I will admit it: I was a bad mom today. In all fairness, my Monster Mommy Moments (MMM) lasted only a short time, but it was enough to make me long for a return to the workforce.
I am sure you know the old adage “It comes in threes”. Well today was proof of this all at the hands of my three year old son.
Let me preface the following MMMs by saying that my 11 month old daughter has decided over the last couple of months to stop sleeping through the night. Add to this the numerous nightmares and night time bathroom breaks by my other two kids, and it amounts to pure exhaustion, which can be broken down into a simple formula:
Number of times woken up during the night x 72 days (and counting) = Just a smidgen of patience
MMM #1: Holy Guacamole!
In the midst of the deep freeze (-31 with the windchill), I selfishly spent my hard-earned free time making a summer treat last night: guacamole. I was really looking forward to enjoying this snack while reminiscing about summer sunshine and days filled with children playing outside for hours on end. However, this was not to be. The guacamole and its glass container ended up smashed and spewed all over the kitchen floor in an attempt to procure a yoghurt from the (admittedly overflowing) refrigerator by the above mentioned three year old.
Monster Mommy: “What were you thinking?! Get outta here before you get cut!”
(Side note: I sound like my own mother!)
Sheepish apology #1 issued.
MMM #2: Pee Like No Tomorrow
While I was cleaning up guacamole, which covered a large majority of the kitchen surfaces, my three year old was quietly sitting on the couch playing with his dinosaurs. Unfortunately, he was sitting on the crack between the cushions when he forgot to make the journey to the potty. I honestly didn’t think a three year old’s bladder could release so much urine.
Monster Mommy: “What were you thinking?! Look what you did!”
(Side note: Pretty sure I sounded like my own mother once again.)
Sheepish apology #2 issued.
MMM #3: When there is 1, there will be 2.
Two messes cleaned up sufficiently so that I felt confident that no one would get glass in their foot and no one would cross-contaminate the house with urine?
As I wiped sweat from my brow and took a deep breath to help clear the stress, frustration, and a clean-up that I count as my work out for the day, I smelled a third mess originating in the vicinity of my three year old’s underwear.
Monster Mommy: “Seriously. Why?”
(Side note: I don’t specifically remember my mom saying this, but with four kids, she probably questioned our behaviour so much that I stopped listening.)
Sheepish apology #3 issued.
The final result of a day where events came in threes?
A MONSTER MOMMY TIME-OUT.
I needed a break and my three year old nodded wisely as I padded upstairs to my room where I tried not to over-analyze and criticize my obvious overreaction to these three events.
I had let my three year old get the best of me.
I knew, for example, that the refrigerator was stuffed and any one of us could have loosened the bowl of guacamole to fall on the floor, and of course, that the one sure-fire way to not potty-train a child is to make them feel guilty about their accidents. Most importantly, I knew that I was not modelling proper behaviour.
But, I also know I am not a perfect parent; I am a realistic one. All parents have cringe-worthy moments where our behaviour rivals that of our kids’. It is so easy for us to judge others. I am not sure why we feel that we need to compare and compete with each other.
In the end, the parenting job we chose to apply for means that we are all trying to raise a child that is going to be an independent, successful, and contributing member of society. We all have to give each other a break from the judgment. We all make mistakes when we parent, and what works for one family, will not work for another. The reality is that most parents are trying their best on any given day.
Like many other exhausted and exasperated parents out there, I have my Monster Mommy Moments where all reasoning gets pushed aside, and as embarrassing as it is, these events have make me realize that I need to take time-outs for myself more often.
I need to walk away, regroup, rest, relax, and model the appropriate response to a build-up of frustration.
Will I do this every time? Definitely not. So for now, I will aim for the next time.
Just like when I have any other type of bad day, I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day, a clean start. But for tonight? I think I will take another time-out, this time with a big glass of wine!
Have you had any Monster Mommy Moments lately? Share your stories in the comments!
Photo by: Nicolai Kaschta
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