I Am Not a Perfect Mom

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. I am not a perfect mom. As I write this, I’m on the verge of a meltdown and I’m trying to hold back tears because I am overwhelmed. Who am I kidding? I want to throw a tantrum like my toddler. But, I have to compose myself because I’m 36 years old. Does throwing a tantrum really help one to feel better? My kids are throwing them today like it’s a form of therapy. I just came to hideout in my bedroom so they can’t see they’re winning a battle. Who knew motherhood was boot camp?

Being a mom is a calling and like all callings, I am learning to triumph over the obstacles and the tough days. Each morning, I awake with the best intentions as a mother to my children. I’m greeted with two of the most beautiful smiles, warm hugs and kisses, and chatter that sounds like music to my ears. All of which, reassure me that these beautiful gifts from God, love me as their mom and I adore and love them unconditionally.

But my God, I fall short everyday.

  1. I am not a perfect mom because my patience comes up for questioning when my toddler whines to ask for something. And I get frustrated because she can talk.
  2. I am not a perfect mom because I’m sure I have anxiety attacks when my children are crying and screaming together and wants to fight nap time. God, why? Is this how you’re making me stronger and resilient?
  3. I am not a perfect mom because I feel like throwing in the towel and going into hiding to avoid what feels like a lifelong boot camp. How many times do I have to proclaim, Terrific Twos, not Terrible Twos. 
  4. I am not a perfect mom because I haven’t cleaned my house. I need to fold and put the laundry away. But, I don’t feel like doing it. Toys are everywhere. Is it not insane to keep picking up toys when they will find their way back?
  5. I am not a perfect mom because I enjoy my mobile phone and have been distracted by it. It is how I try to stay connected with family and friends, as an expat mom. But, it disconnects me from the moment. Recently, I felt so horrible when my daughter pushed it out of my hand because she wanted my attention.
  6. I am not a perfect mom because I crave time away from my kids. For my birthday, I couldn’t think of a better gift than for me to celebrate it alone. I am an INFJ poster child, and need my personal space and time alone to decompress. How do you tell that to a 31 month old and a 9 month old?
  7. I am not a perfect mom because I let media entertain my children. Gasp! I used to refer to the TV as the idiot box. Now, I have one with nearly 20 channels of Kids TV. My toddler has her own tablet and knows how to use it. My infant hears the theme music from her favorite shows on Baby TV and drops what she’s doing to go and watch it.

The mother I visualized myself to be is not realistically the mother I am. I get annoyed, frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, and even sad. But I also feel happy, awake with joy, and elated when my efforts towards and intentions for my children come to fruition. When I hear my toddler use a new phrase and when my infant conquers another developmental milestone, I jump for joy, praised their efforts, and can turn a cot wheel.

Being a mom is an emotional roller coaster. No one talks about the bipolarity of parenthood before you have your children. Other mothers only talk about the dark side of motherhood if you, yourself are brave to disclose to them how much of a horrible person you feel because you lost your cool to these amazing kids who tried it.

I fail at being a perfect mom everyday. But, thank God every morning is a fresh slate for me to fulfill, to be and do better in my role as a mother. I just have to always show up with the best of intentions. And that, I do.

For the mothers out there, what do you do on those tough days as a parent?

I am an American living in South Korea and the creator of Allured Abroad, an expat lifestyle blog focusing on expat family life, parenting abroad, and raising multicultural kids. I’ve been living abroad for nearly five years and what I have realized through travel and cultural immersion is that we’re just one in 7+ billion people. With so much variation in the world, what are the possibilities?

4 Comments

  1. Your alone time is a must! Honestly I run away from home maybe once year but I am opting for 3. I have to get away from everyone. When I get back I am fresh and ready to get back to work. Its the equivalent of lunch breaks of life. I Do Not feel bad. In order for us to be the best moms we need selfcare. So whatever it is that makes you happy find a way to take care of you daily. Do the bigger trips annually. The more you take care of yourself the love will spill over into family making you happy and them ultimately even more happy! #saidthemommyof4

    • Thank you, Renee! It is well received. There’s no doubt that I need my alone time. Self-care is very important. For the longest, it had been a challenge because of a lack of a real physical support system due to being away from home. Creating a social support system abroad is challenging, but not impossible.

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