Some days I am that Momma. The one I never wanted to be.
Days like today.
That Momma who couldn't find her patience if it slapped me in the face. That Momma who wants to laugh but feels too much pressure and in a twisted way feels like laughter might mean I didn't understand the enormity of my responsibility.
That momma who hears herself barking orders and making demands and screaming. Yes, screaming.
And the words start spewing out.
I only wanted him to be quiet. To stop talking to hear what I had to say. I wanted him to stop making an argument for his side, long enough to see mine.
But he wouldn't be quiet. He wouldn't stop talking. He wouldn't trust me that I was the adult. And then I heard it.
Shut your mouth.
and he kept talking.
SHUT UP! just SHUT UP.
Was I screaming this at my child in real life? If there was any doubt, I knew it was true when I saw his face. His eyes gave witness.
And I remembered the feeling.
The frustration boiling up to your eyeballs, the internal volcano waiting to explode but some force holding a lid on it. The internal battle to let it out or to keep it in.
I remembered the desperation to be able to let my feeling flow freely but never daring to do so.
And in that moment I was holding the lid down on his volcano and I knew it.
But I didn't know how to fix it.
So I kept "parenting" and arguing my side. Drilling in to him why it was wrong for him to keep talking. "Because I said so" in that moment was all I had and in my gut I knew it wasn't enough.
And then the days and weeks and months of knowing I am holding the lid on his volcano and not knowing how to teach him to let his feelings, emotions and words erupt- in a respectful way- crashed down on me. And I feel like I'm suffocating. And I'm ashamed.
Because I'm not sure I know how to teach that.
I tell him to go to the "screaming spot" in the garage and let it all out. The one place where he can scream or cry and say whatever he needs to feel better- because I don't have to hear it there. I tell him to go and scream and to throw his fit but he doesn't want to.
I know what he really wants. He wants to be heard. And loved. And to feel safe to know he's loved in the hearing. But I don't know what that looks like yet. And the fear of getting it wrong and the judgement of others weighs heavy.
So in an effort to avoid what I don't have figured out yet, I send them out to play and I go where every momma goes when she needs a minute or 60. I hide in the bathroom. And I hear my self screaming those ugly words that aren't allowed in our house shut up in my head over and over and flash to my teenager who screams it at his brothers and I remember all the times I tell him it's not okay. And I am painfully aware that I have been his teacher.
So I tell my boys I am sorry.
One by one- all three.
Sorry for screaming and using words that I don't allow.
Sorry for setting the example that if you get frustrated enough and only then it's okay.
Sorry for not knowing how to let my boys express their feelings without taking it as a personal attack.
I ask them to forgive me. And with a hug they do, and they tell me it's okay.
And I tell them I will try harder not to be that Momma anymore.
Happy Sunday y'all!
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