Hope For An Angry Mom Dropping F-Bombs

Question: What’s better than screaming at your kids all by yourself in the privacy of your home?

Answer: Doing it with a friend on the phone who hears every syllable of your insanity, your hostility and your total lost-your-shitness.

Welcome to my morning, folks.

The moment Mary picked up my MOMMY SOS call this morning, both of my children started whining.  Loudly.

“Mary, I am about to lose my shit.  HELP ME!” I whispered into the phone.

Mary, kind enough to answer her phone before 8 AM, listened to me vent my frustrations– the 5:30 AM wake-up call, husband out of town, no good food in the house, and THESE KIDS WON’T SHUT UP.

“Mommy, I want the phone,” Sadie wailed underfoot. “More Play Dough,” Simon screeched from the table.

“Just a second, Loves! Mommy needs to make a little phone call.”

But they wouldn’t stop.  “The phone!” “Play Dough!”

So, I snapped.  Loudly.  It was ugly, and Mary heard every word.  Were there F-bombs? Yes.  I am sad to say I dropped an F-bomb.

“Mary, I am too tired to be embarrassed that you just heard me scream at my kids in such a nasty way.”  While she may have been judging me, she sure didn’t act like it.  She laughed in that I’ve-been-there-many-times way that only another mother can.  I assured her that I would make amends to my kids for being an asshole and screaming like a raging alcoholic.  (And, actually, I will make amends to her for subjecting her to my early morning stress break-down.)

My anger explosions confuse and terrify me.  Forget about other mothers, I judge myself.  I actually don’t drink at all so I can’t blame alcoholism directly, and I have worked all 12 steps in several programs, so why do I spew anger like someone coming off a heroin binge? (Are people who binge on heroin angry or just super skinny? For the sake of this post, let’s say they are angry as hornets.)

Maybe I am exaggerating it in my head.  But, then again, I don’t want to minimize that impact it may have on my kids to see me clutching the phone like a life raft, screaming, “Please give Mommy one fucking minute.  Please.

This morning, when I got off the phone with Mary, I felt considerably calmer.  The kids played a CD, and we danced around to “I’ve Been Working On the Railroad.”  When the music paused for a new song, I hugged both my kids and said, “Mommy is so sorry for being mean this morning.”

Sadie said, “Your screaming is not nice.”

I said, “You’re right. Mommy would like to be different.  It may not be the last time I scream.  Just know I am working on better ways to let out my anger.”  How could I possibly promise I would never do it again? That would be a lie.  We don’t lie here.  (We scream and drop F-bombs, but we don’t lie.  That’s trashy.)

Surely, I am not the only one who snaps at her kids.  But even if every mom/parent has those moments, I hate it when it happens at my house.  Every single time I feel great remorse and pray for more patience and more light-heartedness. Then, I make amends to my kids; we talk about how it makes them feel.  I assure them that they are allowed to have whatever feelings that come up for them when I am angry. I tell them they are allowed to be angry too.

My hope is to expose my anger and the parts of myself that I think are despicable (that part that drops F-bombs in front of toddlers, for example) so that I can shine a healing light on them and then connect with other people who are dealing with their anger.  If I could have fixed all my issues before having kids I would have, but you know, that might take decades, and these eggs were getting stale.

One time I was talking about my anger in group therapy and expressed my great woe that my kids have to have to front row seat to the carnival that is my emotional life.  A father in the group gave me a concerned “tsk tsk” about expressing anger in front of my kids.  “What do you do when you feel angry and your kids are right there?” I asked him genuinely.  His response, “It’s never happened.”

And that was the scariest response I could imagine.  You mean I am the only one? There must something really, REALLY wrong with me.  Of course, he works full-time so his exposure to his perfect angels is roughly two hours per day.  And, maybe he’s a better person than I am.  There’s plenty of you out there who are. (But also, f*ck him and the judgmental steed he rode in on.)

Anyway.

I think I would get more from honest shares about how other people navigate being human (angry, sad, depressed, wildly excited, overwhelmed) while small children are in the room.

I believe others can teach me to be a better parent.  And I am willing to learn.  How do you deal with your anger? How do you make amends to your kids when you have crossed lines you wish you wouldn’t have during tense moments?

* * * *

I’m participating in Melanie Crutchfield’s Blog Relay for Hope. I was handed the Relay Baton by the fiercely wonderful Mary Nelligan at A Teachable Mom. Be sure to check her out!

I’d like to invite Moments of Exhilaration and Grand New Mom to take the Baton and write a post about Hope.

Here are the instructions:

Step 1: Write a blog post about hope & publish it on your blog.
Step 2: Invite one (or more!) bloggers to do the same.
Step 3: Link to the person who recruited you (me, in this case) at the top of the post, and the people you’re recruiting at the bottom of the post.

Melanie Crutchfield will be holding “Closing Ceremonies” around August 10 and will gather up little snippets from people who wrote about hope, so make sure you link back to her as the originator of the relay.

Thanks for reading!

There is hope for us all.

There is hope for us all.

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83 thoughts on “Hope For An Angry Mom Dropping F-Bombs

  1. I understand. I have gotten angry in front of my kids and I have even expressed anger towards them directly (my son is a handful and a half). And then I proceed to want to off myself for the next 12 hours or so. Honestly. I have a pit the size of Utah in my stomach. I’m embarrassed and ashamed and loathe myself for losing control. I’m sure I could blame it on genetics and I don’t care at all if others do it too. I expect more of myself.

    And then I cut myself some GD slack and realize I’m human and I’m just trying to do the best I can f^cking do. I think of how flawed my parents are/were when I was young and I know they will be ok. Shaping their lives is a long road, one that won’t be determined by that instance this morning, and I try to do better every day. That MUST be enough, it’s all I have.

    PS – I love your recent drawings.

    • That slack you all keep talking about…where do I get that? Inside job, perhaps? The only thing I hate more than raging around the kitchen is emotional repression, which is more familiar to me, but also quite destructive. So that’s not a great option. I just wonder if I even know all my choices: Freak out, stuff the anger and make my kids feel like expressing it is bad, or……What? I don’t know. Maybe having the feelings, talking about it and moving on to the dance party portion of the morning is not so bad.

  2. I used to be a raging rager. Dropping Goddamnit, and Oh my Fucking God’s, and my husband was a “for fuck sakes” kinda freaker. I still swear under my breath, and snap at them sometimes but I have found a new level of zen so I’m a million times better than I used to be.

    I recently got sick enough to be laid up and I HAD to find a whole new level of patience for everything. From the state of my house, to the kids and their behaviours, and ultimately forcing them to do for themselves more (eg. if you want water go get water, you want a snack go get a snack, clean up your toys etc). So after all that I have to say I have learned quite a bit about how to let go of the little things that really used to irk me. Now it’s just the big things I drop the F bombs with. (the kids kicking each other’s asses really annoys me).

    You are not alone!

    • Well, I don’t want to be laid up, but having more Zen and patience is totally the key. Sometimes I can tell I am feeling pressure to get out the door, or get to bed, or finish dinner, but really, why am I so jacked up about it? Who cares if it’s a little late? We aren’t catching a freaking flight? We’re just going to bed on a Tuesday night.

      Thanks for letting me know. I do love a good “for fuck’s sake.” I also love “asshat” “douche bag” and “fuckwad,” but those are advanced terms that I generally hold back from my children. For now. Those sweet little fuckers of mine.

  3. As a kid on the receiving end of the yelling, it kind of allows for you to see your parents as humans, and later in life know that you are not perfect and come to respect that. My parents have yelled at me, and the result is that, as an adult ( well, kind of) you understand that it isn’t easy to be a parent and it takes time

    • Hmmmm. I think I would have preferred outright yelling and blowing off steam to weird ass silence and moodiness, which left me guessing all the time whether there was something wrong and if so, whether it was my fault. That was HORRIBLE. I clearly err on the other side. “Mommy feels angry when you throw your food on the floor.” “Mommy gets a wee bit stabby when you guys have a screaming contest in my ear at 5:30 am.”

      Thank you for your perspective.

  4. You are so NOT the only one, and Judgmental Dude was lying when he said he didn’t get mad. I have anger issues too. I used to break stuff. It took having a kind husband who told me he would not put up with it for me to change, and now I only throw plastic stuff at him. And I can’t even tell you how many times I used the f bomb with my 20 year old while she was in high school and the 3 whole semesters it took her to lose a full ride scholarship and flunk out of college. I couldn’t even complete a sentence without effing using it! Don’t think for one second you are alone. None of us are perfect parents, we eff up all the time. But we love our kids and we try to do better.

    And I should know better than to read your blog before going to bed because now I’ll be up all night trying to think of a hope-related post. But thanks for tasking me with it! It will be a challenge.

    • Sorry for the short notice on the Hope Post. YOu are welcome to shoot over some F bombs. And I used to be a huge breaker of things too. I did heaps of work on myself and also only throw tupperwear now. It’s not the same, but neither am I. I lost a lot of security deposits with my little habit of throwing vases and pots and pans. Landlords hate those divots. (Sp?)

      Anyway, thank you for being out there shining in Texas for me to feel less alone.

      oxoxo

  5. You are definitely not the only parent who snaps at their kids. While I rarely curse at my children (my wife is the sailor), I have snapped on occasion. I hate when I do it. I feel like trash after I do it. it feels like it has been a while since it has occurred and i hope i can keep that side away. I feel like I am better than that.

  6. It’s taken me a lot of work. A lot of work. I had three kids in three years. Two have AD/HD. And I grew up with raging, abusive meanies. I still yell and lose my temper sometimes. But I hug and apologize and man, man, do I try hard. And I don’t try to be a great mom. I try to be a good mom, honest about my flaws, quick with a smile. It’s hard, friend, but key–a huge key– to being a better mom is to forgive yourself for your screw-ups while resolving to do better.

    Coping mechanisms. Well, before I blow, I give clear warnings. I walk away. And when I do lose my shit, I tell my kids I’m sorry and realize that they don’t need perfectEl. They just need a mom that loves them, is always trying hard to give them her best . . . and a mom who is happy in her own skin.

    Try hard. But forgive yourself for your mistakes. And love yourself. That’s a huge one. And I sense you’re not allowing yourself that enough.

  7. I have been known to drop a(n) F bomb(s). I’m pretty sure my people don’t take me seriously until I throw out some profanity. Chances are my strategy is wrong. However, I admit my frustrations regularly and let them know I’m human and hope they don’t expect to be perfect parents. I’m up long before 8 am M-W so my line is open & free of judgment. Anytime. I can trump your “bad parenting moment” at the drop of a hat…just ask me about “shut-up candy” and you’ll feel like MOTY (mother of the year). Keep expanding their vocabularies…

  8. I like the advice that says “parenting is a marathon” so a few missteps don’t matter in the big picture. I never curse anymore in front of my kids b/c a month of my toddler saying “F*ck it!!” in the correct context to anyone and everyone he met cured me of that pretty much forever.

    Also, sometimes I let my kids re-create me yelling at them, it is totally hilarious. Not sure if your kids are old enough to see the light hearted side of it, but my kids love it. They still re-enact my most infamous screaming lecture “I am a person, too!” Big raves from the crowd everytime. ‘Cause y’know, I may be a mom but I am a person, too – so quit throwing food on the floor.

    • OH my God, that’s a good idea. I am totally willing to laugh about all of it– about myself. I will see if we have reached that threshold yet. If not, I will file this away until they are. And yes, I too have said, “I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE,” enough that we had to discuss slavery with Sadie. Not sure I captured the historical angle perfectly. And she still treats me like one, so there’s that.

  9. You and Melisa are killing me, each of you writing on your own time what I would love for you to write for the yeah write grid. Did I lead everyone astray by using the word story all the time? This. What you’ve written here is a personal story. There. That’s the phrase I’ve needed all along. I loved the sentimentality of Blue Baby and how Blue Baby is now the darling of the grid, but this post shows so much more of you: the bad parent we all are, the secret alcoholic we all are, how we can see the humor in our sorry selves. This was perfect.

    • HOld the phone, I think I have misunderstood. I have thought the best writing for the grid would be something tidy with a beginning, middle and end, which is somewhat harder and easier than a “this morning I lost my everliving shit in front of my kids and somewhat because of them.” I am so glad you see your comment, because I realize this post, which was easier to write so I actually devalue it. The “story” as I was previously thinking of it has been harder, so I figure it must be better. Nice worldview, huh? That which is hard must be better and if it’s easy it must be crap. (That was disasterous in dating and maybe in writing too.)

      • This has a beginning, middle, end, central conflict and the ultimate “so what”. It’s not a journal entry or a hateful rant about the old lady in the grocery store holding up your spa day by daring to writing a paper check. It is, in fact, a story, and now I gotta start the summer series all over again.

      • Ohhhhh. Hope you’re not taking responsibility for my fundamental failure to grasp English language. You will note I blew through the word limit like it was my job!

  10. I read the hope all over this post! Loved it! As you know, “losing my shit” is my specialty, perhaps my future gold medal winning event, and I loved how you handled it with your kids. All the modeling you did yesterday was uber impressive: asking for help, awareness of feelings, desire to do things a different way even when you have no idea what that way will look like, letting go and yes, ranting to a friend. And then an amends – shit, girl, you’ve got this parenting thing down cold. Go get ‘em!

    And what’s with Erica M’s comment – who knew???!!

  11. I don’t have a good answer for you. Like some of the others, my short-temperedness was forced out of me. When G was littler, before therapy, it was a massive amount of work doing ANYTHING with him, just trying to figure out what he wanted to eat for snack regularly brought us both to tears. And even after therapy, he doesn’t notice changes in tone of voice, so yelling does absolutely nothing. When yelling and anger accomplishes nothing, I guess it’s easier to let it go. I would only make myself crazy and it doesn’t do anything to him.

    So yeah, I can’t help you. Unless you instruct your children to ignore you whenever you yell. :)

    • That’s another great point. When I yell to get them to hurry or stop yelling or to stop smearing cheese on the walls, it NEVER works. It’s just an impulse and something from my reptilian brain. I would love to soothe that part so that I could breathe, and think of something more creative to either distract myself or them.

  12. First of all, I am off to share this post immediately, because I could have written it. All of it. Maybe not the f-bomb, but I am sure that day is coming. You described the anger so well it actually made me cry…so yeah, clearly I am stable. One of the things I hated the very most about my mother was her bursts of rage and anger, yet here I sit, repeating the pattern. Sure, maybe not *as* bad as she was, but I am certainly doing my part.
    Secondly, you are not alone. And a total f-you to that dad, who has absolutely no clue what it is like to be on hour two of your never ending day and already have your ears be bleeding from the whining and the screaming.
    Finally, thank God for Mary and for good girlfriends everywhere who allow us to be our authentic selves, even when those selves look like she-devil versions. I am a firm believer (pretty much the reason I blog) in the power of women to be each other’s champions. These kinds of posts reaffirm that mission.

    • Yes, indeed, thank God for Mary and the countless other friends who are honest and take my calls when I am foaming at the mouth. And you can definitely see how stable I am! Ha! And your comment made me think about why I started blogging. When I realized there was this awesome community of people giving loves and shout-outs and support, I wanted to be in. Then I got distracted by WRITING and BECOMING A WRITER, which is all fine and good, but the support from ya’ll? …. it’s essential. And if I am serious, I will need the support more than ever. Just like I do with my parenting.

  13. I’m sorry. “It’s never happened?” He obviously isn’t with his kids all day long. By 7pm I’m praying to make it to the magic 8pm bedtime without losing it. And though I work part time, the kids (6 and 4) have come to work with me this summer (long story) and I think it’s really been much more stressful than I’ve realized. I’m definitely doing the happy dance when school starts.

    I try really hard not to swear, but obviously I’m not succeeding too well. The other day at lunch something happened and I said, “God-”, stopped myself, and before I could blink my 6-year old said “damn it”. My husband just looked at me because he knows I say it all the time. I do get in trouble with them for saying “darn it”, which leads me to remind them there are much bigger guns in mommy’s swearing arsenal.

    As far as the yelling goes? It’s like you wrote this for me. I’ve been under some increased stress lately, geriatric dog and in-laws issues, and I feel like I’m constantly ready to lose my schmidt. I know I lose my temper more than I should and I feel awful afterward. Sometimes I even know while I’m yelling that my reaction is way out of proportion to what’s happened. I try to explain afterward that I got much angrier than I should have and that it’s not their fault. Now I know how my mom felt. I hope they forgive me.

    • Exactly! I hope they forgive me too, just like I will forgive them for taking a crap in my favorite purse or ruining all my make up (ok, I don’t wear much) or telling everyone we eat at McDonald’s sometimes. There’s got to be plenty of love and forgiveness in this family. The extra stress is so hard….when Jeff is gone and we are all under-slept and I feel like a deadline is looming– all hell breaks loose. It’s way worse when I teach and have papers to grade and have to show up for my students. I note for me that dinner time is the worst. THE WORST. I am tired, I am sick of fetching them their stuff, sick of watching food fly on the floor and sick of never being able to take a bite without having to mother. That’s when I lose my schmidt. Jeff said he doesn’t eat with them when he’s by himself. Here’s me: Hey, let’s all sit down and have a nice civilized dinner. I guess I should just throw them some quesadillas and eat my Ben and Jerry’s when they go to bed.

      Next time I’ll try that.

  14. I managed to lose my shit three mornings in a row (these are just the most recent infractions) and felt like an absolute asshat for doing it. Two three-year-olds who are whining for a cartoon and then pitching a fit when I say no, when I’ve clearly stated 186 times that it’s time to leave can really wear a woman down. I am grateful that my son and daughter still want hugs and kisses and still tell me they love me. Maybe they realize that growing up is a marathon, and I just need to remember that parenting is a marathon, as one of you shared here. *cleansing breath* Thanks for the post that helps me realize I’m not the only one!

    • Yes, let’s all take a few extra cleansing breaths! I easily can do three mornings in a row. Today wasn’t horrible, but when Simon cried for 15 minutes because I wouldn’t let him get in the sink to play “swimming pool,” I may have been a bit testy.

      As suggested, I asked Sadie what it sounds like when I yell. She said, “Mommy! You go like this– ‘STOP STOP STOP SADIE. JUST STOP.” OMG, to hear my words out of her mouth. I laughed so hard. She nailed it. Probably because I say that ALL THE TIME.

      And really, I do just want her to STOP sometimes.

    • Yes, let’s all take a few extra cleansing breaths! I easily can do three mornings in a row of completely losing it. Today wasn’t horrible, but when Simon cried for 15 minutes because I wouldn’t let him get in the sink to play swimming pool. Why? Because he’s 36 pounds and if he fell out on his head, he would probably die. That seemed like a good reason to me. We agreed to disagree.

      Stress and being underslept is just a killer. And I am always underslept and usually stressed. So there’s that.

      • I am going to try this. I can only imagine what I sound like to my kids. My 4-year old daughter has mimicked me some, but I’d be interested to hear what she has to say when I directly ask her what I sound like.

  15. Hmm…the father in your group therapy class? He resides in the State of Denial. There is no way that young children would never push your buttons and cause you to lose your sh*t.

    Some days, I think my kids are only happy when they’ve pushed me to the point where my head spins like the girl’s on Poltergeist. When I am pushed over the brink of mom-sanity, they relax and start playing together and being nice. Until that point, they push, kick, taunt and bug each other.

    I keep thinking if I cut back on my massive Diet Coke consumption, I would relax a bit more. I’ve tried, and it does help a bit (plus I sleep better at night), but Diet Coke is my drug of choice and keeps me going.

    I would write more, but my Diet Coke bottle is empty and I have to go get another one. But fear not, you are not alone, sister!

    • I do think there’s an element of sport in it for the kids. Sometimes they look at me and just laugh. I honestly love that response. Other times, Sadie cries and I feel like a monster. Hope you got your Diet Coke– the great elixir.

  16. I am bookmarking this post to remember when VOTY nomination time rolls around. What mom hasn’t felt like she would lose her shit? Or actually lost her shit? I’ll tell you who: Stepford Mom. And she is fictional and robotic. I lose my shit all the fucking time, (surprisingly, given my blog, I’ve not let loose with the f-bomb, but I have had to convince my 4yo that I am saying “Oh Cheeses” more than once). I agree – being honest about our failings is what is most important. We aren’t perfect, our kids aren’t perfect, and learning to navigate these imperfect relationships is what life is all about. Thank you for telling it like it is. Word.

    • I am not even joking about the following: I literally pictured you, Reedster, when I was thinking of pushing publish on this post because I thought, “there’s no way she’s an asshole to her kids.”. Not even sure why I thought that, except I read wisdom and tenderness and compassion in your words so I assumed you were like that all the time. Plus that airport post about your daughter, Astrid, with the attached picture of her looked like she was so joyful and well adjusted. So, you know, I assumed you never yell.

      Me = a jumper to conclusions.

  17. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve managed to make them fewer and further between in the last year or so, but that almost makes them even MORE awful when they do bubble through to the surface. When it does still happen, the kiddo and I both are usually in tears. She because she’s scared of my yelling, and me because I feel like such a failure and a terrible human being. It happens and we can only try to talk with our kids about our feelings once we’ve all calmed down. At least that;s what I try to do

    • Yes. I remember once this summer I was crying and trying to talk to my sister and Sadie was flipping and being annoying, when she was fine right before I picked up the phone. Anyway, I snapped and she cried and then I cried because I felt like she was keeping me hostage by preventing me from getting adult support. It felt ugly and messy and we were both angry as hell at each other. And looking back, it was also real and intimate and human.

      I hate being human.

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  19. Thank you for your honesty, and you are definitely not alone. We all lose it in front of our kids from time to time. You did the same thing I always try and do…apologize to your kids. In my opinion, we are showing our kids what to do when they make a mistake. Isn’t this one of the most important lessons we can give them? They don’t need Perfect Mommy. They need mommy who is real & loves them to pieces but sometimes fucks up but always makes things right.

  20. I read this last night right before going to bed. Made me feel so much better (or at least not as crazy) because I, too, lost my shit with my kids yesterday – even yelled at the cat. Husband is traveling too. Carrying around the guilt bag today …

    • I so get it. I gave a guilt bag too. It’s heavy. And makes me more likely to yell again. The traveling spouse piece is intense. I feel so much for single parents. What a hard road to always walk alone.

  21. Oddly, I’m not as bothered by my yelling (although I try to avoid it) as I am with my cursing. I knew I had to get it under control when my 3 year old said, “These fucking flies are driving me crazy,” and my 2 year old said, “Crap, I’m hungry.” This was within minutes of each other. Yelling isn’t good, but it feels comfortable because it reminds me of my very loud, Italian family. Do we yell or do we just try to speak over each other? Hmmm.

    • I have that cursing thing too. Sadie, at 2, was all “oh, shit,” all the time because I say it ALL THE TIME. It just makes me feel like I am setting them up for bad social consequences if they are running around talking like their mama. (5 times? Geez.)

  22. My oldest child wasn’t yet 4 when my third was born, and I wasn’t yet 25. Mix in financial problems and post-partum depression that still hasn’t left, and no kidding, I yelled at my kids. (The first time I heard myself saying, “Because I said so, that’s why!” I cried. I’d turned into my mother. And when I heard one toddler tell the other, “You’re getting on my nerves!” I almost lost it. )

    But I’m here to tell you they survived it and are, by and large, decent human beings. And when they were teenagers, we developed our own code so we could still swear when Grandma was visiting. FOAD means “f* off and die.” By that time, the tone of it was considerably less frantic and more like an inside joke.

    • Wait, I am hyperventilating imagining having all those children under age 25. Let me breathe really quick.

      Ok. That’s super intense. I love how you can give the perspective from someone who is on the other side and has a humorous way to deal with this. Love the code for when grandma comes over. We gotta work on that here.

  23. Reading the comments here actually make ME feel better – whew, glad I’m not the only one! Here’s one for you – came home one day to find the dog had gotten sick all over the house, puked in the kitchen and pooped 5 (yes FIVE) times upstairs. I forgot my son was home with me because of seeing all the poop piles and I dropped the biggest loudest f-bomb EVER. About two weeks later my son was in the car with me, looks at me and says the f-word. Freaking out, I tell him its a terrible word and if he says it again, he’ll get in trouble. Jeez … wonder where he got that from :)

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  25. Awesome post – you are by no means alone in your struggle with this, I personally have expressed my anger (LOUDLY) in front of my kids more than once (or maybe a dozen / hundred times). As you wrote, I always feel horribly after, ashamed and horrified and guilty. I think you’re doing a great thing by talking to your kids about it after. They too have emotions they have to learn to deal with and it’s realistic to share with them that it’s an on-going battle. All we can do is keep trying; and I find locking myself in the bathroom from time to time has a very calming effect!

  26. So, I’ve been thinking about this alot over the last couple of days. Since we are in the middle of moving for the second time in three years (back across the border), I am having a very, very stressful summer. Add in the fact that there are three boys, two dogs and a husband who is trying to tell me what I need to do for the move, and the stress level goes off the charts. I wish I wasn’t yelling (screaming) as much as I am this summer. I really wish I wasn’t letting the swear words fly at the drop of a hat (or cup of milk). I need to work on this ASAP. But what is worse than losing your sh*t with your kids repeatedly and being remorseful afterwards, is losing your sh*t with your kids repeatedly and being so tired that you don’t even care. That is *almost* where I am now, and it scares me. This is why I know I need to make some changes. Better sleep, regular exercise, a bit more structure in our days. Oh, and the fact that school is back in session in a few weeks will help a great deal.

    • I totally agree that a lack of structure adds so much stress for me. I am dreading summers when my kids will stare at me and say, “What are we doing?” And moving? Could there be anything more stressful? It’s so hard. And it sounds like you are being hard on yourself….I understand, though, I sometimes get so deep in my messiness and the big stuff that has to be done that it feels like one more thing to add to my list: “Project Clean Up My Fucking MOuth.” Once you get settled, you can be your calm, rational self. Looks like that’s coming soon.

      Hang in there! Keep the Diet Coke in good supply.

  27. I lose it sometimes. I’m highly emotional and it takes all my strength to not lose it sometimes. My kid has a mouth on him and he is just so awful sometimes. He is sarcastic (gee, I wonder where he learned that?) and he says the kind of stuff that would get a kid slapped in the face if he grew up in another time. There have been f bombs and GDs and maybe a fist pound on a table or two (by me, not him).

    I am ashamed of it and I feel like shit about it and I tell him so later and apologize.

    Now that he’s older, I tell him “Mommy is very angry at you right now and I need you need to be in another room.” Usually he complies. Sometimes he cries that he’s sorry or that he doesn’t want to be away from me but I tell him it’s not an option. Mommy needs a time out.

    When we are in the car and he won’t stop pushing though, I pull over and it’s not good. We have had talks about when I say it’s time to stop talking/whining/nagging whatever, he needs to stop.

    I try to remember he’s just a kid. He can’t help his emotions at all and he hasn’t learned the skill of calming down yet. I am a grown up and I should be able to control myself more often than not.

    Then I remind us both that we are humans and we make mistakes and we have to own up and try harder. That makes me sound like I have it under control but I assure you I don’t. Be kind to yourself because I think most of us have these moments but most of us aren’t as brave as you to put it out there. And keep calling your friends to talk you down when you need it. You have my number from the contact list, call me any time.

    Hang in there.

    • Some of our car rides have been UGLY. UUUUUGGGLLLLYYYY. We are all over hungry and both of them are freaking out and we’re in traffic and there’s nothing I think I can do. I have played their music, given them snacks, I have tried to reach the shit they have dropped while I am driving, even though it about gives me spina bifida. And still they YELL WHINE CAJOLE. NOw that I think about it, what in the world do I expect of myself? Not to be triggered by that? That’s insane. It’s totally annoying. I guess it’s my reaction I would like to change. Oh, also, sometimes this episodes happen because I am not taking care of myself. Usually, I am pushing myself too far– too many errands, not enough me time, not enough water….so I am maxed out and they can sense it. Tone at the top. I notice the better care I take of myself, the better this all goes. Easier said than done, but there are places I could do a better job.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I bet your son is adorable like you! I love a mouthy kid, as long as it’s not mine.

      • When I’m tired or over extended, which is often, it’s worse. The car was so bad when he was your kids’ ages. It’s slightly better now – but that toddler age in the car was awful. And I commuted 80 miles over 2 days with him every week, so I feel your pain.

        The two things I work on – way easier now that he’s going on 6 – is telling him that stop means stop and mom’s at her limit (which I say so he knows we’re on the verge of a breakdown) and controlling my reaction because that kid is ALL ABOUT getting reactions out of people.

        He is adorable and I love him and his smart mouth. I respect that he speaks up for himself. Someday it will serve him very well and he’ll make a great debater when he learns self-control. If he was anyone else’s kid I’d think his attitude was hilarious. But now, and because he’s mine, patience is a virtue I seldom have.

      • That’s good. The warning bell for when mama’s gonna blow! That seems fair. Glad to know it gets easier. I respect my kids sticking up for themselves too, even though I will be prematurely gray because of it.

  28. Ohmigod, I just have to laugh. I love that the words “mommy” and “fucking” co-exist so easily in the same sentence. And, damn…I think that guy was a robot. Parenting is, like, 98% insanity. Or something along those lines. It’s SO incredibly hard to have constant, unending NEED around you all of the time, and that’s just the inherent nature of parenting.

    Dealing with anger and frustration will likely always be a challenge because you’re not given the space and timing with relationships with your children like you’re given with other relationships. If you get in an argument with an adult, you can walk away, take a breath, schedule a meeting when you don’t want to rip their spleen out. You don’t get that luxury with kids. It’s a rough game, man. Yeesh.

    Anyway…it’s a beautiful post. Thank you so much for participating. So many of us have our hopes tied up in our children. It’s good. And hard. And…[insert me dropping my computer on the floor because my daughter smashed her fingers in the pocket door, proving my point about the unending need thing. Sigh.]

  29. Thank you thank you for your post. I have been racked with guilt for two years because sometimes I just lose it completely. That father you spoke of is an idiot because even though I work full time I still lose it. Your kids and push you between 5pm and 8pm just as easily as all day Saturday and Sunday. I’m a single mom doing everything myself (financial and day-to-day care) and the thing that gets to me is being ordered around by my little six year old federal prosecutor. I have been getting much to used to dropping the f-bomb and screaming like a total nut. With the windows open and everything. The weird thing is that I”m a project manager at work and if someone comes to me and says, OMG the system is screwed and 10,000 people won’t be able to log on Monday morning I don’t even blink. I”m cool as a cucumber. But, if my daughter refuses to put her boots on in the morning and I’m threatened with being late for a meeting I go all Incredible Hulk on her ass.

    We’ll figure it out. Or they’ll survive. One or the other. They are fed and loved and kept safe and given everything they need. There are children out there with no winter coats, left alone all day, not fed breakfast or lunch. I try to remember that when I’m crawling into bed at night feeling like a criminal for telling my daughter to fucking cut it out because I won’t let her watch i-Carly.

    • Oh yes. Being bossed around really triggers me. “no, mommy, put my cheese on THAT corner of my plate.” I find when I can’t do it right I get really angry. She keeps bossing me. I always flipped out at work do that’s awesome you can keep your cool. I totally admire that. I broke a lot of staplers from throwing them at the wall. Sometimes I think I am just passionate, but really I may have a screw loose! And yes, I have screamed with the windows open, out in parking lots, and in front of god, man and my neighborhood. Nothing is worse for me than running late waiting for her to pick imaginary lint off the eighth pair of shoes she tried.

      It’s so hard. It feels good to laugh among friends.

  30. Pingback: Hope 2012: Closing Ceremonies « Melanie Crutchfield

  31. Been there, sometimes its like you can actually feel your blood boiling. You get so angry you’re scared of what you might do so you just yell, feel better then almost immediately feel like a monster. “omigod she thinks I hate her” and then you cuddle them <3. My husband argues that getting onto her and then taking it back is a terrible way to teach her and I feel she's going to get scarred enough in school, give her cuddles now <3. You may get pissed and wonder what you were thinking having kids if your nerves are doing a terrible job of staying intact but those moments are fewer and far between than the ones where they snuggle up to you with their head on your heart and you've never felt calmer.

  32. I do not believe him for a second, and find it scary & sad for his kids that he thinks he has never made a mistake with them…poor kids.

    I applaud you for handling it as you do – I don’t mean to imply that I applaud you losing your cool, but it is ‘normal’ and to be expected. I applaud you for handling the aftermath in such a positive, teaching way.

    I have 4 grown kids & 2 little kids & I can promise you that you will always make mistakes, but everyone will benefit by being able to safely tak about it. I think it is healthy for kids to know that moms & dads make mistakes too. The worst part of a mistake is not learning from it…

    • Oh thank you. I have replayed my conversation with him in my head millions of times. I usually end up worrying where the heck his anger is. Maybe it all comes out at work.

      I loved it when I later asked sadie what it sounds like when I scream. She did a perfect imitation of me– minus the F bombs. We laughed so hard. So glad she can laugh at me.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • see – that is awesome open communication. you can’t go wrong with ability to talk to one another. My little kids have really benefited from the mistakes I made with the big kids.

  33. Pingback: Where Do Moms Go To Hear “Thank You”? | Outlaw Mama

  34. I cant believe i missed this one. Um… i have seriously struggled with anger since becoming a mom. You are most certainly not alone. I have blogged about it some, knowing that there are other moms out there who are struggling too. You are a good mom. :-) keep pressing on!

  35. Pingback: I Made Up A New Word To Describe Parenting: “Harderful” | Outlaw Mama

  36. Oh me oh my, You are NOT alone, love.
    I lost my sh*t completely just about 48 hours ago, my husband teased I should go pick up a white chip from a friend of Lois. For me anger comes when I’m totally depleted, when I’m struggling with changing schedules, trying to find where My Self fits into all this Mommin’ that is an unceasing task. It’s a constant realm of acceptance and then action. I think I’m doing SO much better than my parents, ’cause I can admit my mistakes, we talk about the whole scene and use the “I feel” statements, and move on. It’s beautiful and terrible all at once.
    Anyway, thank you for writing about REALity.

  37. I think I just found my tribe. As a fellow “HERE’S YOUR FUCKING FISHIES!” mom, I can not only relate to the anger, but also the subsequent guilt. I see, after reading all the comments, that I am not alone. My mouth has always been one that could be likened to that of a truck driver, and after becoming a mom it was my biggest challenge to curb that, and I did okay…at first. Then after baby #2: the words stopped staying in my head, or under my breath. Oh no, they were out – and loud. Recently, my two boys spent the day at a skate park where they heard a lot of “bad words” from older kids. Later they told my husband, “that’s okay, we know all those words from mom.”
    Awesome.

  38. I love this post. I laughed out loud. Sometimes, when my kids were little and I felt like losing my mind, I used to give MYSELF a time-out. It kept them on their toes because when Mommy got sent to her room, they stopped all the racket in their confusion over what just happened ;-) Looking forward to reading more from you. This is great.

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