I am probably one of the worst offenders of losing my patience with my kids. I think the story is similar for so many of us, too. This loss of control happens when we are at our most tired, most vulnerable, or most stressed. So when I asked moms to share the times they lost their cool around their kids, and many responded with, "Just one time?", I wasn't particularly surprised. And while we giggled away reminiscing about all of the times we simply couldn't handle motherhood plus life, something serious dawned on me: we are constantly losing our temper, at rates that are possibly way too high. But, hey, I am not playing the blaming game here. Again, I am easily the worst offender.
I am most prone to flipping out on my kids right before bed time. My "witching hour" is right after a full day of work, an evening full of catching up on other work, and a dinner during which I tried to keep the kids on task. It usually happens before or during their baths. Usually, my pre-schooler will refuse to undress, or he'll want to undress himself only to take what feels like an hour to remove a sock. My 8-year-old will suddenly remember something she has to do for school, like, "Hey, mom, it's 'dress like a pirate' day at school tomorrow and I need a costume." And my cat just, once again, threw up all over the rug. That is when I lose all reason and my shi*t.
The thing is, though, I feel terrible after every single time. And, it happens often, so I pretty much feel terrible about my parenting most of the time. I go to sleep every night promising I'll do better tomorrow. I lie down and think of how I will better handle the situation, how I'll be proactive, how I'll be more patient. I have good intentions, but then? Well, and then I lose my cool.
"Oh my goodness. How can I think of just one time? There were, like, 13 times tonight alone."
Writers note: Yeah, I hear you. That was my evening as well. Some days are harder than others.
"Let's see. When they don't want to eat, when they spill stuff, when they don't clean up, when they break stuff, when they splash too much in the tub, when they are too loud. Basically, lunatic mom here and I just want peace and quiet and order all day every day. Why can't children just comply? Also, just yelled into the monitor for silence because I'm trying to watch Real House Wives of Orange County without interruptions, damn it."
Writer's note: I mean, yeah, somehow kids just won't, like, do what you think they should do. Almost like they think the world revolves around them. I just want to binge-watch Netflix (yes, all of Netflix) in peace.
"I picked my daughter up from school one day and asked her about her day and asked her how lunch was. She told me everything was good and she ate all her lunch. At first I just said OK, but something felt off to me so I kept prodding about lunch. She finally admitted to throwing her whole lunch out and I lost it. Steam coming out of my ears and nose. Lots of yelling. Once I cooled off I explained it wasn't the act of throwing the lunch out that made me lose it, but the fact that she thought lying was a good idea."
"We were at a friends house and my daughter wasn't being nice to one of her friends. She wasn't sharing, or something like that. I don't know why, but I berated her in front of everyone and sent her to time-out. I felt so horrible about it later. I don't know what possessed me to make such a huge deal in public."
Writer's note: We've all done and said things we wish we didn't. Don't beat yourself up.
"Ok, so.... my daughter loses everything! Two years ago, she couldn't find her school shoes for a few days. At the time, she was going to a relative's house before and after school. After realizing they weren't there, I lost it. So, it's a weekday morning and we're running late. I'm searching her room and just so happen to move the curtain over her window — the shoe was in the windowsill! Of all places! I may have then thrown the shoe at her! Well, not at her, but towards her. It didn't hit her. I don't think."
"When we rush home from work and daycare pick up and I start making dinner and my 3-year-old brings all of her toys into the kitchen and sets them up around me so I can't move, while my 3-month-old screams in his highchair that he wants to be held. This is every night, by the way!"
"Math homework. 'Nough said..."
Writer's note: No explanation necessary.
"As a new mom, I remember when [my son] was about 4-months-old and just kept crying and wasn't sleeping well and nothing I did seemed to settle him. I was so frustrated, and sleep deprived, that I sat him down in his swing, walked into the next room, and screamed at the top of my lungs for about five minutes. Then, I cried because I was so upset that I couldn't calm my baby, that I just lost my sh*t, and that I was unimaginably exhausted. Being a mom is tough AF... and I am just getting started."
Writer's note: Girl, I feel you. Newborns are so tough.
"Toys, toys, toys everywhere. I found a Barbie shoes in my purse. When [I] ask [them] to clean up, [they pretend] they don't hear me."
Writer's note: Kids have that amazing selective hearing.
"Took hours to scrub the kitchen clean. Twenty minutes later I found my smiling, happy toddler sitting on the table making it 'snow' all over our squeaky clean floors with a container full of salt."
"Every day? Because a 16-month-old, a 9-year-old, a 13-year-old, a dog, a husband, and a household to run all while working full-time. That's why."
Writer's note: I have one less kid and a cat, and I don't know how I am somewhat calm some of the time.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.