So you think you’re a bad parent?

* I yell at my kids; sometimes I swear at them.
* I pretend I have a surprise so when they come to me, I grab them and make them get their boots on.
* I let them munch on snacks because I am so exhausted that I can’t make food.
* I lose my shit and yell.
* I hide (with them in sight) when my kids think it’s funny to run around the store and laugh when they start freaking out when they can’t find me.
*I give them the iPods and tell them to go in their rooms so I can watch just one show (90 Day Fiancé)
* I keep my kid home from school on days it’s too cold and I don’t want to go outside….twice.
* I buckled my kid in his car seat but forgot to fasten it to the actual car.
* I have told my kids to shut up.
* I let my kid scream on the Walmart floor.
* I say it’s 10:00 when it’s actually 7:00 so they sleep just to get a few hours of quiet time.
* I “worked from the coffee shop” so the babysitter would come on my holidays because a week straight with kids and no break will break me. But * I didn’t work at all.
* I wished I had a boyfriend so I could have someone help me when I took the kids to the Zoo.
* I have forgotten, multiple times, if I left the kids at home by themselves or if I waited until the sitter came. Turns out each time I did wait.
* I have closed my bedroom door while my kid was yelling at me and I was talking on the phone.
* I pretend I am sleeping so my kids think they need to sleep. When they do, * I get up and have a glass of wine.
* I put them in classes not to just have an experience and learn but so I get an extra hour of quietness.
* I smile a huge smile when I finally get the kids into bed but feel my heart filled with so much love.
* I am impatient with my kids, probably too often.
* I throw my kids toys in the garbage when they visit their dad.
* I tell the kids that the swimming pool at the YMCA is broken even though it’s not because I just want to go home and relax!
* I am exhausted and I blame it on my kids schedule.

Shall I keep going?

I don’t pretend to have it all together because I don’t have it all together. In fact, I am not afraid to show people that having kids isn’t all fun and games; sometimes it is it’s own little hell…sometimes.

I show my anger and frustration in the malls and grocery stores and when someone looks at me like I’m a bad Mom, I stare right back with the,

‘You want some of this? No, no you don’t so you can f*^$ right off’ look.

Parent’s can go through some hell raising kids. I’d probably say more parents than not, especially the single ones. We have to remember that parents are human beings, we have feelings, emotions, tempers and patience just like everyone else but the difference is that we are tested with everything we have, almost every single day. Our patience is worn thin and we can snap at any moment; it doesn’t matter who is around or where we are. Sometimes you can control it but most times yelling at them is the last option you have before you find yourself backhanding them. No, I have never done that but here have been a few times I felt like I have wanted to.

Generally I like to live a peaceful and loving life – because of this, I teach my kids well but also teach them that when you do stupid shit, there are consequences…like me eating all your trick-or-treat candies. That’s enough to snap them out of being knob heads. I am a spiritual person who understands on a deeper level what we as humans are here to do but I also understand that we are spirit having a human experience and with that comes all the feelings and emotions that are hard to control when you are put into situations with children that test your patience.

We are not here to be perfect, we are here to make mistakes and learn by them; to grow. With parenting, it’s like a 20 year (if you’re lucky) school year for patience. As a single parent (or those who have a significant other who is never really around to help parent much), this makes everything harder. We have no one to help us when we just need to walk out for 30 minutes unless we want to pay a babysitter $20. Seriously, it’s like nothing is free anymore…not even a walk! This is why I do some of the stuff I mentioned above – mostly because I can’t afford to pay a babysitter for a small break. Since you can’t just tell your significant other to watch the kids for 30 minutes while you have a breather – you just have to breathe through it…or lock yourself in the bathroom for a while, cry or breathe…or down some wine and hope they don’t make a mess.

We do all sorts of things that we feel bad about when it comes to raising or discipline kids but it’s what comes with parenting. We do some of those things as a way to cope with all of the emotions we are feeling at that point in time. So long as you aren’t abusing the children in any way, there should be nothing you should be ashamed of. Parents need to keep sane for ourselves, our children and those around us so if you have to lock yourself in a closet for 10 minutes to cry and or get some peace, do it. If you keep everything pent up inside, you are bound to burst and who knows how that could come out or who it could come out on.

There is no need to make others feel like you’ve got it all figured out and under control because every parent knows that no parent has it all under control. We (almost) all have our moments of wanting to just let your language flow freely through your voice box at a level much louder than it needs to be at or that we want and we probably don’t need to but the thing is, sometimes it just happens. Put all the stressors in life and top it off with kids that are running ramped and won’t listen to you – it’s a recipe for disaster, or for you collapsing on the floor crying for God to make it all stop.

One day my kids were running around playing with each other, laughing and screaming all while I was preparing to get us out the door. In the midst of me trying to write things down, they came into the middle of the kitchen in my way and as much as I tried to allow them to make their noise and have their childish fun, it became too much and I screamed,

“SHUUUUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUP!!!”

My son didn’t flinch but my daughter looked at me with this look that I will never forget.

I felt horrible and immediately apologized but explained to her why I said that and that it wasn’t right for me to do. Yes, I still felt horrible for a bit after that but I had to tell myself that I am a human and raising kids can make you feel and do things you never thought you would ever do or feel. Now, when my kids are pissing me off, I use a method which works for the most part, but not always. Believe me, there are still times I will scream in the middle of Walmart, I will throw a toy in the garbage or out the window if they don’t pick it up, I will take them to the park for way too long because that let’s me relax just sitting there and I’m sure I will tell them to find something to eat in the pantry because I am too exhausted to cook.

The most important part of this all is that we recognize we are human and this is part of the parenting process. Kids will be kids and do things that frustrate the crap out of us but that’s just what kids do. Don’t beat yourself up and do the best you can; keep your kids happy and safe and remember you’ve got this. If you are feeling that there is room for improvement in the way that you deal with your children, that’s a good thing! Take the steps to make the change. Throughout the struggles, find out what works and doesn’t and go from there; it can only get easier….even if it does take 20 years! 😀

For me, I believe that even though I have my moments in being a bitchy parent and feel like at times I am failing at times and in parts of parenting, I know my children will grow up to be the best I can get them to be. They will grow up knowing what is right from wrong, they will be respectful and caring, have compassion and will help make this world a better place. And if they don’t, I don’t care at what are they are at…I’ll be there to keep them on track, yelling in the middle of Walmart, in front of their friends or in the comfort of my new home because that is what parents do….within reason people…within reason.

Though sometimes it can be the most stressful thing in the world, I feel lucky to have children and wouldn’t want it any other way…grey hair and all.

Sincerely,
Christine