An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Featured community question with accompanying oopsie

Today’s featured community question comes from user mommasj:

And the reason I chose this one was because it perfectly coincides with the most recent Momversation I participated in where we talk about our worst parenting moments:

I got a little talky in the video I submitted (MUST BE ALL THIS TIME I SPEND WITH JON, see: the first long car drive we ever took together, after about thirty minutes I had to turn to him and go, you do realize that you haven’t stopped talking since we got in the car? And he was all, you do realize that THIS is what you’re getting yourself into?), so that’s why they had to do so many cuts when it gets to my part. Because my video looked like this paragraph.

And one of the points I wanted to get across that didn’t make it into the final edit was that while Jon and I have our moments, our at the end of the rope and ready to hang ourselves with it moments when the only thing preventing us from punching our fist through a window is the copay it would cost us to fix the wound, we aren’t physical at all when it comes to disciplining our children. We don’t spank or jerk or shake. We will get into Leta’s face and speak very loudly when the occasion calls for it, but even then, those moments have become much less frequent as she has gotten older, and the last time I did it was WHEN SHE ATE MY LAST WAFFLE FRY.

So when I say in the video that she winced while going, “Don’t harm me!” it struck me that this has got to be a built-in reflex, right? The wincing? Because we have never raised a hand to harm her in any way. Is it something residual from when we lived among lions? We’d see them and run? Did humans ever live among lions? Or was that just on Noah’s Ark?

Point is, oh dear Moses yes, we have all done something to or in front of our kids and then been totally ashamed. It’s called being human. And if you’re exempt from this then I’d like to see your battery pack or the cord you use to plug yourself into the wall.

  • Minjenah

    When my sister was two years old and me five, my father was assigned the task of watching us while my mother went to the doctor. We were outside gardening.

    My father is a smart man who has multiple engineering degrees. This alone is impressive but the fact that he received them in a language other than his mother tongue is astonishing. Could you learn electromagnetism in Swahili?

    My sister and I were being inquisitive children, digging in things and wandering around.

    I do not recall the exact instance that caused such anger but finally my father had had it with my sister and stuck her head into a large bucket of water and let her scream underwater until she was blue. Afterwards, she sat on the overturned bucket quietly until we were ready to leave.

    So anytime I get frustrated with my kid, I remind myself that I have to tried to drown her so it is okay.

    And I do yell at my kid. But it is not every day or even every other day. I am doing the best I can with what I have. If that is not good enough, than so be it. But really, it is better than most.

  • Atticus325

    My worst parenting moment happened about two weeks ago when I told my nearly two year old to shut the hell up. He is getting his two year molars and has begun testing boundries with wild abandon. He had been screeching at me for about 2 hours to pick him up, while I was trying to you know, feed him change his diaper, pee alone. Finally I couldn’t take the screeching anymore and I picked him up and looked at him and said shut up, please for the love of god shut up. Not my proudest moment, but at least I didn’t scream it 🙂 I think we all have moments and those moments are what makes us real.

  • melizerd

    I think what’s important is that we teach our children that people get upset and that EVERYONE makes mistakes. It’s important to teach them to apologize for their mistakes too. I’ve often apologized to my 3 year old son for losing it. It happens. I’ve yelled and I’ve even spanked and I’ve apologized for it because it’s NOT okay to be mean.

    I love the comment about that’s why they send us out in teams. My husband and I definitely agree. Sometimes you just need to tell your spouse you need to take over NOW because I’m losing it.

  • chicgeek75

    I am always amazed at any parent who can manage the frustrations as well as rewards of their role. I’m not a mom, unless you count my two dogs. When I react to them in frustration or anger (I do not hit them), I can’t help but think, “It’s a good thing I don’t have kids.” And, it’s not that I don’t like kids or wouldn’t like them in my life; it’s more that I wonder… where does the strength come from? I know I’d have many, many moments of outbursts or overreactions, and in a way I fear what the result might be on my kid(s). No, it’s not a direct comparison, I know. But, the feeling is there still, and thus I wonder, and am as I said amazed, at all you parents who do survive and manage to raise wonderful kids, regardless.


    Bossy believes in the reflex theory because the same thing has happened with DOGS Bossy has owned. Dogs she has raised from 7 weeks up. Either that or it’s the sword Bossy tucks into her skinny jeans.

  • ohyouandi

    Yes, I have said/done things to my son that I 300% regret. And after I’m done being mean to him, he looks at me and hugs me and tells me how much he loves me. Talk about feeling like the biggest piece of shit in the world….

  • Robin G.

    One time I was on the phone in some sort of bureaucratic hassle (trying to get ahold of the right insurance person, I think), and my temper was steadily rising and rising and rising. There’s nothing that makes me want to throw things across the room quite like bureaucracy.

    Anyway, The Gambit came up to me — he was only nine or ten months old — and was poking me in the leg and smiling. I yelled at him, “Leave me ALONE!” And let me tell you, I heard my father’s voice come out of my mouth, the one that scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, the one I still have nightmares about. And The Gambit’s face crumpled and he started to cry.

    Luckily, my husband was there, so he was able to bounce The Gambit and cheer him up while I ran into the other room to sob into the pillows for an hour.

  • hands that heal

    Posts like these are the reasons why I keep coming back to your website, and I feel like they must really help your readers who are parents as well. The look on your face when you quoted Leta in the video.. “don’t harm me!” You are laughing now, but I’m sure that was not your initial reaction. Well, I can so relate to the guilt I can imagine that you, like so many of us (myself included), heap upon our own heads after we lose our temper with our children. There are a few incidents that stand out for me.. like Daphne I plopped my 2 year old son down in his crib one time. Soft landing, yes, but the way I handled him is not something I hope to ever do again. He covered his little face in his hands and hid from my anger. It truly makes you feel like a failure to see a reaction like that.

    My almost five year old daughter, however, is the ultimate test of my patience. I suspect that at some point we will have some “official” diagnosis. She seems to lean toward sensory integration disorder types of behavior. She is incredibly bright and sensitive. Every day for preschool we have to change clothes at least a few times because some seem is bothering her, or the hem of the sleeve is not touching her rist JUST RIGHT. Don’t get me started on socks and shoes. She doesn’t just complain, she loses her mind if something is slightly uncomfortable, or out of place. I have cut every tag off of every imaginable article of clothing, blanket, stuffed animal, etc. It exhausts me and the constant power struggle makes my own need to be in control spin and twitch. One time I screamed, and I mean screamed at her, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?”, very close to her face. I heard my own mother’s abusive voice coming from my mouth. It was my worst day as a mother. I’ll never forget how hurt she looked in that moment.

    We move on from these bad days because we have to, and our children need us to move on for them too. We’re all trying to do better everyday in small or big ways.

    Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your oopsies and allowing us to do the same!

  • leeloo11400

    I have an 8 year old daughter, 3 year old son, and a 4 month old son….and I have said battery pack. They’re dead though and my husband forgot to pick some new batteries up at the store. LOL!!

    In all seriousness, my 3 year old is a little button pusher and there are times when I am so overwhelmed I can’t even breathe. That just usually means it is nap/bed time for someone.

  • lumbergrl

    I really don’t yell at my two year-old, and I certainly don’t hit her, but I do something that might be worse. I cry in front of her. When I do she walks up and pats me and says “Are you OK?” over and over, and I feel awful. I don’t think you should have to hide being upset, but can they really understand frustration?

  • Pagooey

    I’m outing my own poor mother here…is it okay if I also date myself by admitting this was more than 30 years ago?

    Late 70s. A roller-skate rental shop had opened up near a local park with a nearly 3-mile running/biking/skating path a lake. I was about 8 and I had whined and begged for months for mom to take me skating around that frigging lake before she finally acquiesced.

    Oh, my god, we fell. We fell and fell and fell and nearly ripped each other’s arms off trying to hold each other up. We rolled through dogshit on the trail. We were already bloodied and bruised when by some miracle I got out ahead of Mom and then went down for the nth time and decided I’d had enough. I was a passive tantrummer: I didn’t scream and cry, I just went limp. So I was lying there on the pavement, gazing up at the trees and the blue summer skies when my mother finally rolled/staggered into view and lost her mind completely, a la:

    “Get up. GET UP! You are going to GET UP and you are going to SKATE the rest of the way around this GODDAMNED lake we have ELEVEN MINUTES to get back to the rental shop before I have to pay for ANOTHER HOUR and YOU ARE GETTING UP OFF YOUR ASS and don’t you EVER ask me to take you skating EVER EVER AGAIN so help me GOD…”

    Meanwhile she’d collected a crowd, all of whom, I’m sure, were thinking look at this horrible, horrible woman screaming at her poor little child who has fallen down! what a monster!

    We can laugh about it now, and still do. Though no, we did not ever roller-skate around the lake again, three decades on.

  • dervishmama

    Thank god I logged in here because I just totally lost it with my two year old son and the cute little kitten who was jumping around us. Both are napping now and will no doubt forgive me completely my little outbursts but right now I am feeling awful and guilty for pulling such a trip on someone who really cant reason very well and has trouble making decisions and is …well.. two and a half. admittedly it is that time of the month if I may throw that excuse around .I can also blame it on the Barney Theme sing, the amount of time it took to get ready , only to NOT leave the house and the fact that theres nothing to wear in my closet that isn’t stretched out and pilly. so thank you for providing me with this forum and giving me some perspective on my dark side and the mean mean mama within. I feel just a little bit better and not so alone.

  • apostate

    I often remind my children how 60 years ago, their bad behavior would have been met by a good hard thump. And it wouldn’t be followed by gasps by other parents at “The Walmart”.

    My husband is one of those “Mercy! I don’t ‘hit’ my children” types. So spanking is completely forbidden. Lucky for the kids I guess.

    My parents didn’t spank on a regular basis, but they didn’t exactly take it off the table either. I think that knowing it was a possibility kept my little ass in line growning up.

    My kids get to sit on a stool.

    Sometimes I long for 60 years ago.

  • MN Sukie

    My worst moment was with my oldest. He didn’t sleep through the night or even go to bed without screaming for three hours until he was almost 3 1/2 years old. Nothing worked to get him to sleep or to even lie down and stay down the whole night. I remember listening to him cry for two hours after working all day and walking to the stairs and shouting at the top of my lungs “SHUT UP and GO TO BED!” He cried louder. I have yet to get over that.

    My husband and I are yellers (came from non-yelling families) and our kids are polite and well mannered but I am convinced when they are teenagers this will all come back to bite me in the butt.

  • Prin

    I don’t have any children myself, but just have to share the story that I was also one of those children accidently locked in the car when I was a baby. I don’t remember it myself, but my mom had taken me to the mall, where my dad worked at the time and accidently locked the car before getting me out of my car seat. This was back before the time of cell phones and she didn’t know what to do, whether to run into the JCPenney to get someone to help or just wait. Luckily mall security came by and helped her free me.

  • mburtis

    In my experience, after I’ve lost my shit in front of my kids, I’ve learned that the single most important thing is to say “I’m sorry.” It’s unrealistic for me to expect myself to be perfect. And it’s not doing my kids any good if I beat myself up over not being perfect. But it *is* my responsibility to own up to my mistakes and model for them how to take responsibility.

  • onebeach

    I had a panic attack when I started boxing up my youngest baby clothes years ago. HE is now 21 and nobody was around to talk me out of it.that’s why he doesn’t live here anymore.No support what so ever. And Aunt Flo decided to visit me last month when I went in for a brain tumor surgery. great timing.

  • Mama2Boys

    I just read comment 28 from mommasj and I just want to give her a big HUG (( )) and tell her that she is not alone in losing her cool. Yes. Even. Daily. Sounds like you are a yeller (like me) and the fact that you have a 2 month old infant AND a 4 year old AND are on your own must be incredibly challenging. Please don’t beat yourself up. I hope you have some family or friends that you can lean on. I can’t imagine how difficult and stressful it must be with your husband so far away. I sincerely thank you and your husband so much for sacrificing for our country.

  • Lilypad123

    I can. not believe. I was just forced to watch a clip from Shakira. Can not believe it.

  • Vinnies Mama

    I tried to write a comment on your previous post about possibly getting your first period, but it must be closed because this convenient box would not appear on that post. My question to you, which you probably won’t have the time to answer, is (if you don’t mind me asking, but since you share most of your personal life on your blog I figured I wasn’t being too rude), why was Marlo receiving two bottles a day? And since you said your milk supply was going down, I’m assuming those two bottles are formula and not pumped breastmilk. I’m not trying to be judgemental, but if you are a stay at home mom with an adequate milk supply, why did she receive the bottles in the first place? Was it your intention to wean her off your breast so soon? And if so, why?

    And in regards to the period thing: Consider yourself extremely lucky that you haven’t had a period yet. I got my period two months after I had Vincent and I exclusively breastfed him for 15 months.

  • Vinnies Mama

    And I wish I had the time and energy to write all the things I’ve been ashamed about during my sons 20 months of life so far. I have major anger problems that constantly disappoint me. I love my son more than anything in this world, but he can push my buttons. He is getting to that age where he purposely does things, like throw his food off his hairchair tray, WHILE LOOKING ME IN THE EYE! I know it’s natural for them to test, test, test and that is how they learn. But when you’re a stay at home mom and your dealing with it 24/7 it gets VERY annoying. I can see myself being more patient if I only saw my son for 2 hours a day, but from 5:00am to 6:30pm, I’m bound to lose my cool on a daily basis!

  • Sugar Mama

    Heather, Your story on the video really hit me in an emotional way. My children are older, but I’m still young and learning. I have had SEVERAL of these moments.

    Moments where my oldest son has looked at me like “i hate you so much, you are an awful mother” because I was losing it in front of him

    Moments where my middle son has stared at me in such a blank state that I knew he was trying to tune out my screaming.

    Moments where my daughter has gone to my husband instead of me because I was having some very moody episodes that day.

    And the thing that REALLY sucks about all of this is that our worst critics are OTHER MOTHERS! We cann be so hard on one another instead of supporting one another.

    My worst of worst moment…. Is when I yelled “Shut the F*@k up!” to my children. I went to bed crying that night and felt like the crappiest mother ever.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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