Motherhood: The Big Fat F You


I lost it this morning.  Really lost it.

After the kids were all dressed for school, breakfast eaten, teeth brushed, backpacks packed, I turned on the TV.  I have a rule that the kids can only watch certain channels.  There is so much crap on TV – shows geared towards teens and preteens, shows that showcase kids calling other people “idiot” and “stupid” and generally behaving obnoxiously – and in all seriousness, I have a hard enough time keeping my kids under control without exposing them to those kinds of influences and role models.  So the rule is, Mom sets the channel, and you don’t change it without permission.  Annabelle never, ever, ever sticks to this rule.  The moment I walk out of the room, she’s got the remote in her hand, channel-surfing, looking for some obnoxious show featuring smart-ass teenagers.  It happened this morning.  Within thirty seconds of my turning the TV on to Nick Jr. – really for Finn – Annabelle is changing the channel.  “Leave the TV alone, Annabelle,” I said.  I left the room.  A few minutes later, on my way to the kitchen, I saw her there, remote in hand, channel surfing again.  And I lost it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Screaming and yelling ensued.  Swearing.  “I’VE TOLD YOU A THOUSAND TIMES TO LEAVE THE TV ALONE!!” I shouted.  “GO TO YOUR ROOM!  GO SIT IN YOUR ROOM UNTIL IT’S TIME TO LEAVE FOR SCHOOL.  NOW!!!”  She just stood there staring at me, not moving a muscle.  “GO!!”  I yelled.  All the kids froze in their tracks while I chased – literally chased – Annabelle into her room.  She beat me by a half a second and locked the door against me.  Locked the door!  “I’m going to kill her!”  I muttered.  “MOM!  Are you really going to kill Annabelle?  Did you really just say that?!”  Daisy shrieked.  “OPEN THIS GODDAMN DOOR!”  I yelled.  Annabelle unlocked the door.  “Don’t you ever lock the door against me again!  Do you hear me?!” I yelled at her.

Michael’s trying to calm me.  “Leave me alone!”  I yelled at him.  “I do EVERYTHING for you people – including YOU! – and you all treat me like shit!  Every last one of you!”

I know.  All this over an eight-year old changing the channel on the TV.  But really, of course it’s not just about that.  That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back this morning.  It was my eight-year old changing the channel after I told her not to – again.  It was dealing with Finn tantruming his way through breakfast – again.  It was Joey throwing a dramatic tantrum and copping a major attitude last night when I said no, he could not have an Instagram account (he’s ten, for crying out loud!).  It’s the bickering and tattling all the time.  It’s the “I want, I want, I want” all the time, and the lack of willingness to do much of anything I ask.  Ask somebody to set the table for dinner?  Tell them to clean up their room?  Oh myGOD!  You would think I’m asking them to pull their own fingernails out!  It’s my husband being gone so much of the time and me feeling utterly alone, like I’m dealing with all of this single handedly.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I’m not excusing my losing it this morning.  I’m ashamed.  I wish I held it together better, I really, really do.  And lest I start to sound like my own mother who seemed to believe that her kids were responsible for her happiness/unhappiness but she, the adult, was not responsible for theirs, let me just say that I know kids are kids, they don’t actually mean anything personal by their behavior – I know that, I really do.

Sometimes motherhood just feels like a big, fat Fuck You, though.  This is why people say that motherhood is a hard job.  Not because it’s especially intellectually challenging or physically demanding – I mean it is those things, but there are certainly other pursuits that require for far more intellectual and/or physical output than motherhood.  Not because it requires a great deal of bravery – of course, it does call for that, too, but certainly not as much as being a soldier or a police officer, for instance.  No, it’s not those things.  It’s because it’s so fucking emotionally taxing.  It’s because it’s so incredibly thankless so much of the time.  It’s because I feel like I’ve sacrificed so much of myself for them, and they don’t appreciate it.  It’s because I do and do and do for them, constantly, and it often seems like all I get in return is complaining that it’s not enough – or just outright ignored.  I’m not looking for accolades or awards or fanfare.  I’m not even looking for “thank you.”  It would just be nice to get a little cooperation.  A little respect for the rules – rules which aren’t onerous or unreasonable for crap’s sake!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

And, you know, it’s hard to admit these things.  Everyone wants to talk about how great motherhood is, how fulfilling it is.  Sometimes it is.  And often, it’s not.  I’m not even sure why I’m writing about it this morning – opening myself up to criticism and judgment, exposing the flaws in the pretty picture.  I don’t want to feel alone, I guess.

After I got back from dropping the kids off at school this morning, I discovered that Annabelle had left her lunch at home.  Who do you think packed the baby and Finn back into the truck to drive her lunch to school?

Because that’s what moms do.

Related post: To the Unwashed Masses of Mothers

About the writer

In addition to Scary Mommy, Lisa's writing has appeared on Mamalode, Mamapedia, and Literary Mama.  She is raising seven kids with her husband in Southern California, and blogs at Life As I Know It.


Oh Please 2 weeks ago

Hey, StopOverpopulating, you do realize that adoption still results in PARENTHOOD, right? And parenthood is CHALLENGING. You understand this, no? Let me guess, you don’t have kids and you have all the answers for parents. Okay. Now we have that established, you are missing the point of this article. Work on your reading comprehension, then report bac later.

Dee 2 weeks ago

I have been there many times with my very strong willed now 15 year old. I distinctly remember a tv remote being smashed to bits on the floor after telling her for the 10th time that she was restricted from tv and she turned it on anyway and laughed about it. I took the remote and said I will fix this you little smart ass and proceeded to drop it on my kitchen floor and smash it to bits. Right thing to do probably not but this was one of those days where everything came crashing down at once and she had been mouthy all day and determined to do everything she knew she wasn’t supposed to. It happens and she is just fine.

StopOverpopulating 1 month ago

Choosing to reproduce is a selfish act, especially in a world where there is an overabundance of existing children in need of parents and love, and the article illustrates your expectation for a greater return on your “investment”. Here’s a question: since most likely you knew the risks, and I don’t recall ever seeing enlistment booths to motherhood, who asked you to voluntarily sign up for it?

Dogs instead 1 month ago

Witnessing times like these are when I appreciate that I am childfree. Not to diss anyone with kids, but I will be perfectly content to be only an auntie my whole life. Children are not for the faint of heart, and Lord knows mine is not that strong. God bless!

Carol Goldie 2 months ago

Sounds like teaching. Except it’s everyone else’s kids dissing you.

Mama for what seems like forever!!! ;o))) 6 months ago

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT!!!, feel bad for reacting like you did this morning! As a mom of 6, step mom of 2, and now raising my 2 step-grandchildren, I have been (and still am!!) in the same place you are. My husband is a long-hauler and is gone from Tuesday til Saturday each week, so I also feel that I’m doing 150% of everything – with little or no help and/or co-operation! You’re only human! Unfortunately societal pressures has us wanting to be able to claim we are SUPERMOMS, when in actuality we are all just human! Just realize….this too shall pass! At a later date, you’ll all be able to laugh at today fireworks! Just BREATHE!! And keeping a sense of humour is a HUGE bonus! Praying for you – and all of us moms!

Feedingthehorde 6 months ago

Oh MOM. You are so not alone. I lost my shit on my kids over a stupid phone charger one day. Again…the proverbial straw. I was ashamed, but God bless my oldest son who broke the tension with a joke that brought me back to earth and got us all laughing at the absurdity of it all. My kids are a little older than yours.

I too have a husband who is rarely home and on the road and have often felt like I was single parenting my 4 kids.

Rest assured, they will survive, as will you. Now….Don’t go bringing forgotten lunches or uniforms to them….unless they are still little. I stopped that by gr 2.

Ebony 8 months ago

This just popped up in my Facebook memories from someone sharing bit with me a year ago. I applauded this then and again today. Motherhood is draining at best. We love our children and sacrifice so much for their well-being and often times its as if you are doing things to ruin their lives. I was recently told by my 16 year old that I just like making things difficult. As if I have nothing better to do. Bless you Lisa. I hope this past year has shown you many bright moments and a little cooperation.

Gina 8 months ago

If anyone criticizes you for this then they either do not have kids or are lying to themselves. I so appreciate the honesty, it makes me feel less crazy to know that there are others who think the way I do. Thanks so much for the bravery!

MommaBear 8 months ago

Okay so I know this article is like a million years old, and clearly that photo is a staged stock photo. And I am by no means an advocate for spanking. But every time this shows up off to the side of an article I’m reading, I just want to fucking smack this little boy upside his head!!!

Exactly 8 months ago

Right there with you–beautiful job articulating that! Wish more moms were this honest.

Jackie 8 months ago

This totally sums up how it’s been here. Every single word! Good to know it’s “normal” and I’m far from alone in it!

Hillary 8 months ago

I know how you feel. Too well! Then I started reading about Conscious Discipline, and it’s been a game-changer. Now I only scream and chase the kids once or twice a week. :)

Ashley 11 months ago

You hit the nail right on the head! Motherhood is DAMN HARD! Sometimes I wonder how I’m not in a straight jacket in the looney bin because I feel like I’m going crazy I’ve never been so eager for bedtime! Especially during the summer when I have to instigate nap time in order to recover my zapped energy n sanity I think a trip to the looney bin would be a welcomed vacation actually:D kuddos to you you’re a brave wonderful woman we all vent we need to or I believe we’d all spontaneously combust from anxiety and the stress motherhood so happily provides!

DaniK 11 months ago

Oh hell!! Let me start by saying my two boys are 23 and 20, and my three stepsons are 22, 19, and 14. Yes, 5 boys…and me…the only girl. So to say I completely understand the meltdown is an understatement. Your words brought back so many memories of feeling used and abused without so much as a “thanks”. However, I will tell you now…now is when the thanks begin. I never expected it to be as good as this! I have 5 absolutely awesome sons (along with some equally awesome daughters in law/girlfriends which means I’m finally not the only girl!)! In fact, now I’m so grateful for all the awesomeness that sometimes I feel like I haven’t done anything to deserve this. But, your words brought it back. The thank yous come…just a little later and sometimes much better than you could have imagined. Keep having the occasional meltdown though…it keeps everyone on their toes! 😉

Brittany 11 months ago

I totally get you. Thank you for this! I’m glad I’m not alone either.

Mathile 11 months ago

Please moms/dads, don’t beat yourselves up over a meltdown and/or swearing at your kids. I distinctly remember the day my dad told me that I was “acting like a little spoiled bitch”. I was 8 and I WAS acting like a little spoiled bitch. I crawled into the back of the blazer and cried. I didn’t cry because of what he called me, I cried because he was right and I felt terrible for what I had done to make him say those things. I had a whole new respect for how my actions affected my relationships with people. It may not have been the best way to teach a lesson but it was one that I have never forgotten.

Shelby 11 months ago

I don’t typically follow blogs. I find that I have little time to do so. But I have to say…this one is worth making time for. Seeing so many moms that share the same ups and downs that I do is encouraging. I have exploded at my kids many times. I always feel guilty afterward. I should have been more patient, I should have remembered that I knew what I was getting into and I should be more understanding. The fact is, we are all human and we all have bad days…and let’s face it, exhaustion does not help. lol. I just wanted to say a sincere Thank You to all of the moms out there that remind me I am not alone with all of the crap that comes with being a mom.

Alyssa 11 months ago

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. And when I’ve told the kids to do something for the 10th time in 10 minutes because they’ve gotten off track–also for the 10th time in 10 minutes–and start getting testy, hubby tells me to calm down. Because that helps (said no one seriously, ever). Kids need to know you’re a person, and that you get frustrated when you’re ignored, and that damn it, if rules aren’t FOLLOWED, shit will hit the fan. Otherwise they walk on you and don’t even realize it’s wrong.

MizzyK 11 months ago

Motherhood: the big, fat fuck you. I could have written that headline! 3 boys, 8, 10, 12. I love them but the also suck the life out of me. I have also had these freak out moments. It’s not about the umpteenth booger wiped on the wall, the pee that doesn’t make into the toilet bowl, the negative-Nelly bickering amongst them, the not listening the first time. Or the second. The telling one to go get ready for bed only to see him 10 minutes later goofing around because he got distracted and hasn’t even glanced at a toothbrush. The lack of being able to find [insert any object here] because they didn’t put it back where it was supposed to go. Things like this making us late and causing an ugly scramble. The marked up walls, BB gun hole in the window. I could go on and on and on…it’s not one of these little things. It’s ALL of these things because they pile up. Before you have a chance to deal with one thing, 7 more things happen (or DON’T happen). I’ve relaxed a lot over the years but it’s a constant state of stress. Did I mention I love them? I do. I sometimes get glimpses of them turning into good humans. That helps. I just really, really relate to this post.

Alicia 11 months ago

Yes, I totally loose it like this sometimes too! You’re SO right that lots of little disrespectful actions and comments and ignoring mom do add up. Bravo for bravely admitting it, and thank you!

Carrie 11 months ago

The best thing I ever did was go back to work full time. I actually enjoy spending time with my kids now and I have so much more patience than I did before. Staying at home with them was much harder than working.

Barbara 11 months ago

My fifth and last just turned 14. I’ve been dealing with exactly this from my kids for 29 years. I have found that flipping off my kids as they storm out of the room and go in search a a better mother to be enormously satisfying. They have no clue as to what I’ve just done, and I feel like I had the last word. Everybody wins.

Mamaboo 11 months ago

Great post!
I know I’M probably opening myself up for criticism now, but this, this is exactly why I don’t want to have any more kids (I have one).
Everyone tries to convince me to have more, and I admire those that can handle large families, but I know I couldn’t handle it, and I don’t want to. I feel like I lose patience with my one enough as it is.
People tend to romanticise having kids, and there are many insanely wonderful moments, but it can also be unfathomably stressful.

Jackie Oliva 11 months ago

Yep!! I think we’ve all been there!

Jackie –

Jana 12 months ago

You are so on point. It’s about respect isn’t it? Sometimes I dispise what Motherhood has done to me…stressing, yelling, losing it all too often (at least inside) and feeling like a shrew instead of the sexy fun chick I used to be. I love my kids and wouldn’t change it but damn, it is an FU much of the time.

Thanks so much for this post. You are a soul sister.

Korin 12 months ago

Totally agree! Totally thankless job and yet I love my monsters!

Heather 12 months ago

I’m with ya girl! No criticism coming from me. I bow down to your courage to be honest. A mother of four boys – I’ve said no baseball, soccer, football, wrestling, running in the house at least 500 times per day. They act as if it’s the first time they have ever heard such things. And no one seems to even hear me until the fourth time in ten minutes I have to say it (scream it). Lost my shit recently after I spent a great deal of time packing up crap for the 6 of us to be away for the weekend. Had the boys showered and ready. During the five minutes it took me to load the truck, two of the four boys managed to be soaked in mud from playing by the barn (after being told not to), one had unpacked a football from a bag and was tossing it in the house, and the fourth had clogged a toilet with a turd the size of Texas! Talk about losing it! I went bat shit crazy!!!!

Miranda 12 months ago

I love reading stuff like this because I feel like I’m not a monster or failure… Lots of people lose their shit, they just don’t talk about it publicly. Yesterday, I had a meltdown over DD2 refusing to eat. I screamed, I slammed a door repeatedly, I cried for like 30 minutes. I felt like such a shit mom. I couldn’t imagine my “mommy friends” or perfect Pinterest mommies having an adult tantrum. But maybe some of them do.

Holly Diaz 12 months ago

There is no mom that can say she hasn’t lost it at some point. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one to have these moments. There are days when I’m driving home from work and want to keep going because I know that the second I walk in the door, the hardest job begins. I love my kids, wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything, but I deserve some gratitude!

Seanmom 12 months ago

And here’s what else it is. It’s realizing, when your first baby casts his first vote, that for the time being, yours means nothing–and it’s your fault, because you raised him. And it’s realizing that you gave everything you had every day of your life for two decades for people who don’t appreciate any of it–even though you know (because when you’ve been sick you’ve seen them “try”) that if you stopped doing a thousand things a day to keep them going, none of it would get done. And it’s trying to teach a 13-year old boy, or a 17-year old boy, to do the things he’ll need to do when you can’t do them for him–and finally giving in and doing it yourself just this one time, because if someone doesn’t do it you’ll lose your mind.
And it’s being asked what you did all day and not having an answer anyone cares to hear, because it’s all the things that sound so small and meaningless–but result in them being able to walk through the living room or make a snack or find the remote control or not eat crackers and slim jims for dinner. What did I do today? What did I do? Everything and nothing. Everything you needed, and nothing you can see, because it’s the not-seeing that you want.
And it’s knowing that “is it worth it?” is an unaskable question. Of course it is. It just is. You can’t explain why. You can’t defend yourself. It’s “Can God make a rock too big for Him to lift?” It’s foolishness incarnate, because the truth is, without all the F-U moments, there wouldn’t be the amazing, unpredictable, life-changing, breath-catching moments of graduations and weddings and report cards and anniversaries and dinners where everyone is there and consciously present. Because you would only be you-alone in the world, and terminal at the end of your life–no motherhood, no mark, no legacy. Just the same millions of moments with different kinds of frustration–and no one to share them with.

srr 12 months ago

Wow! You just described my life perfectly! I always feel like I’m the worst mother in the world. Nice to know I’m not alone.

Steph 12 months ago

Wow I can totally relate!

Shannon 12 months ago

i sincerely love the honesty of your blog. Yes this is an f*ing hard job. Painful at times. And at times I have no grace whatsoever and totally lose my shit. But then by the grace of God, I get it back because I have to for my kids. Thank you to you for making me feel like not so much of a freaking freak.

Sasha 12 months ago

I hear you! It drove me to the brink as well…and then I paused and realized, I don’t have to do everything. We sat down and make a list of chores that these kids came up on their own. And there were consequences. They want to play electronics in the morning, well, they have to get up on their own, get dressed, brush their teeth, make their bed and make sure clothes are not on the floor but in the hamper. They do that, they can play on their tablets before breakfast. Leave your bookbag at home, suffer without it for one day and they will never forget it again. Its tough. We want to do everything for them and what happens is they think that’s how the world works. This is how kids become young adults who feel entitled. On the flip side, they LOVE feeling responsible for something. “Mommy, I set the table”, “mom, i walked the dog”, ” mom, i tidied up my room”. Yes, they want rewards for that but thats fine. It’s helping me. And in return I’m not a lunatic yelling at them all the time. Perhaps setting up some expectations will help them and you treat each other better. It’s not a perfect plan by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s worth a try. REALLY.

Yvonne 12 months ago

I admire your bravery, and honesty, and openness, because you have helped me to know and understand that I am not the only one who has really lost it with her child(dren) to the severety in which you have described.

I have lost it with my young son in ways for which I am ashamed, and disappointed in myself, and sad — to my core. In those moments of errupting, all-consuming anger and/or rage, I have become and acted like someone that I, initially, did not recognise, and that I, unfortunately and sadly, recognize now.

Mothering this child has definitely shown how flawed and sinful I am. I had never been pushed to my parenting capability limits before he, my third child, came into my life. And I have such great sorrow that my handful of moments of rage towards him have irreversally damaged our parent-child relationship. I wish God would help both my son and me, and heal and improve our relationship with each other.

I am so thankful that I am not the only mother who has lost it that badly with his/her child. Thank you again, for sharing even the most difficult-to-share details. It means so much to my broken spirit and heart.

Heather 12 months ago

All I want to say is THANK YOU!!!

Christen 12 months ago

Oh goodness! I always think, I want to start a blog that’s REAL LIFE. Like the everyday shit you ACTUALLY go through. Not all rainbows and flowers and Pinterest, and Pinterest rainbows and flowers. And here you are! I’ve found you! Thank you so much scary mommy!

Shauna 12 months ago

I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. I praise you!!!

Mishala 12 months ago

We’ve all been there are one point or another. It happens. I think sometimes kids need to see that their parents are only human, and they have feelings, too. I rarely feel guilty when I lose it. In all honesty, if I’ve gotten to that point, my family knows they have it coming. It’s not often, but I can tell you, it beats trying to keep it bottled in.

Kristin 12 months ago

Yes…I felt like you were writing the words from my own head! I used to feel so guilty and like I had to be a failure of a mother to feel this but I’m not. None of us are. There are going to be times when we blow…I mean come on it seems highly inevitable…I don’t have the patience of a saint or even a molecule of it to be honest. Thank u for sharing this because as bad as it sounds and as much as my heart breaks for you because I have this scenerio more than I want to recount, it is nice to know I’m not the only one. 😉

Katrina 12 months ago

Thank you so much for writing this! I don’t felt like such a lunatic now! I lost it this morning with my 10 year old daughter and 13 year old son. They are the biggest slobs in the world and their stuff was strewn all over the downstairs of the house. And we won’t even talk about their bedrooms. I have asked them 100 times not to leave their things all over the place and to pick up after their selves….it’s general pop not their own personal space. I got the eye roll, the long exhale and moan and that was it. I lost my shit.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

cathy 12 months ago

I just love you. This post blew me away. I felt like I was reading my daily thoughts. Our job as mothers is fucking hard and I praise you for your courage and honesty. Hugs!


Enjoying this? Then like us on Facebook