• Michelle Zunter

You're Not A 'Bad Mom' For Doing These Things

Updated: Sep 28



Of all the jobs in the world, the grueling job of motherhood seems to be the most scrutinized of them all.


How we, as mothers judge ourselves in our own role, is a curious phenomenon. There are so many instances where moms say to themselves or to others, “I’m a bad mom.”


Undoubtedly, there are indeed legitimate reasons for calling a mother bad or shaming her into considering herself to be bad. Things like extreme abuse and neglect of a child — for sure.

But, quite often, mothers are labeling themselves as “bad” for things that should not even be on the radar.


Too tired to face the piles of laundry today? Being a good mom is about way more than just having clean clothes for your kids. Yes, it’s nice to have clean clothes but not all of them need to be clean right now at this moment — or folded — or even put away. It can wait — or maybe someone else in the house can help you do it. Rest for a minute.


Didn’t feel like making dinner last night? Did you order pizza? Chinese? Do you hate cooking? Does planning dinner every night stress you out?


It’s OK.


Your family will survive without a home-cooked meal that you slaved over and there will be fewer dishes. Relax.


You didn’t sign your child up for any sports or activities this year? There wasn’t anything they were interested in? You didn’t feel like forcing them to do an activity just for the sake of doing one? No worries. That’s up to you and — quite frankly — you’re probably relieved because you don’t have to pay the extra money or be the taxi for that activity. Maybe next year. Maybe not. Either way, if your child is happy with their choice — who cares? Give yourself a break.

You’re not a bad mom because you’re too tired to do laundry.
You’re not a bad mom because you got take-out.
You’re not a bad mom because you don’t do ALL of the activities.

So you’re a stay-at-home mom who spends most of her time taking care of the house, shuttling kids around, managing schedules, and rarely having adult conversations? That’s a tough role. A lot of people would go crazy in your position. It’s not easy and you don’t need to feel shame because you don’t work outside of the home right now or because your partner works instead of you. Stop it. You do more than enough.


So you’re a mom who works outside of the home either because you need to or you want to? That’s admirable. You’re either taking care of business fantastically or you’re following a passion. If you go out to work because you have to, you’re teaching your children about responsibility. If you go out to work because you want to, you’re showing them how to chase their dreams. Keep it up!


So you’re a stay-at-home mom who works from home too? Wow. That’s a difficult task. A lot of the time you’ll get no credit from people who don’t understand what you do. They think you sit at the computer in your pajamas all day — and maybe you do because you can. That’s just fine. You know what you do. You know how hard it is to balance a household as well as your attention to your work. Give yourself credit for trying to do both.

You’re not a bad mom because you’re the one who stays at home.
You’re not a bad mom because someone else watches your kids while you work outside of the home.
You’re not a bad mom because you’re juggling working from home with being at home for the kids — while often feeling like you’re failing at both.

So you didn’t organize a huge birthday bash for your child this year? No massive guest list, fancy invitations, bouncer, or birthday entertainment? Not a problem. It’s not always necessary to go all out like that. Sometimes it’s better to just have a small gathering of close friends and family or even just a few friends over with cake. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child with all your heart if you don’t go bananas over planning a party.


So you never or rarely volunteer at your kid's school? Do you cringe when you see the school volunteer sign-up sheet? Do you feel bad because technically you have the time to volunteer but you never do? I get it. There might be other things you want to do with your time instead. Don’t feel guilty. If other parents enjoy doing it, that’s awesome! But it doesn’t have to be your thing.


So you want time to yourself? Time to have a focused thought, drink your hot coffee in peace, exercise, or even just scroll mindlessly through your phone? YES. Those moments you crave are not because you’re slacking as a mother, or neglecting your “duties.” Those moments are vital to your sanity. We ALL need downtime to recharge, regroup, and reboot. It’s not lazy. It’s what you need.

You’re not a bad mom because you didn’t plan a big birthday party this year.
You’re not a bad mom because you don’t volunteer at your kid’s school.
You’re not a bad mom because you want time to yourself.

You’re not a bad mom. You’re engaged in the MOST demanding job there is.


You’re a human being who is doing her very best.


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