I'm a Werewolf Mom.

Whoever said that patience is a virtue had to have been a mother. By far, the most difficult thing about parenting, for me, is managing to keep myself from snapping, screaming, and yelling at my children on a daily basis. I tend to do a decent job of it during the day. For example, when my son throws a fit because I used the orange crayon to draw a Power Ranger mask instead of the red crayon, I somehow manage to refrain from screaming at the top of my lungs what I am thinking, which is, Who f***ing cares what color the G*d**m mask is, this is the five thousandth one I’ve drawn this week. Or, when my daughter refuses to get in the car because she can’t find her favorite sunglasses, even though we’re twenty minutes late for where we’re supposed to be, and even though I have brought along two other pairs of sunglasses for her to choose from, I don’t snap at her to get in the car before I take your sunglasses and smash them into a million little pieces. Instead, I calmly tell her that I will help her find her glasses later and that if she doesn’t get in the car now, I will have no choice but to leave her at home. And then I close my eyes, and I exhale deeply.

 

But I must be part Werewolf or something, because by nightfall, all signs of the zen, calm, exhaling mommy have vanished, and in her place is a crazed, screaming, lunatic mommy who flies off the handle at the first sign of a bedtime stall tactic. Davis doesn’t like the sippy cup I put his water in and wants me to get him a different one? I. DON’T. CARE. Harper’s upset because I won’t read another chapter of her book? I. HAVE. HAD. ENOUGH.

 

I don’t intend to lose it, of course. Most days, in fact, I wake up promising myself that today, I am not going to lose it. After all, they’re little, and I’m their mommy, and I don’t want them to feel that I’m unpredictable, or that bedtime is stressful for them. But by the end of the day, after twelve hours of whining and tantrums, when I’m this close to having an hour or two to myself, well…I just lose it. It’s kind of like being on a diet, I think. You start off in the morning resolved to be good; no carbs, lots of protein and fresh veggies, nothing junky. And from the time you wake up until around dinner, you stick to it. But then bedtime rolls around, and you’re starving, and the next thing you know, you’re in the kitchen, scarfing down an entire bag of goldfish crackers and three bowls of cereal, and suddenly, you’ve got a major case of the guilties.

 

dpare23
08.06.08

Risa, I swear you and I run parallel lives. I can't tell you how much your column puts into print all the emotions and worries that go through my head, whether its balancing lives to still get the most with my kids or whether it's questioning my ambitions or whether I lose my cool more than anyone. They say you get "eaters" or "sleepers" and it looks like you and I got neither. Bedtime is my challenge because I'm exhausted too and I would like to keep playing with them if sleep weren't an issue for either of us.

poobear329
08.05.08

Between 5-7pm, every night we begin the witching hours at my house. I am exhausted and everyone, including the dog and cat, want something from me...usually food, but often attention. And I just don't have it anymore! I "talk" louder and tend to lose my patients at every turn... I've asked around and it happens to all of us...

isa
08.05.08

There's a daycare in my office's building. I remember when I was pregnant with my first child that I used to look at the werewolvian parents that snapped at their kids thinking "How can you treat a child like that? I'm so much better than that..." Fast forward 3 years, add a new house, new office responsibilities, a terrible-two-year old and a high need baby and here I am. With everybody else. Feeling guilty.