Saturday, May 19, 2012

Taking off the rose tinted glasses

Someone recently told me that she hated reading Mommy blogs. She complained it gave her esteem issues. All these mommies did was to blog about the beautiful stuff they would bake with their kids and how life all beautiful and they loved every second of every day as a mother. I assured her that we weren't all like that. In fact, I knew that I wasn't. It took me a long time find my Mommy groove and even now, I go through periods where I feel like I am a bad mom. 

Anyway, I wanted to write something where I told the truth. I don't think I have camouflaged the truth but blogging is about picking highlights and talking about. It's easy to not highlight the ugly bits or the bits that no one really wants to hear about. So anyway, here's what I go through in a typical day. 

I don't usually get to wake up after it is light because Muffin has a body clock of a school going child. He is up and chirpy at 6. He then potters round the house and waits for his siblings to get  up before descending upon them and depending on their morning mood, they either tumble into running amok around the house or screeching at each other like banshees. 

I try to remind myself that they are children and they will get up to shenanigans where they use scissors and cut confetti sized bits of paper and strewn them all over the house. I try to not swear when I step on matchbox cars and have them give way under my feet only to get berated by my son for spoiling his toys. 

Mostly, I am used to it and zen about it. But on occasion, it causes me to snap and I become a crazed, shouting mother. Nothing gets forgiven or swept aside. I go on a war path. 

Today was one of those days. The house was already a mess by 7 am and every room in the house was fully lit and the fans whirring. Muffin climbed onto my expensive aluminium clothes rack and bent a bar like he was the Hulk. The twins, for whatever  reason chose to think that everything that came out of Mommy's mouth could be ignored, so breakfast was half eaten for the longest time, the iPad was fought over as if it were the last electronic device on earth, my specific instructions to NOT use the pair of scissors was blatantly ignored. On top of that, there was whining to want to bring things like rulers and random pieces of paper and books to school, all to be done in the 5 minutes before the bus was due to pick them up. 

So something in me snapped and I start yelling. I yelled at them for making more work for me to do. I yelled at them for not listening to instructions. I threw down what I was carrying because it was easier for me to accede to the whining than to have her go on like a broken record. There have been times when I kept up the  yelling because at the back of my mind, I wanted to yell at them till they cried just because I was so frustrated with them. 

It is not a good side of me. But it happens. 

Often I am contrite about it and I remember the article I read some time ago " You just broke your child" and I wonder if they will be scarred by the times that they get yelled at by me. 

I wish I could say I had it all under control. I wish I could be the Stepford mom, beautifully groomed and not a hair in place. Most of the time, I would be lucky if my hair were in place and I didn't look like I just got out of bed. There have been days where there was so much handling of the kids to do in the morning, it is only at 10 am that I remember that I haven't yet brushed my teeth.. 

As a mum, I know I shout too much, I sweat the small stuff, I get worked up over things I have no control over and I make a big deal out of everything.  When I was sick recently and I lost my voice, Jordan took to reminding me that I couldn't scold them because I had no voice. I think they actually enjoyed the silence and my lethargy which led me to just plop them in front of the televisioin. 

The truth is there are probably more days like that then days where I am totally in love with my kids and want more kids. It is the rare day or hour where my heart soars for every moment that I am with them. I remember thinking about my own mother that it was weird how she could be so affectionate to me in the morning but constantly scolding me the rest of the day.

I do however, regardless of how angry and frustrated I am with them, I do try to make it a point to tell them that I still love them and that no matter how angry I am with them, that doesn't lessen. 

The grand mess in the house that leaves me stepping on matchbox cars and tripping over boxes. 

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  1. Hi Shereen! Thanks for sharing this story over on my blog as well!

    We often hesitate to talk or write about the less rosy side of motherhood, but I think it's sometimes important for us to remind each other that we're not alone in our struggles.

  2. Thanks Evelyn!
    I always worry when I write about these sorts of things that I get a flurry of angry mail telling me I am a bad mom! Akin to the reaction that was in the article about why mums couldn't have written the GTFTS book!

  3. am behind you on this one!

    why would people want to pretend that the days of 'i just have it up to here!' do not exist?!

    reckon that the whole stepford wife/mom with stepford children thing is not based on reality; surely the pressures of having to balance work & family, fulfilling familial obligations, and meeting our own needs can become too much for anyone at some point in time?

    am sure fathers feel the same way too.

    btw, i used to scream too. but less these days now that he is a little older & can remember (most of the time!) what not to do that would set mama's teeth grinding. :)