Nothing bad has happened, I’m just having a bad day

Family life

I wasn’t sure whether I should publish this on my blog. I wrote most of it earlier today, just for myself really, because when I’m emotional, I write. I wrote it mostly to get what I was thinking out of my mind, but it struck me that I won’t be the only mum feeling like this right now, so I thought I’d share it here in the hope it might make someone else feel less alone.

I’m having one of those days when I am struggling to keep on top of it all. In fact, it’s not just been one of days or even weeks; it’s been one of those months. Nothing truly awful has happened. Everyone is okay. I’m okay. It’s just all the little things have culminated in me feeling like I’m failing miserably as a mother/wife/professionally.

I hope that doesn’t sound overly dramatic. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not saying I have it any worse than anyone else. I know those close to me will tell me I’m not failing; that I’m a good mum, a good friend, a good journalist, and yes, for the most part I do my best. I’m just sharing that I’m having a crap week in the hope it will resonate with anyone else having a crap week so that they know they are not alone.

A few people have called me Supermum in the last couple of weeks. It’s a nice compliment – they think I’m successfully juggling all the elements of my life. But the truth is, I’m winging it like everyone else and wondering how on earth I’m supposed to do it all. People don’t really talk about the daily crap. You look at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and it seems like life is dandy for everyone. But everyone has crap days; those times when everything is rubbish and you just feel like screaming out loud.

Yesterday my baby had a sickness bug. It was an inset day from school for my older two and instead of doing all the fun things we had planned, we stayed home, me covered in puke on more than one occasion, trying to keep up with all the washing and disinfecting of surfaces, while cuddling the baby who cried every time I tried to put him down. The other two spent most of the afternoon winding each other up and fighting. I dropped a plate on the kitchen floor. Little Man O wouldn’t eat his tea.

The previous day, we were last through the gates at school drop off as Baby Boy I had an explosive nappy just as we were about to leave the house and needed to be hosed down in the shower. Already running late, the other two refused to put their shoes and coats on or to get into the car. I had kept my cool all morning but it suddenly got too much. I shouted at them. Loudly. I immediately felt like the worst mum ever because they are such amazing little people. Little Man O fell over in the school yard as we waved goodbye to Little Miss E and was inconsolable as his trousers were wet and dirty. We got caught in a rainstorm on the way to toddler group and I wasn’t wearing a coat with a hood and didn’t have an umbrella. We got home and the breakfast stuff was still all out as we’d left in such a rush. I spent ten minutes trying to get Baby Boy I’s porridge off the table (the joys of baby-led weaning). Dried porridge is like superglue. Then after lunch there was the mad dash to take Little Man O to preschool. I had a million urgent things I planned to do while he was there and Baby Boy I had his daily nap. Except Baby only slept for 10 minutes and spent the rest of the time wanting cuddles (in hindsight because he was coming down with something). So I stayed up until midnight trying to get it all done when I’d been hoping for an early night as a teething baby has left me pretty shattered.

Like I said, nothing big, nothing terrible. Just normal, everyday crap. The last few days have also seen me drop my brand new Thermos cup – bought so I can have a drink on the go, as like most mums I never get to have a hot drink when it’s hot – on the pavement, spilling my drink and breaking the cup. We also had 12 days without hot water as something in our boiler broke and it took a while for the new part to come in. That wasn’t how we had planned to spend our Christmas money. Water is leaking into my car. I think it’s going to be expensive to fix. Someone without kids took the last parent and baby parking space, meaning I had to park in a narrow space that meant struggling to get the car seat out. A 15-minute journey took me almost an hour due to the horrendous weather and rush hour traffic. It meant I was late despite giving myself plenty of time to get there. I realised as tea was almost ready that I’d forgotten to put the dishwasher on and there was no clean cutlery. I have bad eczema on my hands and even when I use rubber gloves, washing dishes makes it worse. I got juice from a satsuma in one of the eczema cuts and it was so painful it made me want to cry.

 The fact that I can’t keep up with the housework is getting me down. I tried to sweep and mop the kitchen floor while Baby slept. I was interrupted every thirty seconds by my other two kids needing the toilet, telling tales, asking me to get something. When the kitchen was finally clean, every single toy was all over the floor in the other room and someone had drawn on the table. I felt massively guilty for putting the housework ahead of my kids, wishing I’d been playing with them instead. I feel bad for moaning about all this stuff when Cardiff Daddy is at work all day and misses his children as much as they miss him. I feel bad for moaning because he is very supportive and does a lot around the house and with the children, but as the primary carer, most of it falls on me.

I made myself a hot chocolate with a dash of Baileys in it tonight, as I needed something to lift my mood. It was delicious but after I’d finished it, I was immediately annoyed at myself because I’ve been so good this month at eating super-healthy and trying to shift those last few pounds of baby weight. Little Miss E has asked me twice this week when my tummy will be small again. I don’t want her getting any body hang-ups so I tell her with a big smile on my face it took a long time for baby I to grow inside my tummy so it takes a long time for my tummy to go back to normal, especially as my body is still making milk for him. Inwardly I want to cry though.

After dropping my big two to school and playgroup this morning, I sat in the car and burst into tears. Baby I was asleep so he didn’t know. It felt so good.

I could feel the tears brewing again when I took Baby Boy I for a rushed trip into town because I genuinely don’t have any warm clothes. I have one thick jumper and when that’s in the wash I’m constantly cold, especially with all the school and nursery drop offs I need to do every day. It felt like nothing fitted. Shop changing rooms, with those massive all-angle mirrors and bright lights, always make me feel a bit rubbish, as do the glamorous shop assistants who wear more make-up to work than I do on a big night out. As I browsed the gorgeous clothes, I immediately put back a handful of things because they were made from delicate, light material and I know they’re just not practical when you have children. I look so mumsy and I wonder how that happened.

Like I say, nothing terrible has happened this week. Everyone is okay and for that I’m so grateful. Any one of these things on its own wouldn’t be an issue. I know some of them sound laughable. But when you are tired and have had no child-free time for weeks, sometimes everything can seem a bit suffocating.

You may can look like the most in-control, organised, efficient and laid back mum. But we all have rubbish days. It just seems self-indulgent or ungrateful to moan about it because there’s always someone having a much worse time than you. I’m as guilty as anyone for replying ‘fine’ when people ask how I am. I’m as guilty as anyone for not really talking about the crap days. For uploading cute pics of my kids onto Facebook rather than updating my nearest and dearest with updates about them arguing over a toy or shouting and screaming because I won’t let them have any chocolate/watch any more TV/whatever.

I was thinking what I would like someone to say to me right now. And it’s this. “It’s okay. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed. You are allowed to feel pissed off that you can’t keep on top of the housework or your professional work. You are allowed to wish for a moment where no one is demanding anything from you. It doesn’t make you a bad mum. It makes you human. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your children or that you don’t want what’s best for them. It just means that sometimes you have your own needs that are different to those of everyone in your house. It just means that, as the saying goes, everything does come at once. And everything is worse when you are tired. But you are a strong person with a big heart. You can cope with this and you will be absolutely fine.” So, for anyone else feeling bad for having a bad day when nothing truly bad has happened: I get it. I sympathise and I am sending you a great big hug.

Anyone else relate? Join Cardiff Mummy Says on Facebook, or tweet me on @cardiffmummy

Super Busy Mum

39 Comments to Nothing bad has happened, I’m just having a bad day

  1. This post says exactly what I’ve felt, more than once. So I get it, I sympathise and I’m sending a huge virtual hug back. I’ve had days when I’ve wanted to crawl into a small quiet space where no-one can find me, just for a few minutes breathing space (and I just have one).

    It is OK to feel like this, I hope the hot chocolate helps, and I hope there’s a good night’s sleep ahead soon – and that everything starts to feel better.

  2. Reading this with a large G&T in hand, after also having ‘one of those weeks’ when its felt like there’s with not enough time to get anything done properly in work, at home, or with the kids just the constant rush from one thing to the other, always with more and more to do!!!

  3. Totally hear you on all of that. It’s a vicious cycle isn’t it?
    The more you start to feel over-whelmed, out of control and
    despairing, the more you castigate yourself for feeling so glum
    when there isn’t even anything major wrong.
    But you are right, it is OK to just feel like everything is on top of
    We all totally empathise (I speak for mums everywhere!)

    Cut yourself some slack and see the baileys coffee for what it was – a
    much needed hug in a mug! X

  4. Im so glad you did decide to post this! This is exactly how I’ve been feeling. Nothing in particular has happened, but Baby H seems to have hit sleep regression and seperation anxiety hard, I feel guilty for not playing with him enough, guilty that I’m not taking him out enough, guilty that I can’t get on top of the housework, guilty that I’m grumpy with Mr H and I’m generally feeling crappy. I cried reading your post because it was nice to feel I wasn’t alone or that I was a bad person. I do need to get a grip, because not leaving the house and wallowing is only making it worse, but it’s good to know I’m not losing the plot! Thank you! I hope that everything starts to get better for you xxx

    • Oh I’m so sorry to hear you have been having such a crappy time too. Everything’s so much harder when you are tired. It’s comforting to know other people get days like this too, although it’s kind of rubbish too. Hope things get better for you too xx

  5. This made me cry, I’ve had a tough week and it’s nice to know I’m not alone! My husband was away on business last week so I was feeling thoroughly frazzled by Monday just gone, then my son developed an abscess which needed draining. (sorry, not nice I know!) So my husband came striaght from the airport to the hospital and we had an 11 hour wait……not good with a very active and lively 2 year to entertain! My son was fine in the end but my husband was very jetlagged and very grumpy and I couldn’t do anything right. Massive barnies all week, grumpy husband, I feel knackered and run down and to top it off the cat has the shits arghhhhhh!!!!! So I feel your pain, sending you a big hug xxx

    • Awww you poor thing, what a rubbish week. Glad to hear your little boy is okay, it must have been very worrying for you. Sending a big hug right back to you. I hope now your husband is back you can grab a little bit of me time. You deserve it! X

  6. Oh my! It’s really been building up for you. I really feel for you. I totally get where you’re coming from and if you’re a bad mummy then so am I! I think we out far too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. I’m the same. The reality is that it’s really hard work being a parent. Harder than anyone ever tells you and it can feel so isolating when you’re at home on your own. Some days in desperate for someone to talk to that is even vaguely adult. When you’re already juggling a lot it doesn’t take much to tip the balance so try not to be too hard on yourself. Your children won’t be scarred for life if you do a bit of tidying up instead of plying with them (I won’t tell you to ignore the mess because there are days when tidying up is the only thing that keeps me sane). The baby will get older and it will get easier and you will feel better. Hang in there xx

    • Aww thank you! Such a lovely message. You are right it can be hard and people don’t often talk about it. All the messages I’ve got on this post and on FB have made it clear to me that everyone gets days like this and we should be more honest about it all. X

  7. When your kids are still so young and depend on you for everything it is a constant stream of reactions…. And some days you are so sick of just reacting…. And sometimes these days turn to weeks and even longer. I remember it sO well and even though my kids are older, and I am back in work and feel to a certain extent i have more of me back, those days still creep up. We all need to stop trying to compete- if we would all admit to winging it, the pressure would be off!!!! Stay strong and know you are sane and normal…. It’s those who keep striving for perfection that are the nutters! X

    • Yes, you are right, if we were all more honest, then perhaps less of us would feel like we are rubbish for feeling like this. I’ve been overwhelmed by all the messages on here, Twitter and my Facebook group. Seems a lot of us get those days/weeks. Thanks so much for your lovely message xx

  8. Aw I’m so sorry you’ve had a tough day. I hope you’re feeling better. You are a super mum, but we all try to be supermum and you can only keep that up for a short period of time xx

    • Thank you!! I know everyone goes through days like this, it’s just no one talks about it, so you end up feeling rubbish about it. So many people have told me they know how I feel, which makes me feel more normal! x

  9. It IS ok, and it certainly does not make you a bad mother, or person. I feel the same way at the moment. Tiredness makes everything SO much harder, and even the easy things seem like a challenge. I think it’s always worse in grey, miserable January too, when Christmas is over and summer seems so far away. I am sorry you’re having a bad month and I hope you start to feel better soon. This week for me has been the same; when you’re tired and in a rush and everything is hard work and then you drop something and make everything worse. It’s so frustrating! I feel like I’m constantly battling housework at the moment and not getting time to play with my daughter or get out and do things. It’s so hard.

    I’m glad you shared this post, it definitely helps to know other people are going through the same thing as you. Big hugs xx

    • Oh thank you for your lovely comment. Sorry to hear you have been having a bad time too. You are right that grey, miserable January doesn’t help and it is definitely a constant battle. It’s been amazing how many mums get days like this. It seems we all do, just no one talks about it. I definitely feel so much better for writing this and hearing everyone else’s experiences. xx

  10. I’m so glad you posted this. It’s one of those reads that has had me nodding along at every turn – I’m so sorry you’ve had a rubbish time but I am glad to hear I’m not alone!
    Quite frankly it is all a lot harder at times than I ever thought possible – that doesn’t mean I don’t consider elements to be much lovelier, but the hard times are right there too.
    I simply don’t know how other people do it – I hear of people who are pro blogging, working, married with children and I just don’t get it! Where do they find the hours?! I’m currently running myself ragged trying to work, look after my two (7 and 2), the youngest is in nursery one day a week but that is when I do my actual ‘job’ working from home (whilst emptying the dishwasher etc), blogging just gets squeezed in, somewhere!!
    Don’t get me started on trying to clothes shop with children…!
    I’m ranting now but I hope you get what I’m trying to say…which is thank you!

    • It’s so hard sometimes, isn’t it? The worst thing is, most people don’t admit to it, which means you feel so alone when you are having a bad day. I wonder how other mums do it all too. Thanks so much for your comment and big hugs to you xx

  11. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Sending hugs back! I am having a bad week too and just want to sleep, or failing that, sit and cry, but my week doesn’t seem to have anything on yours so I think you are doing bloody well! Thanks for writing this as it reminded me I am not the only one who feels like they are failing at this mummyhood lark! Xx #mmwbh

    • Awww you are definitely not failing at anything! So many comments on this one – it seems everyone goes through it, just no one talks about it. I really hope your week gets better. Sometimes, a good cry really helps though. Hugs xx

    • Sorry to hear you had a tough week too, it’s always challenging when you’re doing it on your own. This week is a bit better, thank goodness. Knowing everyone else goes through it too has really helped me feel less of a failure! Hope your week gets better too xx

  12. This post rang so true for me too and, to be honest, it sounds like you had a much worse week than me. I’ve found the last few months tough since having baby number 2 (I applaud you just for holding it all together with 3!). I feel like I rarely get a second to myself. When the kids are asleep I’m trying to catch up with housework, washing or admin or, if I’m really good, I may actually catch up with sleep myself (although that doesn’t feel very productive to me!). I’ve been frustrated that blogging has ended up taking a back seat when it was something I’d really started to enjoy.

    Like you, my husband is very supportive but I feel, rightly or wrongly, that he gets more space than me, even if it is at work! And while I know a tidy house isn’t the be all and end all but ours is pretty small and it just feels so cluttered and claustrophobic if I don’t at least try to keep on top of things.

    Hope you’re having a better week. #MMWBH

  13. Emily Rowlands

    I can totally relate to this,having 3 children myself I have had many of these days.The guilt we can feel as mums is overwhelming at the best of times.My only advice is that it does get easier as they get older,mine are 13 9 and 7 although we have different struggles it has eased they are more independent which gives more time….whilst agreeing chocolate or the odd beverage of an alcoholic nature is good..a bit of time to yourself is the best…bath…a lie on the bed or just ten mins in a locked room lol…thanks for a brill read…we are all human xx

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Thanks so much for your comment, Emily. It’s good to hear from a mum of older children. I guess as you say, they become less reliant on you – although I am sure the teenage years will bring all manner of challenges too! 10 minutes just lying down wit your eyes closed does work wonders, and I’m lucky that yoga helps me too. I think the other thing I have discovered from writing this article is that everyone gets days like this, we just need to learn to talk about them more! xx

  14. Flipping heck Cathryn! You’ve been totally having a crappy time and you have EVERY right to moan about it! That’s exactly what Mummy Blogging is all about as far as I am concerned! (read all my posts EVER!) I love that we are like an online community of mums who can tell each other how hard we’re finding it because it is bloody hard! Don’t apologise…don’t think you’re being self indulgent. We know that we are all desperately grateful to have happy, healthy families but it doesn’t stop it being hard. It’s really, really good to share days/weeks/months of feeling like this because you’re right…we DO feel the same! Big hugs! Xxxx

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Thank you for your lovely message, that’s so sweet. Yes, you are right that sometimes we need to have a good old moan and it definitely helps to talk about it. So many mums have told me they feel the same. Makes me feel more normal! Xx

  15. Lottie Newberry

    This might be one of your old posts, but I read it after reading your new one about needing some me time and they both sum up how I’m feeling this week. Third baby (who is delightful) is 6 months, teething and clingy, my 3 year old and 5 year old always seem to want something, my husband is away/out a lot with work and I’m just feeling a bit fed up! I know it will ease, and there are some wonderful times each day – but I’d love to have a day to do something for me…will book it in once I’ve stopped breastfeeding! Also seem to be having a confidence dip, as feel like lots of my friends who stopped at 2 children now find me a bit dull as I’m in the baby zone again!Thank you for your posts.

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