Spoiler alert - the fact that you are asking the question, “Am I a bad mom?” is proof that you are NOT a bad mom. There are very, very few instances that I would ever say someone is a “bad” mom and those instances include abuse and neglect.
But I yelled at my kids
We all have moments of anger, overstimulation, frustration… basically moments of emotion. Motherhood is hard and occasionally we will lose it. Ideally, when we blow (when not if) it will be through a safe outlet and not at our kids. But even if you do lose it and let the kids have it, it does not make you a bad mom. Even more significant than the yelling, is what happens after the yelling. Do your best to explain why your emotions got so heated, remind your kids that you love them and you are learning too and let it go.
But I never have enough time for them
Time is a limited resource - especially when you are a mom. We also have limited brain capacity - especially when we are also dealing with dinner, dishes, doctor’s appointments, teachers, sports and on and on and on. Remember quality not quantity. Your kids will not remember how many minutes and hours you logged with them. They will remember how you made them feel when you were with them. So try to unplug, breathe, and be present - even if it’s just for five minutes a few times a day.
But I constantly criticize my kids
Do you believe you are worthy of praise? Of love? Do you believe you are enough? Work on that. Work on loving yourself and treating yourself kindly and the same grace you have for yourself will spill over onto everyone else around you, including your kids. This isn’t easy, and it isn’t natural so take your time and apologize when you slip up. Clear communication goes a long way to help kids from internalizing our mess and repeating the cycle.
But I am always annoyed with them
Kids are annoying! It’s part of the package. But they are also sweet, funny, messy, mind-blowing little creatures. Try to think of moments that you really enjoyed them - even if those moments were when they were a chubby little baby. Remind yourself of the good whenever possible and create fun moments with them. The feelings will follow.
So no. You are not a bad mom. The fact that you are asking the question, the fact that you are reading this post, is proof that you are not a bad mom. Remind yourself that you are human. You are trying. And give yourself grace.