Divorce · Motherhood · parenthood · Relationships

Bad Mom Syndrome


Today I spent a good portion of my morning, well, mourning the “what ifs” and “should have been” of my life. Staring at the dishes, the small dog hair dust bunnies, the pile of laundry that needed to be put away I was overcome with inadequacy while my almost-2-year-old ran circles around me.

I have great friends who can tackle these huge things in life with ease and efficacy– weddings, funerals, graduate programs, grueling rotations. These capable woman who accomplish monumental tasks. And here I was– crying in my kitchen over dishes and laundry.

And I found myself wishing for something I never actually had…

I felt like there should have a husband in the next room willing to help. But, there isn’t. It was just me. I’m all there is.

Which is the real worry makes itself know. The annoying little flighty thought I never can shake: What if I’m not enough?

I may be all there is for most of this. Which was not the plan. But life tends to tie our plans in knots you can’t undo. So, here I am. Single mom. Unorganized, last-minute, not-good-at-housework single mom.

The problem about getting divorced, is that it means you chose wrong. At least for me it just signals some epic failure. But staying with the sinking ship and drowning myself was one thing. Not letting my kid have a chance in life was another. And so, I ended it. Called it quits. Threw in the towel.

I gave up… and that was a really hard thing to do. Because I really wanted it. I wanted to make it work. I didn’t want to succumb.

And much like I stumbled into the conclusion, I had to end my marriage, I have decided I have to let these worries go as well. After a days worth of crying, I have to admit that being swallowed up by feelings of ineptitude is a luxury and it’s not one a single mom can afford to entertain.

In five years, a dirty kitchen won’t matter. The fact laundry sits in a basket for a few days before its put away will be forgotten. That cereal was for dinner instead of a roasted chicken will probably be celebrated.

In the midst of getting settled in a new place, divorce, and adjusting to responsibilities of parenthood, I think its easy to fall into the trap of feeling insuffient. To let loose the cover to Pandora’s jar and just let Hope fly away. Yet, if could just remind myself to look at the big picture, I could instead let the “what-ifs” go. Something that would save myself a few tears. If I just remember what matters, I might find that balance I was looking for.


Oh gosh, I just spilled my guts. Please comment and tell me what you think. :)

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