“Must be nice not worrying about a damn thing at home while you’re at work, huh?” I uttered these exact words to my poor husband over the phone.
“THEN SAY SORRY! GOSH!!! THAT HURT SO BAD!!!” I yelled at my daughter when she pulled several of my hair out accidentally.
“SHHH!!! JUST WAIT! DO YOU SEE ME JUST SITTING HERE DOING NOTHING OR AM I SUPER BUSY DOING A MILLION THINGS RIGHT NOW? STOP THINKING ABOUT JUST YOURSELF, LIFE ISN’T ALL ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME!!!” I yelled at my 4 yr. old when he kept saying, “Mom, get me some pretzels. Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!” while I was backing out of the parking lot & answering two questions simultaneously from both of his sisters.
This all happened within 2 hrs. while driving 45 mins. to and from each way to my kid’s braces appointment yesterday. #winning! The car goes silent and I know I killed the whole mood and these are my thought/emotion process:
Annoyed. Flustered. Mad. Angry. Explosive. I yell. SO annoyed at the kids. ‘I can’t wait until they’re older. Wait, yes I can. I know these are the golden years, I take it back.” I know this and I should cherish this time but still so frustrated. Immense guilt. So so guilty that I yelled. So disappointed in myself for yelling. Super angry at myself that I yelled and lost it. ‘Why can’t I be a better person? More patient?’ Sadness. Feeling like a failure. I suck. Beating myself down. Then anger at motherhood. I hate being a mom. Being a mom is so freakin’ hard. Mad that motherhood brings out the worst in me. So weary and tired of feeling this cycle over and over of anger, frustration, disappointment in myself, guilt. More guilt. Regret. Frustrated.
Then I have a thought come to my head, “When the kids annoy you & make you so angry, they are actually gifting you the greatest gift. Every time the kids annoy us, tests our patience, they’re gifting us the chance to grow and be better than you were moments before you got annoyed/angry. No other job is as annoying, demanding or self sacrificing. No other job stretches you and molds you into a better person. No other job likens to Godhood as parenting. That’s why it is tirelessly SO difficult, challenging and self-reflecting. So relentlessly annoying too, constantly reminding you of your weaknesses. So that you know where to improve. So it’s not the kids that you’re truly annoyed at, it’s your weaknesses that you’re annoyed with. This is the purpose of motherhood, so it humbles you and makes you determined to improve and be better. Because you love your kids with all your heart, your whole existence and beyond, that nothing or no one else will motivate you to change as much as your kids. Changing so that you will be a better parent for your kids and therefore a better human being.
I feel peace. Gratitude. No more guilt. or annoyance. or frustration.
I tell my daughter sorry for yelling and reach for her and she instantly buoys her leg up so I can hold it(I used to grab their ankle and squeeze it lovingly while driving when they were little because that’s the only part I could reach and it still carries on).
The mood instantly changes to happy and the kids start talking again as if nothing happened.
When we park, I tell her, “Ana, I’m sorry I yelled at you. It’s never you, it’s always me. I was tired and I had a headache and my hair getting pulled out made my headache worse. So whenever I get mad at you, know that it’s because I need to work on my weaknesses, it’s never you or your fault. It’s always my fault.”
She smiles and squeezes me super tight and we kiss several times.
I love being a mother. Nothing frustrates me more and yes, at times I hate being a mother. But those times are minuscule compared to the times I absolutely love being a mother and I know I’m a part of something much bigger than myself. A part of something way more grand, sacred and holy than I realize. And like opposition in all things, it’s okay to be annoyed, frustrated, angry, or hate being a mother, it’s okay! It’s normal! Because in order to feel the beauty of motherhood, I need to feel the ugly of it too.