bad mum


AnonyMama wrote in to MamaBake HQ recently and I think we all related to her day because we’ve all been there in one way or another.  The ensuing comments from the MamaBake community were so gentle and caring we felt we needed to immortalise them in some way, for mamas to refer to when those days crept up.

AnonyMama Asks:

I have had a terrible day with my kids today (2 under 4). I had no patience and felt out of control frustration with them.I seem to get like it more and more. I feel like such a bad mum. I have no friends or family around. Do any of the MamaBake mums ever have days like this? How can I be a better mum?”

The MamaBake Community Says:

“SLEEP! I get a case of the Snappy Toms when I am tired and feel like a piece of dough being pulled every which way. Then I have an epiphany and remember I am the adult, and I shouldn’t be shouty. So I go to bed a little earlier, I remember to eat – and eat better, and I also try and get a bit of time to myself – even just 15 minutes, because it’s hard work being a mama. Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to ALL of us. x”

“You are not alone! Take a breath. Calm down and make life simple.

If your battle is usually at tea time: make something they love. If its fish fingers – GO FOR IT. Make it simple.

Find something that makes you all happy – is it leaving the house? Go to the Playground, Library or beach? GET OUT and if it’s staying at home, have a movie night in.

If YOU are stressed because you have no outlet (friends, family etc) make some! Join a playgroup, Kinder gym, CWA, (MamaBake!~Ed)to get you out socialising with people!”

“Stay in you pjs, feed them ice cream, turn on some kiddie show. Tomorrow is another day.”

“The best way you can be a better mum is to be kinder to your children’s mother. Love her. Honour her. Instead of looking for the five ways she stuffed up today, look for the other three hundred times she didn’t. Instead of finding ways to make her feel like she wasn’t enough, find the moments she was. Treat her as if she was your best friend and you were sitting with her offering her empathy and love.

If you find you’re having too many days of overwhelm then it can be a good idea to see your doctor. Make sure you have or build a great support network. MamaBake is a great place to start. So is ABA or a local playgroup.”


“Bad days happen. Doesn’t mean you need to be a better mum. Tuck them in, tell them you love them, have a cuppa and be gentle on yourself.”

“Make sure you give yourself a bit of Mum time. Even if it’s just setting the kids up in bed/on a lounge with a movie/TV show and taking a cuppa outside for 5 mins. Deep breaths and remembering that these kinds of moments, while they may make you want to slam your head into a wall, pass and when you least expect it, one of them will do something to remind you why being a Mum is worth all the hard times…”

“Run out into the woods and SCREAM! If you’re not near woods, any garden shrub will do. Or pot plant. Just scream to the sky and let it go. It feels so so good. We are all in the same boat, we all lose it sometimes x”


“When you have no family around you need to become resourcesful on getting a break (I have been through this). Joining a gym allows you to use their childcare for 1 – 2 hrs a day even if you just have a nap in the change room . x”


“My sisters often tell me “you are a great mum because you care about this!”.”


“Find one small, cheap easy thing to do each day that breaks up the drudgery. Walk to the nearest shop and let them pick out a lolly, go to a park (all it needs is a swing), cook something and include them, colour in together, sit beside them and watch channel 22, let them play in a really bubbly bath. They are kids so it doesn’t take much to make them happy  Just remember to keep it simple and if it gets too much, walk away with a coffee and zone out for a moment.”


“I feel your pain.  Days like these are here to remind us we are human. Just breathe and know your kids are lucky to have you in their lives xxx tomorrow’s another day… It may seem like there are lots of these days but it only that you are a wonderful mum who questions them xxxx”


“I have a day now and then when I just say ‘yes’. Yes to going to the park, yes to jam sandwiches, yes to reading endless stories, yes to 4 changes of clothes in a day, yes to requests for television. And that means no to washing, no to cleaning, no to cooking (if that’s stressful). My 3 are normally so surprised that they are angels! Just know that you are among friends – we ALL have days of complete and utter frustration.”


“I’ve had PND this year, and my I worked out with my psychologist that I need to do these things each day in order to cope with my kids behaviour/ routine:

exercise; pleasurable activity; rest; productive time; play with kids.

It has worked well for me, and I’ve recovered from Pnd. I also joined a brilliant mums’ group that is for mums with Pnd. It’s been a life saver.”


“I have had many days like this. I hated what I was saying/doing. A mate told me that it was how you made up for those moments that counted. That really resonated with me.   So now,If I’m having a ‘moment’ with the kids, I a) take a breath and mentally count to 5 while I release that breath. Then b) try to deal calmy with them.

If I slip and end up getting cranky with them then I try to sit with them and talk about why I got cranky and I apologise. It happens less and less and the kids have responded more positively to my initial attempts to resolve the conflict. Which in turn means I’m not getting so cranky.   You. Are. Not. Alone.   xx”


“We all have bad days, it is HARD, especially when you don’t have support. But we don’t realise that others may be in the same boat; Facebook is terrible for this as everyone seems to only project the good stuff. You are not a bad mum; do something nice for yourself tonight when they are in bed xx”


“We are much harder on ourselves than we should be. You’re a great mum, if you weren’t then you would not be asking for help or even caring. ”


“Just remember to give them a kiss and cuddle now and then, and relax once they’re asleep. They do get easier.”

“Go outside and walk barefoot and just concentrate on the feel of the grass and the sounds all around you. While you do this the kids can run wild in the yard, or all of you lie on the grass and watch clouds.   Sometimes it is just the thing that is needed.

On my fridge, I have a list of 5 things that I can do when I feel frustrated. I have the walking outside, playing a song up loud and dancing and even just taking deep breaths but concentrating on them.”


“Breathe. Get to bed early and get some more sleep. There’s no such thing as too much sleep and the more you have in the bank the easier it is too cope. And don’t be too hard on yourself. Take care and be kind to yourself.”

Share with us YOUR tips in the comments below.

Do you have a question for our community?  Contact us and we can post anonymously for you.


Need Help Now?


  1. Call the PANDA (Post and AnteNatal Depression Association) support line:1300 726 306
  2. If your moments of overwhelm are regular and you are struggling to find the joy, make an appointment to see your GP who will be able to help you.
If you are in need of ongoing support, create your own MamaBake group for time off the domestics, friendship and meaningful community that goes beyond small talk.  You only need one other friend to get the benefits.
Other related articles to help ease overwhelm and sleep deprivation:
 Original Facebook thread here.
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