We stumbled upon this post by Rachel as we were scrolling through our Facebook feeds. And nothing could have rang truer to our hearts in that moment. Being moms who spend most of their time at home, is not glamorous and it is anything but easy. It is a job full of learning, both for our children and for us as parents. Rachel's story is motherhood unabashed. Raw, real, and beautiful:
"Because yesterday. I yelled. I didn't just yell, I stood over my children and yelled to hear myself over their crying while waving my arms and thrusting my pointed finger down at their teary angry faces. Over. And over. And over. At nap time when they wouldn't nap. Mid afternoon when they wouldn't pick up the toys. When timeout for a simple act of willful disobedience was challenged overandoverandoverandover until I'd added an additional 45 minutes to the timer and there was still no sign of relent and I was trying to make dinner.
I wasn't going to say anything. I am not looking for "there there's" or "it's not that bad." Because it was bad. I felt out of control. Apparently I WAS in control because I didn't do any of things that were floating through my head, all of which were completely out of line and embarrass me to admit.
But finally, after Daddy got home and diffused the situation, handled the 4 screaming year old, and found me crying on the kitchen floor with the seemingly oblivious 3 year old sitting in my lap playing with my hoodie pulls, I was able to calm down.
After giving Zeke another squeeze I went into Sam's room. He was quietly looking through a book waiting for me. And when I sat down next to him he immediately crawled into my lap and hugged me around my middle. Where moments before we had been standing toe to toe practically screaming at each other we were now cuddled together wiping own own tears.
I waited until he looked up at me.
"I'm sorry Sam. I'm sorry I yelled. I don't like yelling at you. It's not the right way to handle my frustration."
I was genuinely surprised when he said "I'm sorry too, Mama. Remember to make fists and pound you knees?" I felt like I'd been stabbed in the gut. Just this morning I was trying to help him manage his emotions about Daddy taking Meg to a meeting and how instead of yelling at Daddy or hitting the walls I demonstrated how to pound one's own knees. And then I turned around I did exactly the opposite. I lashed out.
"I'm sorry I got so upset. I don't want to be angry with you when I'm frustrated. I love you Sam Sam. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Mama." And tears just poured from my eyes.
And he wiped them away.
"Why you crying, Mama?"
"Oh honey, I want to be a good Mommy. I want to be the best Mommy possibly but I feel like a really bad Mommy right now. It makes me sad."
He stared at me for a while, now straddling my legs, still awkwardly blotting my face with his palms, trying to mimic something he's felt me do hundreds of times, but not often had the chance to practice. My three year old is turning four next week. He looked so Four Years Old.
I don't know why I asked the next question, but I'm glad that I did.
"Do you sometimes feel like I'm a bad Mommy?"
After a long pause he said "yes."
Thinking of how scary it must be to have someone four times your size standing over you exerting dominance with ever fiber of their being, I asked "what makes you feel like I'm a bad Mommy?"
Without hesitation he said "the germs. The germs in my tummy."
Which made me smirk. Both of us had the stomach flu this weekend and there has been so much talk about how germs can make us feel bad over the last four days.
"What could I do to make you feel like I am a good mommy?"
He took a few long breaths, and his eyes lit up with joy as he said, "you could make pie!!!" It felt so good to belly laugh and hug each other.
A few kisses and squeezes later he was off asking his Daddy questions about slicing beef tenderloin and Zeke had taken up residence in my lap again, sneaking in a few extra snuggles before I stood up to help serve dinner.
And it was over. Quicker even than it had begun, it was over. And after bedtime I found this article waiting for me.
And it was exactly what I needed to read. Not so much to be reminded that it's ok, but to be reminded to talk about these days. The days that come after three sick days where the kids ran the house while mom laid fevered on the couch. The days when you were counting down to nap time and nap time didn't happen. The days when you realize you've been giving too much wiggle room to the almost three year old and now he doesn't seem to be convinced that you, the Mom, are in charge and fully melts down at every "No," no matter how seemingly insignificant. The days when the almost four year old slams the door 15 times in a row just to see if you'll add more time to the timeout timer. The days when Dad has to come in and actually save everyone from making decisions they would instantly regret.
Because yesterday was that day.
And today is a new day. And a day to start fresh."
Thank you for your willingness to share your heart with us and with our readers!
-Chelsea and Heather