Truth be Told: Some days I'm not sure that I am cut out for this mommy stuff
I want to be honest with you, not just when my kids are adorable, sweet, and hilarious but also when they (or myself) are being raging lunatics, whining brats, and pretty much straight-up assholes. Don't get me wrong; they are my world, so welcome to my world, but every now and again I get a really crappy day of life thrown in just to keep me on my mommy toes. On those days, I am not so sure I am cut out for this mommy stuff. Do you ever wonder if you have the mommy gene or if you are genetically mutated to not be able to survive motherhood?
I am reminded of a time when my girls were younger. My husband had been traveling a lot for an out-of-town job, so I was basically single parenting my kids for 5 out of 7 days of the week. By the way, in case you were wondering, I'm not cut out for it. I don't know how you single mothers do it. You are stronger than I. I don't have the stomach or patience for it. I got married to have a partner not to be alone, so the whole commuter marriage thing was causing a lot of resentment on my part.
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We were smack dab in the middle of a "No" fest, with lots of "I don't want to's", refusals to sleep or eat, or listen to anything I might say. Let's call them the terrible two thru fours.
To make things worse, my 2-year-old developed quite the knack for incessant whining and sporadic screaming outbursts for absolutely no reason at all. There is no rationalizing with a 2-year-old, especially one that misses her daddy.
I found myself doing a lot of threatening in those days. Threatening that I was going to call the cops to come take her away. He could have just as easily taken me away, I wouldn't have minded. I threatened to send her to her grandma's, child services.... You get the picture?
I was at my wits end and I said things I am not proud of. I found myself making idle threats to get her to stop her out of control behavior. I was out of options and I refuse to spank. I was spanked and I hated it. It hurt and it was scary. I want my kids to respect and love me, not fear me.
One day, I went off the deep end and yelled so loudly that it sounded like a lion roaring. Almost immediately, I apologized because it was such a terrible thing to do to someone so little who I loved so much.
I cried, and then she cried, then her sister cried. I think we were all tired and emotional because of the Daddy-leaving situation, but that's no excuse for my behavior. I am sharing this because I know I am not the first mom who has fallen off the deep end and landed in a pile of emotional wreckage, nor will I be the last.
Bottom line is that we all have terrible mommy moments and feel guilty but the very fact that we care enough to feel like we are doing a crappy job means we are doing a good job.
My girls are older now and we don't have so many days of emotional outbursts and miscommunications. We still have our days when they are tired and frustrated and forget their words and I may very well lose my cool and roar again someday, but I try not to. I try to breathe a little more and step away because parenting is not just about the destination; it is about the journey we take with our children from birth to adulthood. I want to enjoy it, not just survive it.
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