Some days I don’t feel like I’m being a good Mum

There are no rules and we shouldn’t feel the pressure, but sometimes I just think I am crap at being a Mother. I just can’t shake off that feeling.

I was beating myself up during the week…

♥ They watch too much tv

♥ They play their ipods too much

♥ Oh, someone else reads to their child every single night for half an hour?

♥ We haven’t eaten proper vegetables for 3 weeks

♥ His pants are too short and I’ve neglected to notice

♥ I don’t talk to them enough about life

♥ My kids don’t know how to make their beds

It’s always something. That list can probably go on and on.

I guarantee at one point in our lives we are comparing our mothering skills to that of another. It’s just natural to do that, but boy does it make you feel like crap.

I’ve had that kind of week… where I’ve over-thought too many things and almost had myself in tears on Wednesday because I thought “maybe I really suck at this job“. Nothing in particular had happened. I don’t know what set me off.

I think I was feeling like I had to pull the reigns in on my family. You know that feeling (I know you know it!), when you just want to grab the kids and tuck them under your wing and re-group? I wanted to get them all together and cook for them, read to them, teach them things, fix their clothes… you know that MUM-STUFF. It’s a funny feeling you get when you worry about the job you’re doing.

But it’s a fleeting moment, and then I realised I’m doing ok. I’m not that crap at being a Mum. I just felt a moment of weakness. I mean, sometimes I still don’t feel grown up enough to have 3 kids. My eldest is 10! I think I have to pinch myself sometimes.

I’m doing the best job I can do. We all are. With no manuals and no help… I’m winging it like I always do.

Do you have those moments?

Update: The second you say you’re a little down in the dumps, people love it. They snigger and pump their chests out. I will block your ass if I feel like it. MY blog peeps (and MY twitter!). I do not want you to blow sunshine up my backside… I don’t blog for that reason. I’m just a sharer. Sorry, venting was necessary. Tall poppy syndrome in Australia strikes again.

Ok, I’m done. How’s the weather today hey? Freezing here!

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  • http://tatumwoodroffe.typepad.com tatum

    Not crap at all, just a mum and one who is doing a great job at that. I get all those same feelings at times (including not feeling grown up enough to have a 10 year old!). We all have to learn as we go at this gig, like you said there are no rules. It’s tricky stuff. I don’t really like it when people call me a supermum because it implies I am or should be something I’m maybe not quite all the time. I’m also finding that my older two are becoming more independent and don’t really need me so much to hang out with, sad but true :( I’m pretty sure you are actually doing a cracker of a job being a mum xx

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      It’s tough some weeks isn’t it. It’s probably because I went away and the routine was out of whack. Better next week!

  • http://www.workingwomenaustralia.com.au workingwomenaus

    It’s so reassuring to hear others feel like this too! Thank you. I feel like this regularly and often end up crying because I realise we only have one chance to get it right. The reality is, if we didn’t question ourselves, it is MORE of an issue. Surely it means we’re trying to improve. I don’t know you other than what I read here, but your love for your boys shines through all the time xx

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      True, if we didn’t question ourselves it would be more of an issue. Sometimes I just want to be perfect at everything and I know I can’t! I’m better today though! X

  • http://lisajking.blogspot.com Lisa King

    Yep! All the time. I also freak out at times because I realise I have an almost teenager and I still feel like I’m in my late teens myself! :) We definitely compare ourselves to others too much.

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      Teenager! Oh boy, that’s scaring me!

  • http://penny-barns.blogspot.com penny barns

    Thoughts we ALL go through. Your post as made me stop and think about giving the kids that extra time that i haven’t lately.
    We are all so busy working and trying to do so much in the day.
    YOu are a great mum!
    Pen x
    PS “now go teach them how to make their beds” hehe – maybe i should too

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      But I’m too particular about the beds hahaha!! X

  • Andrea King

    I absolutely have these moments, usually once a month when my hormones are all over the place.
    We mums are our worst enemy! Look at your family, watch how happy they, how loved they are, and how loved you are and know that you are doing an amazing job.

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      True, hormones and tiredness…. and being busy trying to jugging everything!

  • http://www.fitbodyfifty.com Kek

    I’ve had pretty much all those same thoughts over the years, Katrina. I always worked full time and was often too tired or busy trying to stay on top of housework to spend as much time with them as I’d have liked. But you know what? My boys have turned into amazing young men anyway, so I figure I can’t have done too bad a job. They’re smart, well-mannered, loyal, hard-working and would do just about anything for me (maybe with a little bit of grumbling…).
    I’m sure yours are great kids and will turn out just fine too.

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      Ahhhh I have years ahead of me… I’m sure they’ll be fine! X

  • Jandra

    I feel like I’m not doing the best that I can do in both being a mum & in my paid job. I’m always running from one to the other. I worry that I am letting things slip & regroup as you said but then I worry that I am too strict! I remember my worrying & guilt began when I was pregnant with my first & it was then that I realised that these two feelings/emotions will haunt me for the rest of my life. Thankfully the inner happiness that you open up when you have children helps to offset the negative thoughts. Our own standards can be tough to live up to but they are what drive us to work hard at being the best parent for our own kids.

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      Very true. Thanks for commenting. It’s nice to hear what other Mum’s think. X

  • Anita

    Its like u just read my mind, and Facebook status lol with some household paperwork drama demanding alot of my time this week I feel like everything else has slipped. I can’t just get it done and out of the way cos the toddlers run amok when I try which makes things worse on the house tidiness front. Government depts try so hard to make understanding things so hard that u just give up but I won’t!!! And $25 for one months bank transaction fees (his fault) demanded some account restructuring!! I did read them a story last night does that count to being a half decent mum lol off to start it all again :)

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      We all feel like this sometimes. It’s tough! Really, we are our own worst enemies sometimes. Shake off this week and start again next week I say. X

  • Narelle Rock

    I have those days as well, even today, it’s cold and wet and rainy outside, I’m sure there are some parents that would have a list of ‘inside’ fun games to play, where we like to watch a movie, then I feel like they are spending too much time watching the ‘box’!
    I guess we just have to say to ourselves…are they happy, clean, well fed, healthy and have good manners…if I can answer yes to all of them then I must be doing a decent job!

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      Spot on Narelle! X

  • http://mum-abulous.com Mumabulous

    I’ve been sifting through dozens of “Mummy” blogs lately and this sentiment is absolutely everywhere! If the blogosphere is any reflection of reality then we are all united by our feelings of inadequacy as Mothers. I find this really saddening, while no-one is perfect the vast, vast majority of women are wonderful, caring mothers. Its time turn this around ladies!
    http://mum-abulous.com/2012/08/15/feelings-of-adequacy/

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      I never write these types of posts – it’s not normally something I feel… I guess this is just MY moment :)

  • http://scandicoast.blogspot.com/ Scandi Coast Home

    Hi Katrina,
    I think you’re showing your boys that you’re a person too and you’re modelling how to be a great person……
    You’re there each day and that’s the main thing.
    Maybe you just have to be a ‘good enough’ Mum like me ;o)
    When I have a bad run of parenting I just tell the kids I’m not perfect but I just keep on trying……they seem to get that.
    I’ve had some shockers that’s for sure……some I’ll even admit to.
    Tania xx

  • Deb

    Yes, yes, yes. I still feel like that and mine are both young adults !! But, sometimes when you watch them use their manners, or do something kind, or treat their partners well, or when they tell you that they love you without being prompted – you know you must have done something right !! And thank goodness those things dont come by reading to them every night or cooking vegetables !!

  • Sarah

    Hi,
    This is my first time commenting I think, but I can echo these sentiments. I’ve just had my 2nd baby 9 weeks ago & this week have struggled in learning how to handle/balance/care/feed both kids, my eldest is 22months. Just last night I was crying & saying that I’m not sure if I can do this & if it will ever get easier.
    I too have a long list of particular things that equal my “bad mother-ness”!
    I look up to you & all that you’ve achieved & how you compose yourself while raising 3 boys, building a house & running a business. I thing you’re an engaged, loving mum who is doing a great job!
    Thanx for helping to not feel alone in my doubts.
    Sarah

    • http://www.katrinaleechambers.com Katrina

      Awww thanks Sarah! hey, I’ve been exactly where you are now. I remember a day I had 3 under 4yo with 2 in nappies and I was sobbing and sobbing in the afternoon when my newborn had pooed everywhere and I had to bath him again! My friend came to the rescue with 2 vodka cruisers haha! Sometimes you need to vent and release it, then suck it all in and start a new day. X

      • Sarah

        Thank you for saying so! My hubby did come home with a sneaky beer for me last night. Everything seems better in the daylight too I’ve noticed!
        I have no idea whatsoever how you had 3…even the thought scares me!!

  • http://www.lilyfieldlife.com Fiona, Lilyfield Life

    just realised my 6 year old can’t tie his shoe laces. also a few months ago realised my 9 year old was wearing size 5 undies. she was always complaining she was sore. Whoops…bad mother.
    ask your kids, i’m sure they wouldn’t want to swap you for anyone else@

    • Katrina

      My 6yo can’t either Fiona! Ooops!

  • http://www.travellingholycow.blogspot.com.au Renata

    Ha good on you!(in response to the last comment!) I guess we all have our moments, but no one is perfect, my kids are now 19 and 16, they are good people, thats my yardstick, I’m sure your kids will be great too!

    • http://www.travellingholycow.blogspot.com.au Renata

      I forgot to add they are real tech heads too, love their puter, ipods etc, its how it is now :)

  • http://funandvjs.blogspot.com.au Brismod

    We did the crack down on bedtimes, chores, and meal times and screen time the past two week. Sometimes I get slack and things slip which is fine until it gets to breaking point. Anyway, those four things have made a great difference and I feel better and in more control. Xx

  • http://belleinspirations.blogspot.com tracey

    I so know where you’re coming from Katrina and I think I’ve realised that we’re always going to question our ability as a parent, that’s our job and I think ultimately that’s what makes you a good parent by being able to take the time to access life’s happenings. You’re doing a great job you’re a fantastic role model for your children and at the end of the day they’re smiling and that’s what’s the most important xx

  • http://niki-friendsfamilyfun.blogspot.com Niki

    Oh Katrina, sorry you are feeling this way. There is a certain teacher at my kids school that sometimes makes me feel inadequate. Nothing major just a nagging feeling. And sometimes when I am running around on Mondays cleaning up every last bloody inch of this house I have an “I am not teaching these kids properly” moment. If I have a big fight with the teenager I have been known to cry myself to sleep.
    But you know what?-they are nice kids. And I love them more than life. Their Dad is involved & loving. Really I thank my lucky stars & always feel bad for everyone after I have beat myself up. Your a wonderful person & a great Mum. Anyone reading your blog knows your kids hit the jackpot.
    I often wonder what the difference is between us Mum’s that are killing ourselves trying to be better Mums & those that don’t give a crap about their kids.
    I know the difference.
    They aren’t killing themselves over being better Mums.
    So I guess as present, loving Mums we are always going to wonder what we could be doing better, smarter, more fun, blah blah.
    You doing great. Love Niki x

    • Katrina

      Thanks lovely! I’m over it now, but it’s good to vent and share. We all have our moments. Xo

  • http://fivebrothersonesister.blogspot.com Deanne

    I think feeling like this is part of being a mum- mum guilt! None of us are perfect and we all have bad days, weeks, months- but I think the kids survive no matter what and will probably turn out just as well as those other kids- you know the ones with the “perfect” mother!
    I had a bad week the other week too so I know where you are coming from!

  • charmaine

    Hi Katrina:) I echo the sentiments of most of these girls in one way or the other. Mine are 16 and 19 and i often reflect on their upbringing. We have had a great time, they are always well fed, their friends are welcome in our home, i feel saddened that maybe i could have worked part time to be with them more. We could have camped more, or travelled more, hung out more. But at the end of the day they are happy, well adjusted kids who i am so proud of and even if they don’t make their beds, clean the bathroom, or pick up their junk. I figure they are going to be gone soon enough and i have found the last 12 months i have had a few issues and i have learnt to let go of the trying to be perfect stuff, if they want messy rooms or grotty bathrooms, who am i to stop them lol. Im happy to cook the meals and do the other stuff because it makes me happy and happy mama makes for happy home. And at the end of the day does it really matter if they have watched a heap of tv today or played on their pods,,,,,take for a bike ride or kick a footy another day:) Get them to help with some baking or something, help dad in the shed??
    I think you are probably feeling under pressure because you have been away on an amazing adventure and are trying to get back in the groove……my advice, dont beat yourself up too much. Easier said than done i know but take a breath and just keep swimming, just like little Nemo:) Thanks for asking the question xxx

    • Katrina

      I love Nemo and you’re right! I’m letting it go. Was just a moment and thought it would be nice to share. They grow so quick and I’m sure I’ll have many more of these moments! X

  • http://www.thehousethata-mbuilt.blogspot.com A-M

    Just remember who pined their little hearts out for you when you were in New York. They adore you , you adore them. There are no rules. Never compare. A-M xx

  • Kate

    I feel this way quite often. We both work and sometimes I feel like we’re in ‘survival mode’ just getting through the bare necessities of life. I’m 29 and my third is on the way and sometimes I wonder why I keep doing this because I don’t think I’m particularly good at it. But then I watch my babies grow and learn new things and I realise exactly why I do it.

    • Katrina

      I bet you’re wonderful at it!

  • Mawsiepaws

    I’m not a mum so can’t empathise on that point, but I am a woman and know there are times when I do (or don’t) things and then second guess myself, my existence, my worth, the validity of what I have done. I guess it’s part of being a women – yours with greater respobsibilty (kids) and a judgmental audience (the slagers). Be kind to yourself on those days, remember there are many more supporters than detractors out here!
    Oh yeah, if they’re tall enough; teach the boys how to use the washing machine, far more important than making beds ;0)

    • Katrina

      You’re right the washing is more important!

  • http://stopthatowl.blogspot.com.au Bron @ Stop That Owl

    I always try to remind myself that if I really was a crap mother, I wouldn’t actually be asking myself those sort of questions, I just wouldn’t care. Yes, there are lots of things that I could do better, but my kids are happy and I’m sure they won’t look back on their childhood and remember that the bedtime routine sucked, the couch was always loaded with clothes waiting to be folded and that we ate ‘shortcut’ meals too often.
    I think it’s important to teach our kids that life is about more than just doing those things that we ‘should’ do, but about having fun and learning from our mistakes too.

  • Nerida

    In keeping with all of the comments above, yes we all feel like this some times. You often talk about your boys and how much you love them, and I am sure they love you just as much. I had just spent the last 20 mins crying because our 14 year old coeliac daughter got contaminated by freaking crumbs at our nieces 18th birthday party last night. Beating myself up thinking why did we go and stay over the night. We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves, but we always seem to keep doing it. xoxo

    • Katrina

      That’s terrible I hope she’s okay!!!!

  • brittney

    I’m no mother myself however I have just come home from being a nanny for triplet babies, children are difficult (adults probably even moreso haha)but I’m a pretty big stalker of your blog and you’ve only got to read a few of your posts to see that you’re a fantastic mother and do such a wonderful job!

    • Katrina

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoy!

  • Madonna Jenkins

    I can add to that:-
    1. Cereal for dinner.
    2. Too lazy to shower the kids before bed sometimes.
    3. God forbid, tuckshop once a week!

    My list goes on!
    Be you Treens. You’re awesome!

    • Katrina

      I love your list! Ha ha! I’m stealing it.

  • http://paisleyandpolkadotthreads.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    Hi Katrina,

    I’m sorry you’re feeling that way, but don’t feel alone beacuse we’re all right there with you. I hate to think about the update you’ve added, but again, please remember we’re all in the same boat!

    I also want to echo what someone said above; I have huge admiration for you. You’re business minded, taking on new challenges and getting out there and showing us we can do it to!

    Sharing the downs as well us ups is what makes us love you and your blog.

    Catherine

    • Katrina

      Thanks Catherine that’s really nice. Xo

  • http://eternalicons.blogspot.com.au/ Kerrie-Lee

    You are not just not ‘ not doing a bad job’ but you’re bloody honest too! Yay! I really like it when mothers tell it as it is. x KL

  • Caroline

    I love the “Mum blogs” who are brave enough to admit and document it for the whole world to see that some days they feel inadequate … we all do … go Katrina!!!

  • Kristy-lee

    And don’t you just love it When people say ‘my kids never did this ‘ or ‘she should be doing this this & that’ ‘oh I never had that trouble with mine ‘!!! Ahhhhhhh thanks Katrina I’ve been wanting to vent that for ages!!

    • Katrina

      I love a good vent!! Go for it :)

  • joanna

    Hi, I have read your blog, and yes we do all have these days, don’t think it is actually about us.neglecting them but more to do with us neglecting us. When I am down I think of the thing that makers me happiest, and that is spending the whole day.at the beach boogie boarding, flying the kite, and taking photos with the kids. It’s not for them it is.for me. Quite often your body craves meat when your low on iron, well I think you are craving time out with the kids. Life is short, have fun!

  • mcd

    I think we all feel like this one time or another. Not a good idea to compare yourself to other mums:) You only ever see the surface of what others are doing. I’ve just read a great book called MotherStyles by Janet Penley, check it out, she reinforces that great mothering comes in many styles. And you can always cut those pants to make them into shorts:)

  • Kath McDonald

    In my opinion, the most IMPORTANT thing you can give your child is LOVE!!!!!!!!! If a child is loved, they will feel safe & secure and everything else will fall into place as you go along the ‘journey’ together <3

  • http://memyselfandtheboys.blogspot.com Heather

    How freshingly honest! One of the many reasons I love reading your blog Katrina. Yes I feel that way often, right now at 35 weeks pregnant I feel like I’m doing nothing more than providing a presence for my kids, and even then I feel like I’m not good enough. We’ll have a good week soon enough and it’ll make me feel like super mum again! But in the meantime I’m pleased I’m not alone!

  • http://emhawker.blogspot.com Emily

    I hear you. We all go through it, surely?! When I feel like that, I just remember what I was like as a child. I wanted to play computer games too, I never made my bed, and I didn’t eat my vegies even when they were cooked for me. But I turned out okay (I think?!).

  • http://homely-one.blogspot.com Amanda

    It’s so evident from your bog how much you love your boys and your family and that in my books makes you an awesome Mum! Sure, there are times when we feel like we aren’t on top of things, aren’t doing things as well as we can and all that but motherhood is full of ups and downs and those few ‘downs’ are more than drowned out by all the love and positivity you bring to your boys’ worlds and for the inspiring person you are xx