Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Confessions of a Horrible Mother

It started at 3:02 pm. I picked up the boys from school, which I do NOT usually do. I was late coming home from work, and so as a kindness, a favor, something I thought they might like, I swung by the school and waited for them, so they wouldn't have to walk home in the cold. They stood outside the car for a full thirty seconds, looking at me like I was some kind of alien abductor. I smiled. I waved. I beckoned. They looked at each other and shrugged ("I don't know what she's doing here!") and climbed in to the car.

"Why are you here, Mom?"

"I thought we were going to go home with Tyler today!"

A mother's sigh. "No, sweetie. That's Wednesday. I told you this morning that it WASN'T today, and it WASN'T tomorrow, it was WEDNESDAY. I thought you might like a ride home from school."

Fuss. Fuss. Fuss. "That's not what you said! You said it was TODAY!"

I don't know why I even get into it with them. But I did. "No. I did not say it was today because it ISN'T today. I very clearly told you that it WASN'T TODAY."

This continued for the rest of the way home, when I said, "It doesn't matter. It isn't today. You can go home with Tyler on Wednesday. Not today. The end."

Fuss. Fuss. Fuss.

Ok, now the best time of the day. (ha.) Homework.

Fuss. Fuss. Fuss.

Put away your lunchbox.

Pick up your coat, please.

Don't spill your healthy after school snack of soda pop and cookies.

No, you can't play the computer. First do your homework.

Fuss. Fuss. Fuss.

Whine. Whine. Whine.

You need to read for twenty minutes before you can play.

Stomp. Slam. Distant muttering that I'm not supposed to understand, but am very clearly supposed to hear and recognize as extreme discontent.

Here I do the mature thing of slamming a door at my end of the house. That'll learn 'em.

OK, you get the picture. This pattern continues through rest of the afternoon, eating in the basement, making birthday invitations, delivering the invitations, sending their friends home at the ridiculously early hour of 6:00, having to drive to pick up Daddy from work, eating the disgusting dinner we as horrible parents dared to force them to eat, taking showers, cleaning rooms, and finally, oh blessed day, bedtime.

Whine. Whine. Whine. "My scriptures won't stay open!!"

"Sweetheart, just hold them in your hands, like this. See, you can hold the page open really easy."

Fuss. Fuss. Fuss. Smack book multiple times to show Mom that there's just no way it's going to stay open.

"Honey, just hold the book."

Fuss. Whine. Smack.

Here is where I didn't offer to hold him on my lap and he could read out of my book.

Here is where I didn't just ignore the behavior of an obviously cranky little boy.

Here is where I snapped. I grabbed his scriptures, slammed them shut, threw them out the door, and yelled, "There! Now you don't have to worry about it any more!"

The rest of the family sat for a moment in stunned silence. One scuttled out the door to retrieve his abused book while my husband muttered, "That really doesn't help." Oh, I know. I know!

We finished our reading in an absolutely spirit-less atmosphere. We said prayers and I didn't even say Amen, because I knew if I attmepted to speak, the floodgates would open and I knew there would be no closing them.

I hurried to take out my contacts and hide in my bed. I did not see or speak to anyone else for the rest of the evening. I did not give kisses or heat rice pillows or fill night cups. I did not tuck anyone in or wave goodnight. I did not do the dishes. I did not practice. I did not sign homework folders. I did not let in the dog or turn off the lights.

I think we call it QUITTING.

And all I could do this morning was pull him into my lap and kiss his head while I cried and begged his forgiveness.


Lee and Melody said...

Not a horrible mother. A human mother, pushed to her limits and beyond. We all have those days (mine are daily, I admit it). I totally did this last night too. I told Lee I was done and had had it UP TO HERE, and the kids need to go to bed NOW (this was at 7:00)! And personally, I think it does a little teensy bit of good for the kids to see that Mommy DOES have a breaking point, and you won't like it, so don't go there.

And then we teach them the divine principle of forgivness and the importance of apologizing, and- viola!- your children have learned several important life lessons. Again.

:) I love you. SO much.

Natalie said...

call me bad but I seriously laughed out loud when you threw the book, not LOL, I mean the real kind of laughing. I have been right there with the mum tantrum thing only rarely with scriptures out so good for you Marianne, don't sell yourself short. Thanks for being real. Your an awesome Mum. Truly.

t.t.turner said...

You are such a great writer! Seriously! I love your posts - I feel like I am there in the middle of all the action! You're not a bad mother. Not one teensy weensy bit.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing the real you and helping me feel like a normal mom. Been there. Done that. Glad I am not alone. :)

Kristen said...

I had one of those moments two weeks ago. Why do we always crack during scripture time. I don't know if Mark said, "that doesn't really help," but I know he was thinking it.

I think that we have way too many things to do and when kids push buttons all day and fuss, it definitely pushes me over the edge. I usually declare that, "I am done!" Shut the door and go fold then endless piles of laundry.

I believe that we all have those moments!

Kazzy said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. We all have those days. I love to be alone sometimes and can feel a boiling point on the horizon.

We have changed our after-school strategy. I now tell the kids to come home and toss their stuff in the closet and then go play outside, play with friends, whatever. They come home at 5 and do homework and practicing while dinner is getting made. It is so good because they get to decompress after school and then are ready to get their things done later.

I hope you feel better tomorrow.

Meg said...

I don't know you... but I feel your pain... and have lived it too!! As I read your post... I laughed and sighed and at the end wiped the tear from my eye!!

Your sister in the gospel!
Meg in Missouri

Scream&Shout said...

Don't feel bad, i know exactly how you feel. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and we two beautiful little pains in the butt and my fourteen year old step daughter just recently moved in with us also. I'm a stay at home mom and somedays I could literally scream( not that anyone would notice) but I feel your fustration.

Gunner said...

speaking from the kid's point of veiw....your kids luck it wasent my mom!.... okay okay... I think my mom has another family with a nice fury dog! Just let me say, the argument get more phsycological and on going..... HAVE FUN!

Jessica said...

Ummm... I'm not a mother yet... but I have a feeling I might be just like you. Crap happens, kids, and moms, have bad days, but you did set the perfect example of humility, love, and asking for forgiveness. Those are characteristics of a great mom - even if your kiddos don't always agree.

(Umm... I was flipping through random blogs, and yours popped up! All these people wearing BYU stuff...awesome!)