I’m really good at the bad mother talk. You know what I’m talking about. Those little ways we knock ourselves down when we think we aren’t making the “right” parenting choice. For example:

“I’m such a bad mother. I gave my daughters mac ‘n cheese from the box three times last week.”

“I’m such a bad mother. I let them watch an entire hour of Dora.”

Other times, the bad mother talk is much darker and meaner. These are the conversations that usually take place in the privacy of our own mind. We judge ourselves so harshly for every real or perceived parenting infraction, from not bathing our children often enough (guilty!) to yelling at them (yup).

We tell ourselves that we’re bad parents, and that a better parent (of which there are so many hypothetical examples) is more patient or calmer, reads to her children more often, cooks healthier meals, and keeps her house clean, all with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.

But we’re not her, we tell ourselves every time we miss the mark. We’re not good mothers. Or worse, we’re bad mothers.

You can read the rest of this post over at Seleni.org.