Dear Mom Who is Totally Screwing Up

Dear Mom Who Is Totally Screwing Up

Rhiannon GilesRhiannon Giles
Blogger at | Mom of Two

Dear mom who is totally screwing up,

Today my five year old daughter screamed the whole way home because I would not buy her a pottery wheel.

Today I lost my patience. I will lose my patience again tomorrow.

I sometimes clean up her messes, because I can’t deal with the potential meltdown, or the calm presence it would take to walk her through how to clean it on her own.

I let her watch kids’ shows with obnoxious characters who whine a lot and lack depth.

I tune her out after hours of nonstop talking. Lord knows what I have given her permission to do when answering with a vague “yeah, sure.”

Yesterday she informed me that she hates quesadillas, one of the five or so foods she would willingly consume. Eat chicken nuggets then. Whatever.

I catch myself whining at her, in the same voice that enrages me when it comes from her mouth. I am failing by example.

I’ve read the articles, I know the current “rules” of being a great mother. I think most of those carefully curated “shoulds” were written by liars and people who have never been around children. At best they are hopeful ideals.

I gave into the tantrum, because my brain was so loud and it was the only way to filter out some of the noise.

I am not teaching her enough about empathy and equity and racism and compassion and feminism and and and…

I said it was time to go! Get your shoes on right now!

Kids need rules, and structure, and patience. Those things do not play well together. Probably because their mothers failed them.

I played on my phone. I played on my phone because I needed to escape, and if you just leave your kid at the park people call CPS.

In a minute, I’m busy right now.

I’m busy not volunteering at school. Not reading enough books to her. Not not not.

Inside my head there is a version of me sitting with my head between my knees and my hands over my ears.

Inside my head there’s a version of my kids tapping me on the shoulder repeating “Mommy, watch this.  Mom.  Mommy. Mom.”  Because of course.

But I do know this. At the end of the day, she asks to cuddle. She shares her dinnertime candy with me because she “likes to do nice things for people.” She talks about the fun things I actually mustered up the energy to do, not as a way of saying how much better I could be, but of saying how much enough I am. She sometimes mimics my worst, but also mimics my best.

So maybe there is hope. Maybe It’s not so bad. Maybe there is always tomorrow.

Dear mom who is totally screwing up, I wish this could be one of those uplifting messages about how you’re really not.  But maybe you are. How the hell would I know? All I have to offer you is solidarity and a glass of wine.

Maybe maybe will have to be enough.

This post was originally posted at on 2/18/16.

Rhiannon GilesAbout Rhiannon Giles

Rhiannon is an overwhelmed mother who only occasionally considers giving her children to the circus. She has a sarcasm problem and writes regularly at To keep up with new posts and see some of her favorites, join her on Facebook.

View all posts by Rhiannon Giles here.

12 Comments on “Dear Mom Who is Totally Screwing Up”

  1. Thank you for this! It’s impossible to be a perfect mom and it’s comforting to know that others are going through the same things.

  2. Solidarity sister! I’m right there with you. We just do the best we can and some days are better than others.

  3. Thank you for this article. We moms are so hard on ourselves and it is exhausting, so nice to know I’m not alone “)

    1. You are definitely not alone, Desirae! No need to be so hard on yourself. Thanks for the comment!

  4. I had a really bad month with my boys in February. They were sick on and off for the whole month. One would get better then the other would get sick. My husband was sick too. It was really rough. I don’t know how I managed without going crazy. Loved reading this.

    1. Hmm…that month sounds familiar…LOL. Sorry to hear about how tough it was. Glad it’s behind you! Glad you liked this post. Thanks for your comment!

    1. LOL! Glad you liked it, Andriana! Nobody is perfect. :) Thanks for the comment!

  5. I really love this. It was a good ready. I have a 1 year old son, soon to be 2 and he is a complete riot. But we just have to remember there is no perfect parent.

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