Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Ugly Truth

I am happily able to use my blogs to brag  about my husband and our children and to complain about  my family.  Anyway, I am feeling rather synthetic because,when blogging, I  speak  regularly of how brilliant it can be, here in our home.

There ARE times when I seriously hate my husband.  Or at least moments when I believe that I do.  But mostly, I hate something he does or in many cases does not do.  In therapy I have learned again and again that when I am intensely upset, my reaction is reflective of old unresolved pain more than it is that particular moment. (Knowing this does not always ever help me in the heat of the moment.) I exclude accounts of our unfortunate exchanges here, in my blog, for obvious reasons.

I do lose it regularly with my husband and have done so twice with our older boy and not yet  with the younger (in a way that he knows).  With both, it was postpartum madness/exhaustion(after baby#2) and arguing with Andy that made me too fragile to handle even little situations.

Ernie had stepped in dogshit after I had just pointed it out. Then, because he was only  2, he failed to properly cooperate as I attempted to cautiously remove his brand new 68$ poop-caked Stride Rite shoe.  He was A BABY and I, in the meanest voice I can imagine with a snarly face said,  (God it makes me sick to remember this.):  "Pick up your fucking foot now."

Regardless of my actual words, my face and tone easily suggested "I hate you." I cried immediately as I explained/apologized that I had used a mean and scary voice and that it was wrong.  I hugged him and told him I loved him and that Daddy would be coming home so mommy could rest and do a better job tomorrow.  I immediately called Andy at work to demand he come home because I was too tired to be trusted.  The lump in my throat is immense as I recount this. I have still not forgiven myself for this, but hope and believe that Ernie has.

During this same time, Bert's reflux  allowed him to only sleep 22 minutes at a time while being carried by a person in motion(generally me).  He  nursed every 40 minutes for 30 minutes.  You think, cool, you got to sit down, at least.  I lost almost 25 pounds in these months after Ernie arrived.  There were times in the night or when Andy returned from work and I would hand Ernie over like  a sack of moldy potatoes and say "Take this fucker, now".  And then instead of sleeping, I would cry from exhaustion and fear.  I apologized to sweet baby Bert also.  While apologizing does not fix a thing, a commitment to do better is hopeful.

On another dazzling occasion, Ernie was sitting in his car seat saying "get out get out" and after one too many, I told him:   "We can get out when we get home.  AND if you  say it again I will turn the music loud so I don't have to hear it."  He did.  I did.  Not Nice.  I apologized after we were home right before I requested that he apologize too.  We worked it out.

So anyway, this post began because I wanted to expose today's brief but bad parenting moment with you.  I will  begin by sharing what I learned.  That is:  When I am neglectful of my boys needs, they become pains in the asses.  Fair enough.  Neither of them are even 3yrs old.  Naturally, they require a lot.

On our 2nd day rainy day in the house, it was silly for me to think I could load the dishwasher,pay bills, and fold laundry while they entertained themselves in a way that would suit me.  Bert opted to repeatedly pound on King Simon and play in the trash while Ernie was using a stool to reach and clear everything off the counter to the floor.  Instead of trying to remain checked out, I checked myself.
I initiated a game of hide and seek and we were all much happier.

Poor guys, they have so much to teach me.  Please feel free to share some of your less flattering moments, especially if you have acted as hatefully as I.  Please email or use the comment box so we can all benefit.  ALL, me, along with my 3 readers.  Your confessions are safe here.


  1. Well as one of your 3 readers, I really appreciate your honesty. I think we all have stories like this and there is no shame in being human. There is shame in not acknowledging our flaws and refusing to modify our behavior.

    I was subscribing to your feed in my reader, but apparently I was not following you publicly. So although I am not your "newest" reader, I am officially your newest follower.

  2. What an honor. Your posts,pics, and comments are treasures. You're like the blog fairy sprinkling your magic dust wherever you go. Thanks mami.

  3. My kids are much older and believe me it continues, but at least now they really do understand, most of the time, when I "lose" it.

    I have no specific recollections now but believe me I have had the same feelings.

    Take care of yourself first and foremost and then you can take care of your boys.

  4. Thank you for sharing these painful moments. They are such a common experience, yet we all suffer them alone. It's so hard for me to admit I could have done better, but that's the first step to "doing better," right? Hang in there. You are an awesome mom.

  5. Thanks Betty. I know you are pained by your poop story. I am so glad you cared and trusted enough to share it with me via email. Boy do I want to share it and am stoked to resist the urge. xo

  6. My brother and I were both told (well into our cognizant years) that we were stupid pieces of shit, goddam pains in the asses, etc. Loudly. In public. Despite my parents attending 4 year universities and graduating with degrees, they often talked like hillbilly rednecks from Arkansas.

    I recount this to point out the following truths:
    -my brother and I both survived to adulthood and lead reasonably happy lives and have never committed crimes, been jailed, or developed serious addictions.

    -we both laugh with each other now at the b-shit Karmen and Dick used to pull. The key is having a witness so you know you are not crazy. You have no witness in your family.

    -My mother never acknowledged let alone apologized for either the mild or deeply eff-ed up stuff she did/said.

    -My father did and still does AND THAT IS WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE. That is why I care about him.

    So, hopefully this helps you to give yourself a break. You cannot and will not be a perfect mom. (That is not the point of motherhood) At some point, your boys will be human. They may even go that ugly place from ages 11-21 where kids freely tell their parents they hate them. Ouch. And they will be normal average boys for doing this, because this is part of that phase. But what they will learn from you, starting now, is that when a person in your family says something mean--the right course of action is to apologize and own up to it right then or at the most reasonable possible moment. Makes all the difference.

    Don't be too hard on yourself ...

  7. Okay, I totally know this is an old post, but I can sooo relate to it. I did the "turning the music waaay up" thing with Trinity TODAY!
    She was freaking out on me in the car because I wouldn't go back and get her baby Sadie. The kick and screaming ensued until I totally blasted both of us with the radio.

    I felt like such an ass. We worked it out as well, but I just wanted to say ~ OMG!! you're not alone. What makes you a great mom is that you are brave enough to realize it. Humans ( and good moms alike) freak out, loose control on our emotions, ponder about it, then make ammends. So there you have it.
    You ROCK!!
    As a single mom, with no family to speak of either... I can't tell you how many mistakes I have made along the way. But, I always own up to my "freak outs" with Trinity, and I ALWAYS apologize. Looking back at my upbringing, i can honestly say (as an adult) a simple apology from my mother would have made all the difference in the world ( and saved me from many years in therapy) LOL


Your thoughts are welcome here. As long as they are kind. Or maybe just not unkind.