Being a mother is a wonderful thing. It really, truly is. But that does not mean it is not without its challenges.
One of the biggest challenges of being a mom is the moments when you feel like a bad mom. Society, especially on social media, often makes us think we are not doing a good enough job raising our children. Or we’re not doing it right.
We’re wrong to stay at home. We’re wrong to be a working mom It’s bad to breastfeed, to sleep train… it’s bad to not do those things. What’s a mother to do? And even more, we might judge ourselves most harshly when we are not parenting how we want to be. Mothering is hard work.
The truth is all parents, even the ones we look up to, have bad days. They have hard days where they feel like a bad mom or bad dad. The good news is, though, that we can easily turn that around.
Whether you’ve yelled when you promised yourself you wouldn’t, let your little people have more screen time than you want, or are trying to break generational cycles – hang in there. Being a mom is hard. Sleepless nights, endless to-do lists, worrying about the little things, and being everyone’s safe place. It’s a lot!
Here are 81 quotes and mantras to uplift you if you’re feeling like a bad mom. Pick one that speaks to you, print it out, and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Or pick out several! Put these reminders where you will see them.
It’s okay to come back and reference this list regularly. You could also make a note in your phone of the ones that really speak to you. Find yourself repeating them to get you through the hard moments.
So without further ado, here are the 81 quotes for when you’re feeling like a bad mom.
81 Quotes For When You’re Feeling Like a Bad Mom
1. “The best moms are the ones who never give up, even when they feel like they’re failing.”
2. “You are not a bad mom because you have bad days. You are a human mom having a human experience.”
3. “There’s no such thing as a perfect mother, and there’s no such thing as a perfect child.”
4. “There’s no rule book when it comes to being a parent.”
5. “The best thing you can do for your children is to take care of yourself.”
6. “Children don’t need more things, they need more of your time.”
7. “To the world you are a mother but to your family, you are the world.”
8. “The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.”
9. “There’s only one person who should be allowed to tell you that you’re a bad mother, and that’s your child.”
10. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” Agatha Christie
11. “Being a mom is the hardest job in the world… and the best job in the world.”
12. “There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one.”
13. “There’s no such thing as a perfect mother, and there’s no such thing as a perfect child.”
14. “The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.”
15. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.”
16. “You can do hard things.”
17. “A bad day as a mom doesn’t make you a bad mom.”
18. “One of the best things we can do for our children is apologize.”
19. “I am a good mom having a bad day.”
20. “My love for my children is not defined by my bad days.”
21. “It’s what we do in the hard moments that define us.”
22. “A loud voice does not fix a loud action.”
23. “My actions speak louder than my words.”
24. “I should find my calm before speaking to my children in anger.”
25. “All good moms have bad days.”
26. “There will be so many times you’ll feel like you failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child, you are super mom.” Stephanie Precourt
27. “Was it the act of giving birth that made you a mother? Did you lose that label when you relinquished your child? If people were measured by their deeds, on the one hand, I had a woman who had chosen to give me up; on the other, I had a woman who’d sat up with me at night when I was sick as a child, who’d cried with me over boyfriends, who’d clapped fiercely at my law school graduation. Which acts made you more of a mother? Both, I realized. Being a parent wasn’t just about bearing a child. It was about bearing witness to its life.” Jodi Picoult
28. “A mother’s love is the greatest gift of all.”
29. “You are not a bad mom because you had a bad day.”
30. “Our greatest growth as parents comes from our bad days.”
31. “There is no perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challengers, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply.” Elder M. Russel Ballard
32. “Even to worry that you are a bad mother makes you a good mother.”
33. “A mother’s love is deeper than a bad moment.”
34. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.” Sharon Jaynes
35. “I will not be shaken” – Psalm 16:8
36. “Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is,.. and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.” Donna Ball
37. “Take a deep breath, a bad day does not equal a bad life.”
38. “A bad moment does not make you a bad mom.”
39. “I forgive myself.”
40. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” Princess Diana
41. “Some days are just hard, but there is hope in tomorrow.”
42. “No one said parenting would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
43. “Never give up on your children, no matter how hard it is.”
44. “A child needs a mother who is both soft and strong.”
45. “There is nothing like a mama’s hug.”
46. “The best thing a mom can do for her children is to respect their parent.”
47. “A mother’s love never quits.”
48. “Moms are the glue that hold families together.”
49. “A mother’s love does not ebb and flow but that does not mean it does not encounter obstacles.”
50. “God is within her, she will not fail” – Psalms 46:5
51. “Parenting is tough but so are you.”
52. “My child’s challenges are not my failures.”
53. “We all have bad days, but one thing is true; no cloud is so dark that the sun can’t shine through” – Miranda Kerr
52. “Don’t wait for tomorrow to start fresh. Start right now.”
53. “Don’t let a bad moment ruin your day. Think of it as a bad minute, not a bad day and you’ll be okay. I promise.”
54. “Comparison is the thief of motherhood.”
55. “It’s harder to be a bad mom than a good mom.”
56. “A mother’s love is not defined by how we treat ourselves but how we treat our children.”
57. “If you love your children, you’re a good mom, no matter what.”
58. “A mother’s love is the source of all strength.”
59. “Children are a reflection of their mothers.”
60. “Moms are like buttons, they hold everything together.”
61. “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you never knew existed.”
62. “A mother’s love is the light that guides us through life’s darkest moments.”
63. “A mother’s love is unending.”
64. “A mother’s love never fails.”
65. “A mother’s love is always there.”
66. “The heart of a mother is the deepest ocean of love” – Rumi
67. “There is no greater power in the world than a mother’s love, and no greater example than a mother’s life” Mother Teresa
68. “A mother’s love is more beautiful than any fresh flower” Debi Coules
69. “A mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible” – Marion C. Garretty
70. A mother’s love for her [child] is like a flame that never dies.”
71. “A mother’s love is the beginning of life.”
72. “A mother’s love doesn’t make her [child] more strong, it makes him less afraid.”
73. “A mother’s love is the most selfless form of love there is.”
74. “A mother’s love is the truest form of unconditional love.”
75. “A mother’s love never fails or falters, it is stronger than any other kind of love.”
76. “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” Barbara Kingsolver
77. “You have to carry on as a mother, no matter what, and that’s what I’ve always done. Kate Winslet
78. “I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.” Gilda Radner
79. “Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.” Oprah Winfrey
80. “I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known.” Maya Angelou
81. “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” Washington Irving
I hope these quotes and mantras inspire you to remind yourself that even good moms have bad days. We are not defined by our hard moments but how we react to them.
What to Do When You Feel Like a Bad Mom
In the moments you feel like a bad mom or a bad parent, it can be hard to move forward. You feel like you’re letting your kids (and yourself) down. Here are a few steps to take to help quell those feeling and move past them.
1. Take a deep breath.
A bad day does not equal a bad life. A bad moment does not make you a bad mom.
2. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with what you have.
Most mamas don’t have it all together. There’s always something falling to the wayside. And that’s okay!!
3. Forgive yourself.
We all make mistakes. The important thing is that we grow from them.
4. Reach out to your support system—whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a professional.
It’s important to lean on these people when you need them! Parenting takes a village and it’s more than okay to look for support.
5. Take some time for yourself.
Get outside, read a book, or take a yoga class. Time for yourself is essential to be the best parent that you can be.
6. Talk to your kids about what you’re feeling.
They may not be able to fix the situation, but they can offer support and understanding. This is also a great time to model apologizing!
7. Remember that parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.
You will have good days and bad days. But, if you keep moving forward, eventually, the bad days will start to outweigh the good.
No one is perfect—not even moms. So, cut yourself some slack and know that you are doing an amazing job, even on your worst days. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to do the best we can to be better mothers and to be the best mom we can be, right?
In those really hard moments, I try to remind myself that there’s no safer place for my kids than in their mother’s arms. And I find a lot of comfort in that.
Having hard days in motherhood is NORMAL! Even if people don’t talk about it enough. It’s easy to show the good, positive things, but not many people are out here recapping their toughest days. I hope these inspirational quotes and strong mom quotes inspire you through the bad moments. Keep on keeping on, mama. You’re doing a great job and you are a good parent.
Before you go… would you mind sharing this with any new moms in your life or your best friend? Whether they’re stay at home moms, a working mom, has one kid or 10, we could all use some inspirational mom quotes from time to time!