Their Bad Mother

I yelled at the kids today.

It doesn’t happen very often. I’m a pretty patient mom. My problem is that I tend to be patient, patient, patient, then EXPLODE when they least suspect it. I lull them into a sense of security and love, only to BLOW UP at random times. Now that’s good parenting.

Today two of the three were having simultaneous mega-meltdowns, while the third was trying to broker peace between them by screaming overtop about how everyone was WRONG, and this was after I’d asked them to do their homework about 20 times, and yeah. That was it.

YOU – find something to do on your own, I am not available to play right now.

YOU – pack up the toys and do your homework, NOW.

YOU – sit down and eat something, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Then I sat and fumed and felt horribly guilty while giving minimal homework help in a snappish manner.

The real problem is that when I do scream at them, they are all so, so very good. Everyone quietly does their work. Everyone gets along swimmingly. No one bothers me because they can’t find this one Pokemon card and they need that one Pokemon right now because it is their FAVOURITE Pokemon and they’ve already looked everywhere and there is no way I will find it in 30 seconds if I come upstairs.

(Totally will.)

So although I die a little inside from their goodness, and vow to never yell again, they do make it hard to turn away from that line of discipline, you know?


Making things worse, I watched The Princess And The Frog this morning with Little Miss Sunshine (she was home sick with a bad head cold). Neither of us had seen it before and (SPOILER) an adorable, sweet character DIES near the end.

This was super bad news as I am a crier, I cry at everything fictional, books, TV, movies, commercials for life insurance. So the character starts eeking out his last words, and the Little Miss is choking up a bit, and instead of comforting her I start weeping, WEEPING, as if the world will be ending any moment now.

So she sweetly tucks my hair behind my ear and ever-so-gently strokes my head and murmurs that everything will okay, don’t cry mommy.

MOTHER OF THE YEAR, right there.


Hm. Uncontrolled weeping followed by irrational screaming.

checks calendar

How many more years until menopause, again?

16 thoughts on “Their Bad Mother

  1. Note to self, don’t watch that move. Will end up sobbing.

    Oh I hear you about the yelling. There was much yelling today. Yelling in inverse proportion to the listening. Oh which there was none.

  2. CapnPlanet

    Sigh. I’m sure it’s small consolation, but also I’m sure this happens to most parents. Certainly it does to me. I try my best to be patient with my kids but of course the expression “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” was inspired by kids, I’m quite certain of that. And then comes the yelling, and then the guilt, my god, the guilt I feel.

    After all, what is yelling but a parental temper tantrum – you don’t get what you want, so you scream louder than everyone else to get it. Not exactly setting a good example.

    But if I really yell enough that it kind of scares them a bit (not that it really takes a lot, kids are just easily scared by their parents getting upset), I always apologize to them. I make it clear that yelling is not good, but sometimes parents do things they shouldn’t do as well. I think that at least does set a good example. (I do also explain that the reason I’m yelling is because they’re not listening to me, so hopefully they still learn that listening will make me stop yelling).

    I just really fear the day when they’re old enough that they’re not intimidated by my yelling, and they’ll piss me off just to get me mad at them, and then they’ll laugh at me. Maybe then I’ll finally learn my lesson.

  3. Aren’t kids supposed to be at least a little bit afraid of their parents? At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m yelling -happens way too frequently in our house, they’re obviously not scared enough. 🙂

    Little Miss Sunshine’s reaction to your crying was so sweet! I watched Bambi with B.G. thinking “Cirle of life, she can handle it.” Somehow, she’d already seen it (at Grandma’s, we think) and she was totally fine. But I wasn’t…!

    Funny that we’re both engineers – the curriculum really does suck the creativity out of you, doesn’t it? We should get together to compare notes!

  4. But then he got to go up in the sky with Evangeline! It’s HAPPY!

    I was just actually feeling quite proud of myself because Matt’s been away for a week and I’m exhausted and we’re redoing the kids’ rooms so there’s crap piled everywhere in the house and it was meet the teacher night and then we went out for dinner and got home late and I was finally about to tuck everyone in downstairs (because their rooms are uninhabitable) and Angus had lost the remote that turns Matt’s office tv off, and there’s NO BUTTON to turn it off and how could the fucking remote just disappear within ten minutes and then I was under the desk trying to figure out which plug to pull and THEN he finds the goddamned remote under a kleenex box and I managed not to yell.

    But I have. And I don’t actually feel that bad about it. And you shouldn’t either.

  5. screaming? check. weeping? check. irrational need for chocolate? check. it would seem we are both living the same sort of week. let go of the quilt and enjoy the 15 minutes of peace you get everyone once in a while. it’s good to keep the kids on their toes.

  6. I love posts like this because I feel more connected to the universe! It kills me that the most effective way to get through to my daughter is by yelling, but it’s true. When I really lose it, it’s like something in her snaps and she immediately becomes an angel. But we are so much harder on ourselves than we should be. Your kids have already forgotten about it. Or, they are storing it away in their memories to share with their therapists later on. Either way, it’s all good!

  7. Eileen

    I’m afraid that I also sometimes yelled at my children when they were young. It always left me feeling guilty, especially because most times I did it I was worried about something that had nothing to do with them, and the yelling was triggered by something inconsequential they did that wouldn’t normally bother me.

    I still feel guilt over it. Fortunately, our children are the most forgiving people we will ever have in our lives.

    1. CapnPlanet

      Fortunately, our children are the most forgiving people we will ever have in our lives.

      How true, thankfully. At least when they’re young, that is. That gradually fades as they grow older though, so it’s probably still wise to nip the whole thing in the bud.

      As it happens, I just attended a webinar yesterday by Amy McCready, author of “If I Have to Tell You One More Time!”. Maybe I just drank too much koolaid, but her advice seems really good and I plan to check out the book. She describes herself as a “reformed yeller” and her punchline is that she wants to get people to the point where they can’t remember the last time they yelled at their kids. Now that would be nice.

  8. Aww … I’m sorry you’ve having a bummer couple of days. But, you know what? All I can think reading this is that you are being really hard on yourself.

    Seriously: You are patient most times and then blow up now and then? Well, hey, half us are NOT patient most times! 🙂 And of course the screaming works, because then they know – oh oh, now we’ve really pushed the boundaries. I don’t know if it’s great parenting or not, but I truly believe that it doesn’t hurt kids one bit to know that their parents are humans too … that they cry or yell.

  9. ooof, must be something in the air. i was near suicide watch last week after i resorted to a spanking….something i vowed to never do. sad thing is things became incredibly better after it happened, lots of talking, cuddling etc etc. really wish it hadn’t come down to that but it did. really hope it doesn’t happen again.
    but seriously, the sibling fighting this month is EPIC.

  10. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. We are human, and we have human emotions, and sometimes those manifest in ways such as yelling. And while I don’t recommend yelling as a general method of communication, our kids do need to know that other people can be pushed to their limits, and that the adults who care for them have emotions too. Even when they are too young to really see things from anyone else’s viewpoint. I also try hard to model with my girls the behaviours that can surround the yelling — talking out feelings afterwards, making apologies, talking about how we can both handle the situation differently in future, etc. It’s not always a learning opportunity … sometimes I just yell. But I try.

  11. “This was super bad news as I am a crier, I cry at everything fictional, books, TV, movies, commercials for life insurance. So the character starts eeking out his last words, and the Little Miss is choking up a bit, and instead of comforting her I start weeping, WEEPING, as if the world will be ending any moment now.”

    Aww, I don’t see anything wrong with that, it’s an emotional scene. I’ve bawled through lots of films. It would be weirder if his death didn’t affect you at all, I think. 🙂

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