Confession. I’m a screamer. I’m not talking about THAT, so this is not too much information. Or maybe it is. Maybe the whole world (slight exaggeration on how many readers I have) shouldn’t know that my vice is screaming as loud as I can. Well, I’m sure the neighbors will say “duh”. And my family, my kids, my husband, any pets I’ve ever had. But, it’s what I do, how I roll, me gettin it – I don’t really know what that means, but I’ve heard people saying it. The louder I get, the better I think I’m going to feel. Sprinkle in some foul language and it’s way better than when I used to grab a cigarette. There’s something about the way your mouth has to contort to pronounce the “F” word emphatically that is like a nice hot bubble bath.
Except. I feel way more guilty after screaming my head off than I ever did taking a smoke break when stressed, or grabbing a beer. It’s by far my biggest parent fail. This is no way to teach my kids to handle their own stress, frustration, anger,etc. They shouldn’t have to hear that they’re driving me F@#*ING crazy. And I don’t mean hear because they’re witnessing the screaming. I mean hear because I’m saying the words “You’re driving me F@#*ING crazy!” It’s the most awful thing for me to be doing to my babies I love so much. And the wall. The wall? Yes, I also will scream at a wall if it gets in my way when I’m in a mood, or a closet door that keeps hitting me in the arm, trying to close while I’m hanging up jackets.
Why do I do this? Why am I such a psycho? I’m sure some has to be personality type. I’m a let-it-fly kind of person. But, I know there’s more to it. I’ve always been a bit invisible. I tried explaining this to Jackpot when we started dating. He thought that was a crazy idea. Now he agrees wholeheartedly. He has seen the impossibility of me getting service because nobody sees me. He’s heard people introduce themselves to me for the 10th time, because they don’t remember me at all. My personal favorite is sitting with family and having them talk about something they’ve done recently that they heard about “somewhere”. They were so glad they tried or did whatever it was. Jackpot and I look at each other, knowing I told them about that “something” the last 5 family gatherings when the subject came up. Invisible. Nobody hears me. Who cares? Usually, I really couldn’t care less. Except if I’ve told my kid 2 times to go put on their pajamas, or my dog to stop licking under the kitchen table. Then I’ve had enough. I get so sick of never being heard, that I make sure that people three streets away hear what I have to say. And it ain’t pretty. Then, add in an off blood sugar, and all hell breaks loose. Low blood sugars are the ones that are supposed to make you cranky (think the idea behind the Snickers commercials). Sure. Extremely irritable and snippy. The high sugars, though, have me ready to bite somebody’s head off. What about hormones? Yep. I had postpartum depression really bad after baby #3. Looking back, that’s also when my screaming really got out of control.
These are all true reasons. But, that doesn’t excuse the horrible job I’m doing as a mother when I scream at, or in front of, those sweet faces. They will be ruined forever, never feel genuinely loved, pick out a terrible partner for life, and never know their real worth. They will be unable to handle their emotions, and it will be all my fault. Oh my God, they are all going to be serial killers.
Nope. Here’s the deal, and I’m not just saying it to validate my bad behavior. It doesn’t. And I still feel horrible every time I’m screaming at my children. It never gives me the relief I think it will in the moment, because I feel so bad about it later. But. If you ask any one of my kids if they think they are the most loved person in the world, they will tell you yes, and it’s by Mommy. They will tell you nobody cuddles better. They will tell you they come to Mommy to feel safe. How is this possible if I’m such a monster? Great question, Tina. I think it’s because this is all they’ve ever known. Some kids’ moms sing while they do chores. I cuss at the top of my lungs. Will they ever know how to handle their own emotions if I’m setting such a horrible example? I’m going to scream “yes” on this one. I may not show them the best way to act all the time, but when I’m not being a total freak I am teaching them the way they SHOULD be acting. They all are their own little personality, too. If it was all just my example to worry about, I wouldn’t have 4 kids who all react differently in any frustrating situation. And then there’s this: I won’t name names, but someone very close to me is an awesome person and father. When asked how he turned out so good, he answers that he just does the opposite of what he saw growing up. A lot of childhood experiences that people use as an excuse for bad behavior now is as bad as my crappy excuses.
When we’re all trying to do this mom thing, we pick apart the things we do. We have the lovely MOM GUILT weighing on our backs 24/7 for all we may be doing wrong that will screw our kids up forever. Maybe you’re a screamer like me, or you feel like you’re a little selfish with your time. Maybe you hate to cook and feed them only processed foods, or went to get your nails did instead of buying them the 30th toy that month. Maybe you bring home strange people from a bar – okay, I’m going to call you out on that one. Call me judgemental, but that’s not alright! Anyway, my point is, we can spend so much time worrying about what we think are our shortcomings, we miss out on the parts where we’re doing a really awesome job, bringing up even more awesome little people.
Do you feed your kids, love them, teach them, and not abuse them? Then don’t feel guilty about all your own quirks. I’m giving you a pass. I’ll even scream it from a rooftop.
What gives you mom guilt?
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