I speak with hundreds of mothers each day and many feel a failure because, well because of so many reasons.
I am fully qualified in the feelings of failure.
I personally relate to the responses I received when I reached out the mothers on my support group and asked them why they felt failures as a mother.
I certainly know I am not alone in my feelings.
But I am saddened by the replies as these women in my eyes are amazing and inspiring because despite how they feel they are trying each and every day to be the best mother they can be.
Feeling a failure
I am a mother to six children and have often felt I have failed them.
I never quite feel good enough.
I question what I do consistently.
Could I have handled a situation better?
Did I give them the right advice?
Can I do better?
Am I giving them enough time and attention?
Is it my fault?
Do only my kids behave this way?
Bipolar disorder tried to strip me of everything I held dear and it almost did. I fought back. After losing my career and my friends to a mental disorder and even my health due to an
After losing my career and my friends to a mental disorder and even my health due to an eating disorder, I was so close to giving up, but giving up is not an option when someone calls you mummy.
I am sure my children who are being raised by a parent with a mental illness will tell you only positive feedback about my parenting capabilities, I have questioned whether they would be better off without me.
I look at my children and have felt sorry for them; they didn’t ask to have a mentally ill mother.
The negative voices will tell me that they deserve better than me, yet they are stuck with me so we make the most of it.
I know all too well how it feels to be a failure.
But what good does it do to live with blame and guilt?
I made a conscious decision to accept my flaws and to work on them, this also meant having to accept mental illness was part of my life and to do all I could to ensure I did not allow it to destroy our lives.
I will always need to take medication and I will always need extra support but I am living proof that with the right support you can be happy with who you are.
Society plays a big part
Society plays a huge part in our lives, especially as mothers, we feel judged and we live our lives comparing ourselves to others.
While many women lose friends when they become a mother, others have to leave the job they loved.
Many lost their partners after their relationship broke down following the added stresses becoming parents bring to an already unhappy relationship.
Is it any wonder so many mothers feel alone and afraid?
I hear ” I feel like a failure” daily from mothers, yet when I ask what they are going to do to change those feelings, they have no answer.
They don’t know how to stop those negative thoughts which are destroying them, it has taken me months, even years to learn how to change the way I think, it is extremely difficult at first, but I assure you it is worth it.
Learning to change the way you think can ease a stressful situation and lesson the anxiety.
I think my mummy friend of 3 kids says it beautifully here …..
Because we live in a judgemental world, ultimately I do my absolute best for my kids but feel a failure. I have 3 kids and 2 have disabilities and I have bipolar.
As much as I do my best I shout, scream and cry.
I miss parents evenings and forget hospital appointments, hell I sometimes forgot to feed them if we have a late lunch and I put them to bed and then realise we’ve had no tea.
I give into their demands for chocolate just to give myself 5 minutes piece and I bribe them with promises I have no intention of keeping just to shut them up moaning so I can try and drive the car in peace before I crash and kill us all.
I forget to wash their school uniform and end up at the sink scrubbing the stain off their t-shirt because I was so tired I fell asleep on the sofa as soon as they went to bed but then spent from 3 am this morning wide awake pondering whether they had done all their homework and whether I missed another appointment because I didn’t write it in my diary and now I’ve lost the letter.
I over compensate for my mistakes by spending money I can’t afford as a way to make them love me again because I didn’t have the energy to take them to the park (one of my false promises said to shut them up).
But when all is said and done and I sit back and think clearly I’m actually a really good mom, I’m normal, I’m human..
And just because the mum from school that befriended me on Facebook is always posting about her amazing kids and how clever and beautiful they are and seeing all the hashtags of being out with the kids and hash tags about painting with the kids I have to remind myself that this doesn’t make me any less of a mother.
I try to the best of my ability and some days are better than others.
Although some mornings I may turn up to school with my hair scraped back and food down my top from separating the food fight at breakfast I love my kids and my kids love me.
I remind myself that regardless of what social media portrays moms to be ultimately we are all human and I’m proud to be my children’s mother and regardless of my failings I’m a damn good mom.
What makes us feel like a failure?
I asked the mothers on my Facebook support group to tell me why they feel failures …
Because I go to work and I am not always there for school stuff, for example yesterday when my son forgot his swimming kit I couldn’t take it in to him.
I do try to make sports day and school plays but being a working mum doesnt always mean I can.
I feel like a failure when I shout at the girls sometimes and when I forget things they tell me.
Because I am a failure. I’ve an undiagnosed mental health problem (they are still trying to figure out what is wrong with me) which means they have to put up with a mum who is depressed and anxious.
They deserve so much better than me, they deserve a mum who is able to do everything with them but instead they got stuck with me.
When I tell my son to go play in his room because I don’t have the time or patience at the moment.
I felt a failure few times .
1. when I had to have my c sections
2. when other kids are going on holiday and mine can’t
3. when I’ve been pregnant and not able to go out far
Because I cant do the mum things that I am supposed too. I cant take them to the park because I have panic attacks. I snap too quicky because things in my head wind me up.
I forget the things they need for school and I dont sit and read my little girl a bed time story because I have somehow worn myself out over thinking everything from the day.
I felt like a failure trying to breastfeed my middle child because I couldn’t produce enough for her no matter how hard I tried.
I feel a failure because with having Fibromyalgia as it limits me in what I can do with them.
I think it’s actually safe to say I feel like a failure almost every day because I lay in bed and think of all the things I could of done differently.
I go to bed most night analysing my day:
Have my kids gone to bed happy?
Did I shout too loud?
Did I spend enough time with them?
Did I help them enough?
Did I love them enough?
Do they know how much I love them?
I think if we all have times of feeling a failure or analysing things it makes us all great parents because we are showing we care and love our children unconditionally.
Far too many reasons … My youngest is angry and violent, is it because I shout? I shout at my girls when they’re naughty, they get punished with sitting on the step. What if they grow up to hate me?
I have to go out to work, I see the tears because I’m leaving.
The ultimate is that I am destined to fail them, I tell them the same lie every day, that I will always be here.
I personally felt like a failure when I had a newborn baby that I couldn’t feed by breast and all I kept seeing printed all over was “breast was best” but due to a breast reduction I lost all feeling in my nipples and I couldn’t feel if he was feeding correctly or not.
I tried and felt like a failure when I couldn’t do it.
I feel like a failure because my 15 year old is suffering, because she self harms, because the bully’s pick on her because she doesn’t see the world the same as they do, because the people who could help don’t.
Because the ASD diagnosis is taking so long, because we didn’t pick up on the Autism until she was 13.
Her father is a self serving bastard who has barley been a part of her life since birth and he likes to pop in and out of her life and mess with her head every couple of years. He’s ignored her for 7 months this time.
I just don’t feel like I’m good enough.
Because I can’t do things with the kids because of my mental health and physical health. My son has problems and no one listens.
I feel like I shout at them when stressed but it’s not their fault 80% of the time.
I felt like a failure when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and various other medical and developmental issues, I felt like I was meant to protect her and keep her from pain and I couldn’t.
When my child needed a dental filling at age 3
I didnt manage to successfully give birth to him (silly, but thats how it felt).
I shout too much, sometimes I just have to walk away and I could be more attentive.
I am only just now bothering to assess my mental health to be better for him and hes nearly 2,
I couldnt bite my tongue and keep his family complete.
I cant buy all the nice things his dad can.
I could go on and on.
Having Crohns disease and Fibromyalgia means I can’t be the ‘normal’ active mum most are. I spend a lot of time in and out of hospital and I spend a lot of time curled up in a ball in agony.
I feel like my son deserves better than this life I’m giving him right now and on top of that he has coeliacs disease which I blame myself for every single day.
Because I see every day how I fail my kids.
They have everything material they want, but I am not a good mum.
I am mentally ill and physically ill and I can’t be the mum they need me to be.
I just don’t have it in me right now. I try hide it and I’ve been hiding it well, but it’s not enough and they need me to be better.
I feel like a failure because of my depression, it came to a point where I was struggling to get out of bed and I was shouting at the kids over the silliest of things.
I’m finally getting to grips with it but I still feel like I’ve failed them as I was never really there when they needed me.
I’ve also just started work at the weekends and my kids miss me and beg me not to go.
I feel I’ve failed totally for staying in a abusive relationship as long as I did, I should’ve got out sooner, I should’ve protected them more.
My health physically and mentally stops me doing things I’d like to do or things I used to do.
I shout because my heads playing games or because I am in pain and it’s not their fault.
I can’t always give them what they want and I feel I’m not enough and they deserve better.
I feel a failure because I am not giving enough of my time to her as I am now at university trying to do better than just waitressing jobs so I can provide for my daughter.
I also feel bad because she can only see her dad once a fortnight as he can’t get a job here with us.
Not giving my children enough quality time and attention.
I work nights and I’m tired all the time, cranky and short tempered.
At the moment I’m 7 weeks pregnant and feel so sick all the time and need constant naps.
I can’t even find the energy or the stomach to wash up sometimes.
Because I go to work and they are long hours, longer at weekends.
I feel guilty of not being able to take my teenage kids into town shopping, they have to go on there own.
Suppose mine is knowing that I forced my little boy to go his biological dad’s when I knew he didn’t want to to go ( court order) and then finding out he was being abused.
He now has counciling and it has effected him so much and he’s only 6, it’s really hard for me sometimes when I have to be strong for him when he’s upset and is telling me things that happened and all I can think of is its all my fault
Because no matter what you do, it’s never good enough
I’m being the best mum I can be and no one is believing me as they are always there judging me.
I have a medical condition and I didn’t even consider my children would get it, sadly some have and it breaks my heart.
Firstly my child was born with a heart defect and although the doctors said it’s nothing I had done I still feel guilty for all the surgery she’s been the trough.
I feel a failure as I have no choice but to work as I wouldn’t afford the rent if I didn’t work.
The guilt I feel daily is horrible.
I work at a preschool and am kind and patient with kids all day long but after 8 hours a day at work once I get home I can lose my patience with my daughter so easily because I am exhausted.
I feel like a failure massively in this pregnancy but to put cherry on cake was the day I got told I had gestational diabetes.
I feel a failure because I stayed with my ex too long, becauseI have to work full time and it’s crappy shift hours and because we are always skint.
I don’t do enough with them and don’t spend enough time with them.
I’mm fat and self conscious so it holds me back from doing things with them.
When I’m really tired from work I’m short tempered, I moan about housework if things are out of place when I shouldn’t worry about it.
I constantly feel I’ve failed my kids.
I didn’t become pregnant until I was older. I have a hereditary heart issue that killed my mother at an early age. I obsessed over that and oftentimes worry I will leave my young children without a mother.
I work full time and I feel like I’m not there for my children in the way I should be.
I fuss too much and take too much for granted.
I fear my babies will one day forget how very much I love them.
Please note that these are real responses from real mothers who are living with these feelings of guilt and failures each and every day.
Can you relate to any of these feelings of failure?