How To Be a Good Mom On a Bad Day

By April 9, 2012Featured Posts

I had looked forward to Friday all week. A day off with the kids…I imagined we’d go hiking, read books, watch a movie, play games and just have a fun spontaneous day.

Instead, this ugly old ogre of a woman showed up at our house. Sadly, that woman was me. For various insignificant and inexcusable reasons, I started the day off on the wrong foot and stayed there.

I felt utterly introverted. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me, look at me or breathe in my general direction. Solitary confinement sounded dreamy. A trip to one of those “vow of silence” monasteries would have been ideal. (I may have even Googled to find one nearby.True story.)

Instead, it was me and 3 kids. All. Day. Long. And they were talkative. And energetic. And talkative. And energetic. And talkative.

Unfortunately, talking and listening were both scraping the bottom of my wish list.

What is a grumpy mama to do?

I’d like to say I prayed and opened my eyes with renewed vision and focus. But that would be lying.

I knew it was gonna be a blue collar day. If I was going to survive without adding to my kids future therapy bill, it was going to take nonstop prayer and a lot of work.

If you’ve ever had one of those grumpy days, you know what I’m talking about.

So, I came up with a battle plan, and in case you ever find yourself in the midst of a grumpy day, I thought I’d share it with you.

1. Warn Them

I made it very clear that Mommy wasn’t in a good mood and I needed their help and obedience if we were going to have a good day. In retrospect, I should have asked them to pray for me. I didn’t, but I’m writing it down so I’ll remember if I ever have a day like that again. (I hope not!)

2. Only life threatening misbehavior warranted my correction.

I let them run around screaming outside. They shot each other with water guns. They tracked water into the kitchen. They left the door open. A lot. They bickered. And…I did nothing. I sat outside watching them, headphones on, journal and Bible in hand.

My theory was that I’d rather upset the neighbors than my children. I was in a nitpicky mood and I knew my words, should I let them flood out of my mouth, would not be a blessing. So, unless I saw them doing something that warranted a call to 911, I kept my mouth shut.

3. I Let Them Fend for Themselves.

They argued. They came to me. I told them it was in their best interest that they figure it out themselves. And guess what? They did! While my response wasn’t ideal, it did allow my kids to rise up and problem solve to a greater level than they would have otherwise. I even saw them “parenting” one another; reminding each other of the rules so that they wouldn’t awake the grumpy ogre woman.

4. I Sacrificed Ideals for the Sake of Survival.

I am pretty strict about limiting my kids screen time. On Friday, my idealistic self and my grumpy self were ready to combine to create a firestorm of “No.” No TV. No video games. No computer. No nothing. Ever.

Yeah, that wouldn’t have been helpful.

Instead, I let them watch a lot more TV/video games than I normally do. I figured it was better than yelling at them.

5. I Declared Ultimatums.

If they wanted to play together, they had to work together and get along. Arguing meant they had to go to their rooms. They knew I wasn’t messing around, so they worked out their differences quietly.

6. No Media for Mommy.

I was grumpy and I knew media wouldn’t fix me so I chose to stay offline until my attitude had improved. I limited myself to music, my Bible and my journal. I was ready to throw down my bad attitude and Facebook wasn’t going to help.

It was so good to spend the day just reading the Word, writing on paperand getting input from no one but God.

7. I Found a Distraction.

Toward the end of the day we headed to the bookstore. The kids played more video games on the display tablets (oh yes they did), then they read books or I read to them. As sad as it is, I knew I would be kinder and more patient with my children in public than if I was lying on the couch at home.

8. Get Healthy

A lot of times our grumpiness is physical. I wanted to do whatever I could to make myself feel better. I ate protein, took my vitamins, drank water and if I could have, I would have taken a nap.

Let’s Keep It Real

I realize that if this post is the first one you’ve read on Inspired to Action, I might sound like an awful mom. I’m okay with that. I’ll happily sacrifice a bit of mommy pride if these ideas help another mom and her kids through a grumpy day.

Have you ever had grumpy day? How did you deal with it? Click here to join the discussion!

Leave a Comment



  • Avatar Laura says:

    Besides the truthfulness, what I love about this post is YOUR discipline. You knew where you stood that day and set boundaries and stuck to them. Like no screen time for you. And a day with lots of screen time for the kids, well, it isn’t gonna hurt them. And letting them work things out…you might even try it more in the future on good days. I don’t even know you but I feel like patting you on the back and saying, “Good job, mom.”

  • This is me more often than I’d like to admit. I couldn’t agree more with “Sacrifice Ideals for the Sake of Survival.” Great post, Kat.

  • Avatar Lisa H says:

    Great advice, Kat. I’ve so been there and had those days. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mama! 🙂

  • Great post, I can so relate and agree. Number one, in particular, is great advice. Our kids need to see us as people–that may sound odd, but too often we don’t tell them our need in advance (don’t feel well, have a headache, didn’t sleep well). Asking them to pray for you is such a teachable moment for them and you. When I hear the voice of my kids praying for me, it so blesses me.

  • Avatar Lisa Bergren says:

    Been there. Great, practical advice. Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    I like your “offline” idea. Too often, when I am grumpy, I turn to the computer and TV as a way to distract myself from having to deal with it (my issue, myself, my spouse, etc…) In the end, it really makes things worse. I end up grumpier because my kids are bothering me, or my husband is upset at my lack of good housekeeping due to “screen time.” So I spend more time staring into cyber-abyss…it’s a vicious cycle. I’m definitely going to be using this list!! Thank you!

  • Avatar Katie G. says:

    I have been following your blog for just a few months. This post made me feel more human! I have those BAD mommy days too. I have a 6.5 month old and I am quite new to this whole mommy thing. I never thought having a child would be such a learning experience about myself. I am thankful for God’s grace…over and over again. Thank you for your suggestions. Some of them really convicted me. I am going to come up with a list of my own, so when those bad mommy days come (and they will) I will be prepared! Thank you for your honesty!

  • Avatar Tracy says:

    Thank you! It sounds less like a bad mommy and more like a bad day. It also sounds like you modeled a lot of positive things to do when those occur. Thank you! This has given me a whole new perspective to consider. Especially the need to speak less when I know what will spill out.

  • Avatar Mela Kamin says:

    Wonderful advice & not an awful moment in there … you kept your bad mood from controlling you. I often let my mood interfere with my mothering & lash out when I need to take a time out. I will choose these steps next time. Thanks!

  • Avatar Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this story! When I have one of those days, I struggle so much internally – I am positive I am the ONLY mom that must feel that way, which of course only makes me feel worse! Thank you for being real, honest and sharing some great tips to work through it.

  • Avatar Heather R says:

    Way to keep it real! THANK YOU! It’s one of the many reasons I love reading your blog. It’s refreshing to know that there are normal Christian mommas out there that have normal, bad days!

  • Avatar Ashlee says:

    I’m sitting here in tears because this was exactly what I needed to read this morning. I was this ugly ogre woman all weekend. It was horrible. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with my husband’s recent deployment. Each night would end with me, on my knees, crying to God to forgive me for what I had done and said that day, and to help me, somehow, to figure out how to be better, even on bad days. I was beginning to think this was going to be one of those “figure it out on your own” answers to prayers, and then this little gem was in my inbox this morning. You were certainly an answer to my prayer. Your advice is perfect and your courage to admit to having these days has helped me to feel not so horrible about it. Thank you! Thank you so much!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      I have to say I was nervous when I pressed Publish. You made it worth it. I’m SO glad it encouraged you. I’m praying for you today.

  • Avatar Melissa Jackson says:

    Thanks for your transparency! Number 2 is the one I’m going to try and improve on. I get nit picky too – and I’m going to zip my lips the next time and have some self control over NOT saying anything that isn’t necessary.

  • I don’t think you sound like an awful mom, just an honest one. I would far rather read this than a series of merry sunshine look what I created for dinner out of my kitchen scraps while pregnant with my 10th type post. And this is good advice too!

  • Love this, I’m so glad you are willing to share it. I have found myself becoming more aware of the need to limit my social media time when these days hit. Honestly, I never considered how it would help me to not reprimand unless it warranted a ‘call to 911’ but I think that is actually a great idea. Once I start correcting, it does seem to just spiral downward. GREAT advice.

  • Avatar 5wolfcubs says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been subscribed for a few months now and this is first time I’ve been moved to leave a comment. I need to remember #1 — so the kids know it is ME and not THEM (especially the sensitive kids).
    I pinned this with a reminder to re-read once a month. 🙂

  • Avatar Shannon says:

    Thanks for being real! I am sure everyone who reads this has been “that mom” it is nice to know someone else is willing to admit it. I love your honesty and practical real mom advice. Keep up the good work. Youare an awesome mom created by God just for your children.

  • Avatar Annaliese says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love that you were honest with your kiddos and told them you were in a grumpy mood -I think that in itself is a good lesson – we all have those days, whether we are kids or moms or dads, and it teaches them that we don’t love them any less, and that sometimes it’s best to not say anything to each other than to lash out and say things we don’t really mean.

  • I needed this! So often {more than I care to admit} I’m that kind of mom — burnt out, grumpy and needing a bit of time to pull myself together. It’s a hard gig and I only have one 2 1/2 year old – i know that it must get much harder with more (though occasionally I’d like it if she had a playmate – ha!). Thank you for making me feel more human today :).

  • Avatar Sarah D. says:

    Thank you, Kat! I was having a “grump day” yesterday (yes, on Easter Sunday). My husband actually helped me out of it with a pep talk (he’s getting good at those… oops.) I have two boys (3 1/2 and 2) and am pregnant, so sometimes I think my poor attitude is validated. My husband reminded me that, when I get overwhelmed with the children or being pregnant (or both!), that I should see it all as a blessing; I can choose to be grumpy or not.
    Again, thanks for this post! It’s always encouraging to know you’re not the only “grumpy, ogre woman”. =)

  • Avatar sunshine says:

    OH MY OH MY can I relate!!!! Your posts are always such a blessing and offer me tools that I can use, you have blessed my parenting more than you will ever know. Thank you for this, another tool I am tucking away for that grumpy day. Sunshine

  • I had a grumpy day yesterday, with tears and yelling and the whole shebang. Unfortunately, I have a 2 year old that doesn’t fully understand yet… and the bad mood was brought on by feeling abandoned/like there was no one to help me with him. I felt so bad for it later, but I couldn’t take it back. I made sure to end the day on a positive note! Yesterday afternoon, we ate candy for dinner and didn’t force a bath or brushed teeth before bed. It’s back to business this morning, but we needed the break yesterday afternoon! I’m just glad I’m not the only one.

  • Avatar Heather C says:

    I agree with everyone. This is one of the best posts I’ve read from you. Thank you so much for the gameplan. Will definitely be using!!

  • Avatar Teresa Galashan says:

    THANK YOU. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years, and this is one of the most helpful ones you have ever written (and I thought the ones before this were amazing!). I am going to print this out and refer to it the next time I have a bad day. I had no idea until I had kids that I even had a temper, but having little people depend on you constantly from when they get up til when they sleep on the days that you have PMS, are tired, stressed, etc… is harder than I ever would have imagined. When I didn’t have kids it was easier to just retreat from the world, and now I still have that need but it’s so much more complicated to attain it! Thank you for showing a loving and practical way to do that.

  • Avatar Crystal says:

    Great post. I read your blog often, but havnt comented much. All of these things also apply to single parenting on most days! I only have one kid, but when I was going through a divorce there were so many days where I had to let go of my ideals and just let him watch a movie so I could go cry and pray and soak up true things so I was able to interact with him sometimes instead of just being a Surival-Zombie. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate how you delight in mothering and also represent the reality of challenges in energy level, motivation, attitude. I think that’s such a valuable example for your kids too, for ways they can deal with their own grumpiness responsibly later in life. Thanks!

  • Avatar Michelle says:

    The words you penned are me on days. I feel the guilt every time. Then at night I tuck the kids in after they are asleep, and tears come to me because of the guilt over a grumpy day or moments. And I can’t take them back, so I whisper in their ear that I’ll be “nicer” the next time. Then i get bogged down again by my list of things i need to do, and we have a repeat. Thanks for your words. I like the way oh did your best on that “ogre” day.

  • Avatar Julie M says:

    Thank you for sharing! I definitely have been there and have done 1-4, but usually just vegged behind my computer feeling worse and worse as time went by. I definitely felt convicted to spend that time in the word instead.

  • Avatar Michelle G. says:

    You don’t sound like a grumpy mom! You sound like a REAL mom! And I love it. I find myself having days like this far too often… mainly due to lack of sleep! Thanks for the inspiration and ideas to keep my mouth shut and not be grumpy AT people… 🙂

  • Avatar Natasha d says:

    Great post, Kat! thanks for keeping it real and giving me suggestions! … I know I need them!! Thank you, for this, today!

  • Avatar Jaime Scott says:

    Oh my goodness, you sound just like me! I have those same days. I’m also an introvert and have found that that clashes terribly with mothering sometimes! 🙂 I’m so glad you shared this. Great tips!!

  • Avatar elizabeth says:

    i’ve had a lot of these days lately. these are some great suggestions. i never print out blog ‘pages’. today i will leave never behind. i’m printing it and tucking it into my bible. i will need to read this again. and unfortunately again. thanks for being so honest.

  • Avatar Deana says:

    Thanks for your transparency – I am so glad you shared. You redeemed the day on so many levels and your kids will probably remember it so much differently than you do. I will be saving this post to reread many times I am sure.

  • Avatar Heather says:

    Kat, Thank you so much for being real and sharing this.

  • Avatar Melissa says:

    Thank you for being open to the Lord’s leading today and sharing your real struggles. I can tell from the comments that a lot of us needed to hear and share with you. God bless and I will be praying for you!

  • Avatar Kris Freitag says:

    We call those days safe and happy days. The goal is to end the day with the children safe and happy. This means the TV might increase, there might be a marathon Wii tourney, picnics outside and snacks and anything else with food go out the door. Rules are loosened for the sake of no volcanic eruption from mom. you know, safe and happy days are few and far between most of the time, but on the days when they are needed, you can hear my mantra over and over again “safe and happy, safe and happy”. thanks for sharing your story!

  • Avatar Darla says:

    Oh Kat!!
    these kind of posts are EXACTLY why i follow/subscribe to your blog!! Though I now have only adult or teenage children & only 2 still at home this is GREAT advice ( & may also work with husbands 🙂 ) Thanks for sharing & keeping it real!

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    I am totally printing this out and keeping it on the fridge, and a copy in my purse and I might even make a smaller copy to save as the wallpaper on my computer screen. It makes so much sense to me and I find myself in that grumpy mood more and more often lately (maybe I need a mom’s day out???)

    • Avatar Joyce M says:

      Great idea Jennifer on printing this out! =p I think a mom’s day out is a good way to divert some grumpy mom days. Good to schedule a day for that when we can.

  • Avatar rachael says:

    This totally encouraged me, the truth is we all have bad days, but we act like bad days are not normal. Raising children is a tough job, but oh so worth it, and we need as much grace as we can get for the task! Thanks for giving us grace with this post 🙂

  • Avatar Alison says:

    Kat, this is one of your best posts! Thank you for being so vulnerable. I have had many days like the one you describe and, believe me, I did not handle the ugly old ogre woman who showed up. Actually, almost every day I have a few minutes when she rears her ugly head and I don’t shush her in time. 🙁 Thanks for these ideas.

  • Oh this was just awesome!!!! I think you are in my brain, or my heart, or both! It is so hard to get out of our own way sometimes. I love that you didn’t yell, what a victory. I think I am printing this post out (which I never do) and keeping it to remind myself of my difficult days.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your transparency and humble actions.


  • Avatar alison says:

    My favorite post of yours yet.:)

  • Avatar Jen says:

    This IS my first read of this blog and I DON’T think your an awful mom. It sounds like you’re an honest mom who strives to be a better person and better mama. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Avatar Natasha says:

    Today was my grumpy day-so thank you for sharing and being real! I esp love number 2, am going to try that one out, and can I suggest the one that got me through today? Preaching the gospel to myself over and over, “I am accepted today because of the perfect righteouness of Christ and not as my performance as a mum” Praise God for His amazing grace!!

  • Avatar Judy says:

    Recently had a day like that … as I was putting the little guys down for a nap, and they were fighting it … instead of yelling, I finally sighed, sat down, and had the “adult discussion” w/ them … essentially owning up that Mommy was in a horrible mood, helping them see that all their acting up had gotten them nowhere, w/ the exception of a greater “ka-bosch” on all activities. As they reflected and thought of the happenings of the day, they graciously climbed into their beds and napped w/o further complaint. – Acknowledging the “ogre” in the room helps sometimes.
    Thanks for your story Kat … and the “battle plan” to keep on hand.

  • Avatar Karin says:

    Kat, this post is aces. Thank you. I am so relieved that I am not alone in having such days! I too have done a couple of the steps you listed already – such as warning them that I am in no mood to be trifled with. My 7 -year old reminded me recently (twice!) of the patience recipe that I got from one of your others posts and which I have taped on the wall above my desk; she said, “Mom, you should be like a wall of jello.” This post today was timely and important, and I’ll be sure to share it. We need real life application stuff as moms.

  • Avatar Lauren says:

    Thank you. I echo all of the other posts about being thankful for your honesty and transparency. With Hello Mornings and this post, you’ve made me a better mom and a better wife.

  • Avatar Heidi says:

    Oh, you blessed my heart, Kat! 🙂

    I’ve feel as though a series of unfortunate events have brought on more ‘funk’-filled days than I’d like to admit.

    I’ve recently decided to make every attempt to shake it (only by Gods Grace) and am blogging about it…nothing like public accountability, right? 😉

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • Avatar Jane Grayson says:


    You’re a great mum! You are so self aware and are able to ensure that your kids have a fun day at home whilst you get space for yourself and time with God. Your faith, grace and honesty are an inspiration. I hope on my bad days I can be half as good as you.

    Jane. Manchester, England.

  • Avatar kerry beck says:

    great post…thanks for your honesty and for sharing. i so remember those days.

    love these statements:
    I limited myself to music, my Bible and my journal. I was ready to throw down my bad attitude and Facebook wasn’t going to help.


    Toward the end of the day we headed to the bookstore.

  • Avatar Kathy Gasparini says:

    Hi Kat,

    I love this post! Like many other moms, I can relate to this. I have six children, ages 22, 18, 14, 12, 8, and 5. My 8 year old has Down syndrome. I love being their mom, but I will say that there have been some days it hasn’t been easy. I love the “no media” where you only allowed yourself music, bible and journal. What a great idea!! I would probably add no caffeine or sugar (for myself anyway) and like you said protein, vitamins and water, and a nap if possible. I am also a runner. I have found that if I can get out for a run it makes a big difference in my mood. But if you weren’t able to get a nap you probably weren’t able to go for a run either. Thanks for being so honest and sharing your experience. Loved it!

  • Avatar cdpysar says:

    How nice to know I am not the only one who has these days. Thanks for being so honest about it, and for the great tips.

  • Avatar Tina says:

    Thanks for being real!!! It’s great comfort to know that I’m not the only one. I loved all of the tips… Mostly I love that you showed an example to your kids on how they can conduct themselves when they’re having a not so great day!

  • Avatar Kristy says:

    LOVE this post. Thank you for your honesty… And I will have to remember some of your suggestions for grumpy and not-so-grumpy days!

  • We all have those days sometimes Kat. Absolutely no shame in that! I’ll have to use the tip about letting them fend for themselves. With summer coming up and them being home with me ALL THE TIME. I better have a game plan for when the bad mood strikes!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Valerie says:

    YEAH! I don’t know which is better, this post or my dark chocolate. Thanks, Kat.

  • Avatar Liz says:

    I love the way you planned out your strategy for surviving one of “those” days! Also, our kids learn a great deal from watching how we handle bad days, bad moods, grumpiness…I don’t know how many times I tell my teenagers that just because they are sleepy or grouchy doesn’t mean they can be ugly to the rest of us. Letting them see that we all have days where we aren’t smiling happy people and that is okay…it’s how we handle those days that is most important!
    I need to do more bible/journal carrying when I am in a “mood” and maybe I will handle it with a bit more grace as well =)
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Oh I love #6. Often that’s the first place I run and yet I bet I’m doing more damage than good. Trying to fill my grumpies with others is really just spreading my bad attitude.

    I’ve had so many days like this and can totally relate. It’s especially tough for me when my little ones want to touch me all the time. Climb my leg, grab my arm, sit on my lap. I love it but it can drain.

    Great tips here. Thanks

  • Avatar Bren says:

    I’ve been there many times. I find getting out of the house helps too. I used to run to Target or Walmart when I lived in the U.S. and have a shopping therapy day. It usually helped lift my spirits, and it managed to get us all out to a neutral place of sorts. Now that we live in Thailand, I am without my Target so we go on a walk to feed the fish or I let them ride bikes around our little neighborhood. I find staying home on those days just raises my grumpiness, the kids fight, the house gets messy, etc. Sometimes it is just necessary to get through the day without anyone getting hurt (emotionally of course).

  • Avatar MIchelle says:

    Seriously!! This is AN AWESOME POST! I was actually reminded of Tangeled, and wanted to say, BEST POST EVER!!! Anyway, I often go straight toward the yelling in an attempt to throw my grumpiness on to them. I love your ideas of how to be selfless when all you want to be is selfish! Sometimes grumpiness doesn’t go away for a whole day, but these are awesome ways to not dump it on them, and help to avoid being set off! Thanks so much for listening to the Lord and posting this!

  • Avatar val says:

    Wow, what an encouragement! Such honesty and openness …and I SO relate…sadly on a more often than not basis. Thank-you for sharing, for the ideas, and just being real…makes it feel a little less lonely.

  • Avatar Nohemi says:

    Just I what I need for this week, it’s going to be a tough one.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Colandra says:

    As I read your post I thought of myself. Especially when you talked about wanting to be in Solitary confinement! Sharing this help me to realize that it’s not just me that deal with those feelings. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • truth! truth! and more truth! sadly, i am that ogre more often than i care to admit! thank you for your realness … speaks to my tired heart this morning!

  • Avatar Leah says:

    Kat- thank you for your honesty and your love for Jesus and encouraging other Moms on this journey! I always love reading your posts but this one was the kick in the pants that I needed!! I struggle with grumpy days and my son gets the most of it sadly.

    I really like the decision you made to only spend time listening to music, reading your Bible, and praying. I will copying that plan of action!!!

  • Avatar Pam says:

    Thank you for having the courage to post the bad as well as the good. Grumpy days happen to everyone, we are only human. I think it’s fabulous you not only had a very workable plan for coping with the day, you had the vision to share it.

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness! I read this on a day when I was in a horrible mood (and there have been many lately). My husband is on the tail end of a 6 month TDY and my three kids and I are living with my parents. Enough said, right there. I’m tired physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m sorry to say that most of are days are “grumpy mommy” days. Thank you for your helpful tips. They came right when I needed them!

  • As I read this a thought kept coming to me. “She is so Brave!”

    We all have days when the mean ogre lady comes to call but none of us like to admit it. True, some of us (me.. ahem) can have a little more ogre in us than others…. but we all have bad days.

    I don’t know why we think we need to hide it… why we can’t share bad days with other people without wondering what they will think….

    We forget that we are not alone and other moms/dads have thought dear Lord won’t you please just go to sleep….

    It’s important to share. Life is not all peaches and cream and everyone needs to deal with these emotions. All of us moms pretending we dont get frustrated, or that we never blow it when we do… is not healthy nor supportive.

    And it doesnt help our kids who see that we have bad days just like them.
    What we do with our frustration and anger and just general bad moods speaks volumes to our kids and so much more than mere words.
    Having support from those who have been there can do so much for us when those moments hit. Even if we don’t talk to them, just knowing they are there and would understand….

    Thanks for being the brave one. For throwing out that line of support for all of us.

    And for sharing some ideas to help us deal with this in a better way.

  • Avatar sheila says:

    I find your blog to be the most encouraging one that I subscribe to. This post is no exception. I really love the ideas you gave here, especially staying offline and reading your Bible. You were actually setting a great example for your kids by going to God, and being honest with them. Thanks for sharing and encouraging like you wouldn’t believe!!

  • Avatar s. pipes says:

    kat, THANK YOU for sharing so honestly. if i would step back a little & dive headlong into the Word we might have better days. i get like this often. my kids are 2+ & 1, so i don’t think they’d understand “mommy is having a bad day” part, but i have asked my oldest to pray for me before & he has. when he does, my mood automatically improves b/c i’m so proud of him talking to Jesus on my behalf. thanks again.

  • Avatar Lara says:

    I have about 650 unread posts in my reader…this is one I clicked on…God-sent indeed! There are hardly words to say thank you. I had a terrible mood day this weekend that I’m still feeling the guilt over. I’m printing this out and saving it for the next one!

  • Avatar Caroline T says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kat! So glad I’m not the only one who has random grumpy days.

  • Avatar Joyce M says:

    I was just having one of these moments, and was able to breathe after re-reading your list. “Mommy’s not feeling very happy right now, so give me a minute.” When I came out of the room, my little one said, “Mommy, now are you happy?” haha I was. Thanks. =)

  • Avatar April Emery says:

    Gosh, I really REALLY appreciate this post and found myself feeling convicted and encouraged so much while reading it. I feel like most days, or at least this entire winter, I had more bad and grumpy days than good. And sadly I feel like I did not act like a grown-up should. I appreciated your honesty and transparency in this post … it’s nice to know that there are others that also have bad days and know how to honor God in the middle of that. I am printing this post out to keep as a handy reference on my bad days.

    I think the unplugging tip was a great one for me. Sometimes I feel like being on-line can actually help bring on my grumpiness sometimes :/ Technology is helpful and fun, but I think especially for stay-at-home moms that it can be a huge stumbling block to productive parenting.

    Thanks again for sharing your heart and the wisdom the Lord has given to you on this.

  • Avatar davina says:

    Kat, I love that you knew you needed space and that you kept your tongue in check. That’s the hardest part of a bad day. Perfect guidelines for a bad day…I needed these yesterday. haha. Thanks for the inspiring list. 🙂

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for this Kat! I will writing these points out to stick up on my cupboard, just like one of your first posts I read which hooked me on your blog. I work full time with two little ones, and sometimes I feel by the time we get home, I am all spent out, we all our and there is nothing left. The grumpy ogre woman comes very frequently, unfortunately. I am going to try to remember to look at these points and carry them out. Thank you for being brave and publishing them, your real-ness is encouraging.

  • […] How to Be a Good Mom on a Bad Day – Kat @ Inspired to Action. […]

  • Avatar SeeSaw Faith says:

    I loved every word of this. I have struggled with Ogre Mom more than I would like to admit and I am printing out your list to keep handy for the next day she strikes.

  • Avatar Steph says:

    Grumpy mom days almost always results in more screen time. Like you said, better to watch another show than for mommy to yell.

  • Avatar Annette says:

    This is the first article I have read of yours and I am glad it was! This sounds exactly like how I try to handle my ogre mommy days. Looking forward to exploring more of your blog!

  • Avatar Kelly says:

    Thanks for the honesty!! We all have those days and I wish I choose to handle mine like you did. Hopefully, in the future I will because I’m sure that ogre will come visit our house again one day.

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  • This IS the first time I have read your blog but you definitely don’t sound like a bad mum- you sound like a normal, loving one that was having a tough day- that you handled well! We all have days like that so remember you are not alone 🙂

  • Avatar nopinkhere says:

    I have used 1,3,4,5, & 7 on my grumpy days. #1–the warning–does seem to be the most important. Basically I’m asking please help me to not damage you. I need to add #2 to my repertoire. I usually don’t get screen time unless the kids are in bed so that limit wouldn’t necessarily make a difference for me.

    I appreciate how you laid it all out. I’ve done most of those things, but I’ve never thought it out in such a concrete manner. Thank you.

  • Avatar Sleeping Mom says:

    Absolutely! My toddler is still small but when I’m grumpy I prefer staying home. He has no qualms about acting up in public and the last thing I want to do is to carry a screaming kid to the car lol. Instead, we stay home and try to do quiet activities like reading. I also give him a lot more and really pick my battles. Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle to always have my parenting cap on especially when I know I’m in the brink of losing it.

  • […] On the other hand, it’s exhausting and stressful to be so vigilant. Warning them about every danger. Keeping track of the activities of 3 busy boys. I end up being that dreaded “helicopter parent” or the ogre mommy (in the words of Kat). […]

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing this!!! You’re right, we ALL have these days, and the best therapy is perhaps hearing that other moms do, too. I’m militant about TV—none in our house. But there are those occasional days when I boot up the computer and find something—something long—for them to watch on Netflix because I can’t take it anymore, and I know the damage done by TV is far less than the damage done by myself should I have to interact too much. 😉 haha Also, the caffeine rule: one cup in the morning. Sometimes, for the wellbeing of my children, I get a second cup in the afternoon. It’s the little things really, and you’ve kept the big picture in mind!!

  • Avatar marjie says:

    You did so well! Unfortunately I am familiar with these days. Even on good days I have a pretty big personal space thing. Truthfully, my kids could probably do with some of your treatment on good days too. I am so glad your kids respected your space…..mums need it too!

  • […] cycle, last week I sat down outside with my Bible while the boys ran wild (thanks Kat Lee for this idea).  New insight for our situation came from a familiar […]

  • Avatar KellyJ says:

    I needed to read this today! I have a constantly hungry four week old and a VERY active 15 month old, and I’ve been feeling guilty about being in survival mode. The floor isn’t vacuumed (good thing you can’t see it for all the toys) and I think I could quote “The Muppet Movie” from memory, but the kids are safe and happy, and Mama hasn’t snapped yet! I was feeling guilty this morning, so thanks!!!

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  • Avatar HeatherBlu says:

    Thank you I laughed and cried- I need the inspiration.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Laugh. Cry. Inspire.

      That’s like my blogging trifecta. Awesome! I’m so glad it moved you!

  • Avatar Debbie says:

    Wow, Kat! This was great! Have you sneaked in my house and watched me? Cause this was exactly what I need!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Hi Kat,
    On my blog on Mondays, I feature posts from other moms to encourage and pass on wisdom. Sometimes, when I find a blog post I love and think my readers will love, I simply redirect them to that post. I would like to redirect my readers to this post this Monday. Would you mind? You of course get all the traffic (only about 30-50 faithful readers) and all the credit (by name of course).
    Let me know,

  • Avatar Hillary says:

    Yes! This is what we all need… the battle plan. Loved it! I find one of the best things I can do with my toddler is to read her books. I read the words aloud, not really registering them, but mulling over my own thoughts. She’s entranced and calm with the stories, and the physical comfort of being together helps me at a deep biological level. It reminds me what I’m doing matters.

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  • Thank you for being honest.
    I wrote a similar post, and it’s scheduled but hasn’t run yet. It’s scary isn’t it, to open ourselves up for criticism? But I very much appreciated your thoughts and your honesty. We all have hard days. The only way to have them go better next time is to stop and reflect like you did. Thanks for sharing. – Charity

  • Avatar misssrobin says:

    I love this. Beautiful thoughts. And how wonderful that you noticed you were grumpy and took accountability for it. So many people don’t (I don’t as much as I should).

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Avatar Callie says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this post. I have four at home: ages 8, 5, and twin 2 yr olds!!!!! Sadly, this is the majority of my days! But it’s so refreshing to see someone else going through the same thing, rather than all the “do-it-all” mom’s online that leave me feeling guilty. Thanks for the ideas and fresh perspective!

  • Avatar Maureen says:

    Hi Kat… Thanks for sharing – I am in this spot right now and know God is the way out. I appreciate your ideas for managing the kids without running my mouth (which I always regret)! Bought hubby a punching bag for Father’s Day, but I may get a lot of use out of it myself on these “Even I don’t like me” days. Thank you for your encouragement!

  • […] started this journey when a friend posted this article on Facebook: How to be a Good Mom on a Bad Day.  I realized that ALL of my days could be summed up with her definition of a “bad […]

  • Avatar Jenn says:

    We’ve all been there, had our bad days, days that we just survive. It is great to have ideas for ways to ease up on ourselves and our children to make those days much more tolerable for everyone involved.

  • Avatar michelle says:

    i have days like this all the time.. and i really dont deal with them well. i yell alot. my kids seem to be out of control in my eyes and i feel run down. i have 5 children. i am married but my husband is always working. everytime i make plans to do something that grampy ore comes out and i do nothing but lounge around and get mad at everything they do.. i am gunna try these words of advice and maybe just maybe things will look better.. thank u

  • Avatar Lindsay says:

    I related to your comment about bring much more patient with your kids in public than u are with them at home! Why is this?!?!?! I get out of the house every chance I get to feel sane, even tho it’s crazy and hectic with two kids, I still so it! I feel like a crazy person sometimes at home all day everyday w them! Getting out of the house is our sanity!!!!

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  • Avatar Shalayne says:

    I chose to b a stay-at-home mom. The first 8 months was a breeze. I thought i had the easiest child! Pfff. Since he started walking EVERYTHING has changed. I am in a bad mood every day! My son is clingy and when i pick him up he is still unhappy, unless he can play outside with mud, eat grass and stones and in the dogs food and water bowls. He is about to turn 1. With other people he is sp happy,giggles, smiles all the time got towonder why he’s not happy with me? AmI uch a bad, miserable mom, is he tired of me? I really go out of my way to makes things fun for him, but doesnt seem enough! How long will these anxiety withdrawals last?

  • Avatar Brittany Sanchez says:

    I find myself in this position more than usual lately. Some of these tips will definitely be put into action when needed! I especially liked the letting them know idea and zipping the lip unless its necessary. Thanks!

  • […] you (the parent) are the one with the bad mood, you need to read this. If it’s your kids that have the grumps these tips may be […]

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