Then Mama Blew a Gasket, a Head Gasket


Today is one of those days I’m ashamed of.  It’s the kind of day I wish I could take back and start all over.  It has been filled with words I can’t erase, moments I can’t re-do and hurts I have to fix.  I am pretty sure, that portions of today are the definition of bad parenting, and without a doubt it has been my worst day ever.

If you’re part of our “real life” (you know, the one that consists of actual eye contact, audible conversation & often times sunshine!) then chances are you know that things for us are a little tense.   If not then let’s just say, there are major things happening in our lives and in the lives of our girls that are causing pressures to be fairly high for all 4 of us.  

For the last 2 months I have desperately been trying to handle these things.  Beyond all the chaos that December brings for everyone, I’ve been trying to keep my emotions under control, while also helping the girls understand their feelings & guiding Corey through the insanity that is (3) female emotions! 

It’s been tough, sometimes overwhelming but it’s been OK.  It’s my job, it’s the one I signed up for and I love my family.  Most days I truly try to see it as a privilege to get to do these things with & for my family.  Being a wife, mother, homemaker, friend, tear wiper, tickle fight instigator, etc is who God made me to be and I try to be thankful for these little people.

Today however, I wasn’t.  Today, as horrific as this will sound, I wasn’t thankful, I was angry – at everything.

We all have our moments, where emotions & circumstance cause us to boil over and for one of our children that is right now.  She’s struggling on so many levels  and while we’re trying to help her cope with it, this journey has been & is hard. 

For the most part I have taken the brunt end of her hard because that’s what families are for, what mothers are for.  We are the people who see their worst, we wipe their boogers, clean up their puke, deal with the bums (why are kids so gross?  really SO gross!), dry tears, give cuddles, fight bad dreams & banish monsters.  We are the safe place for them to air their secrets, unload their dirty laundry (literally & metaphorically) and to generally take their “ugly”. 

A mother will do all those things, take all that stuff and in the end when the consequences come and the remorse overwhelms you, she’ll still be there.  She’ll still wipe your tears, still hold you close and still love you deeply because she’s your mother, her soul was made to.

I understand that because my mother does, she’s seen my worst, felt the sting of my words, the pain of my actions, the ugly of my failures and even today, she still loves me.

Today though, when this little person of mine decided to again, out in a really ugly way I lost it.  The grace I’ve been working to give vanished, the composure I’m supposed to show exploded, my blood pressure sky-rocketed and I got angry.  Not frustrated, not upset, full blown, seeing red angry.

The events that transpired leading up to that moment most certainly warranted consequences, because that’s part of my job too.  They didn’t however require my anger.  It only makes things worse ya know, when I get mad.  It fuels her fire, she fuels mine, spark, spark, spark and then all of a sudden…

KABOOOOOOM!!!!!  There goes Mama’s Head gasket and she’s yelling, like she has truly never yelled in her life.  My words weren’t kind, they were sharp, my eyes burned with their tears and it all boiled over.

Then her tears turned from defiance to hurt, mine turned from anger to shame and we broke.

Later, when we had time to calm down I sat with her.  I apologized for my words, my actions and she did too.  We talked about how she’s angry inside too and that this stuff is hard, and today we both didn’t handle that hard very well.

There was forgiveness, and prayers together, cuddles and much better behaviour for the rest of the day but there’s still hurt.  Those moments, those words & those hurts don’t just vanish when someone says “I’m sorry”. 

Some days I’m not sure I’m cut out for this job.  Today, I was afraid, deeply afraid that maybe I really wasn’t meant to be a mother, because a child shouldn’t be able to make you so mad.  Today, not only was my heart broken, but I felt completely & utterly alone and a failure.

And then I realized something.  It hit me so hard that I decided HAD to share my shame with you.

I don’t think I’m alone in this angry Mama thing.  I don’t think I’m the only one who’s had moments she’s ashamed of, said words that make her cringe or has things that fill her with regret.  I just think that Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram have made it easy for us to put a glossy coating on everything.   Most of us do it, maybe not even on purpose but we do, I do.

Today my filter comes off and this is me.  Raw, ugly, broken and with a blown head gasket.

What I realized is the reason they make us so angry is because we were meant to be their mothers.  It’s because we love them to the depths of our soul that we can find the anger there.  It’s because we want the best for them that we fight to find it with our worst.  It’s because they’re created with pieces of us, both our beautiful ones and our ugly ones that they can draw it out in us.

It’s also why we give the kisses, make the apologies, shed the tears and work harder in the morning to do better.  

These two precious girls are my breath & my heart.  They are my reason to live & my reason for secret chocolate chip stashes.

Our road isn’t always picture perfect Mamas but it’s worth the drive.  Just watch them as they sleep, these beautiful creatures are worth the giving of our best & the learning from our worst.

2 thoughts on “Then Mama Blew a Gasket, a Head Gasket

  1. You are not alone… well maybe you are… if only in the fact that if this is the first time you have lost it like that…. well bravo! cause I’ve lost it more than a few time. I actually think it’s an alright thing to have happen.. yes it caused hurt.. but, it also shows them that words from someone they care about can hurt! Cause I don’t think they realize that when they yell at us, “I hate you.. You are the worst mom ever etc” that it hurts. I know they are just angry.. but that’s not the point. Also.. It shows them that you are not perfect. You, have the same anger inside you, BUT you choose not to use it. Also, the fact that you sat down with her, when you were both calm and discussed it and apologized for losing control, shows them that even parents can make mistakes AND own up for them and apologize. Parenting is hard. I don’t think you have anything to be ashamed of.

  2. Having successfully raised 3 (so far, we still have 2 at home) you’re definately not alone.

    I love NO ONE like I love my children.

    No one can hurt me or make me seeing red angry, like my children!

    Youre human, she is too. We all make mistakes, push buttons & speak harshly at times. What’s crucial here, is what happened afterwards. You are teaching your daughter how to deal with issues, how to compose & SAY “i’m sorry’.. you have no idea how important this is in our world.

    Rough parenting times always occur, but I think we forget there’s more to raising our mini me’s then food/fun/and toys. We have to teach them how to make decisions, rationalize, stand by their word, forgiveness, apology… as humans, adult or not, we’ve got our lessons to learn too… children can be amazing teachers and not even know it <3

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