I recently mentioned that I don’t really struggle with mom guilt. At all. However, that doesn’t mean that I am immune to making mistakes. And on Tuesday, I felt like I made a big mistake. I’m posting a few pictures of me and Nico taken over the last few weeks, because they remind me that I am not a bad mom and make me feel much better about what just felt like a really bad parenting moment for me.
I was having a rough day, I’m not going to lie. I was struggling emotionally all day long, and it was complicated by the fact that I had some really difficult “baby is repositioning” pains throughout the afternoon and early evening. By the time the kids came home from school I was really not feeling well (emotionally or physically), and of course they came home a little naughty. Because that’s how life goes.
I absolutely lost my cool on Nico as we were getting ready for bed. Guys, it truly was my worst moment since becoming a parent nearly 3 year ago.
I was putting the kids down and he was just absolutely pushing every single one of my buttons. Every one of them. He was completely out of control and I was way too emotionally invested in him returning to his normal cute listen-to-almost-everything-I-say self. And he just wouldn’t.
Add on to that- we recently lost our part time nanny, and thought we found another that we really liked, and she bailed before we actually started working together due to conflicts with her schedule. So it’s been a stressful few weeks without any help during a time when we arguably really need some due to our after work commitments. Oh, and me being 7.5 months pregnant with two young toddlers already. Anyways… that was simply context.
Nico was swiping at Gabriella, refusing to put his pajamas on, thrashing his body about, and even got me with a kick or two lightly near my stomach. I finally was fed up with his lack of control and put him in the pack n play that was right next to where I was getting Gabriella changed. In less than a second he climbed out and fell right to the floor. Of course that must not have felt good, and was scary for both he and I as I caught him basically falling head first out of the corner of my eye.
Instead of comforting him, his having climbed out so indignantly infuriated me and I yelled at him. Screamed really. Honestly, I am so embarrassed at my reaction. I scared him (he was already scared from falling) and I scared myself. I’m sure I scared Gabriella too. I think it may have been my absolute worst moment as a parent and I’m horrified that is how I responded. I am always the comforter. Always the nurturer. And I almost always keep my cool. But I wasn’t able to in that moment, and man did I beat myself up about it. I still am.
I’m not suggesting it’s not okay to raise your voice at your kids. I’m mad because I wouldn’t have reacted that way but for everything else stressing me out generally in my life and specifically that day. I pride myself on extending my kids grace because they have been going through a lot too. They’re so little- 1 and 2- they don’t deserve mom yelling at them out of anger because mom is frustrated mostly about other things. I never react out of anger, but I did then and man was I gutted.
I don’t really know my point in writing this out today, other than to tell you that I am not perfect as a mom. I’m far from it. I don’t have a lot of times when I lose my cool, but gosh darn it I did and I’m just so mad at myself. I cried and held Nico for twenty minutes after this happened and then cried in my room for another hour. And then I cried in the shower and randomly throughout the night when I woke up. It was just ugly.
I have apologized profusely to both of my kids, telling them that mommy loses her temper sometimes too and that mommy needs to calm her body by taking a deep breath and counting to four (thank you, Daniel Tiger, for teaching us this great trick). I told them that I loved them immensely and that I made a mistake in screaming. And then I cried some more because, well, pregnancy hormones (sure, I’ll blame that). Sweet son, please forgive me.
Have you guys had moments where you’ve absolutely lost your cool with your kiddos? How to you respond afterwards to them? It feels so utterly horrible when it happens! Tell me I’m not alone here!