the cursing mommy confesses...

I like to see other moms losing it and yelling and getting frustrated with their children. I'm serious. Because everyone pretends not to raise their voices and to have the patience of saints. Because everyone pretends that Nick Jr. is on for educational purposes. Because everyone claims to practice reading, writing and 'rithmetic with their children on a daily basis. Because everyone pretends that arts and crafts are fun. And these same people play the same board games for hours on end and read the same stories over and over and over again. And they don't mind and they don't whine and they even enjoy it.

And I might have been this mom with my firstborn. I was practically perfect. But now, after three, I am perfectly imperfect. And I am perfectly impatient. Perhaps it's because after 10 years the novelty of this parenting stuff has worn off. Perhaps it's because I have more kids than hands. Perhaps it's because I have a hard time managing three kids, their schedules, meals, clothes, activities, sports and play dates.

I yell at my kids. I yell a lot. I yell in the morning when they will not get out of bed, or shower or dressed and they have had 3 dozen rational warnings. I yell when they do not come to breakfast when asked. I yell when they are busy fighting at breakfast time instead of eating. I yell when they won't come to the back door, or when they are standing around doing nothing instead of putting on shoes, coats and backpacks. I yell when, as we've just walked out of the house, someone has forgotten a book, a piece of sports equipment or a gym bag. I yell when it's 8:30 and we are supposed to be at school, not in the house. I yell a lot. Because sometimes gentle reminders don't work. Because sometimes nothing lights a fire under their bums like a good yell. I yell because I have no patience.

I yell when they fight and won't stop. I yell when they won't pick up their clothes or make their beds or put their toys away after I have asked them repeatedly, over and over and over again. I yell when they spill all over the floor or when they trek dirt in the house because they haven't removed their shoes. I yell when they leave lakes of water on my bathroom floor. I yell when they leave dirty socks behind the pillows on the couch. I yell because after a lifetime in my house, my kids can't remember anything. I yell because I am a mom. I yell because I am human.

I used to spend hour after hour reading to my kids. The same books over and over and over again. And I used to play the same games over and over and over again. And 10 years ago I found it all rather boring. And I still do. But I loved arts and crafts. And the kids would make fabulous projects and gorgeous paintings. I didn't mind spending a half an hour getting everything ready for a project that would last 5 minutes. But suddenly I have developed a hatred for paint, glue, glitter, Play Doh and anything else that makes a mess. Perhaps it is because my artist is now 10 and the boys don't get the same enjoyment that she did. Truthfully, instead of seeing potential masterpiece, I see potential mess.

Keeping up with my home... cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, shuttling, caring... has become all consuming. It's boring tedious stuff. I spend so much time doing this that when the kids come home I just want to rest. But I can't. There's still more to be done. But not enough time for play. And that is entirely my fault. I'm afraid Alexander watches too much television. I'm afraid they don't eat enough fruits and vegetables anymore. I'm afraid I've started letting Rebecca go to school in a wrinkled uniform.I'm afraid I am starting to become one of "those" parents.

Somewhere along the line I've lost sight of what's important. I need to start putting in more effort. I'm afraid that I am going to lose my chance. Alexander is now only home 3 afternoons a week. They've been nondescript, run of the mill afternoons. This is it. Next year he'll be in Kindergarten and in school 5 long days a week. And while I am tired and bored of the same old song and dance, this is my chance, my last chance. And I am this close to blowing it. And I cannot fuck it up. I would be so upset with myself. These are the days that we have together. These are the days for our one on one time. There are memories to be made. And we are... I am wasting them away. I was going to send Alexander to lunch bunch on Wednesdays next semester thinking that he would love a third full day. But I have decided not to do so. I have decided that where he really needs to be, is home with me. I have decided that I will hire someone to come and clean and I will spend these final moments with Alexander. And we'll go places and do things together. And yes, I will bring back out the Play Doh and the glitter and the glue... the markers and crayons and scissors. And we'll make a mess and we'll have fun. Because I am losing my last chance. And then there won't be any going back.

I've been so consumed with myself and doing things for me as a person, finding my own passions again. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's important, but I cannot lose sight, as I go about pursuing my interests and passions, of my role as a mother. These two roles are equally important to me. But I have a lifetime ahead of me to pursue my dreams while my time as a mother of a preschooler still fiercely dependent on me is numbered. We can't go back in time. Nor does time stand still. Instead is flies past with incredible speed. Blink and it is gone. While I won't ever promise to stop yelling, I vow to become, once again, that mom I once was... I vow to try to become that (almost) perfect mom again.