The Bad Days

They don’t tell you about the bad days.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when you’re sick and you’re alone with two children and everything they say, every little thing, leaves you feeling like your eardrums have been pierced by a thousand needles and your entire world is confined to an everlasting world of noise and pain and pointless arbitration.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when your fever is so high you’re starting to hallucinate, but your two-year-old still needs cuddles and your children still need dinner and you find yourself crying while you’re cooking some barely-nutritious meal and you don’t even know why.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when your entire body aches and your children give you ninja-cuddles that leave you breathless and overwhelmed and you do your best to smile and thank them, but after the fourteenth time you snap and yell at them not to touch you.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when you sit inside your mind, watching yourself be the parent you never want to be, and you can’t. Seem. To stop.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when the guilt is worse than all the sickness in the world.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when you want to yell and scream and punch the walls and tell these beautiful children in your care that you just want them to leave you alone for five expletive minutes, and the effort of not doing exactly that is so draining that the tears flow freely.

They don’t tell you about the bad days when the effort is too much, and you do yell at them and you see their little faces crumble and you would do anything, anything, if you could just step back in time two minutes and take back those words and be the person they need you to be.

They don’t tell you about the bad days.

And when they come.

(Because they will.)

All you can do.

Is hope that tomorrow.

Is a good one.

The Superheroes


Filed under Life With Kids

24 responses to “The Bad Days

  1. When you are inside of a moment, especially an emotional one, it seems that moment is forever, and nothing will ever change. It’s next to impossible to step back and realize that all it is a moment, and it will soon link to another moment and then another, until on the plateau of a moment some moments away from the moment you’re momentarily caught up in– everything has changed forever.

  2. Me

    Oh my dear friend. Give yourself a break. To crack is normal. To cry is normal. To shout is normal. To scream is normal. It’s not actually what you do that does the long lasting damage, but how you handle the aftermath.

    I was a frustrating little kid and my Mum broke more wooden spoons on me than any of my brothers & sisters combined! My dad took to the back of my legs with his belt. My Mum is my best friend and there is no one I am closer to in the world and I believe this is because, every time she cracked, she talked it out, apologised for loosing her cool and followed it up with the patience and love and care. I am of course estranged from my Dad who never apologised, who never explained, and who always held a grudge.

    I’ve cracked! And I’ve apologised if I have done the wrong thing and I’ve talked through why it happened and what would have been a better way to handle it if I wasn’t sick/tired/occupied and I think I have beautiful relationships with my kids as a result. And if not, they’ll end up as messed up in the head as me!!

    I hope you’re feeling a little better and if not, I hope you’re able to hit the hay soon.

    Miss you.
    Love you.

    Bec xx

  3. Two things: Kids are resilient. Hugs always negate harsh words.
    Well, three things: Wishing you good heath and more of the days they DO tell you about.

  4. Bad days are what make us so very human. The bad days teach us that nothing is ever to be taken for granted, and that perfection is an impossible ideal.
    On the bad days, your boys don’t see a bad version of you, they see the mom they love who is suffering–and they offer to make her feel better with a coffee. πŸ™‚ The experience teaches them how to cope in a world where everyday isn’t seashells and balloons–they will know how to love the world on a clouded day because they remember sunshine.

    • Thank you, D. And yes, even in the midst of the bad day, there were my children looking after me and making me coffee. With a little perspective, I found myself wondering what I was feeling so upset about. Like Bee said, it can be hard to see outside the present moment. I’m so glad to have beautiful friends who will listen when I have a cathartic meltdown on my blog.

  5. Nicole L. Bates

    If it weren’t for the bad days, we might not appreciate the good ones. It’s true though, they don’t tell you, and if they try, you don’t believe them until it actually happens. I try to keep in mind that one of the most important examples I can give to my son is how to express what I’m feeling on those bad days. It’s easy for people to say, “I’m happy.” or “This is fun!”. It’s so much harder for kids to learn to say, “I’m frustrated.”, “I need a break.” or “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.” Every day in everything you do, you are teaching them to be good people. Sending hugs.

    • Thanks, Nicole. Next time I have a bad day, I’m going to remember your kind words. I’m teaching my children that it’s okay to have bad days, and it’s okay not to be perfect, and it’s okay to say you’re struggling.

  6. Lisa Threadgill

    I remember the few times all that got to my own mother. Yep, it was shocking, and confusing. But you know what ? It didn’t change how much I loved my mother one little bit. She was the kindest, most loving, most supportive person I have ever known. And your kids will feel te same way. So ease up on yourself, okay?

  7. Thanks Jo. I so needed to read that. The holidays are reaching their longest point and the boundaries are increasingly being tested beyond snapping point and ruthlessly by my otherwise lovely son. I don’t even have to be feeling unwell, just a little over tired or pre menstrual usually does it for me (read: far too frequently!) The days when I wonder what the hell I’m teaching him and am struck with guilt and insecurity and self loathing just as you describe. Tomorrow will be better and one day soon School will take the load off! πŸ™‚ Hugs. We feel your pain x

  8. I don’t have children. You are amazing with yours. They may not understand now but they as they grow older. You love them so much. That’s obvious to us. I’m sure it is to them. Be better very, very soon. xxxs

    • Thank you. πŸ™‚ Tomorrow was a better day, and my children are amazing. They teach me so much about life and love and myself, how can I do anything else but give them the best of me? Which is, of course, why I feel so bad when I fall over in a crying heap of existential melodramatics.

  9. I think you know how I feel. I hope you’re feeling better. xx

  10. Your boys are gorgeous. And you love them so much. That glares through everything you write. Just remember that. You will be ok. They will be ok. Being the best mother you can be is what you are always doing. Now give yourself a hug and a pat on the back. Thinking of you from across the globe

  11. If they told you, you’d never do it. But aren’t you glad you did?

  12. Kate is

    There should be a class in high school, where they tell girls that there is no such thing as day off when you have a child. Absolutely no such thing. I hope today is a better one for you.

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