First off, let me say a warm thank you to Emily for allowing me to guest blog at Nap Time Is My Time. I adore this site and am thrilled to be here!
A BAD MOMMY MOMENT…by Jennifer Probst
Before I became a mom, I believe I was a good person. I tried to be a good person. A good friend, wife, student, writer, etc. I was the one who gave freely of my time and money to help others, and I did it mostly because it made me feel good and a part of the human race.
Then I had kids.
Kids suck up a lot of energy, money, and time. Wanting to be the best mom I could, I delved into the experience and regularly strived for balance between being a good mom and not neglecting myself to the point where I was tapped out and therefore, not a good mom. But lately I’ve noticed some of the things I’ve done and I have to say:
I blame it on the kids.
The other day I was in the supermarket. Stressed. Having more in my cart because arguing for 20 minutes in the aisle over what cereal constitutes “healthy” versus a “snack” wasn’t worth it. And of course, now that supermarkets have that damn Redbox thing, my kids spend the entire time begging for DVD’s. “But mommy, it’s only a dollar!”
So, I’m at the checkout, spending a zillion dollars, knowing I have to cart everything into the car, and get it into the refrigerator by myself, and the checkout lady asks, “Maam, would you like to donate $1.00 to help all the starving kids in other countries?”
I look up. And say,
And move on to helping the lady bag my groceries.
Who was this person who did not want to donate a mere dollar to help starving children? I am a mother, with little money and even less time.
This event got me to thinking of some of the other things I’ve done that I swore would never happen in my life.
I now lie. A lot. I lie like a frikkin rug. And I’m not even sorry about it.
I have always been an honest person. Sure, I stretch truth and exaggerate because I’m a writer. I like to make a story more interesting, so I add creative flair. But I have always believed in raising children with honesty. I do not tolerate lying in my house, even though sometimes I can’t help but respect my children’s brilliance at a lie’s fresh twist on the usual, like a tired plot suddenly re-born.
I lie now for survival. When there is a temper tantrum because my child wants to go someplace specific, I tell them it’s closed. I tell them stores are closed, amusement parks, libraries, McDonalds, and even parks when I don’t want to go. I tell them they will sprout superhero powers if they eat anything green. I tell them I am going to a very scary, scary movie when they want to join me in a quick errand instead of staying with their father. My sons dread scary movies so that is the only place I am left with. I tell them “Mommy has absolutely no money.” All the time. And they repeat it outside in public to my humiliation, yelling loudly through the aisle of Target, “Mommy, do you have any money today? Cause you NEVER have money!”
I know the time will come when my lies reach an end. I see it already because my older one knows how to read. I told him last week something was closed, and he pointed to the sign and said, “Mommy, why does that say OPEN?” And then I lied some more and said it was a big mistake and they had forgotten to flip over the sign.
I’ve also become a bully. A bully with no power. I grab at any worthwhile threat in my arsenal. And every book I’ve ever read on parenting has stated to never use a threat unless you are willing to follow through. But I still threaten to throw all their toys away if they don’t clean their room. I threaten we are not going on vacation if they don’t behave, or Santa won’t visit, or they will go to bed with no dinner. Last week my boys had camp, and they loved it. My oldest son was being a tyrant that morning, refusing to do what I wanted him to do, so I said the magic words: “That’s it! You are not going to camp unless you do what I say!”
He turned to me and said, “OK.” Then walked in his room and shut the door.
Stalemate. He only had three days of camp. A day at camp meant I got to write all day and drink coffee and not go into the kitchen for anything else. What did I do? Marched into his room and yelled, “That’s it! You are going to camp and I don’t care what you say!”
Yep. Real interesting message.
What has happened to me?
I’m a mom. A mom clutching at sanity, enjoying her life and kids and striving for a little balance along the way. I sometimes feel like a bad mommy…but my actions don’t necessarily mean I AM a bad mother.
Have you had some bad mommy moments? Have you done anything you swore you’d never do before you had children?
Come share with me!
Thank you, Jennifer, for this wonderful post on parenting! Jennifer Probst joined Aimee Carson, Wendy S. Marcus and Regina Richards to create the blog 4 Bad Mommies. 4 Bad Mommies is a supportive environment for moms to share their own bad mommy moments without fear or judgement. You can visit the 4badmommies blog, follow them on Twitter, and Facebook.