this is a post about losing it

Monday, May 16

Sometimes there are moments. Involving sweat. And being covered in children who are whining and tired and asking five different things from you at the same time. And there are no arms left, no time left and no patience left. And while in the middle of counting backwards from 10, you're not sure, but you THINK you hear your own mother's scarily calm and measured staccato voice, exit YOUR body, and you know the exact sensation that is sinking into the air around your children, which is essentially: shut it down, shut everything down, retreat, retreaaaaaaaat. And then comes that miserable feeling, when in the exact moment you lose your parental cool, you also have a vivid flashback to being the child on the other end of that lost cool, and there's nothing you can do about it. Your human hath prevailed. And it really did it this time. Your tired, and red-faced, tear-stained 4-year-old throws your own words back in your face, yelling, "THAT IS NOT NICE MAMA!! YOU NEED TO SAY SORRY RIGHT NOW!!"
And that is how we ended our trip to the park today.
And the man in the parked car next to us was there for the wholeeeee thing.

I was telling Tyson (who is on a business trip for a couple weeks right now. P.S. thanks love, for this beautiful picture of Vermont to distract us from this story about me yelling at our kids!) about it over FaceTime tonight. And how I didn't realize that anyone was sitting there watching us until AFTER we were all frustrated and red in the face. I happened to look over into his car and met the guy's eyes for a brief second before he quickly looked away, pretending to be engrossed in his phone, and suddenly I was THAT mom caught in THAT moment. Part of me sank right into the ground, while simultaneously deciding if next, I'd like to be smashed under a pile of rocks, a ton of bricks, or a piano falling from the sky. But the other part of me imagined flipping him the bird just to really complete the image for him.

So I was telling Tyson all this tonight, kind of sitting in front of my phone, eating a bowl of cereal and crying about this and other things and being a general joy to talk to. And while we talked, we texted pictures back and forth of our day to each other. I texted him a picture of Everett half sliding off his bed while sound asleep, and of Isla wearing a new sunhat, and he sent me pictures of purple sunsets and old eastern churches that reminded him of our town in Virginia. And it was cathartic. And my guilt was bandaged and soothed and I was suddenly prepped to go back into our room and take on another night without him.

And I don't know what the point of writing all this here is. Other than the fact that all the beautiful pictures on Instagram were annoying me tonight, and made me want to write about how I lost it today. So, cheers.

23 comments:

hip hip said...

I'm right there with you, friend; that gut-wrenching feeling you get after you've lashed out at your children; knowing that you've thrown a tantrum.

And it doesn't help to hear that everybody loses it.

There's nothing else to be said. It sucks. And I get it.

Thank you for being brave; for admitting that it happens. And thank you for remembering that.. it doesn't mean you don't fiercely love your children.

I am with you.

Anonymous said...

Very well written! This posts speaks out of my soul... It's hard when you lose it, because it shows that even mums are human, who thrown a tantrum sometimes (man, i mean, this is really something I learned by becoming mom... My own emotions, my lack of patience).

Thanks for being so honest, it's so good to read... That it's not just me ;-)

alanna dB said...

Everyone loses it sometimes, I think, but it's nice to read about it on a blog. I've been feeling a little annoyed with all the perfectly curated instagram images online lately - sometimes we need a little dose of honesty.

Who is G? said...

Oh man...yep! Been there too. And OF COURSE, there's a person there to witness it all...who doesn't see all the wonderful controlled beautiful mom moments that far outweigh this moment of human-ness. Blah! The way you write about it makes it beautiful in it's own "this is a life lesson" kind of way though. Thanks for sharing it. It was therapeutic to read. Here's to better days and being human :)

EmilyandStephen said...

You are my very (very) favorite writer out there. And I can't even tell you how much I related to every sentence of this post. Down to the being annoyed at every beautiful photo on social media because of going through experiences nearly identical to this one. Thank you for being real, and expressing so beautifully the things we all feel and usually keep inside. Oh, mother guilt is so real it's physically painful at times. But we're also doing so many more things right than wrong! Innumerable little acts of goodness, the sum total of which is much greater than these moments of being "that mom". Thank you for sharing :)

carli said...

I lost it today too :( So I totally feel your pain. Embarrassingly enough it just involved huffing my sweet 17 month old around on my hip (who, to her credit, was being quite pleasant this morning), my achy pregnant body, my rascally irish wolfhound who has the propensity to howl the songs of his people at 6 am to wake the neighbourhood up, a lost set of keys and a frozen, tangled garden hose that weighs about....oooooh....75 lb by my exasperated calculations. Oh dear. Honestly, such trivial things that all piled up on my shoulders at the *worst* possible time and I lost it. On the phone. Bawling my eyes out to the hubby at work. Like you said, it was definitely cathartic and I'm doing better now. But boy, does it ever feel good to hear the stories of fellow mama's who feel the the pressures pile up and *occasionally*, end up hearing an eerily similar voice to our mother's, coming out of our own mouths. Thanks for sharing Sydney :)

Townhouse Towny said...

This made me want to rush to the daycare and hug my daughter and be sweet to her. Except I won't, because she's only there two days a week, and it's the only thing standing between us and anarchy and resentment. She's three. I lose my cool. And never, ever even think to count backwards from ten. I'll try to think of it because of your story, I promise, but I can't promise it will work. Because it won't. Because I'm human. It sucks. I hate how ugly I can be when I'm angry with her, and what's worse is I only get so angry because I'm irritated and disgusted that my generally perfect child is being so ugly. So she's punished for being so good, basically. I don't deserve her, and she deserves a much, much better mother than me. But I'd be horrified to hear you, for instance, say that, and I'd boost you up and tell you you're wonderful and no one is perfect. And I'd be right. So...thanks for this opportunity to marinate all these thoughts that every mother since the dawn of time has had. Except they haven't, because mothers used to fret less than us social media comparing competing touchy-feely 2016 moms :)

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing this very real and very human story! We have all been there!

Also, I was envying your photo, thinking that was the park where you took your children. We are about to embark on a move across the country from Seattle, and I thought to myself, "Gee, I hope we have some picturesque views like that when we get to Vermont." And then... I read where the photo was taken.

So basically, you really connected to this tired and exhausted mama today. Thank you!

Jennifer Woodward said...

I agree with EmilyandStephen. You are one of my favorite writers as well, because of your TRANSPARENCY, your HONESTY, your willingness to be RAW. And ALL us mamas have these moments. And it's a good things to lock arms with each other, empathize, feel each other's pain, and regain a little hope in knowing that we are not alone, and that tomorrow is a new day. So thank you for sharing such a real moment with us. Much love sent your way.

Carey King said...

Honestly I was starting to think I was the only mom who sometimes just can't take another tiny single moan from my kid hahaha, I fed my kid half a packet of mini maries (biscuits) while we were stuck in the car because I didn't feel like listening to any moaning haha. Flip two kids is going to be way harder, thank you for being honest haha makes me feel better.

Jordanecdotes said...

Sydney, I don't know you but feel like we could be good friends. Is that weird? I respect your honesty and this post rings true to me on so many levels. You're a great mom, remember that. :)

Courtney said...

Beautiful instagrams annoy me too sometimes. Rock on, you wonderful mom!

Emma Sears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma Sears said...

My husband goes out of town often for business trips. And he's been doing it for years and I always try to hold it together and be the best parent that I can. But this weekend was a beast, and I reached my limit. The teething one year old, the whiny two year old... And I was just so tired and exhausted. I just feel like sometimes it's hard to just be the invincible mom sometimes. Sometimes you yell at your kids or say things you shouldn't, but it's super great our kids are so forgiving. It just takes a lot of patience to heal our hearts. And thank goodness for FaceTime.

Lifestyle Lodestar said...

The honest, stream of consciousness posts make the blog that much more genuine and a pleasure to read.

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Meghan Schoenleben said...

Thank you for your honesty. You write so beautifuly. This one made me cry. Carry on warrior!

Monica Packer said...

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but this post made me laugh. It made me laugh, because all of this has happened to me on an almost regular occurrence since I had my third child 10 months ago. One day, I'll tell you about a similar time where I let my tantruming 2-year old have it while we were in the parking lot of the hospital (long story), only to afterward discover a doctor watching the whole thing go down. I've had some of the worst mothering moments this year, but some of the best too. It's SUCH a humbling thing, motherhood. I feel you, girl!

Rambling Roads said...

This will forever be my favorite post. Forever.
All the solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I had a very similar moment today. I was feeling so guilty and uncomfortable until I read you post. Thank you for making me feel better! I will start counting down from now on. You are a wonderful mom, Sydney! An inspiration to me and many others :-)

Larissa said...

Nothing more honest about this journey called "Motherhood". As a mom of three and a husband who was active duty military for two of our kids(he retired while pregnant with our 3rd, AMEN!), been there and can 110% relate. Beautiful mess...is the best way to explain raising kids. Beautiful. Thank you for your honesty, from one mama to another.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your honesty, cute:)

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Eli said...

Lovely writing!

Just beautiful!

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Lauren said...

Amen to IG being way too perfect, amen to loosing it and then feeling awful, amen to flipping the bird to people who stare (or at least wanting to), amen to husbands who listen to our emotions, amen to our kids reminding us to be nice, and amen to being good moms because if we weren't our kids wouldn't know how to correct our bad behavior. xo

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