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7 Things that don't make you a lousy mom

Jill is a sometime runner and expert wine taster from sunny San Antonio. She has a degree in social psychology, one husband and three children. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Babble and she's regular...

Stop beating yourself up for not being "mother of the year"

What’s up with moms and guilt? We constantly question and second guess ourselves about not doing enough of this and too much of that. Here are a few things that moms do on occasion that you might want to stop beating yourself up about.

1. Selfishness

Being a mom means putting your kids' needs before your own most of the time, but that doesn’t mean all the time. If you occasionally glaze out in front of the television with a glass of wine while the kids have baloney sandwiches for dinner, you’re being a little selfish. If you take that corner piece of the cake and cut it just a little bigger than all of the other pieces? Selfish... and that’s OK. Even healthy. Doing something nice for yourself doesn’t make you a bad mom.

2. Lunchables

Yes, most of the time we strive for something more nutritionally complete than a plastic tray full of nitrates and processed cheese food. But sometimes the need to quickly fill our kids' tummies dictates the menu. That doesn’t make you a bad mom.

More: Things you say that make you sound like your mom

3. Impatience

Moms are expected to have eternal, saint-like patience while our kids are learning to eat by themselves, write their names and not poop their pants. Don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally find your well of patience has run dry — and by occasionally, I mean all the time. You’re not a lousy mom because you lose your patience. You’re normal.

More: Ways to get a jump on back to school madness

4. Not liking the PTA, kid parties or mom groups

Meetings, group interactions and the dreaded kids’ party are just part of motherhood — a part that sometimes sucks. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself sitting in the corner at a 4-year-old’s birthday party wishing you had snuck a flask in your purse. You’re probably not the only one.

5. Lying to your kids

We teach our kids that honesty is the best policy, right? Because it is. But sometimes that little white lie comes in handy. I’m guilty of telling my kid, “Oh, no… this is super spicy,” in reference to the ice cream bar I was attempting to eat in secret or regretfully saying, “Sorry sweetie, that’s broken,” in reference to the annoying little coin-operated race car outside of Walmart (you know the one). So, I throw out the occasional white lie to make life with kids a little easier on myself.

More: Family vacations from hell

6. Bottle feeding, epidurals or refusing to cosleep

There are thousands of articles written by “experts” that will tell you how to manage your pregnancy, birth and the early years with your child. Just spend five minutes on the internet and you can read all about how the breast is best and that you’re not giving your child the best shot at successful adulthood if you don’t wear him strapped to your chest for 100 hours a day.

You know the phrase “Mom knows best?” You do, so stop worrying about what you’re not doing or what someone else has to say about it. You’re doing fine.

7. A messy house

If you have small kids and don’t have full-time cleaning help, your house is probably messy more than half of the time. Is the screen on your television covered with tiny, peanut-buttery fingerprints? Can you make a full meal out of the goldfish crackers and Teddy Grahams in your sofa cushions? Does your living room look like the plastic toy fairy threw up on your rug? Trust me… it’s not just you and a little — OK, a lot — of stickiness doesn’t make you a bad mom. Not by a longshot.

Sometimes moms just have those days where we’re frazzled and disorganized. We yell at our kids, get nothing accomplished and everything just seems to go south. But, just remember this: a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mother.

Cut yourself some slack, mom. You’re doing just fine.

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