Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Annie called me a "mean mommy" yesterday.

I was fighting to get the girls to take a nap. I had gone in their room several times and reminded them that cribs are for napping, not playing, etc. The last time I went in, I told them in a rather harsh tone to go to sleep, then I left. I stood outside their door, waiting for them to start jumping in their cribs again. Instead, I heard Annie say, not once but twice, "mean mommy" and then she went to sleep.

It broke my heart.

Sure, Megan and Drew have told me on numerous occasions that they hate me. Even Izzie walks around saying that she hates me. But she also hates the doors and walls, so I know she isn't aware of what she is saying (and yes, Meg and Drew know perfectly well what they're saying). But to hear my Annie say that I'm a mean mommy struck a nerve. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that being home with the kids lately has been torture. I only touched upon their behavior in my last post. Monday I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed because I was so angry I was afraid I was going to hurt someone. That is not the kind of mom I want to be.

Sometimes being a parent sucks. My kids don't want rules, even though they need them. I need them to need them. Unfortunately for my kids, I am not a calm, quiet mom. I yell. A lot. It obviously doesn't work to change things, but it's all I know. (I also know that being at home for 12 hours a day five days a week with almost no break is slowly killing me, but that's for another post). I just wish my kids would see past the "mean mommy" and understand I'm doing my best. Of course that little nugget of insight won't hit them until they're in their 20s or so.

I just want to be a good mom. Most days I do not feel like a good mom, or even an adequate mom. I think my exact words to Doug have been "a trained monkey could do a better job". I'm trying to do better. I want to do better. They deserve better.


Robyn said...

When Bear doesn't like what I'm telling him (ok, yelling at him), he says "You not my friend. I no like you." Breaks. My. Heart.

I feel like my well of patience has been running kinda dry lately, too. I'm sending you hugs -- and can't wait to see you soon for the real thing!

CassJustCurious said...

I can't imagine how difficult it is - I'm just here to offer a hug and a tap on the chin to keep it up.

This is the hardest job.

Jill said...

You ARE doing the best you can. And you know you weren't being mean. Being a mom has got to be the most thankless job on the planet. We give and give and it's never enough. And God help us if we try to "take" something away. I wish there was some way for you to get a break! Is there a hs girl in your neighborhood who might like a job for a. few hours a couple days a week? I spend not even three whole days with my two kids and I'm at the end of my rope by Friday. You simply amaze me with all that you do, just simply by being there and being the mom to those four kids. And hopefully venting on Twitter and your blog helps!!

LoriD said...

You're not a bad mom; a bad mom would not yell and feel bad about it, she would just yell and scream and not care. You really need to find a way to get a break, even if it's just for a few hours a week. It would be something for you to look forward to and the kids might like the change of pace too.

I wish I could do something for you. I know your exasperation well.

AndreAnna said...

All I can say is at least she didn't call you a "douche nugget".

Yeah, I need to learn to be less verbal when driving.

You are a good mom. We all have really shitty days, weeks...

Brooke Brown said..., I wish we lived closer so I could be more of a support. Being a mom is hard. Plain and simple. It just breaks my heart to imagine you in the bathroom, feeling so awful. Sending out a virtual hug...and lots of positive energy. xo

Thia said...

Are we long lost sisters? It's either that or you're stealing my posts. Hugs. Keep venting, we're listening and praying.

creative kerfuffle said...

holy crap. i hate the thought of you crying in the bathroom. you are an awesome mom and eventually, yes, they will realize it. it sucks right now and sometimes it seems like there really is no end in sight.
i wish we didn't live so far away. you HAVE to find some time away from them--even just one afternoon a week.

Astarte said...

If you were a bad mom, you wouldn't be crying. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. Have you talked to a doctor at all about any of this, and your feelings of, basically, worthlessness as a mother? This isn't the first time you've said it, and I'm worried for you that you're getting yourself into a downward spiral. I think you sound like a wonderful mother. Bad mothers hurt their children and feel it's their right to do so. You sound like a wonderful, caring person who is overwhelmed with young children. The next time you need to cry, do it in front of the kids. I think it's important that they see that we have feelings, too - it helps them to learn empathy. If it scares them a little to see you cry, fine. I tried that once, and it really helped. I think that they think of us as being so superhuman that they think nothing can hurt us, even hateful behavior.

Hang on. We care about you, and we're always here for you.

Anonymous said...

Here is just my two cents worth. Have you tried to monitor Meg's diet at all? I have kids that come to my church who act this way with Mom but if she keeps certain food additives out of their diet they are a completely different child. Try getting rid of all Red Dye #40 items in your house first and certainly speak to her doctor about this.

I have 2 teenagers and have had no problems with them like this but know plenty of people with kids like this who have changed the diet and it worked. It is worth looking into at least, for the sake of your sanity.