, so I can’t have been full of the joys of morning (starting at 5am!) to begin with.
It all started with potty training.
These days very little to do with bodily functions phases me. I’ve had poo on my hands, arms and clothes and I’ve survived. Wee is a non-event.
And yet on this day bodily functions got to me. Not because I was grossed out, but because it formed part of my frustration that things just weren’t working.
I decided Sunday morning was the day to start potty training. We didn’t have much planned so I could give my toddler my full attention.
We have a potty in the downstairs bathroom which she has already happily used many times before.
She’s two years and nine months old so I believe she’s ready in terms of age and she’s ready physically. She’s totally aware of when she needs to go and can articulate this.
So we had a discussion about how she has no nappy on and needs to use the potty for wee. I put her on the potty every 20 minutes.
And yet by 10am we had had five wees on the carpet or sofa. Five.
By 10.30am I had thrown in the wee-soaked towel and put her back in a nappy.
So I felt like a failure, like I had clearly missed something in this process. I’m either doing it wrong or I’ve left it too late. She’s been ready for ages but I’ve put it off and off because I just can’t face it.
And it was made worse as I thought of how on earth I was going to solve this problem. How would I potty train her if she’s happy to swap nappies for pissing on the floor?
Next came my baby deciding not to nap. After this she produced two very impressive up the back poos that covered my hands and her up to the neck.
She’s teething and was having a particularly grizzly day. I feel so awful for her and at the same time sometimes worry if it really is her teeth that’s got her so upset. Is she poorly? She’s not warm. Maybe something else is hurting her?
I attempted to bake biscuits with my toddler because I thought it would be a nice thing for us to do.
It just resulted in me frequently scolding her for picking off bits of the dough and eating them every time I was distracted because I had to fish my baby out of the cat’s water bowl.
Read more: The shame of mummy rage
She did enjoy cutting out the star shapes. That bit was nice. But then the demands began.
“I want a biscuit.”
They’re in the oven.
“Give me a biscuit.”
You can’t eat them yet, they’re not cooked.
“But I like biscuits, waaaaaaaah!”
This continued on and on until I regretted ever thinking the word biscuit.
Finally my baby’s grizzling transformed into full-blown wails. I couldn’t smell anything so I didn’t check her nappy. Two hours went by as I switched between cooking a roast dinner and comforting my baby.
Whenever I had to put her down, her sad, red little face at my feet made me feel awful.
When I finally checked her she had pooed again. And I had left it there long enough to turn her skin red.
So I finished the day feeling pretty rubbish about my parenting efforts.
And now another day is upon us and all I want to do is crawl under the duvet and hide away from it all.
Hide from the cries, hide from the demands, hide from the responsibility.
But I can’t. It was my choice to have these children and I am their mum. This is my job 24/7 whatever the weather.
And ultimately I want to be there for every one of their days. The good and the bad.
I know that I have to just get through it all, somehow.
So if you’re having a bad day mama, I’m so sorry to hear it.
It’s tough. It’s so so tough.
Get through it however you can.
Remember tomorrow is another day and chances are it will be a better day.
You are absolutely not a bad parent just because you’ve had a bad day.
Anyone else had a bad day recently? Please share your story with me in the comments, it would certainly make me feel a lot better.
Read more: Just one of those days