Thursday, September 06, 2007

That Mom

Disclaimer: The following post was written in a flurry of "last days of summer distress", mostly just to vent, not knowing if I'd ever hit the "publish" button. However, I've been seeing this sentiment all over at your places the past few days. You have given me the courage to share the not so pretty parts also. Thank You. From the bottom of my heart.

I never wanted to be that mom.

I believe everyone has their own version of that mom. For me it is the harried, tired, grumpy and disheveled woman screaming at her kids in the car while it is parked at a stop light. Flames may even be shooting out of her eyeballs while she is doing it. She is that mom. I am not. Until today.

I said things to my children in the car today that I can't take back. I said a very bad word. I said something to them that I tell them not to say. I yelled at the top of my lungs to the point where I felt as if I were recovering from strep.

I am at the end of my rope.

After my rant, all I could think about was how stupid I was. How I shouldn't be so impatient with my kids. How I just had a whole night all to myself and how could I feel this badly so soon after it. What is wrong with me?

Who knows.

Motherhood is hard. Even when they aren't babies anymore. It is really, really hard some days and I believe it is so hard you sometimes feel like you are going to crack. Sometimes you just feel like you are, and other days you actually do, like today in the car. And you have to be given permission for this. You have to. You also have to apologize after you've said that really bad word. That, is the not so fun part.

I am not perfect. I cannot be rational every single second of every single day. When I have asked a carload of children to use their manners and keep their voices quiet so I can concentrate on driving and not steering the car into on-coming traffic so many times I've lost count, I am allowed to loose it - a little.

I don't know what it is, but this year, this summer has seemed to be the hardest yet for us as a family. I expect Katie to be a certain amount of work because of her age, but the boys? They should be getting easier! Instead, they are getting pushier in their wants and needs. At the same time, they are becoming fun to hang out with (when they aren't sulking or whining) and a sheer joy to spend time with. But they are LOUD, oh so loud. Louder than they have ever been before and like puppies, they don't know how to be the least little bit graceful when they run through the house, causing every piece of artwork hanging from the wall to fall with a crash to the floor. Well, it isn't that bad, but almost.

So I send them outside, and tell them to blow off some steam. We have plenty of balls and playthings out there so I figure it is a no-brainer, until I hear the screams and yelps. Because tackling your brother and holding him in a headlock is so much funner than actually using your basketball hoop or skateboard. And I find myself yelling some more, but I try to be sneaky about it so the neighbors don't hear me. And the boys act "normal" for a few minutes before deciding to sit on their scooters and wear the rubber off the bottom of their shoes on the hill outside our house. Ugh!

I know school will start soon and we'll have all this time apart, and I know that I'm just worn out from their constant . . . everything. But I'm telling you, if next summer is anything like this one, I will have to leave the country - or they will, because I don't think we'll survive!

I just don't want to be that mom anymore. And I don't think they want me to be her either.

18 comments:

FreeThinker said...

Wow! Thanks for the insight of "Momhood." I must tell my own Mom how special she was/is!

Mrs. Chicken said...

Yes. Exactly. You know I feel the same way today. There are times when my head actually throbs from how hard it is to be in charge 27/7. Some days I just want to go someplace where no one can touch me or ask me for anything.

Thank you. For your solidarity, your sisterhood and your honesty.

I think you are a wonderful mother.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Thank you. You are not alone and you have made me feel better about the days when I have slipped into being that mom... My mom always said, "This too, shall pass." Hang in there. There was something particularly difficult about this summer... several moms I know feel the same way....

painted maypole said...

We hvae all had those days. It's OK to apologize to your kids and tell them you goofed. In fact, it's important to do so.

here's to better days ahead....

jen said...

oh honey. is it wrong to sit here grinning wondering which very bad word you said? rhymes with duck, maybe? hee hee. were you gripping the steering wheel so tight you thought you were going to break it right off?

because, see...i know you are a lovely mom, every day. good parts and the little not so good moments. because it's damn hard. because you are honest. because you care. because you try.

and they know too. xo

Kristen said...

We've all been there. It's very humbling every time I have a meltdown because then I can't try to claim I am a perfect supermom and I like that because how fun is it to have to be perfect all the time anyway, right?

Jenn said...

Just yesterday I yelled at Big A.

Really, really yelled. And I hated myself for it.

And so I got up today, promising it wouldn't happen again. And hoping beyond hope that it wouldn't.

Hang in there. Holding ya up.

Kristin said...

Don't beat yourself up... we have all been there... and in some respects, it reminds our kids that we are human with frailties and faults and that they are part of the family and they contribute to the good and the bad...

Becky said...

man can i ever relate to this. i used to hate it when my mom would explode like that and i swore i'd never be THAT mom. and i've been that mom countless times...i've blown up at hannah and later i think about what exactly that accomplished. nothing. nothing at all.

alice c said...

So, run this by me again.

You have had your children at home for the entire summer holidays - two boys and a preschool girl - and this is the FIRST time you have lost your temper???

You are an example to us all and should be writing parenting manuals. I used to feel good about myself if I made it to the end of the first week.

carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carrie said...

Thank you all for the kind comments. I was very reluctant to share this for fear that I'd sound like a horrible mother. But that's part of the reality - nobody is perfect 100% of the time and feeling like we have to live up to that expectation is ridiculous. We're human. All of us.

And Alice, I wish that were the first time - it wasn't. It's just the first time I've written anything about losing my temper and believe me, I am so glad I did. Letting go of it feels much better than keeping it inside! But thank you, for your support, all of you, friends!

I feel like I can breathe now.

Tabba said...

Carrie - go easy on yourself. the fact that you feel bad about this is what sets you apart from being more than *that* kind of mom.
we all break. really.

i'm sorry to hear you had a rough day. i am. i hope today finds the kids a bit more peaceful for you.

i, too, have yelled so loud my throat hurt afterword.
i feel ya. i do.
but know that you're a wonderful momma. a lovely momma. who just so happens to be human.
and seriously...this summer/september? brutal. i keep hearing it over and over. from many, many people.

Kyla said...

BubTar was killing me yesterday. KILLING ME. I love the kid. A lot. But sometimes? Especially when everything is going haywire? I just want a little peace and quiet.

Left Coast Sister said...

This is hard, by far the hardest thing I can imagine doing... a friend of mine (who is childless) was staying with us a few days and after noting the gremlins hanging on me and just needing me every moment, she said, "wow, your life is constantly urgent." And it's true. Constant needs, which must be urgently met.
BTW, for whatever reason, I do think it's worse when I've had a little time to myself, strange as that is.
here's a hug ((Carrie)). go easy on yourself.

Jonathon Morgan said...

i totally have an image of parenthood that i'm trying to avoid. but i have to work, everyday, to make sure i'm not it. i think we all have moments like this!

Oh, The Joys said...

It can be so hard though...

Jill said...

I can relate. If it makes you feel any better, I have a self-imposed 3 year moratorium on buying new furniture. My older boys are just so destructive that I am intentionally sidestepping the possibility of mommy-rage when they inevitably do something to damage whatever I might buy.