Am I a Bad Mom?

To answer that, let me tell you a little more. During most weekends I take my little man to the park or the archive to have some additional family time and on alternating weekends, I might splurge a bit and try the animal orphanage or any other family friendly scene with a section for kid’s activities. This particular day we were at the arcade. After some morning pancakes, we drove to the arcade where he played with every game in sight from the jungle gym to the whack a mole booth. However, evening was approaching fast and eventually it was time to leave. This as is the norm was followed by protests and a tantrum which ended with him rolling on the floor crying. This protest followed us to the hallway where he took off his shoes and sat on the floor tinkering with the toys he had won; eventually leading to him playing with the toys and forgetting about the tantrum all together.

Bear with me, I am going somewhere with all this…

After his moods were better we began our walk to the parking lot, as I continuously requested that he put on his shoes before we exited the mall. 5 tries later and my voice getting deeper and louder with each try, he eventually stopped and let me put on his shoes. Frustrated and exhausted from the day’s activities, I was oblivious to the fact that I had lifted his leg a little too high which led to him falling down but luckily not getting hurt. Finally the shoes were on and we skipped our way out of the mall. Where I notice a disapproving look from a lady who appeared to be watching us.

Fast forward, I am here in bed after everyone else is asleep trying to recollect the activities of the day. Why was she looking at me disapprovingly? He clearly fell by accident and wasn’t injured. Actually we smiled and played all the way home. Have I done something wrong? Am I a bad mother?

So I started reflecting on my parenting history. I provide food and shelter, I make time every day for mother-son bonding, and we have family activities almost every weekend. I am no Mary Poppins but I do think I am a good mother. So why am I here lying in bed unable to sleep debating about whether or not I am a good mother?

That’s when it hit me. To me one lady (who might not even be a parent) gave the evil eye and I began to care so much about what she thought about my parenting style, even more than what the child I am actually raising or myself though. We put so much pressure on ourselves caring about how the world sees us that it might in turn actually make us become “bad” parents.

As my husband pointed out the next day I have a happy son who is always excited to see me. He is healthy and happy, never missed a vaccination or a meal and that’s all the confirmation I need. To the lady in the mall and everyone else giving me the evil eye, your opinion is an opinion. This isn’t about you, it’s about me and my son. It is about my family.

To other mothers out there wondering if they are a good parent, my advice is to look within. How is your child doing? How is the family? I am no medical expert but to me the best way to be a great parent is to focus more on how you want you and your child to grow together rather than focusing on the outside “evil eyes”. If you make a mistake (and we all do) just learn from it and more forward. I know I will be more careful when putting on my son’s shoes on, but other than that, I am a great mum.

Want more articles like this one?

Subscribe and get similar articles from MamaMzazi that make the journey of motherhood a little easier straight to your email