Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just pile on the guilt, why don't ya?

As a mom, I feel guilty every day about something. It's inevitable. I wake up in the morning and pray for a good day but at some point I lose my patience with the kids and I end up raising my voice. Okay, I yell. Sometimes it's the only way to get them to listen to me. Good God, I sound like my mother. I used to always ask her, "why do you yell at us so much?" and she'd always turn it around on us and say "I have to yell because you don't listen".

On Friday, I was just plain worn out. See, I always start off every week feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from the weekend (where I've had hubby's help both Saturday and Sunday). On Sunday night, I come up with a plan for the week as far as activities that we can look forward to: Monday AM is playgroup for Garrett and Landon through the school district; Tuesday AM is playgroup for Garrett and Landon through my SAHM's group; Thursday PM is playgroup for all 4 kids through my SAHM's group and Cole has soccer practice right after that; and Wednesday and Friday mornings are usually saved for either running errands, taking Garrett and Landon for a walk or dr's appts. Every afternoon, with the exception of Thursdays, I usually take the kids to the gym so I can work out and they get to burn off some energy in the gym daycare.

So yeah by Friday I'm worn out...exhausted, ready to desperate need of some relaxation. While Garrett and Landon napped, Cole and Bella were fooling around instead of resting. And by fooling around, I mean, they were running around the family room, talking in loud voices, asking me question after question about the DVD they were watching "The Diamond Castle" (the latest Barbie movie), and rummaging through the cabinets for snacks. All I wanted...all I asked for was just 1 hour of quiet time where I could read a book. That's my way of relaxing...I just wanted to zone out and get lost in a good book that I had started and was dying to finish (a Mariah Stewart mystery!).

I could imagine an hour to Cole and Bella must have felt like an eternity. Maybe I was asking too much of them to let me read my book for an hour. Needless to say, I didn't even get 5 minutes to read the book before the chaos started. I knew the best thing would be to just forget the idea of reading a book...I could've turned off the DVD and gotten engaged in an activity with them.

But, darnit, it was Friday....and I just didn't have any energy. I wasn't even going to the gym that day and instead planned to take the kids to the park. The stress was starting to build inside me from listening to Cole and Bella talking in extremely loud voices, running around throwing toys all over the place, spilling Sunchips all over the floor....I lost it. I started yelling at them, mainly so they could hear me above their own loud voices. Sure, it wasn't the right way to go about it...I realize that now. Sometimes I get lost in the moment and react without thinking.

They did quiet down though....probably because they know when I start yelling, I've just about had it with them. That's when they start losing privileges and they really wanted to go to the park. So they settled down but by then I just felt too guilty about yelling to even enjoy my book. They both looked so.....well, broken....that's the best way to explain it. I broke their little spirits in just those few minutes when I yelled at them.

After the little twins woke up, I was getting them all into their carseats to head over to the park. I felt it was important to apologize to Cole and Bella for yelling at them so I did and I told them how frustrating it is for me when they don't listen to me. Cole said, "sometimes you frustrate me too". Okay, I could see that and good for him for expressing that. But I couldn't foresee what he would say next...."Mommy, sometimes you're mean but I still love you".

Talk about a dagger through my about piling on the guilt. Well, he didn't pile on the guilt, I did that to myself. But those words stayed with me all afternoon and into the evening. And I will remember those words next time I get frustrated with them and I'm on the verge of yelling. Next time I want to hear, "Mommy, you're so nice and I love you" because I will have earned it by not yelling and showing a little more patience. Afterall, I am the parent....but it's still a learning process. Everyday as a parent is a learning process.


mrsbear said...

I think it's natural to lose it every once in a while. I try to start every day too with a sunny out look, but it doesn't carry through to the end of the day much less the end of the week. You just have to forgive yourself and move on. You're a good mom, you react because you're human. You can't always be "nice" either, you can't never get angry. You're right though, every single day is a learning process.

Stacy said...

I'm sorry to hear that you loose it sometimes. I'm not an evil person, but I'm glad because it does make me feel normal that I am not the only one going through this. I completely understand. My 3 year old Cole will tell me "I not mad at you" after I lose it with him. Daggers!

It is not too much to ask for a little quiet time so you can refresh your mind and soul to be able to keep giving to your children. Hang in there. These days just fly by!

Supermom said...

Awwww Helene.

I feel this exact same way all the time. With a teenager, preteen and toddler I find that I raise my voice A LOT! I hate that but they do not listen!!!

After it is all over the guilt comes over me. Isn't there another way of solving things besides raising my voice??? Throw threats out there?

Why can't we all get along!!!!

I am sorry you had a rough day. I just want you to know that you aren't the only one going through this.

Just call my house one Friday afternoon and listen to the chaos that happens here.

Michelle :)

kristi said...

I call hubs "Mr. Gripey Pants" and my daughter calls me "Ms. Screams a lot". I yell too, I hate it but I do it!

Nina said...

I know kids can stress our nerves to the end point and I know mine do but they still know you love them even when you yell at them. That is the one bad thing about being a parent, sometimes we have to parent. Your weeks sound crazy but I envey you in every way because I would just love to have all that madness in my life all day long. Instead I sit in an office all day in front of a computer missing my kids greatly.

Kim said...

Ah, I can relate. I've worked out a code word with my older girls so if I'm starting to raise my voice unnecessarily, they will say "Hawaii" quietly and calmly (no sass, or I'll really go off!) to let me know that my yelling is bothering/scaring them. The twins don't have a code word . . . they just look at hysterical Mommy and say "Shhh!"

Cathy said...

I always regret it when I scream at my little one and lose patience but sometime it's just hard when I have a million things waiting for me to get done. I talk to my little one though after the yelling and screaming settles down.

I love the weekends too since my hubby is home and I can actually finish ten piles of laundry.

ParentingPink said...

Oh, I am so relieved that I am not the only mommy out there who yells! I used to swear that I wouldn't but with three little ones, forget it! I can only imagine how you must feel with almost double that amount!

I lose it too - I think most "normal" moms do. Personally, I haven't met one that doesn't feel guilty, yell occasionally, or just plain melt down at the end of the day. If we didn't, we wouldn't be human. And in the long run, I think it's a good thing that our kids see real "emotions" from us instead of bottling everything up.

Cant Hardly Wait said...

We all lose it sometimes. If we didn't, then we'd be like robots. It's natural and important for our minds to let loose and get out all of that built up crazyness going on up there. They still love you, remember!

Jenni Jiggety said...

It's hard to be the perfect mom every hard as I try!

twinmama said...

Helene, I agree with all of these other great Moms. We can only do so much and need down time.

I yell, too, when I get frustrated. My kids are young, so they don't quite react, but hubby lets me know that I am wrong. Sigh.

Hang in there.

Elle said...

Sometimes you can't help but yell. It happens to us all. It doesn't make you a bad mom. We'd all be bad moms!

Elizabeth Channel said...

I know that feelings. We all do. Thank you for posting your story. It makes me feel human.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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