And I’m Having Trouble Getting it Back Together

She yelled “You always make me clean up my room and you get to do whatever you want!”

And that is when I lost it.

I am folding laundry. Do you think that this is what I like to do? I get to do whatever I want? If I get to do whatever I want then why am I folding somebody else’s underwear? Is that what you think I want to be doing right now? I hate this! I hate laundry! I hate it that I don’t know what to make for dinner. I hate it that I ask you to do things and you never ever do them without having a fit. I hate it that I can’t tell you to come come home for dinner without a scene. I hate it that you tell me how mean I am every day. I hate it that no matter how often I pick up this place is always a mess and no matter who left their legos in the hall or their raincoat at the top of the stairs it is always my fault that our house is so messy. I get to do what I want? THEN WHY I AM FOLDING YOUR LAUNDRY?

But then I felt bad. No, I don’t want to fold laundry. I don’t want to make dinner. I don’t want to pick up the family room, but that isn’t my daughter’s fault.

Yes, I am mad that she has a temper tantrum at 5:00 every night. I am frustrated that I have to wash her sheets five times a week because she “forgets” to wear a pull up. I am frustrated that I wrote seven articles today and I still hear about how things will be different “when I get a job”.

I don’t know why I am so angry this week. We have had a very busy month, but it hasn’t been bad, it has just been hectic. I know I am busy. I know I am probably hormonal, and I know that I am justified in being angry that my six year tells me how bad I am at being a mom every single day.

I just wish I hadn’t yelled at her like that.

I am going to go apologize, I am going to take a deep breath and then I am going to finish folding the laundry.

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  1. Hang in there, Sarah… if it’s any consolation, we all have those days. (They suck mightily, but eventually they are over.)

  2. Good luck. I haven’t yelled that at my daughters but there have been plenty of other outbursts for which I’ve had to apologize lately. Maybe there’s something in the water around here.

  3. I’m glad you said you felt bad. Because I was ready to try the yelling thing myself. And meh, if it isn’t working…. Wait, never mind the feeling bad, did it work?

    I often feel quite sorry for myself that I’m folding the laundry, I’m mopping the floor, I’m worrying about dinner. My husband will help with the cooking but he has to be given the recipe with plenty of time to go to the store. So it’s still on me.

    Thing is if you do “get a job” this will still be your job. I often have to tell myself that this is my job. Maybe not as bad as re-stocking shelves at walmart at midnight (which my sister did for a while) but it is my job. And there are sucky parts of it.

  4. “I am going to go apologize, I am going to take a deep breath and then I am going to finish folding the laundry.”

    My good friend would say, “Tough as nails, atta girl.” We all have to pick ourselves up after moments like that.

    You’re a hero.

  5. We had a similar conversation, ahem, at our house this morning. It sucks, I’m sorry.

  6. We all have our moments like that. And they suck. I used to think it was important to be a perfect role model for my kids. Now I know that it’s impossible to be perfect and it’s essential to show them that we all screw up…and how to recover. Which you’re doing when you apologize. Hang in there. You’re a great mom.

  7. We have all been there. I’ve lost it, I think every parent has. I think the best thing you can do is apologize and move on. Tomorrow is a new day.

  8. Oh honey I’m so sorry. You’re a great mom and are doing such a good job.

    Every day isn’t always a walk in the park, clearly.

    Taking a deep breath and maybe have a beer. You’ll feel beter.

    Hugs to you my friend xoxo

  9. That’s all you can do sister. Just get back on the horse.

    We all have those day (some of us, every day.)

  10. I could have written this post a hundred times. Kids are really naturally self-centered and it is completely understandable that you snapped. But you apologized and she knows that you unconditionally love her. And you should know that she unconditionally loves you.

    Hope tomorrow is better.

  11. I think we all feel bad for yelling at our kids sometimes. But your point was valid – you’re NOT a bad mom, and maybe it’ll help her to realize that you’re not just being indiscriminately mean and unfair.

    Sorry you had a rough evening. Hope things look a little brighter in the morning.

  12. I’ll echo the others. We all have our moments. I have more than I’d like to admit. My daughter’s line is similar, she says (when asked to put her dirty laundry in the hamper, pick up toys, put her clothes away, etc.) “Why do I have to do EVERYTHING?!!” That comment is the one that ALWAYS makes me lose my shit. I lay out everything I do (all inside & outside work, as it’s just me & her) and she STILL insists that I am being unreasonable. I believe my response the other day was “Are you fucking KIDDING ME?!” We all have our moments (not that that makes us feel any better).

  13. Earlier tonight, I was driving to a place I’d promised my youngest son we’d go to for two weeks. This happened after I’d had to track him and my oldest son down after having told them five times we’d be leaving soon and after I’d watched three sets of eyes roll at me earlier – because, oh yes, the neighbor kid was here – because I said no Wii today (and OMG, it seriously just happened again right now!) -and, well, on and on…back to the driving…as I sat there driving and feeling like I’d lost my mind, all I could think about was when can I just have a bad day and not have to take care of anyone else? When can someone just do evrything for me? I know that deep down, that’s not really the core of things, but seriously, when!?

    So, yeah. I can get what you’re saying here…

  14. Whymommy says:

    Lucky us! Laundry AND the dishes? Oh, you shouldn’t have….

    Yep, it’s rough, all right, and it seems like it never ends. If only for once the dishes or the laundry would STAY washed!

    I hear ya.

    But SEVEN articles today? Wow! That’s impressive!

    Is it as impressive as the fact that everyone has clean underwear for tomorrow? Yep. But both need to be done, don’t they?


  15. Love and life and family are as messy as you are awesome (which is why I read your blog, yes?) Someday she will be super aware that she’s so lucky that you are the perfect mom for her and a kickass mom in general. Because sometimes you yell because you’re human and not RoboMom but then you think it through this much and care this much and you apologize? It’s good to set the bar so high but it’s okay to be nicer to yourself, too.

    Go ninja. I love you.

  16. smartaleck says:

    One day, she will understand. I completely understand every sacrifice my mom made for us–and try to buy her nice gifts to make up for it. That’s why I’m going for an advanced degree–I need to afford nicer gifts for mom to make up for the year I was 14….man, I was a brat. Not a bad kid, just self-centered.
    One day, you will read the sappy Hallmark cards from her that she bought with the $ from her first job and know that she gets it….

  17. Sorry you had a tough day. Remember, though, the amazing thing about little kids: resiliency and incredibly short memories. We torture ourselves for days after we lose our tempers, but kids tend to get over it as soon as the next diversion comes along. It’s pretty amazing.

  18. Oh THANK GOD, it’s not just me.

  19. michelle says:

    I am told daily that I have made his day “the worst day ever”. You have no idea how much I hate that phrase. We had a similar scenario over here and we also have a meldown everyday around 5.

  20. She won’t get it for a while, but she will get it.

    Having had a job, and not had a job, and had a job again, I can tell you nothing changes at home.

    Her behavior is more about 5pm than it is about you. I went to a sort of pre-orientation thing with Oliver’s kindergarten teachers yesterday and they reminded us how tired our kids will be at the end of the day. How they will work so hard to hold it together at school, and how they will fall apart at home as a result. That’s unconditional love for you.

    Still sucks.

  21. The suckitude is going around this week, isn’t it? I hate May.

    Oh, and your rant? Verbatum, here, about once a week for the last month.

  22. LEGO is spelled with all caps. I hate that.

  23. Wow, that’s a tough one. It’s so hard to draw the line between when you’re perfectly justified in hollering and probably owe an apology. I find myself apologizing a bit more than I probably should; once in a while your kids need to know they’ve stepped over the line and they owe you an apology. Best of luck to you, especially around five o’clock.

  24. I lost it the other day at the girl who likes to name everyone & everything Sarah. I usually try to understand, but ran out of patience & time when we had to get to school. Gah. Was horrible.

  25. I believe that if we don’t lose our shit in front of our kids once in a while, they will think it’s not okay to be human.

    The whole notion that we are supposed to hide our anger all the time makes me, well, angry.

  26. I’m with the others who have already shared that you’re a wonderful mother and it’s integral for our kids to learn human beings have strong emotions and expressing them is a part of being human.

    When my kids were the age of yours, I too yelled and apologized on angry days. In fact, I still have those days, and now that my kids are older, they are able to recognize what an angry day feels like-they’ve figured it out because they now have angry days of their own. I”m not the only one having angry days anymore. I think as we’ve all gotten older,my kids and me, we’ve all grown more empathetic towards one another.

  27. That should have been “my kids and I.”

  28. Girl I wouldn’t apologize one minute. I would teach her butt how to fold laundry and make her do it every day until she’s so fucking penitent she never ever dares smart off again.
    That’s my option for you non-spankers.
    I’d just smack her butt and ground her forever for smart-mouthing me.

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