Maybe tomorrow

I am nearing my 30th birthday and it has made me question a lot of things. At 2am, while writing blog posts in my head, and gritting my teeth through another painful feed, and gazing at my beautiful baby, I thought – what do I want most of all?

I realised I want two things in this life.

I want to be a really good mum.

I want my children to always feel loved, to always feel safe, to always know that there is nothing they can do that will change how much I love them, and that they are never responsible for my happiness. I want them to know that they don’t have to perform for my love. That they don’t have to do anything to keep their precious place as my beloved children.

I want to be a good partner.

None of this good-wife-1950s-throwback BS, but I want my husband to know that I love him, that I appreciate him (gosh, I really hope he knows how much I appreciate him). I want him to know that every day I choose him as my partner, my friend, my teacher, my lover (well shit that’s not every day, but you know what I mean), and my trusted companion through everything. I want him to know that I really love our life together. That the last ummm more than a decade (I can never remember how long it has been) has been amazing. And that I am grateful for everything we have given each other – obviously, most of all I’m grateful we are parents together.

So clearly, I can tell my kids and my partner all of these things. And I do. It’s kind of a running joke that I’m the “I love you!!” person in our house. I try not to get all scary on them with the intensity of my love for them. I don’t want to accidentally swing into delusional, terrifying mothering – It’s a fine line between Molly Weasley and Cersei Lannister.



But it takes more than just saying it. Actions speak louder than words and bla bla bla.I need to show it.

I try, I really do, to be a good parent and partner each day. But the thing is – I’m not.

There are days I fall really short of this goal. I get all shitty that my two year old won’t eat just one bloody bite of food. Or that he keeps leaning out of the bloody buggy. Or that some days he whines and moans and whines and moans and I can’t even understand him because his voice is so high-pitched with that awful toddler moan. I get annoyed at the baby for clamping down on my nipples and yanking his head away with my nipple still in his mouth. I get shitty at him for refusing to settle. He’s tired. I’m tired. He’s fed. He’s dry. Go the fuck to sleep. I seethe at my partner when he does stuff like pouring my expressed breast milk down the sink because he thought it was old (he did this two months ago, and I still feel super emotional about it). It annoys me that he gets annoyed at me for not wiping down the bench.

There are microagressions. Many, many microaggressions.

I once got so frustrated with my son that I said ‘fine, do whatever the fuck you want, I don’t care’ and he said ‘Eddie WILL do fuck wanna wan mama’ and we laughed. A lot. And then I said “Don’t tell your dad” and I gave him a lollipop and an Easter egg for lunch. Yes, a lollipop and an Easter egg. And that’s all he ate the whole day.

And I’m starting to think that actually that’s OK.

Because parenting and partnering is like that. There are days where you suck at it. And there are days where you compromise and the compromises aren’t even good ones. And yes, I swear at my kids sometimes. And I feel really guilty.

But then, I get so into feeling guilty that I don’t realise that it’s a whole new day tomorrow. And I have a whole new day to try to do better. And I don’t want to get all hashtag blessed on you but – I don’t want to waste days feeling guilty when I’m so lucky to have these days with my family.

So when it’s 2am and I know I had moments where I was not a good parent the day before I try to tell myself that moments of not good parenting doesn’t make me a bad parent. Moments of anger, frustration, even rage at my partner doesn’t make our marriage a bad one. Our partnership isn’t flawed. We’re all tired. And we’re all doing the best that we can. My children aren’t going to grow up to be serial killers (hopefully) because I told my oldest I would leave him at the bus stop if he didn’t keep his hands in the buggy.

Because tomorrow, today – I can be better. I can respectfully explain to my son why he needs to keep his hands inside the buggy instead of snapping. I can spend more time convincing him that a kiwifruit won’t kill him, that a sandwich is good for his body. I can take a deep breath and count to 10 before yelling. I can get my husband a cold drink and remember he’s had a long day too when he gets home. I can let go the fact that he poured that milk down the drain.

Because I’m not perfect. And I want my kids to see that it’s OK to not be perfect. As long as there’s love in this home it can be an imperfect home. As long as we are trying, it’ll be OK. We will have good days and bad days. We will be good to each other and appreciate that some times we snap at each other and that’s OK – as long as we keep trying. Trying every day to do a little better.

Each day, I can work toward my goals of being a good parent and a good partner. And I will fail some days. But that’s OK. These goals aren’t just boxes to tick. They’ll be my never-ending aims. And they’re examples for my children.

And I’ve got tomorrow if today doesn’t work out.


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9 Comments on “Maybe tomorrow

  1. Yes, and yes! Expressing milk has ensured that I will never, EVER waste a drop of any form of milk EVER! I know how hard it is to even squeeze a ml of that liquid gold out. I once saw someone in my office making a coffee by frothing about 1L of milk, pouring about 200ml into the cup and then the rest down the drain, and by gods did I rant at him!
    Great post.x

  2. Toooooootally.

    As Anne of Green Gables says (!)
    ‘Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?’

    And just like teachers who make mistakes on the whiteboard get to say, ‘Oh, I just wanted to see if you spotted it,’ parents get to say (to themselves and their kids) a version of ‘No one’s perfect – and me showing you that I make mistakes will help you feel ok about your own mistakes. I will keep trying. Can I have a hug?’

  3. You are a great Mum. I still have days like that. I threatened twice to take the dog back to the RSPCA because the kids were arguing about whose turn it was to feed her (but I’m never going to take her back, she’s mine). These days are hard and no one is harder on you than you. Your children are loved, fed, cuddled and warm. Some days that is the best you can do, some days it is all you can do. Just remember it is enough and they are lucky to have you.

  4. Ah! You have done it again! Said what everyone else is afraid to say. Thank goodness for people like you because the lot of us would jump off a bridge for thinking we were the only ones having such rough moments and such guilt.

    I have also gone insane over my toddler not eating his food. I have lost it over so so many little things and the punishment is double once you throw in the ensuing guilt. A friend actually talked me off of one of those insane ledges of guilt once by saying the best way to screw up a kid is to be a perfect parent. They need the good and the bad – the realness – to give them the tools to cope with what the world will inevitably hand them. I agree.

  5. So so true. I feel the same way when I close the door on the 2 year old and take the final peep at the baby for the night. I am grateful for the chance to try again, and knowing there IS another chance is sometimes the only thing that stops me from weeping for the rest of the evening.

    Beautifully written.

  6. Lol I had an idea before I gave birth that I would always be kind, patient, understanding, never lose my temper. I had visions of me up all night tenderly rocking a crying child with the endless patience of a saint without once snapping. AHAHAHAHAHA yeah. Anyway somehow tho that wasn’t quite reality, my bubs is extraordinarily cheerful and confident so I guess the few moments when you can lose it as a mum really don’t undo all the times you do things right!

  7. I also still feel mad at my partner for chucking out some expressed milk! And I have so much (blasted oversupply) that I just donated 300oz to a couple who had adopted a baby! And I’m still mad that she poured three bottles away without even tasting it to check if it was actually bad!

  8. That’s the thing – to forgive yourself your imperfections and move on. Let go but keep trying to achieve your intention.

  9. This one made me cry (usually they make me snort-laugh!) … Having a binge read while i lie in bed wide awake after today’s many, many micro-aggressions… Thanks for all the wonderful reality checks