Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Yelled Today

I yelled today. Loudly. I'm really ashamed of myself for doing it.

Katy came home from school and is in this 'I have to argue with everything Mom says' phase. I know it's pretty typical for an 11-year old girl. I know how lucky we are with Katy. We are lucky with ALL of the kids. They are all fairly well-behaved and respectful. Katy is an especially nice person. She is a GOOD kid.

But? I'm TIRED. We have a baby that doesn't go to sleep until sometimes two in the morning, a toddler that wakes up multiple times a night and all of the stuff that comes with having a newborn. We are all tired. I have to go back to work in less than two weeks and the thought of leaving Harper for 9 hours every day makes me want to curl up and sob like...well, like a baby.

So...I yelled today. Katy argued with me for probably the third time in as many minutes over something stupid and inconsequential and I blew up. I can't even remember what I said but I remember the windows rattling after I slammed the door leading upstairs. I just had to have some way of expelling the absolute flash of white hot rage I felt when she opened her mouth and argued AGAIN. The rage that made me just want to hit her SO HARD in that second. Instead of hitting my girl, I slammed a door and stomped out of the room and yelled some sort of wordless sound of frustration in the bathroom.

Katy and I talked when it was over. She and I cried and both apologized. We talked about how I can help her with her compulsion to argue and about how I can try to be patient about it. She is a very wise and compassionate girl and I am lucky to have her.

I worry about her so much. What will this experience do to her? Did I do irreparable damage to her already fragile self-esteem? Am I ruining her?

Growing up, I never would have argued with my mother. Her short fuse and instant rage kept me from ever even thinking of doing so. Katy knows how my mom was, how often I'd be beaten for the smallest thing. She and I had a honest talk about how I have to fight the urge sometimes to be like my mother. She knows (at least some of) what it was like for me growing up.

I don't often have days like today. I'm usually patient and understanding and feel like I do more parenting 'wins' than parenting 'fails'. Today pretty much sucked though. I have to remind myself that I don't hit my kids. I don't abuse my kids. I don't call them names and bruise them or make them feel worthless. I am not my mom. I am not my mom.

Katy has already forgiven me. Now I just have to forgive myself.

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Jessica V. said...

Hi there,

This is my first visit to your blog, but I wanted to post and reinforce your statement that "you are not your mom." I had a similar relationship with my mom when I was younger - she would blow up at everything and I constantly felt like I was on eggshells. It thinned my skin and, like you, I vowed not to be like that. Where it sounds to me like you are NOT like your mom is that you kept control. Feeling that anger is not wrong - you had reason to be angry, and frustrated and just...done. By walking away and finding another outlet, and then talking to her about it afterward, you kept control. I would bet that your daughter will remember THAT about you as she grows up.

Hope you get some rest soon. Best of luck,


Jen - LifeWithLevi said...

Oh, Jo, I know you must be taking this really hard. HUGS! We all make mistakes and lose our tempers sometimes. That you were able to talk to Katy? That's HUGE. It really speaks to the quality of your relationship.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Oh lady, HUGS! Can I just say? I wish my mom would have had those kind of chats with me after an argument. I know EVERY mom feels this way, and yells. Of course! But you guys discussing it and trying to fix it, that's awesome. You're obviously a fantastic mom!

heidi said...

I don't think it is so bad that you lost it, at least your daughter can learn that we are not all perfect and that we do have moments where we lose control, and then by talking over it with her afterwards, she got to see the consequences of it, and to see how we all have to work on choosing our behaviour, just like she should when she has the compulsion to argue.

Kris said...


I have had these days, and they are not fun. They make you doubt everything. They make you feel powerless over your past and over your present and over your future. I hate these days.

The only thing that has ever worked for me is to just own these days . . . as you are doing here.

Own these days and apologize to the ones impacted by these days.

As you did.

I hate these days.

But they do pass.

Into the next days.

Love you.