It’s funny. When I put the words “mommy” and “guilt” into my blog my hits went WAY up. I suspect there are many of us that feel compelled to read about mommy guilt when we’re in the self flagellation mode. In that particular category let me share with you my own nomination write up for “Mommy of the Year”. In a previous life I worked for an organization that was pretty male dominated. Because things could get rough on occasion, our language was a bit, mmmmm, “salty”. When I transitioned to apron strings and PTO roles I had clean up my act. Sometimes I slipped up. This is a story of one such slip up.
Not too long ago, my husband was out of town for about three weeks while I stayed home taking care of our life (that’s really what we do isn’t it?). We decided, for some insane reason, to get our sons their first puppies just before he left. Steve seemed to think we needed two for the four boys and I, through my post-Christmas depression, had dewy visions of little boys romping around the house with their new “buddies”. The problem was that the “buddies” were not housebroken and needed to be carried outside every three flipping hours. Not so bad during the day but at nighttime I was quite the sight. My dewy visions certainly did not include me standing in the middle of our yard in January/February at midnight, three in the morning, and six in the morning with the winter wind whipping around my legs and up my nightgown. After three weeks of this, my fun meter was pegged. One morning, the boys were pretty grumpy and wouldn’t get ready to head out the door as I’d asked repeatedly. I was sitting at the breakfast table, eating my bowl of bran rope with Splenda using my best mommy techniques to encourage, motivate, persuade, lovingly lead…blah, blah, blah. Just as I was taking a bite of rope, the boys came “romping” through the house followed by their “buddies” and said “buddies” exploded with some brown, foul, spew from their bottoms. I mean all over the brand new rugs and floor in my kitchen just spraying this stuff like those fire hydrants they bleed on the street. THAT WAS IT. All of my primeval instincts flared in milliseconds and momma became INSTA-PISSED. (If you’re not familiar with that particular parenting term, I think it is right next to inspiration in the parenting books.) “Get your BLANKITY-BLANK coats on and get to the BLANKETY BLANK bus stop”. I screamed at the tops of my lungs with my eyes bulging and my neck vein popping out.
Have you ever stepped on a pile of ants? You know how they are immediately confused and start running in all sorts of directions to escape whatever it was that hit them. THAT was the boys. Shoes and socks were flying and little feet were running to find coats and hats. I recognized I’d lost control and walked outside to breathe. As the boys came down the steps of the porch, I gathered them up and in my most remorseful and loving voice I said “now boys, mommy used a lot of bad words just now. Bad words that mommies should NEVER use and words that should NEVER be repeated anywhere when talking about mommy, ESPECIALLY NOT AT SCHOOL”. “Okay?” I said, gazing gently into their eyes. “Yes mommy” the voices chorused. The big yellow bus came and went, children were dropped at preschool and oh, about 90 minutes after I got home I received an email from a parent volunteer of my first grader. Seems the counselor had come into class that morning to discuss with the children how sometimes mommies and daddies get angry and may lose their tempers. “I KNOW”, said my 7 year old with his hand flying up in the air, “My mommy told us to get her blankety blank coats on this morning and get to the blanket blank bus stop”.
All I could do was thank my stars that most of the folks at the school know me, know my relative parenting abilities and laughed it off like my friend did. I sure hope Sammy got extra credit for class participation that day.
Have a brilliant day!