dear mom who sometimes feels like she is a terrible mom

Just the other day, in the middle of the day, as the glorious Minnesota sun streamed in my kitchen window – which, by the way should have put me in a wonderful mood – I burst out saying that I was simply a terrible mother.

I don’t know what even brought it up.

Maybe it was the trail of cereal on the counter or the little boys fighting or the laundry hamper that never seems to be emptied or the fact that I was just tired or that I never seem to finish the to-do list much less actually do one of the 743 or something pins that I’ve pinned on pinterest.

I felt like a terrible mother. Like I couldn’t do it. That I was failing.

You’re just a terrible mother. That’s what I heard.

It’s like a constant whisper in the brain sometimes, isn’t it?

You’re no good. You don’t measure up. You’re going to mess those kids up. You are failing. You can’t keep your house clean. You can’t teach them. You are terrible at this mothering thing. Why did you think you could do this? When are you ever going to get all of this stuff done? Did you realize that you’ve made macaroni and cheese for lunch two days in a row? Are you ever going to work out again? When are you going to make some fun crafts with the kids? Why don’t you ever get the glitter out? You know you’re behind, right?

I know I’m not alone.

I know that there are those of you out there who think those thoughts, who worry about measuring up, who worry that they’re not doing enough with their kids.

We worry, moms, we worry.

We worry when they should read or how they speak or if their shoes can be tied by themselves and if they can’t we get them velcro shoes but worry that they’re the only ones with velcro. We worry and apologize when others come over that the house isn’t clean enough or that our projects aren’t on the wall or that they saw the sugar filled cookies in the pantry and you’re wishing you had made that super healthy granola with chia seeds instead and then we worry that we served the right food or if our kids were good and why didn’t they answer more politely or hope that we didn’t look like a fool when we opened the hall closet and the boots so carefully stacked immediately fell out. And somehow in all of that worry and wonder the words, the lie, about motherhood creeps in.

You’re not a good mother. You’re terrible. You’re failing. Look at everybody else who has it all together.

Why don’t you?

Those words, those thoughts, are often just lies. We don’t have to listen to those words, you know. Funny thing is that I think deep down we all are sitting here looking at our screens and are wondering how the gal who writes about joy and motherhood knew that those thoughts are in our heads. You know how I know? I know because I struggle with this issue of motherhood identity and worth and not letting what I think motherhood should look like really cloud what motherhood really truly is.

I love motherhood.

Most days.

But too often I let those thoughts, those thoughts that sometimes you might have as well, distort motherhood. Motherhood is already exhausting, truly exhausting, and now you and I are being told that super mom is attainable in 42 easy steps that takes just 7 weeks and if we act now we can get the bonus book with 365 exciting kids meals to make for only three low payments. Super mom, the mom with the perfect hair with the appropriate highlights that makes her fun, trendy and still within her age group, with skinny jeans and cute boots, and a fabulous bag, and a minivan that never has a crumb on it but has nifty organizing systems, who checks her iphone for only needed things, and never ever raises her voice but cheerfully responds with tell me more and I love how when you paint that half the paint gets on you because you are so creative and well, well, that’s a fallacy. Really.

You and I know motherhood is just a tad bit messy. It stretches our brains, pushes our creativity, makes us more patient then we ever thought possible, and makes us question worth with ridiculous thoughts of being a terrible mother because we don’t do 1083 perfect things every day.

Those lies about being a terrible mother – what if you switched them today to words about how much you matter? You see, I was mulling over those words after my seven year old refused to do his math and decided that now was the time to start the greatest rebellion a seven year old could – and let me tell you sometimes reasoning with a defiant seven year old takes some of the greatest strength, wisdom, and patience available. And, well, I didn’t handle it well. Nothing seemed to matter and my words were met with defiance and then everything decided at that moment to crash. The five year old joined in, the three year old escaped, and if I remember right something spilled on the floor and the phone rang.


Those things don’t define me as a mother just like your bad days don’t define you as a mother either.

Bad days are normal. Hard days are normal. Normal, mothers, normal. Life is messy.

Life is full of defiant kids, spilled coffee, nothing for dinner, math pages not done, lots of noise, messy counters. It is full of late nights, relationship struggles, bills to be paid, and unrealistic expectations.

But let me remind you – life is also full of sweet moments that are often forgotten when those you’re a terrible mother moments fill our heads. Moments like the time you rocked the baby to sleep, prepared Food Network quality great dinners, got math pages and extra credit done, little I love you’s, books read, hand in hand walks through the store, the time that you said yes to the little thing, sunsets and sunrises, laundry baskets that are completely empty, toys that are sorted, and sweet moments of peace.

Remember those in those terrible feeling motherhood moments.




It’s easy to be too hard on ourselves. Especially in those overwhelming moments. So today, right now, I want you to write down the words I matter somewhere and put them in a prominent place in your home. On your fridge, on the calendar, anywhere. And the next time you start getting into one of those cycles of overwhelm I want you to stop what you are doing, walk over there, and look at those words. And if you’re really wanting to do something extra list three things on there that you love that you do well.

Maybe you make the world’s best pancakes on Saturday mornings. Maybe you listen really well. Maybe you have the most awesome voices when you read stories. Maybe, just maybe, you’re one of those cool people who never gets behind on laundry. But you do do stuff well.

Start seeing that, sweet mom who is tempted to say that she’s a terrible mother.

Having a bad day doesn’t make you a terrible mom. Saying things that you wish you could later take back doesn’t make you one (but just be sure to apologize if you blurt something out or next time call a friend). Needing a break doesn’t define you. Those things don’t have any bearing on you as a mother. None. So, listen to me, the next time you hear yourself say that you are a terrible mother you are going to replace it with I matter. Trying is not failing. Having a bad day doesn’t make you terrible.

It’s just real motherhood.



If you didn’t care about motherhood then it would be one thing. You see, even having the thoughts, the worries about being a terrible mother truly tells me how much you value being a mother. You care and because you care you strive to be better.

You can do it. Remember the words, I matter,  that I want you to write down on a sticky note?

You matter.

More than I could ever write.

From me, the mom who writes about motherhood but still deals with her own battles about motherhood to you, the real mom, in the trenches with me. Fighting for each day, loving the moments, and being real.


86 Responses to “dear mom who sometimes feels like she is a terrible mom”

  1. March 19, 2013

    Alyson Reply

    Thank you for this. I thought it was just me having a few bad days. Then I tried to blame it on another snow storm with a 99% chance of a snow day. I really needed to hear this today. Thank you, again.

    • April 20, 2016

      Crystin Reply

      I wept the entire time reading this. I can’t tell you what it meant to me to read this. Today I felt like if I had to wake up one more day and slave over this house, listen to the kids argue and complain or look at myself in the mirror and see a worn out tired woman, I would implode.
      I was sitting here in my living room while the family sleept peacefully just bawling my eyes out. These are the exact words I had written in my journal before reading this post.
      ‘ I’m just not cut out for this mom thing. I’m no good at it
      I feel like I’m drowning in house chores and the kids are out of control. Our school
      Work is a mess and they maybe get a few hours in a week. I’m having such a hard
      time finding joy in anything. I feel like if I have to wake up one more day to slave
      over this house and these kids for no return I’m going to implode.
      I’m tired, the house is NEVER clean, everyone acts like I’m just the mean old mom
      that never does anything fun but it’s because no one makes anything easy. It’s always
      A fight to get them to complete any responsibility. I tried to do the whole “focus on what’s
      Important” thing but I can’t focus in a disgusting house. I can’t focus when the kids are
      whining and complaining and fighting. I can’t help but think it’s me. I’m a crappy mom
      I’m doing something wrong. I can’t manage any of the responsibilities that God has
      Given me. I’m a hypocrite! I want my kids to handle their responsibilities with a good
      attitude but I can’t even do it!’

      Reading what you wrote has encouraged me more than you could ever know. Thank you for giving these life giving words to tired and weary moms like me.

      • April 25, 2016

        Rachel Marie Martin Reply

        Crystin….I am so glad it blessed you. May you be encouraged as you go forward each day knowing that all those things you do make such a difference.


  2. March 19, 2013

    Rachel E. Reply

    You have written this on a day I am feeling so overwhelmed. Sickness has been prevailing. My two year old is struggling to get back into the routine that Daddy is home and Mommy doesn’t need to be the only one for her. My 13 year old is rebelling against things. My husband is constantly trying to make plans for the property before he leaves again for a month or so. I’m tired. I feel I can’t keep going like this. I know I matter, but the words seem so hollow some times because I wonder who I matter to.

  3. March 19, 2013

    Mary N Reply

    Wow. Thank you Rachel for your honesty and inspiring words.

  4. March 19, 2013

    Evs Reply

    What if I just can’t seem to enjoy motherhood? :/

  5. March 19, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you so much for your words. Just knowing another mom has those exact same thoughts has given me a lot of courage to change the way I think. Why we moms compare ourselves to “the mom” we think exists, the perfect one who works out daily, has a spotless house, makes gourmet meals three times a day, has no relationship issues, bakes cookies for the neighbors weekly, has perfectly groomed and well behaved children at all times, etc etc… I don’t know. It’s not fair or logical. We can all do many great things. Some days we can do them all. Some days, it’s a miracle everyone stays alive. Most days, we pick and choose. One day, it’s laundry and a trip to the library with the kids. The next, it’s a fancy dinner and cleaning the bathrooms. Then, we end those days thinking about how we DIDN’T finish the extra credit, DIDN’T do the ironing, DIDN’T make a craft, and DIDN’T make the bed. That’s comparing ourselves to perfect mom. Cue entrance, “I’m a terrible mother!” I’m going to take the opportunity to teach my children as I teach myself how to prioritize, how to not sweat the small stuff, how to plan, and how to change plans. And I’m going to replace, “I’m a terrible mother!” with “I’m an imperfect mother, but that doesn’t make me terrible!”

  6. March 19, 2013

    Jane Hyden Reply

    I think every single mom has had those thoughts….in fact, I was a pretty terrible mom….I had serious abuse and anger issues I was trying to work through and often my children got the brunt of my anger. But there were lots of things that I did right. And I do matter. When you are feeling those thoughts, look at the pictures of your children at the top of your blog….their smiles, their eyes, their contentment, those are not unhappy children. Now I’m a grandma to 7 and I get to play make up for some of the many things I did wrong… doesn’t make up what I did, but it shows my children that the Lord heals and restores and that their mom loves them oh, so very much. Isn’t it great that every day is a new beginning? I am so very thankful for that.

  7. March 19, 2013

    Lindsey Brackett Reply

    Definitely we are never alone…last tues I wrote this one

    It’s far too easy to believe the lies. Thank you for speaking the truth!

  8. March 19, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply


    Then I would try to make myself to see one beautiful moment in each day. It’s kind of like gratitude – it needs to be learned. Motherhood is truly challenging, hard, and often not what we thought it would be. Start looking for the little things and give yourself just a bit of grace.



  9. March 19, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply


    Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I think moms, in all circumstances, certainly have those thoughts from time to time. Often it is my husband who tells me to stop saying those words – he’ll hear me complain about my day – and he’ll make me think about what I’m saying.
    And yes, I love that everyday is a new day. Amen.


  10. March 19, 2013

    Diane D. Reply

    Thank you so much for this. . .
    I am a single mom to three (10, 7, and 15 months).
    I find -somehow more often lately- that I have been telling myself these same negative things…
    Your words have lifted me up and helped me to see that I am truly doing the best I can.

    Thank you. . .Just, thank you.

  11. March 19, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I really truly needed this so badly today. Ive been on the verge of tears at work all day just feeling like Im failing as a mother, and wanting nothing more in the world than to just be a “better” mom. Im a single mom and work full time with two little ones at home, and deal with their dad who loves to chant how I don’t measure up to a literal standard of perfection as a mother. Thank you for reiterating that perfection is not what I should aim for, but rather my aim should be for my beautiful little girl’s hearts…and that is is okay and necessary to accept the imperfections in life.

  12. March 19, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply


    Bless you today. It is so empowering to look at our thoughts and to redirect them. So thankful you stopped by – may this day be blessed. 🙂


  13. March 19, 2013

    AdrakeO Reply

    (from a husband who knows his wife and mother to our children is a wonderful mom)

  14. March 19, 2013

    Claudia Miller Reply

    I look forward to reading your blogs every day! Having to care for my little ones and trying too keep up. For me this is like the best devotional for the day! It gives me a boost too keep moving for the rest of the day. Thank you Rachel for being REAL!! It mean’s soo much to moms all over! Claudia Miller

  15. March 19, 2013

    Mary Catherine Reply

    Oh Diane, I SO needed to read this post today! I have spent the past few days (on and off) worrying more than usual about being a bad (or nowhere-near-good-enough) mama. I am off to share this with some other mamas who might need the encouragement. All I can say is thank you, you sweet sweet woman (and wonderful mom)! 🙂

  16. March 19, 2013

    Mary Catherine Reply

    I am a dork . . . meant to write RACHEL!!! So sorry!

  17. March 19, 2013

    Sara Reply

    That negative dialogue we have with ourselves is terrible, isn’t it? I wrote something similar about a month ago.

    The title is really true-some nights I just stand at the kitchen sink and cry because I am so overwhelmed. I believe part of motherhood is being honest with ourselves and other’s around us. No, I don’t have it all together and if I did, I wouldn’t be me. I would rather be me any day.

  18. March 19, 2013

    thehazlettfamily Reply

    Guess what, that perfect mother does not exist. She fakes it and behind those doors are laundry undone, a bed unmade and truly miserable children deep down because they are being forced to live up to a picture of perfection to the outside world. Be you, your children don’t look at whether the laundry is done, they’ll wear the same dirty outfit for a week and then fight you when you want to wash it. They don’t care if you make mac n cheese 4 days in a row, they probably prefer it over chicken cordon bleu. They don’t see perfect hair, they see a mother who hugs and kisses her kids all the time, who is there to kiss the boo boos and hug away the fears. If you yell or lose your temper once in a while, it shows them that you are fallible and they can be too. I have struggled for years with being the “terrible mom” to two kids. My kids are now 21 and 14, and I have 1 grandson. They tell me that yes, I was a b&&&h, but they remember all the times I went to their sporting events, let their friends come over, kissed them and cuddled them, they don’t remember what we ate or how our house looked. You do matter and I am going to write it down and put it on my mirror so when I get out of bed and I’m feeling blue as I often do, I’ll remember that “God does not make junk.” I matter to people in this world and even if they all go away, I matter to God and that’s all the inspiration I need. I have a defiant child who I fought with for years, he has diagnosed mental issues, but we finally got a “supernanny” who comes to our home once a week or twice if we need it and helps us to set boundaries, rules and consequences. He encourages us to follow through and in a few months things got better, not perfect, but much better. Our house does not live crisis to crisis anymore. We smile and laugh again, and deal with those episodes one at a time. I feel for you having 3 kids so close. I could never do it, but you did, and you do. You are a great mom and you matter.

  19. March 19, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Yes! @thehazlettfamily I completely agree! It isn’t about perfect, it’s about trying and being there and giving of self. And yes, we screw up, and that stuff doesn’t define us. Love it. That’s the language of my heart as well.


  20. March 19, 2013

    Charity Davenport Reply

    … God bless you Rachel & thank you for your words of encouragement! I found myself literally crying out to the Lord in the middle of the floor on my knees in front of my boys today asking Him to please help me find the Grace & Mercy in my heart that He shows me daily…. I do fall (somedays a lot) but He helps me get back up I try to remember that what matters on those “terrible mommy” days is what I do next

  21. March 19, 2013

    K Reply

    awesome and thanks.
    too bad I still feel I suck, because I don’t think I do anything really right

    • December 25, 2017

      Ira Reply

      I felt the same too as a mother.. all the small accidents happened to my kids when i were there with them. I felt useless and i really dont know what else i should do…i felt scared to even stay near with them cause i dont trust myself anymore.

  22. March 19, 2013

    The Mean Mama Reply

    Today I don’t feel like a bad mama, just an overwhelmed mama, but this helped, thanks for posting.

  23. March 19, 2013

    The Mean Mama Reply

    and Praise Sketchers for coming out with cool Velcro shoes!

  24. March 20, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    There has never been a day I needed to read these words more! This was one of our early mornings where we have to be out the door by 730….and no one cooperated or would get dressed SO, I yelled. Then I felt terrible. We got out the door late. My 4 year old had terrible behavior at preschool (the first time in 2 kids and 3 years at this school that they had to “talk to me” about my children’s behavior!). Of course I was embarrassed and disappointed (dare I say even angry) with my daughter!! Then after an afternoon of dealing with those consequences I go to pick my son up at kindergarten only to realize I missed his parent teacher conference which I had on the calendar for tomorrow!!! While I was writing an apology note to the teacher my 18 month old threw all of the neatly folded laundry, I spent the last 2 days washing and folding, off of the couch and on to the possibly dog hair tainted floor!! Yes, today was humbling to say the least. Many time I had those very thoughts of I am failing, I am a terrible mother, I’m not doing a good job…..SO thank you for these words today of all days! 🙂

  25. March 20, 2013

    Jamie Cotter Reply

    I really needed this today. Thanks so much! I love reading your blog, it’s very uplifting and helps me see that I’m not alone.

  26. March 20, 2013

    Sara Reply

    @ K,
    I see two smiling faces on your profile picture that proves you do something right. and I don’t even know you.

  27. March 20, 2013

    Sara Reply

    @ Rachel E,
    You matter to your husband and your kids even when they’re rebelling and planning and readjusting. And you matter to Jesus!

  28. March 20, 2013

    Tannis Reply

    Yes, great post. We all say those things to ourselves, hopefully more often than not, we choose not to really listen.

    I love Pinterest as much as the next woman, but you know what? Sometimes, I wonder if Pinterest stresses us out, and puts too high and expectation on us. How can we possible try to achieve, all of the pins that we have pinned to our dream boards…..

    Yet, we keep on pinning!

    Thanks for sharing.

  29. March 20, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Yes, Tannis! I totally agree. I think for me, with pinterest, it is this balance of being inspired and a respect for the creativity shared. I love that we as a culture are able to share ideas like this – a big think tank – but I always need to remind myself that they all cannot be done, nor completed to the level of perfection I so often see!


  30. March 20, 2013

    Charissa Reply

    Thank you for this honest, inspiring, uplifting post! In reminding your fellow mamas that we matter to our families you show that not only do you mean the world to your family, you matter to us. 🙂 Thanks again!

  31. March 20, 2013

    lmworley416 Reply

    Know that I’m always here praying so very, very hard!
    Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    My email address

  32. March 20, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    had a rough day yesterday and by the end was more snappy with my 2 year old than i like to be. The thing that made it worse was it was that moment that my husband chose to “chastise” me for “always yelling and being hard” on her. As if I wasn’t frustrated and disappointed in myself enough. I just wish he could see my good moments. The sweet times my daughter and I have throughout the day. He is usually only around in the evenings at the time when after working from home all day caring for my 2 yr old and 10 mo old I’ve finally hit all my pregnant self can handle. So thanks for your words of encouragement. I sure needed them.

  33. March 20, 2013

    Lori Reply

    Thank you! Even after mothering for 31 years I needed to read this. What a blessing you are Rachel to me and to so many others. God bless you and yours as you write from your heart and are used by God to touch and encourage moms no matter where they are.

  34. March 20, 2013

    Chris Carter Reply

    I love this post Rachel…because it shows us that you have days just like us!! Yes- you inspire through your struggles too. You are beautiful. Imperfectly beautiful!! 🙂

  35. March 20, 2013

    Elissa Reply

    Thank you! I didn’t realize I needed this until I started reading it. Thank you.

  36. March 22, 2013

    Darcel Reply

    How is that you always write exactly what I’ve been feeling on that exact day? Every single one of these posts needs to be put into a book like format. And every woman needs to read them before becoming a mother.

  37. March 22, 2013

    debi9kids Reply

    wonderfully honest post and exactly what I needed to see today as I have a “to-do” list that is just building and building and never getting done. UGH.

  38. March 23, 2013

    Kris and Nat Reply

    These kind words if encouragement brought me to tears. Thank you for being so real.I have been struggling a ton lately. I am thankful to have a job that allows me to work from home, but its extremely crazy to be a SHM & WFHM. It feels like I’m always failing in some aspect of my life. I rely heavily on my amazing neighbors & our church playgroup.
    Im saving this for reading during the hard days.

  39. March 31, 2013

    Kirsten Reply

    Thank you.

  40. March 31, 2013

    Francine Reply

    Thank you for writing this.. i am sending the link to my sweet sister who has been struggling so much with 3 children and financial issues and feels like she just stinks at it all… I read this with tears in my eyes and thought to myself SHE NEEDS TO READ THIS! Thank you for being so open and honest! I will be back to read your blog some more.

  41. April 1, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I have those feelings all the time. This passage helped.

  42. April 16, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you for this. I have had a few bad weeks….actually since this year started I have felt over whelmed with the feeling that I am just not doing enough. I only have one child. But I feel like lately I have failed her as a mother. I see other people who seem to have it together. And lately it just seems like I don’t. I snapped at my daughter last night after I had taken a test for my Master’s Degree, up at my Mother in law’s house. It was late and I knew I didn’t do well on the test…top that off with me trying to get a new job so that I can provide a better life for my child and my husband. And I took the test to just get an interview last week…and I know I didn’t do well on it either. Anyway…all she asked was if we could finish the board game that we started the night before. Instead of saying just ‘No it is too late”…I went off on a trail of explaining to her everything I have to do like get her clothes ready for the next day pack her lunch….get my clothes for work ready and my clothes for the gym ready and my food for the day ready because I am trying to lose weight….and she felt the need to apologize and she continued to say “I am sorry”…in front of my in-laws…who then were like …what did she do? And even though I tried to say she didn’t do anything..I still got a phone call from my mother in law asking me what she did after I got home. Which then made me feel even worse. I talked to my daughter about it and about what happened. I explained to her that I should not have said what I said to her. And today more than any of the days recently I just feel like I have failed her. My mother used to yell at me all the time… I swore I would not be like that. But some days I find myself more and more responding out of anger. I just have felt so over whelmed lately. I feel like I am constantly being watched by my mother in law. I have always felt that she feels she could do so much better with Hailee than I could….that it would just be better if I was out of the picture. Anyway…I read this today….and I was bawling!…it touched me so much. And it is nice to know that I am not the only one out there.

  43. May 5, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank. You.

    I am so very, very glad that you write this blog!

  44. May 5, 2013

    monica Reply

    Awesome post as always/ SUCH great reminders.
    You are a great mom! 🙂

  45. May 5, 2013

    Sara Reply

    So, God planned it that I wouldn’t see this post until today. You see, these lies have been ping ponging around in my head for weeks now. Back in March I had days of these thoughts but the truth was speaking louder. Or, more likely, my hearing was clearer. Over the past few stresses have dulled my hearing and the lies have turned from whispers to screams. If we’re being honest, I let them because sometimes it’s easier. It’s easier to throw up my hands and say I’m awful at this job and sit around an sulk about it than to do the hard work of training. But God knew that today my heart was ready to hear this.
    God has blessed me with beautiful little souls to raise. Some days I’ll fall down more than I stand but that cannot define me. By grace alone will I stand.
    Thanks for being real about motherhood. It’s so refreshing.

  46. May 6, 2013

    Val Reply

    I love your posts, it seems like every time you are right there in my thoughts and my heart and that you know exactly how I’m feeling. I felt those same feelings today as I looked around at the things undone in our house today, and wondered about adding a puppy into the mix of things which will only add more time but also more love and fun. Each day I remind myself to count to 5 before I raise my voice, if I do and then I make sure I apologize later and let them know how much I love them. I know this time will pass by too fast and I need to cherish every moment even the crazy, frustrating ones, thanks for being my voice of reason in a world of Pinterest Perfect Moms.

  47. May 10, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    My first EVER post on Facebook…and probably my last 🙂 From the husband of a wife that has come to me expressing these very thoughts on several occasions, thank you. I know the she needed to see this.

  48. May 29, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I am a Grandmother now, but still doubt my abilities to be a good one. I have suffered with extreme depression and bi-polar disorder all my life. I want to be a better Grandmother then I was a Mother. Thank you for reassuring me that this is a journey that all women are on, not just myself.

  49. June 18, 2013

    Kristin Reply

    Thank you! I needed to read these words tonight. God bless!

  50. August 3, 2013

    OneMommy Reply

    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you!

    Thank you for putting all of our fears into such a beautifully written piece and reminding us that we are NOT alone. And, that we need to remember the good days on those hard ones.

  51. August 22, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I have protected and molly coddled my two kids since they took their first breath. Problem was my husband had ‘neglectful mother’ issues from his own childhood and he has spent the last 12 years making me feel guilty for every little thing I didn’t do, rather than the wonderful things I did do for his kids. He valued a tidy, well organised house with freshly made beds over laughter, fun and affection. He has told me I am a terrible, disorganised mother for years because I have been honest about my daily struggle to cope and stay organised (I’m no natural at this mom thing ! I was much more organised as a child-free career girl). Up until the last 6 months when something just clicked in me and I now see him as a bully with his own issues, I believed him. I believed that because I ran late to watch my daughter’s swimming lesson in my lunch break on his day at home with her – I was indeed a “bad mother”. I knew in my heart I was a good mom whose children were always fed home cooked healthy meals three times a day, were always dressed in beautiful clean clothes and nurtured with love and care. I have separated from him 3 weeks ago and my self esteem has been on the improve every day – my house is running well and my kids seem happy and care free. I have realised the stress and the “bad mother” anxiety was actually coming from the very person who I thought would be my greatest fan, friend and supporter – my husband. I am a much happier, less angry mom without my critical husband. I wonder how many women’s guilt perpetuates from the man in their life ?

  52. October 19, 2013

    Jennifer Real Reply

    I needed to read this cause I feel like I am failing as a mother and wife! I have now seen I am not the only mother who feels terrible!

  53. October 20, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    I think the biggest thing to remember is that so often those voices of discouragement aren’t true – we just need to remember to see everything that we do everyday.

    Rise up brave mothers! You can do this.


  54. October 24, 2013

    Anonymous Reply


  55. January 22, 2014

    Rhonda N Reply

    “Needing a break doesn’t define you”
    “Needing a break doesn’t define you”
    “Needing a break doesn’t define you”
    “Needing a break doesn’t define you”
    And repeat

  56. January 23, 2014

    Tricia Reply

    THANK YOU!! Those terrible mom feelings creep into my head so often and it is so easy to go down the “woe is me” road. It is nice to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thank you for always encouraging and for being REAL in a world of “perfect” facades.

  57. January 23, 2014

    Merry Reply

    I needed to read this two days ago-when my three year-old refused to wear any of his three outfits that we tried to put on him-he screamed, cried, yelled, threw the clothes, ran away, etc. He didn’t want to wear clothes-well, that’s fine-but it was TWO DEGREES outside! So, once we get him dressed, coat, boots, hat and mittens on, I grab him up to put him into his carseat outside, he runs off and falls on the snow-covered deck! Thank goodness, he was fine. Oh, and daddy bought his wipes last weekend-and he bought generic wipes-so lil’ man’s bum is now completely broken out in an awful rash-I’ve told daddy hundreds of times that lil’ man’s bum is sensitive-he needs the good wipes. Do men listen? NO. ARGH! Most days, I’m surprised we are still surviving! My house is untidy, laundry is done on an as needed basis and it’s chaos-but I love my boy so much! I ask him if he’s happy and he tells me “YES”-Life is good!

  58. […] in the day I read a blog titled “dear mom who sometimes feels like she is a terrible mom.” This is part of a larger series of “dear mom” letters from a blog titled […]

  59. January 25, 2015

    Wendy Roden Reply

    Oh how I desperately needed to hear this today! Actually everyday! I am constantly questioning whether or not I am a bad mom since the death of my husband to cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Before he was sick, I felt I rocked the mommy thing, not perfect but in control and loving our life as a family. Then our world came crashing down, immediate diagnosis of terminal cancer, my soulmate soon to be taken away from us and yet even through his illness I managed to keep it together for him and the kids. It was after he passed that I collapsed and stopped cooking dinner every night, breakfast on Sunday mornings and cried all night and slept all day while the kids were at school. Tubs of 17 years of accumulated “stuff” needed to find a home, upstairs meant to be 2 rooms and a bath, were just studs and plywood, no insulation, a project never completed. I say we’re going to read more, have family game night and work as a team to maintain the laundry and dishes and vacuuming. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. All I know is that we say I love you and hug and cuddle every day, never fail in that, and even when I lose my temper because they ignore me or talk back, I always calm down and say I’m sorry, are you sorry too? My son is turning into a man right before my eyes and his dad isn’t here to guide him, so I do. We have “the talk” about drugs and sex and responsibility all the time whether he likes it or not. We have to. Am I doing it right? Will they be screwed up without my husband, the calm one, the rational one, the stable one, here with us? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that we are as happy as we can be, considering what we have been through and we will be as happy as we can be in the future. Of that I am certain. Thank you for helping me see that it’s OK to have bad days, dirty house days, ramen noodle soup for dinner days, and that’s OK! Because my babies know I love them more than anything in this world and I know they love me just as much. Thank You for helping me to feel I’m not alone in my worries.

  60. May 2, 2015

    celine Reply

    Right now I’m sitting in the darkest corner of the room..crying my heart out as I hang on to every single word you write.
    I so wish my husband would understand and encourage the way you do but then mothers have always been taken forgranted in my part of the world..
    Thank you so much for makes me feel better…its true only a mother can understand what insane levels of patience is required to deal with a four years old temper tantrum.

  61. May 21, 2015

    Ebony Marie Reply

    Thank you so much for this! This was an awesome read and it was exactly what I needed… to know that I’m not alone in my struggle.

  62. January 5, 2016

    Nichole Foreman Reply

    Thank you.

  63. January 6, 2016

    Laura Reply

    just wanna say thank you…

  64. January 6, 2016

    Melissa Reply

    I don’t usually reply to ANY bogs/posts but I just had to say thank you for your transparent, real, encouraging words that seem to come at the perfect time….I find myself looking forward to your posts 😉 I have shared many lately as I know many other amazing mom friends struggle to juggle work/kids/activities/laundry 😝 And remember the ultimate purpose and not feel we are failing. I loved you mentioned if you are worrying about organic you are doing good- lol. Truth is I Pinterest all my high aspirations of all clean eating/organic food for my kids and in all honesty only implement it on a part time basis throwing Mac n cheese at them out of exhaustion- that alone can leave you feeling that in some unrealistic world that you failed- lol. Thanks for reminding us that perspective is important as well!

    • January 6, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Melissa. It really means much to me and honestly, makes me feel less alone too. With joy. ~rachel

  65. March 11, 2016

    Jasmine Lewis Reply

    Thank you, I really needed to hear these words. I have a 7 year old and twins who are 15 months. I was very impatient with my daughter today. I feel horrible I love her so much, and only want to be the best mommy she deserves.

  66. June 29, 2016

    Cara Reply

    Thank you for this post. It is refreshing to hear some empathy and transparency about being a mother. Reading this post has allowed me to forgive myself for my bad days and keep moving through it. I can’t thank you enough!

  67. August 1, 2016

    Mrs. Do-It-All Reply

    Thank you for writing this article. It was exactly what I needed to hear. It made me feel like I was talking to a good friend that genuinely cares. God bless you. You have brightened my day and brought me back down to reality.

  68. August 3, 2016

    Marina Reply

    Wow!! Thanks for sharing I wish i could read all the responses.. It has been a hard journey for me. I have three little ones and to be totally honest MOST of the time I go CRAZY with them. Meaning I scream, yell and even spanking them. I am searching for tools, ideas anything that can be applicable to case, anything that can help me to control but I just cant be like that anymore…My kids are aggressive to each other too now and seems like is out of my hands the oldest is 5 … Can you imagine?? Only five and me saying that.. usually I am too busy with homework, house work, and daily duties that I want to do all at ones and get too stress with them making mess or dropping ALL they get in their hands… S.O.S

  69. August 3, 2016

    Richie Reply

    You know, I struggle with this a lot. Sometimes when things go good it turns around and goes bad and then wonder why even bother with the hoorah. So. I’ve been trying to keep positive and psyche myself out. Trying to be happy, be HAPPIER. Well I seem to achieve that more when I stay focused on the positive. Actually I was in that happy mode tonight. Until I saw your post as a reminder of my storm cloud thoughts that attack me. In fact I was drawn to your posts a long time ago because you worded it exact and it was nice to see other moms out there struggling with their own negative thoughts. So I thought your posts helped me. Well…as I continue to carry on, I try not to allow negative thoughts like these that hit so close to home invade my mind. But I keep seeing your posts. And because I followed you to See First on top of my newsfeed, I keep seeing your posts. And I keep seeing and keep seeing your posts. Except now? I don’t want to see your posts first anymore. I love your writing, I really do. But. I wish you would “move on” from the Internal battles of the mind, like I’m trying to. Now your posts aren’t uplifting to me, since every post is about those negative attacks I’m trying to dissuade and ignore. Trying to not just battle but conquer. I can’t do that while reading your posts anymore. Because as I’m trying to maintain at a higher level, I don’t want the reminder of those awful thoughts. I’m trying to CONQUER them. Your posts just bring me down now. I WISH you would write about positivity or overcoming. And hopefully you will. And if you do, then make that the first part of your FB blog so that I will click to continue. I’m sorry I have to stop following you now. I love your writing like I said. And should you begin to write about mom’s who are MAKING it happen, I will follow again. Until then….I hope you understand. Xoxo

  70. August 28, 2016

    Melisa Reply

    It’s 1:32 am. I can’t sleep because I’m beating myself up for not being a great mom today. When I read the words: “Maybe you have the most awesome voices when you read stories,” that’s when you broke me. While I was feeling some comfort from your words, it wasn’t until that sentence that I felt like you were talking to me, because I do have awesome voices when I read. And I suppose that if there are people in the world who count that in the “good mom” category, then at least I’ve got that going for me. Thank you so much for writing this. One weary mommy might just be able to get some sleep because of your words. ❤️

  71. January 18, 2017

    Alexandra Reply

    Thank you! I needed to read that so much. I’ve had enough trying to be the best mom I could think of…. I found many ideas on internet that I find great but can’t put into practice because I don’t have the same patience or context, and I felt bad about it. In a bad day I would cry so much. But I am already the best mom for my kids! bad days or other people’s success stories should not bring me down. I took inspiration from your writing down “i matter” and made a list of what made me a good mom. Next time I’ll just read it and chase the bad thoughts away immediately!

  72. January 19, 2017

    Cait Reply

    I was tearing up reading this. Thank you for giving us moms a voice that sometimes we cannot use. Sometimes I think its just me, I wasn’t meant to be a mom. Even after the hoping and praying for a baby, I feel insufficient. This gave me hope, and the realization that all of us moms struggle no matter what our situation. Thank you.

    • January 20, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Sweet hugs and blessings to you, Cait. May you find hope and joy today.


  73. January 24, 2017

    Nyla Reply

    Thank you so much for posting this.

  74. March 18, 2017

    Grace Reply

    I’ve been working through a bout of depression the past few weeks. I have been trying to change my parenting style becAuse I feel like I’m ruining my kids every time I yell at them. I am really scared that my girls are going to have a relationship with me like I had with my mother. Well today at nap time I blew up. I just needed peace and quiet. I just needed them to go to sleep. &I now here I am 10 minutes into nap time feeling nothing but guilt for the terrible way I justacted toward my kids. I literally couldn’t keep my composure when I read those two words “I matter”. Thanks for the post

    • March 18, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Grace, you do matter. Thank you for mothering — especially in those hard hard times. You matter so much and I am grateful for all you do.


  75. March 29, 2017

    Mohameds mum Reply

    Today I sobbed because I felt like a terrible mom. I wondered if I could ever get it right. Then I googled “I feel like a bad mom” and here I am.

    Thanx for letting me know I’m not alone.

    • March 30, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I am so glad you found this article. Blessings to you. thank you for all you do and for fighting and loving your kids.


  76. I am a mom of 12 . 8 in the house and 4 adults. I try so hard to do everything I can for all of them. It is usually clean first so i have time to play and do arts and crafts. Somehow I never get to make time. Some days it is exhausting to wake up and as I walk through the house to make coffee, just see all of the mess. All of the kids crowding around me saying mom before I can even get my brain to function. I immediately want to tell out for space but I keep it in. I am exhauated. I spend hours after they go to bed planning organizing and arts and crafts to create more time. I JUST WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH MY KIDS !!!!! I work from home also. So reading this article has helped me realize that I’m not a failure. I’m normal . I’m freaking normal
    What a relief. Thank you

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