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When people give me compliments about being a “good mom,” I casually try to brush it off. Because in my head, I’m thinking “If they only knew…”
I’m a yeller.
And I was a cheerleader back in high school, so I can get some pretty good volume in my voice…
I’m writing this, and I’m still not 100% sure I’ll share it. I feel like there are A LOT of people out there who would look down on my behavior. I’ve read those articles. I know what people think. I know that they say we need to cherish our children and hold them dear.
And I do! They are absolute miracles. Trust me, I know!
But it is just so HARD to keep it together sometimes. How do those people do it? What is their secret?
So I’m nervous about the criticism I’ll receive. But I also want to come clean with all those compliment-givers out there. I want them to know the whole story before they start dishing out the praise. It’s not always as it seems…
It was a typical lunch time at home. The kids usually cling to my legs and whine about wanting “uppie” (to be picked up) while I’m trying to get their food ready. Even if I have activities set up for them, or bring out a new toy, they just hate when I leave the room to go do something else.
Charlotte was in a particularly bad mood during this time. I don’t even remember what she was throwing a fit about.
Well, I finally get all the kids in their high chairs, including a screaming Charlotte. I put her food in front of her, thinking she is just “hangry,” and she’ll calm down once she starts eating…
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As soon as I set the bowl in front of her, and I am half turned to give Will his food, I hear her scream “NO!” as she shoves the bowl away from her, so that it goes flying off the table, and lands in my chair, upside-down…By this point, I was just so annoyed and frustrated. I lost it.
I turned and yelled, “CHARLOTTE!” And then I just stomped my foot and yelled “WHY?”
Really. I stomped my foot. I was basically throwing my own temper tantrum. That is not what I want to be teaching my kids. It’s no wonder they act the way they do when their own mother acts that way.
Then I yelled “FINE! YOU ARE GOING IN YOUR CRIB, RIGHT NOW!” And I picked her up out of her high chair and brought her upstairs.On the way, I slammed the baby gate shut behind us. Really? Smooth move Mom… Way to be an adult…
I put her in her crib and basically growled at her, “Just because you are mad, it doesn’t mean you can throw your food on the ground!” Seriously? Look at me. I’m mad and I’m stomping my foot and slamming gates. Isn’t that basically what she was doing to? Yes. I flipped out at my 2.5 year old because of this…
Ridiculous. I know.
It’s just spilled rice. It can be cleaned up. More can be made. Heck, it’s not even home-made, it’s from one of those steamable, microwave bags…
Even as I’m spazzing out, there is another part of me asking, “Why are you doing this!?! Who are you?!?” But I just. couldn’t. stop.
That’s not the mom I want to be. When Chaz was here, he was the disciplinarian. And he didn’t do it by yelling. He was just more authoritative than me. I was always the soft spoken one, the one to pick them up and hug them when they cried.
I have no idea how to discipline kids.
How do other people do it? How do they keep their cool?
I could make a million different excuses. I’m tired. I’m dealing with 3 toddlers. I’m overwhelmed. I’m a widow.
But that shouldn’t make a difference. If I was a “good mom,” shouldn’t these types of things not affect my parenting style?
The questions I’m always asking are: Why am I like this? How do I fix it?
I talk about this and dealing with the kids in therapy every week. She has given me some great tips, and I think I would be far worse if it wasn’t for what she has told me. But I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was “before.” If I can ever get back there…
I actually brought the kids to therapy with me this week. It wasn’t for them, it was about how I interact with them. She had toys from their ‘play therapy’ area out in her office. It was a little chaotic, and she gave me a few tips while we were there. But we are going to go over it more at my next session since it was difficult to pay attention to her while the kids played with everything…
If I had a co-parent, I’d be able to discuss all of the parenting challenges with someone. Someone who knew the kids as well as I do, so they would completely understand the situation. Or they would know when I was about to lose my cool…Chaz could always see it. One of my triggers was cutting the kids fingernails. For some reason, it made me absolutely bonkers having to wrestle the kids to get them cut. He’d see that I was about to flip out so he’d step in and say, “Here, let me do it.” I would just hand him whoever I was working with, and walk away. Maybe it’s things like that why I was a better, calmer parent “before.”
It’s just so hard right now. Sometimes, I resent the kids. I know, it’s a horrible thing to say. But sometimes I just feel like this situation I’m in wouldn’t be so hard if we hadn’t had kids. That I wouldn’t be so exhausted. That I wouldn’t feel so tied down. That I wouldn’t feel so stressed.But I can’t really say that for sure. I have no idea what I’d be like if we hadn’t had them.
All I know is that right now, they are my reason for getting up each day. They are my reason to keep going. They are the reason I try to be a good person and help others. I just want the best for them. I don’t want them to be negatively affected by what has happened to us. I don’t want that to determine their outcome in life.
I want them to have the life they were meant to have when Chaz was here. I want them to have the future Chaz and I had hoped for them.
Just look at this innocent face. 🙂 How could I yell at such a sweet girl? She deserves a mommy who doesn’t freak out over spilled rice…
Oh, and by the way, I only left her in her crib for about 2 minutes before I brought her back downstairs, where she had cereal for lunch…Well, that’s my confession. I’m not the mom you think I am.