On bad days, and why it’s OK to have them

April 17, 2015

Baby swing

Hands up who’s had one of those days recently?

I had one this week. After a no sleep slow start it all kicked off in a whirlwind thirty minutes when everything seemed to spiral out of my grasp. We ran out of baby wipes and milk (no tea, the horror). The phone rang, the doorbell went. None of us were dressed, one of us happily refused to attempt it. We were, predictably, late for playgroup. And then there was a last-minute emergency baby nappy and entire outfit change just as we were about to leave, meaning we’d passed the point of even being strategically late for playgroup. There was a lot of noise. I was tempted to hide in the kitchen. It was definitely one of those one of those days, days.

I don’t know why or how, but some days are just bad days. They just are, aren’t they? You know the sort. Where nothing and everything is wrong, and where none of it goes right. And it’s all a bit off, and it’s mostly all you.

I think it’s easy to beat yourself up about bad days when you’re a parent and in the pursuit of modern parental perfection. But here’s the thing; everyone has bad days. And you don’t stop having bad days just because you have children. If anything, the deadening effects of lack of sleep and all the usual pressure cooker factors make it more likely.

But it’s OK, I think. It’s OK because despite having babies, you’re still human. I wrote a while ago about ways to turn a bad day around, but I think the important thing is to be kind to yourself and know that a better time is just around the corner, be it the next minute or the next morning.

In the end I did drag us out (a record playgroup lateness, even for us, but hey, we made it). The toddler held my hand and chatted happily away as we walked there, the baby chuckled and I breathed in the fresh air and felt the tension start to disappear. The first person I saw asked how I was, and I was tempted to answer with the usual ‘fine’ but instead said ‘we are having the worst day!’. And she grabbed my arm and said ‘we have those days all the time!’ Someone else agreed. And you know what? It didn’t feel quite so bad, and I didn’t feel quite so alone.

And after it had finished it was gloriously sunny, so we went to the park, played on the swings. and the joy on the baby’s face as she went on a swing for the first time ever, while her sister pushed her, will forever remain etched in my mind. Not such a bad day, after all.


  • Carie

    April 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

    It’s crazy that we beat ourselves up over it isn’t it – we all had ad days at work pre children at yet somehow that doesn’t seem to come with the same emotional baggage

  • Jodie

    April 17, 2015 at 10:56 am

    These days are so frequent I don’t class them as bad days anymore.. they are normal days. Oh I long for a good day 🙂

  • Lauren | Belle du Brighton

    April 20, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Yay for being honest about the naff days! You’re right, it’s so easy to say you’re fine when actually you’re not and admitting that makes you feel a bit better instantly! I took to instagram for a rant about how crap my Saturday was and so many people left a nice comment I felt a) normal and b) a bit better!

    glad the first time on the swings was a hit too!

  • Kiran at Mummy Says

    April 20, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I know the bad days so well! I agree that it’s ok to have them, and it’s taken me ages, but I really try not to let them get to me or take them as markings of failure. I find getting out in the fresh air always makes them a little better. Great post lovely xx

  • (Non) advice to future mums of two children |

    April 29, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    […] Sure, it can be a constant challenge, you won’t get anything done, you might have bad baby brain, the lack of sleep could drive you slowly to despair, and then you might have the bad days. […]

  • Hey Huggies |

    May 18, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    […] Baby wipes are pretty much the fabric of parenting life, aren’t they? I’m never more than three feet from at least half a pack. Leaving the house without any would make me very, very nervous. Running out is more than enough to turn a good day bad. […]

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