A Letter to All Bad Moms

Kimberly Zapata

Oh, mama: I hear you now. You are berating yourself. Questioning yourself. Criticizing yourself. You are saying those words: I am a terrible mom.
I am a bad mom.

And you must be right…right? Because today, you lost your temper and yelled at your daughter. Because today, you snapped and spanked your son. Because today, you left the TV on all afternoon, so you could cook or clean or work or sleep or simply save your sanity. Because today, you caved and gave your kiddo a handful of Raisin Bran, a spoonful of Parmesan cheese, hot dogs, and ketchup for dinner.

(The. Worst.)

But here’s thing: If you were a “bad mom,” you wouldn’t care. You wouldn’t be bothered by things like healthy eating or educating — and entertaining — your kiddo every minute of every day. You wouldn’t be worried your words are doing irreparable harm. You wouldn’t be crying in the closet while your child plays in their room. You wouldn’t let the guilt taunt you, torture you, and consume you.

You wouldn’t be apologizing.

You wouldn’t feel remorse.

You see, if you think about it — really think about it — your reaction proves you are loving. It proves you care about your kiddo, endlessly and unselfishly, and you it proves you want the best for them.

Your reaction proves you are a GOOD mom.

So today, consider that when you are feeling crappy, when that voice of doubt and loathing creeps in. Consider that chicken nuggets never killed a kid, nor did a few cartoons. And consider that while you may not always be proud of your actions, you will make mistakes. We will ALL make mistakes. But maybe — just maybe — your mistakes aren’t “bad.” Maybe, just maybe, your mistakes are teachable moments: they help you grow. They help your children grow. And they make your bond stronger.

They make you a better woman, a better wife, a better friend, and a better mother.

Because you are enough. You are doing enough. And, “failures” and all, you are a good mom. You are a GREAT mom.



I see you and I have something to tell you about parenting.

This post is syndicated with expressed permission.

Kimberly Zapata is the creator and voice behind Sunshine Spoils Milk, a blog dedicated to motherhood and mental health. Her work has appeared on HuffPost, The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Babble, The Mighty, YourTango, Yahoo! Health, MomBabble, Mamalode, Bonbon Break, in Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!), and in So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood.