You can desperately need a break from your children and still be a good mom.
You can make them a can of Spaghettios for dinner because you forgot to go to the grocery store, and still be a good mom.
You can scream at them at the top of your lungs on a particularly hard day and still be a good mom.
You can put them in time out, all while they cry and pout, reiterating over and over how mean you are, and still be a good mom.
You can take a week-long trip without them, just to save your sanity, and still be a good mom.
You can long all day for their bedtime and still be a good mom.
I’m not sure when it became some unwritten rule that moms have to be grateful every minute of every day.
You can love your children with every fiber of your being. You can live for them, breathe for them, give every part of yourself up for them, and still need a selfish moment to yourself. That doesn’t mean you don’t love them enough. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve them.
Being a hot mess doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Wanting a break doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Needing to step back every once in a while from the overwhelming workload of motherhood doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Not taking care of yourself WILL make you a bad mom.
Don’t punish yourself. Your needs are important. Your sanity is imperative.
So you snapped today? No big deal.
So you were too tired to do anything other than order take out. Who cares?
So you purposely took them on a long car ride after lunch to guarantee they took that afternoon nap. I get it.
You’re not a bad mom.
You’re a tired mom. You’re a frustrated mom. You’re a mom in need of some TLC.
You’re a good mom; especially when you’re doubting if you actually are.
This piece originally appeared on TODAY Parenting, published with permission.