One of Those Real (Bad) Mom Days.

I did not have a good day today. In fact I had a very very bad mommy day. The kind of day where I yelled way too much and then felt bad for it afterwards. The kind of day where I really question myself and why on earth I ever had kids. Not because I don’t love them, but because I feel like I’m doing a crap job of things.

It started out with a jelly jar. A jelly jar Brendan decided to ‘help’ me with by pulling it out of the fridge and promptly dropped it to the floor. Do they make plastic jelly jars? If they do the company that uses them now has at least the next 16 years worth of business from me. Glass, all over the kitchen floor. Ugh. It wasn’t even 7am yet! I kept my cool and didn’t fuss, and just cleaned it up as quick as possible.

Things went downhill from there. Brendan kept stripping his clothes off and I’d have to tell him 5+ times to put them back on before he’d so much as look up. I got mad and took tv away for the day, and that turned into a constant fight of him turning it back on every 30 minutes or so. Gabrielle kept making comments to him in a snotty “I’m bigger than you so do what I say” tone, and I had to speak to her about that repeatedly.

Poor Damian was the only one NOT in trouble today, and likely only because Brendan was so busy terrorizing him he didn’t have time. At one point Damian is playing quietly with a toy and Brendan decides he wants it, so he runs at him SCREAMING and literally tackles him, fighting him for the toy. This happened again later, only Brendan ended up catching him in a run and making him faceplant on the split brick floor by the back door. I just KNEW there was going to be stitches when he looked up, but by some miracle he was fine. At that point I lost it. Yelled SO badly I know the neighbors had to have heard, and put Brendan to bed. I was done, I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Game over.

And now here I am, 6 hours later feeling awful. I know tomorrow will be better, and that he won’t be scarred for life by the experience, but damnit all! Why does this job have to be so friggin hard?? Why do I have these two sweet, generally well-behaved kids, and then this one who simply looks at the molds and laughs? Would I be the most horrible parent in the world if I asked why on earth can’t he just be normal??

How is it I have accomplished so much in my life, yet feel so utterly incompetent because of a 3 year old child?

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30 thoughts on “One of Those Real (Bad) Mom Days.

  1. Ugh. Sorry he’s been so difficult. I really have no advice (I’ll be there ina year or so and asking for you advice!) Hope it gets better. And if all else fails – buy stock in wooden spoons! *wink*


  2. Hi, I don’t have any kids yet (or maybe ever if I keep ready your blog – lol) so I don’t have any words of wisdom for you except that I was a kid once and getting shouted at definitely doesn’t scar you for life (or I would be very scarred!) Anyway just wanted to let you know I love your blog, it is so honest, even though my life is very different from yours I find it compelling reading. Keep going and good luck with the new job. Verity x


  3. oh man..what a day. I hope today is much better for you.

    I do think they make plastic jelly jars….I can’t remember where I saw them though.


  4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself that same question!
    Is there anything worse than feeling like you’ve just had your butt handed to you by a 3 year old? Hang in there!


  5. “The kind of day where I yelled way too much and then felt bad for it afterwards. The kind of day where I really question myself and why on earth I ever had kids. Not because I don’t love them, but because I feel like I’m doing a crap job of things.”

    Were you in my head last week? OMG- I thought it was PMS, I just calmed down about it and it doesn’t seem nearly as bad this week.


  6. Sorry you had a rough day! Hopefully today will be better, I know you have a lot going on today, so maybe he got the extra wildness out of his system for a couple of days??? (well, I can dream, right?)
    I get the squeezable jelly, it costs a little more, but as much as Charity likes to “help” it’s so much easier, and comes in a plastic bottle.


  7. We did the same as Beckie, switched to the squeezable jelly in the plastic bottle! Bailey helps way too much at times too.

    I feel for ya, the days where it seems nothing can go right are tough, and I only have one kid. Kiddos to you girl!


  8. “Would I be the most horrible parent in the world if I asked why on earth can’t he just be normal??”

    If you are then you and I can start a cool new clique of horrible parents who ask this question. I’m sure you and I could be the ultra elite club of this new clique since this is something I’ve asked myself on a VERY regular basis. And we can have group therapy sessions together to help restore our self-esteem that was utterly destroyed by our children when they were TODDLERS.

    Or an easier plan would be to make our reservations together at the Betty.

    I know how you feel. The desire to turn over your entire life earnings until the day you die if you could just get inside his head and know what the hell was going on in there.

    I’ve spent years trying to establish a pattern or sleep, foods, stress, bowel movements, the alignment of the moon, blah blah to figure out what causes the change, because it seems to go in spurts of normalcy and then craziness. All I can say is that I’ve wasted a lot of mental energy because there doesn’t seem to be a pattern.

    I just know it isn’t my fault…or yours…we aren’t horrible parents. We’re parents of very different children. At times I feel I am not up to the challenge and just want to check out. But it isn’t an option, is it? Sigh. It doesn’t feel like it will ever get easier with these kids.

    I’m on to a new book that sounds really good. I’ll get more into and let you know if it might have some insight. It’s about how to raise these “different” children. She wrote it specifically for these kids because she raised one and KNOWS regular parenting books do not apply. And she’s a research psychologist, so she’s like qualified and shit.

    Love ya!


  9. Kids have a way of uplifting us to feellike we are the most loved, most amazing people on earth, in the same way, they are able to drain our souls of every living energy it has until we flump on the floorlike a wet noodle.

    Ahhhhh gotta love motherhood!


  10. “Why do I have these two sweet, generally well-behaved kids, and then this one who simply looks at the molds and laughs? Would I be the most horrible parent in the world if I asked why on earth can’t he just be normal??”

    I have one of those, too. Now that he’s almost 7, things are a little easier. Time and maturity will take care of some of that. But not all of it. And I promise a time will come when you are GLAD that he looks at that mold and laughs, because it means he is destined to part from the flock, maybe even do something great with his life.

    You may not buy this part of my comment, but he’s also that way because God (or whatever higher power/energy you ascribe to, if any) is working on the area of YOU that finds dealing with him difficult. Believe me, you’ll both turn out for the better when it’s all said and done.


  11. Oh Sara, I feel you. I have to say, just by reading this that as bad as you feel, you seem to handle things well. Especially the consequences part of things. Alexander is intense, and it makes life intense, which makes my reactions to his intenseness more intense. Not bad reactions, mind you, but sometimes I feel I jump the patience wagon a bit too soon. There are days that I go to bed crying because I feel like I was after him way too much that day. Then he turns around and does the same stuff again and ‘sometimes’ I realize that there was a reason for my reactions to begin with. There was never a truer (is that a word?) saying than “being a parent is the hardest job you’ll ever love”.


  12. Obviously, you’re not alone! Though it feels like it in the moment, I know. I honestly think that 3 is the hardest age I’ve had to deal with so far (my oldest is 6). I don’t care what they say about the terrible twos, the threes can have me pulling my hair out, crying, and feeling frustrated nearly non-stop. (You know, other than the moments that they say the funniest thing and have me laughing. ) My middle is 3.5, my youngest turns two today. On my bad three days, I just think “two more years and we’ll be entirely through the three year old stage!”. And then I just refuse to think about the teenage years. 🙂


  13. Oh Sara…I just caught a glimpse of my future! Even though the boys are so much younger than your kids, I feel the same way more often than I care to mention. Sometimes I wonder if Zander is just being a normal 2 year old when he “plays” with Logan (by pushing him over, pounding on him, throwing things at his head), or if I did/didn’t do something in his first 18 months that made him act like this. What is he going to be like in a couple of years…will he grow out of it, or am I raising a little monster????

    Don’t feel guilty about feeling that…it happens to the best of us. I think that’s what makes the good days SO good.


  14. A friend of mine said she was going to the Dr. because she is afraid she is suffereing from PostPardum Depression. It seems that she was yelling at her 3 year old and the little three year old started crying saying “I want my daddy!” My friend thought this was an awful interpretation to the horrible job she was doing as a mother and has decided that she is depressed-clinically.
    I wanted to smack her up side the head. My children ALWAYS cry for their father–it is a way of life! Her three year old has just discovered how to make mommy THINK she is going crazy.
    I tell you-when you have children it is all about survival… if you do not do all you can to survive, they will end up eating you alive!
    No worries-it is nothing a happy meal cannot fix I promise!


  15. “Would I be the most horrible parent in the world if I asked why on earth can’t he just be normal??”

    Oh, to count the number of times I’ve asked myself that question in my head and then felt guilty about it. Being a mom is HARD; being a mom of these quirky kids is beyond HARD. I’m not even sure if there is a word to describe it.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day.


  16. Ugh. I have not much to add to what your other wise commenters said, except “been there, done that…” except I have an only child. But there are days, esp when she was younger, when I wanted to kill her and/or myself. Those days seem to be returning as she approaches teenagerness, too…


  17. Sara, we all have those days… and those kids, too. Okay, maybe not all of us have those kids, but I sure do. Four kids that either wreck each other, or any room that they happen to be in… four kids that rarely listen, but each, in their own way, beautiful and lovable. I can’t even count the number of nights we’ve gone to bed, bemoaning how awful we are as parents, and that it’s totally our fault that our children are demon spawn.

    But a lot of children are like that. It’s a rare thing for a parent to have a perfectly behaved child.

    Sorry you had such a rotten day! Sending good vibes your way…


  18. I don’t know why they call them terrible twos. 3 has been much more challenging for us. Shake it off. Tomorrow will be better. And they do sell plastic jelly jars. We own strawberry Welch’s.


  19. Well I don’t know what to say about it…but only one thing I can say they are kids…time will take care about everything…every parent had gone through what you did…so you are not alone…

    It is a great experience in your life to have children. It is something that you need to ensure that you are ready for. You will have to be ready to take on the challenges of all that you need to do and so much more.

    You will want to make sure that you are doing the things that you need so that you are raising great children and also making time for yourself. You can learn a lot from your children and you will first want to pay attention to what you can learn from them. You will be able to discover several new and creative things.

    I love your blog…when I read your blog, can feel the picture…you are a good writer keep the good work going on….


  20. So sorry…I giggled a little only because the tackling is so familiar. One day I was trying to get my 5 year old Ben to fall asleep or at least calm down by driving him around in the mini-van. I was so at the end of my rope and I yelled “Ben…Why can’t you just be……easy?” and he said “I can’t mommy, God didn’t make me that way, he made me the other way.” I had nothin’ to say at that point. I mean I asked right?

    uggh, I hate THOSE days!


  21. Man, have I been there, done that. My newly 4 yr old is the source of my own insane asylum-worthy thoughts, and the complete assurance that I’ve screwed my children up for life just by having them LOL

    I’m new to your blog, but glad to meet ya, and see another mom who isn’t afraid to acknowledge those feelings that these beautiful beings bring out in us!


  22. I call the version of myself I end up regretting….”Ugly Mom.” It’s the mom I never wanted to be, the version of my own parents that still occasionally frightens me when I think back, and it’s the mom that’s hard to keep under control on the really really hard days.

    I hear ya. Can’t make it better or easier, but hell yeah, I hear ya.


  23. Thanks for participating in the Carnival of Family Life this week. Your post is a great contribution to the Carnival! I admire your honesty and can only empathize by saying: 1) Been there; 2) Done that; 3) Have the guilt to prove it; and 4) Yes, they do make plastic jelly jars. Squeezable. Grape. Probably Welch’s. I think they have strawberry, too. Only kind we buy even with a 20 and 15 year old, esp. since the little one is a piggie just like his 56 year old father. 🙂


  24. It’s not incompetance dear, it’s reality. It’s part of the expeirence that parenting is. No matter how you slice it we’re still human and we’re going to have good days and bad ones, good reactions and bad ones. Here’s hoping you soon have the opposite day to balance things out.

    Here via the Carnival of Family Life 🙂


  25. I am new to this site. But felt terrible today after a “no good horrible, very bad day” with my 2 year old. Your site made me laugh and also not feel so alone. My husband works alot, is gone on business alot and we just moved. My toddler was a year younger when it all changed, she adapted fine, I am the one still dealing with all the changes. Anyway, my point is that I feel like a horrible parent for even yelling at my kiddo-but some days after telling her not to do something 500 times I lose it. I generally keep it cool and just do a small time out ofr her and myself, but I feel like today I was going to explode. She is a strong willed person, and we love her for that, but some days I wish she just listened to me and that was that. Some days she does and is sweet as punch, bt most the time I feel like she is telling ME what to do and I feel like a strung out depressed fool chasing after this little person. Ugh….thank you for your site, it gives me hope.


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