There are days in my life when I think, "I am a great Mom. These kids are lucky to have me…I should give classes." And there are other days, of the long and exhausting variety, when I find myself thinking, "I am losing it... I need a break ... they need to go to bed… I can't do this!" Today was one of the "other days." Today, I totally bombed in the "Great Mom" department.

Nothing really even happened to warrant such a foul mood on my part. In fact, it started out as a lovely day. A Torah class, breakfast with a girlfriend, even a little nap. Then "they" came home and something shifted. I can't even put my finger on exactly what the trigger was. I mean, they come home everyday, so it couldn't have been just that. Maybe my store of B-vitamins plummeted. Maybe I was having some sort of hormonal episode. Or maybe they really were being exceptionally annoying. But in one moment I changed from "Nurturing-Earth-Mother-of-the-Year" to "Monster-Mommy-the-Grouch."

Every noise was too loud, every game too wild

Every noise was too loud, every game too wild, every part of the house too "kid." And when my typically sweet and perceptive five-year-old gave me attitude when I refused to let her take a third helping of ketchup… well that just sent me over the edge.

There are many times when I am able to hold myself way back from the edge. On a good day when I get stressed or exasperated I close my eyes for a minute, take a few deep breaths and recover. Other times I call a girlfriend and get some emergency phone therapy. But then there are the times that nobody answers on the other line, I forget to breathe, I have a momentary memory lapse that children are gifts, and take a running leap over the edge.

Thank G‑d, I don't I lose my temper on a daily basis, but it does happen from time to time. And truth be told, I think my girls and I are better for it.

Allow me to explain…

With my first born, I wouldn't even dream of raising my voice. If I saw that she was flirting with something dangerous, I would swiftly scoop her into my arms and coo, "No, no, electric wires are not for eating." By the time my third came around, it was something more like me booming: "NO! Get that out of your mouth NOW!"

As our families grow, so does our need to hold on to the reigns tightly…in all areas of mothering. With my first child, I didn't have the same kind of confidence in myself as a mother or in her resilience as an independent person that I have today. Today I understand that discipline is a gift we give our kids. Being a real person and demonstrating anger or disappointment through words is not only okay, it's cathartic. I am growing into the knowledge that being a "good mother" doesn't mean I need to be perfect and calm all the time. There is no such thing. Being a good mother means I am who I am, and I am committed to doing the best I can – and sometimes I don't.

My kids are not going to be traumatized for life if I "freak out"

I trust that I have created an environment of love and mutual respect in my home that can withstand the times when I could have done better. My kids are not going to be traumatized for life if I "freak out" (affectionately known in my house as a "freak-out-attack") and yell about bath water all over the floor because they know, that we're all allowed to freak out from time to time. (Usually followed by "Just do it in the other room please"). Sometimes it is through "freaking out" that we actually find a place of peace and calm.

There is a beautiful Jewish adage that says, "Every descent is for the sake of a greater ascent." I love that thought. I know that when I "lose it," I have created the opportunity to get it together better next time. My kids and I have learned so much because we have had the freedom of being honest about being human.

G‑d does not expect us to get it right all the time. Intrinsic to our existence is the concept of teshuva…of returning and fixing and growing from a lower place to a higher place. If G‑d can forgive me for the countless blunders I've made throughout the years, and I can forgive my kids for their faux pas… surely our children can learn to cut a Mommy some slack when she nose-dives off the edge. The hitch is we parents have to be committed to pulling ourselves back up.

As long as an outburst or a less than-positive interaction with our kids is followed by an explanation or an apology when necessary, then we teach our children the merits of being human. That's being a good mother.

It's 12:40 p.m. now. My kids should be charging in the house in the next hour or so. I'm going to do what I need to do to prepare for their arrival. I am hoping for a calm, fun relatively uneventful day together. But whatever moods lie in wait for us, we'll get through it because they are really good kids, and I'm a pretty good Mom.