Motherhood: The Big Fat Fuck You

2,115 Comments

kid-middle-finger

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.

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.

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!

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

Comments

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  1. 1

    KShaw says

    Uh, yep. This, a thousand times, this. I had a meltdown in the car on the way to drop off the kids at school in which I basically said everything that you did. I lost it in such an epic way, I think I may have finally scared my 10yo son into listening. At least for today.
    Being a mom can suck, so hard. Thank you for making me feel like I am not totally alone.

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    • 2

      Adriane says

      what you said. Yes. A Million Times Yes. Today, last night, and most likely tomorrow. Is it worth it? Yes. Would I trade it? No. But does it feel like a job where everyone plots to constantly THWART me and my very very very best intentions. YES. My god, I’m exhausted.

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      • 3

        SUsan says

        I am in total agreement and have had that exact meltdown. Am I proud of it? NO. Was it necessary? YES I would and will do it again I am sure. I am the mom and someone has to keep the family rolling along down the tracks…..Good for you for being honest…..

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    • 4

      Amanda says

      Hallelujah someone finally said how most of the time parenting sucks ass! I have 5 boys and they drive me bat shit crazy but they are and always will be the greatest thing about my life. Good luck to all the mamas out there Cuz you’re going to need it!

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    • 8

      Laurie says

      Yup. Been there, done that. I threw my son’s books on the floor and screamed at him because I didn’t think he was putting enough effort into his homework. Yelled that I was paying for him to go to private school and he would put in some effort or I would pull him out. Then I walked away and both of us were crying. About 5 yrs later after yelling at him I apologized and he told me, “That’s okay mom, when you yell I just tune you out, you don’t need to apologize.” He was about 12. I have rarely yelled since. He will graduate from UCLA next year and then on to law school. And he still loves his mom. So don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal. We all feel such pressure to be perfect and we’re not, we’re human. I told my son once recently that despite telling him as a kid that I had to take a class in being a mom and I had a “Mom Degree” I really just made it up as I went along and hopefully stayed a step ahead of him but that he taught me more about being a parent than he realized. Despite it all, it is the best job I have ever had in my life and I would do it all over again if given the chance. I was a single parent and my parents were both gone so I was alone. It was hard and sometimes I thought I was doing it all wrong but he turned out alright so all is good.

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    • 9

      robin says

      Omg I am there with you! Tell me, have you driven to the school and pulled your kids out of class to see if there are ok because heaven forbid you ruin their whole day because of your screaming at them only to look you in the eye and say “ya mom, I’m fine. Why you here?” ugh…

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    • 10

      jennifer D says

      I understand what you’re going through 100%. I am a single mother of 5 children, 5 yr 7 yr, 18yr, 21yr, 23yr. not one of them helps me around the house yes they do have chores and I gotta sit there and pull teeth to get them to do those but whenever I need help with anything they’re always too busy doing this doing that the little ones complain like crazy. my two little ones of fighting all the time hitting, yelling and throwing stuff it’s insane. Motherhood is exhausting.

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    • 11

      Lara says

      Oh so relieved I’m not the only one who “loses it.” It can make you feel like such a failure and so incapable and even downright crazy. It can wash away all the good days in just one brief moment. Parenting is so challenging and difficult – full of great moments and memories, but full of days you wish you could forget or do over.

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    • 12

      ashley says

      My son is only 2 and i already feel this way sometimes. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when he starts school and gets even more defiant than he already is.

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      • 13

        Melissa says

        Awww…reading your comment broke my heart, for you I mean, you sound like one incredible mother who just gives, gives and gives some more!! When your children grow into awesome adults (they will), they will look back at everything u did for them and when they themselves have kids it’s pay back baby!!! hahahah

        I have an almost 3 yr old boy who already talks like he’s 15 I swear. I’m not sure where he learns some of the things he says because we do not speak like that in our house, truly, we do not. He has said under his breath, “I’m going to slap u in the face” to which I reply “excuse me, what did u say?” …and then he said “nothing mommy!” is the sweetest voice. I’m scared for him to grow up any more!!

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    • 15

      Lisa says

      OMG!! Thank you for not making me feel like a crazy, psychotic bitch! I feel like this about 99% of the time with my daughter and my husband. And you hit the nail right on the head–it’s not like you’re asking for an award for being super mommy or asking for a maid! All you’re asking for is to be acknowledged when you speak and a little cooperation! Is that so much to ask? I think not!

      And sometimes the “punishment” for their not listening is more of a punishment for you than it is for them! She won’t stop flipping the channels. What’s the punishment? Take away TV? Do that, and you’re the one who is going to be miserable! ;-)

      Thanks for the affirmation!

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    • 16

      Kim says

      Thank you for being the brave one to post this. I have said this for years that we truly love our kids, wanted our kids and could not imagine our life without them. But there are days when we wonder why and just don’t like them. (same thing is true for the husbands). I had the melt down day this morning getting ready for what is suppose to be a fun vacation???? Alone with my 16 year old and his friend – husband has to work. Does not seem like fun to me right now. So…I postponed it for one day and sent my son and his friend away for some quiet time.

      Again, thank you for posting and letting us all vent.

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    • 17

      Wade Mislevich says

      Being a work on the road father is no picnic however, this article absolutely hits the MOM issue perfectly!! As a Father and a husband of 3 boys, I am sooo thankful to my wife who had all too many of these days and I am ashamed to say too many days helped along by her 4th boy to raise, ME. You Mothers out there are AWESOME, just remember you only human also, so dont beat yourself up for a bad day or bad moment!! Your all special!!

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    • 18

      Catherine E. Campbell says

      My children are now grown but yep I think we have all been there at one time or other and many of more. I remember having melt downs driving girls to the different schools before heading out to work and I also was on many of the school activities and CPTA as well in the earlier years when I worked evenings and Sat. then after a full day of mom hood and baby on my hip. When in car I was having an argument with one of my daughters in the car and also had a Cpl of their fiends who have known me since they were like 4 and both had never seen me go ballistic like that and one got out a little early, lol, and later said I have never seen her that mad and the other girl who I drove to her door has been around our place since she was barely out of diapers says to her “Oh yeah, she gets pretty worked up when she gets going but she is a good head” lol. There were so many times I wondered if they had a clue how much I do for them as well as working an outside job when others resting after a full day of kids. Well now I am Grandma and guess what they think I am greatest human being going and often say they hope they can be as good a mom as I w as to them and btw the two who are moms are amazing at it and my grandkids are living proof of that and yes they have their times too and my middle one is a grade school teacher and thought of as one of the best teacher going by the kids and so loved so in essence having a melt down normal and one needs to air one thoughts out and do not worry it all comes to them eventually.

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    • 19

      Laura Jill Goodacre says

      I’m so glad that you decided to write about this, this morning. You’re right – Motherhood is completely misrepresented to society. Nothing in life is all sunshine and roses 100% of the time – including (gasp) bringing up children. We (society) need to be honest about these kind of challenges. Motherhood has turned into a competitive sport with everyone trying to outperform everyone else. It was good to read about someone else who is finding this gig hard.

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    • 20

      liz says

      Most parents do the same thing. Only they ďont have the courage to write about it. Or tell there friends. You are very good people and parents to be so honest . I have 4 children and 6 grand kids . And I am quite honest . This definitely show you the love and love makes the world go round

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    • 21

      Joe daddy says

      Society has made every parent fill like we owe our children everything in life. We r deem bad parents if yell or even touch are kids, but iI feel that we are molding are kids for the future, so I ask myself and all of you. Look at them is that what you really them to be like when there are adults. Whinny little brats or confident respectful people. Taking back our parenthood. It’s not wrong to blow.

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  2. 22

    Sonia says

    You don’t have to be all picture perfect like the stepdads wives . I have twin girls approaching a year and whole I may be a novice , I finds self struggling to hold it together and not lose my mind through the tantrums and meal times

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    • 23

      Alexandra says

      Sonia, I have 18 month old twin girls and work full-time. Please know you are not alone and will not lose your mind.If loving them were enough everyone would be a mom. Twins is tough and I am sure you would agree – as hard is it is and jeez, it is tough but they are so worth it, Hang in there!!!!!

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    • 24

      Sonia says

      I did mean stepford wives, damn auto correct. I meant to say that getting my act together despite being new to this whole motherhood things is a tremendous task. I wish I could pretend sleep all through half my day and not have to deal with the shit… Literally …

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    • 28

      Lisa Morguess says

      I have twin girls, too! The Annabelle in that piece I wrote is one half of my twins, who will be nine next month. They are by far more of a handful than any of my other kids.

      Sigh.

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    • 29

      Mike says

      Sonia….being a single Dad and trying to balance parenthood and a personal relationship is no Swiss picnic either. Eventually my girlfriend has felt ostracized by the kids since their Mom usually doesn’t have nice things to say about her to them. So matters are often less than “picture perfect.” But we trudge on, and do the best we can for them knowing that it will all work out in the end. Good luck with your crew and stay strong.

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  3. 33

    ThePioneerMom says

    Holy Hell! Yes! Respect and gratitude are my big ones. It wouldn’t be so hard to be a mother if they had one ounce of appreciation in their bodies or said ‘thank you’ without me turning into the manners police. You are most definitely NOT alone! Venting can be a healthy thing (just not in front of the kids – and I am VERY guilty of doing this myself). It’s so f-ing hard! Hang in there, momma!! XOXO

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  4. 34

    The Milk Meg says

    Thank you for sharing what we have all felt! We all have been there and we all would like to yell a big fat fuck you back at motherhood at times. So often mums appear to have it all together when the reality is that it’s damn hard!

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  5. 35

    Annie says

    Fuck that! What are you meant to have fine wrong exactly?! Sometimes kids need to know that you are a person too. Not just a robot who makes everything happen and remembers every minute detail of the whole families diary. Well fine for posting this. I often lose it at my kids, but I try to go back and repair the relationship later. That doesn’t mean making them feel like everything they did/said was ok but getting them to understand that I’m a person also. I love your bravery! Thank you for a most helpful post. Annie, UK

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    • 36

      says

      Annie – yes, I totally agree that our kids need to know that we’re human – that we have feelings and that we get hurt, annoyed, and just downright exhausted at times. But I think you touched on exactly what I was going to write (@lisa, maybe you already did this…) … we need to go back afterwards and repair the relationship… because as much as we’re not robots, we’re not dictators or overlords either. When we have these breakdowns it isn’t in an effort to scare them straight – it is an outcry of our soul to be heard. I always find it difficult but oh-so-necessary to go back as soon as possible and say “Honey, Mom’s really sorry for (insert behavior here). I was wrong to act that way. I know that isn’t an acceptable way to deal with my emotions and I am trying to do a better job as your mom. Please understand that I was upset because you (insert their behavior here) and that is really frustrating to me – can you help me out and try to not do that anymore? And I’ll try to communicate better. I love you – will you forgive me?” – it sounds very “Dr. Laura” but kids need to be talked to respectfully, especially when you are the one that was in the wrong.

      **High five for similar thoughts**

      -Bethany-

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    • 39

      Lauren says

      I totally agree with you, Annie! Children DO need to see their moms as PEOPLE and not just servants etc. And while I do not think children should be made responsible for our happiness, they (esp. the older kids) do need to be aware that their behavior has an impact on other people. That it is not okay to repeatedly act selfishly.

      Bethany, I agree that when we say things out of anger and frustration that we need to go back and explain and maybe even apologize. Kids always need to know that they are loved and respected AND that that love and respect is a two way street!

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    • 40

      Melinda Rito says

      What a wonderful feeling it is to know I’m not the only one who has days like this. Oh, how repetitive this job is. I have this same (and many others) argument with my kids on a near daily basis!! Also, I’ve pretty much gone on strike. I don’t kill myself cleaning up after my kids anymore. What is the darn point?!? Thank you for posting this.

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    • 41

      Amy G says

      Thank you for this. I know as a mom of 2 young boys I have often felt this way. And I think we all know that motherhood is not all sunshine & lollipops the media and society tries to make it out to be. I’m a single mom but have a lot of family help and still at times feel overwhelmed and don’t have a moment to myself and when the disrespect comes with it sometimes it makes us all want to throw in the towel. And I only have 2 kids. I couldn’t imagine 7!! God bless you!

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  6. 42

    Nicole says

    You are definitely not alone. I could’ve written your post and I only have two. I honestly don’t know how you do it. Seven!? Really?! Cuddles to you!

    Trying to Stay Sane Too!

    BTW…I too have written about this – check it out -http://nicolewolf.com/mommy-dearest/

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  7. 43

    Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense says

    Not only are you not alone, but your honesty here is going to make thousands of women feel a lot less like shit today.

    I had a really rough afternoon with my second-grader yesterday, who brought home math homework that he hadn’t completed in school because he wasn’t paying attention to the lesson. So we worked on the homework. Lot’s of “I can’t” ensued. I tried to stay cool. I really did. I FAILED, EPICALLY, SPECTACULARLY. I thought, “This would make a great blog post. But… no. Too embarrassing. Everyone will think I’m crazy.” And I went to bed thinking that I am a horrible mother. That I don’t even deserve to be a mother. That I’m going to mess my kid up by screaming at him, and he’s going to grow up to hate me.

    Thank you for making me feel a little less crazy.

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      • 46

        Jami says

        Ever notice that “homework” is a combination of two 4 letter words?! I have two boys, 7th and 4th grade and I dread homework more than they do I think. I didn’t spend as much time on my own school work as I do helping them & going over it with them. ugh…

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    • 47

      Ashley @ It's Fitting says

      God, I feel ya. There are times when I’m like… uhhh, that may have been a BIT over the top that I’m screaming at my kid over homework. Or clearing the table. Or breathing at me too loudly. I was reading the book Love and Logic and I was pretty much the example of what NOT to do. Eff.

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    • 48

      Mary says

      You are not crazy love! And like you said she posted something that we all want to say but don’t have the balls! You going to bed and feeling like that is what makes you a GOOD mom. I do the same exact thing anytime I lose my shit with my kids. (Btw. I have a 2nd grader that does the exact thing while doing homework! Deep breaths sometimes don’t even come close to helping! Youre not alone AT ALL!) We are only human.

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    • 49

      Shannon says

      “Not only are you not alone, but your honesty here is going to make thousands of women feel a lot less like shit today.”

      ^This! Today sucked. Have hopes for tomorrow, but not super optimistic at this point. I will keep trying.

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  8. 51

    Allyson Bossie says

    Ugh, but am I the only one who feels epic guilt later? I so want to be nothing like my mother was. She is mentally ill so in her defense, I am unsure if she can help her various personalities-some of which are down right evil. But when I say things in a melt down from sheer exhaustion, I feel so bad that they might feel as awful as I did, and still do when I dream about my life growing up. Shit haunts you for life, you know? Even with tons of therapy, you can’t stop the dreams..

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    • 53

      Lisa Morguess says

      Of course I feel guilty later. I feel guilty almost all the time. That’s probably a big reason why I wrote about losing my shit – why I write about motherhood at all. The guilt, the guilt.

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      • 54

        Andrea says

        Guilt is so much of motherhood. I know you know you are not alone and I thank you for sharing so I can realize I am not alone too. So much of what you wrote feels like it came from my thoughts that I have daily. Hope your day improved from that point.

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    • 55

      Missy Homemaker says

      I’d be more worried if a parent went off like this and didn’t feel any guilt. I go off on my kids, and when I’ve cooled down, I apologize for handling things the way I did and let them know what it is I expect them to do differently. That apology goes a long way.

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      • 56

        Mary says

        Guilt is what makes us good mothers even if we lose are shit! If guilt wasn’t apart of the after affect we wouldnt be good mothers. I always talk to mine after as well and apologize that mommy had a melt down and explain why I had the meltdown. I absolutely LOVE this blog. I needed this in my life!

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    • 57

      Katie says

      It’s hard to parent a certain way if you were not raised in a loving safe environment. I’m pretty sure my mom had a personality disorder when raising us. My father had anger issues due to his past…so it’s difficult to know how to parent the right way if you never had positive examples yourself. Books, parenting classes, other women in your life can be good tools for improving.

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      • 58

        sarah says

        I agree with you 100%,I had a single mom and the father addicted to everything possible. I feel i raise my kids the way I wish I was raised. I have 6 from 19yrs – 2yrs. I agree and the whole t.v. thing as well. I have my explosions (#1 is respect) after I sit down I discus with them about why I felt the way I did, and that I dislike there action not them. We can hug it out and cry it out together. Lmao wish they came with instructions♡

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    • 59

      Laura Henry says

      This was my life as a child all the time, on the opposite end, and it was horrifying. I hated being at home because my mom would never let me be. I was in all AP classes in high school and many extra curricular activities. I got, on average, 4-5 hours of sleep every night trying to keep up. I was grateful to have had those experiences, but I simply did not have the energy to comply with my stay-at-home mom’s many demands. On top of that, she complained to me about every aspect of her life, including my dad and their sex life. There were a lot of nice things that she did for me, but NEVER EVER did she not complain about it during and afterward. She manipulated me, lied to me, read my personal diary and emails, and accused me, my sister, and my dad or terrible things that we didn’t do. She seemed incapable of apologizing to anyone, and often accused other people of the things she did. Then she wondered why we didn’t treat her with the utmost love and respect.

      I think every parent deserves forgiveness if they overreact when they are emotionally at the end of their rope. Parenting is the toughest job in the world. Just make sure you do not make a habit of always reacting this way to your kids when they do something you don’t like. Please do your best to be the kind of person you would like to see your kids become. Of course you are not and will never be perfect and neither will your kids. But please understand that as much as you want them to love and respect you as a real person, they want you to love, accept, and respect them as their own individual person. It is a two-way street. As an adult you are experienced enough to be able to understand this. Treat your child as you wish them to treat you, and they will learn… eventually. Remember that they depend on you as their biggest teacher. When you feel emotionally drained or if you have just blown up at them, talk with them respectfully once you have calmed down, explaining how you felt and why, and also being respectful of how they felt and why. Come up with a solution together. Keep your relationships with your friends and family strong so that you have the support you need. Do these things if you value your relationship with your child. Don’t let it dissintigrate as mine did with my mom.

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      • 60

        sarah says

        I’m so sorry to hear this, i have a senior in high school and she is the oldest. I would hate to think that she felt this way. It sounds like your mom need some one. I am not defending her by any means, but let me just say this. As a house wife we give up so much, we make our children everything. Literally our everything. We forget you need a mom more than we need a friend sometimes. I have a deal with my daughter, that she can’t walk away while I’m talking and i will give her the same respect. It helps ….sometimes. I appreciate your perspective and you have definitely reached me!
        Thank you for that♡

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  9. 61

    Laurie says

    “It’s because it’s so fucking emotionally taxing.” Yes, yes, yes. I’ve said before that being a mom is such a HUGE emotional mind fuck. And I only have 1 child!! Thanks for keeping it real this morning.

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      • 63

        Laurie says

        Really? Small world! More than likely (if you had your place listed on lbar) I clicked longingly through the pictures of your place. We’ve been wanting to move to that area of town for a while. One day! :)

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  10. 64

    Jess says

    We had similar mornings. I also lost it. I’ve been doing everything around here, more than usual, after my husbands accident. The kids have been behaving worse than usual, and after my 4 year old hid under the table to poop in his underwear after nearly a month of no {intentional} accidents, I just snapped.

    Motherhood does feel like a BIG Fuck You most times.

    Xx

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  11. 69

    Chris Gordon says

    Hardest job ever. Sometimes I look at my son and wonder if I am really capable of doing this every day for the rest of forever. And some days, I flip my shit too. Maybe it is in the air this morning. We were not even up for 20 minutes and we already had 2 time outs under our belts. just remember, they will ALWAYS present you with another chance to do better next time…because that's what kids do ;).

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  12. 70

    Jamie says

    I have definitely had a few moments like this as well. You are very brave to put this out there into the universe because you know that some people are going to have a field day with it.

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  13. 71

    Jessica Richard says

    I am so glad someone has the courage to state this in a public forum. I think all mom's feel like this sometimes…and in those times, we feel like we are all alone, like we are the only ones who are the world's worst mother. Nice to know it isn't just me.

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