The Dark Side Of Mama

“I must shout less” 
I hear myself say it. The little angel on my shoulder claps with glee. Yes! Shout less she says. You’ll be happier. 

Shouting makes me miserable. Yet  still I do it. I do it all the time. Every time I hear myself shout, I hate myself a little more. 
The shouting isn’t really about how miserable it makes me though. 

It’s about the beautiful little toddler that calls me mama. It’s about the handsome patient and caring man that chose me as his wife. It’s about the teen that asked to come and live with us so she could have a British education. Sometimes it’s even about the poor cat who dares to tell me her food bowl is empty and gets slung outside in return for her gentle meow.  

 

But why? Why do I shout so much? Why does every little thing make me incandescent with rage? 

When I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a scathing temper why must I still shout?

I grew up scared of my mum.

 Petrified of her. Constsntly fearing being shouted at for something. It was easier to sweep up and hide the broken glass and hope she doesn’t notice. To lie and tell her I cut my hand climbing a tree than to admit I cut it on the glass I broke. To be apprehensive about getting in the car after school in case I forgot to put my cup in the sink before I left the house that morning, or to panic about being 2 minutes late walking out of the gates because it was getting dark and we needed to feed the animals. To instantly reject party invitations in fear that it would inconvenience mum, because I didn’t want to be shouted at for asking if we could get my friend a gift. 

I don’t want that for my children. Ever. Children should never fear their parents. That’s no way to grow up. I don’t want that for my husband either. What ever gives me the right to raise my voice and bully another human being? 

I’m quick to chastise the parents that use controlled crying on their children, the parents that smack their children “do you realise the emotional harm you are causing? Do you even have a clue? You’re teaching your child you don’t want to be there for them. You’re teaching them that violence is ok! You’re putting your own need for sleep above your child’s wellbeing. Shame.on.you. 

But what about that time I screamed at the toddler;

 SHUT UP

The time I shouted at my husband 

Get this f**king child away from me

The moment I slammed the door in my husbands face as hard as I could

I’ve had enough. F**k you

When the teen doesn’t answer her homework  question immediately

Jesus Christ child, are you a complete moron?! 

How is that not emotionally damaging? How is that ok? 

It isn’t. Not in the slightest. It’s shameful. Disgusting. Pathetic behaviour.

Yes. I’m exhausted. The exhaustion that only a parent understands. But that is no excuse. My husband is exhausted too. Exhausted mainly because of me. Because of the constant pressure to “keep me happy” the mantra “happy wife, easy life” I hear the jokes about him being under the thumb. 

“How do you put up with that! “

She keeps me on my toes

  
My friends joke that they will get me to sort something for them 

“You don’t take any shit, you’ll scare them in to giving you what you want” 

No. I don’t take any shit. In fact. I’m not accepting of much at all. My way or the high way do as I say or God forbid the hell I will unleash upon you. 
This is no way to live. Not for me. And most certainly not for them. For my husband. For my children. For the friend that dared to disagree with me. For the stranger that walked in my way.  

So next time the toddler is clawing at my thighs, whingeing at me whilst I try and make a cup of tea, rather than break his little spirit by shouting “Get off Me” I will count to 5. I will breathe in, then out. “Qu’est qu’il y a bébé? Tu veu aider maman? (I’m much calmer in French) I will get a chair that he can stand on and a cup that he can fill with cold water. I will let him “help” me. I won’t shout when he makes a mess of the freshly scrubbed worktops, instead I will pass him some kitchen towel and we will wipe it up together. 

 

Helpful Toddler is a happy toddler
 
I won’t try and kick the bathroom door down next time hubby “escapes” for 5 minutes. I won’t resent him needing time to chill out after work. I won’t scream at him for sitting on the settee without removing his work boots. Instead I will ask him about his day, I will kiss him and ask him nicely could he please remember to take his boots off at the door? 
I need to be a better person. A kinder person. A more patient one.  So this is my challenge. I will shout less and listen more. I will count to 5 and breathe. And on days where I fail to control my temper I shall not take it out on those I love because shouty mama is not a loveable mama. A shouty wife is not a good wife. She is a monster. 

I’m oh so tired of my monster. Of my dark side. It needs to be gone before my temper is all I have left. 

I just hope I’m not already too late. 

Zx 

Always ready for a fight!!
Twin Mummy and Daddy
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13 thoughts on “The Dark Side Of Mama

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  1. We all have a dark side! The important thing is that you recognise yours and aspire to being rid of it. Just try and remember that yes you might snap once in a while, but that doesn’t make you a bad mum! xx #thatfridaylinky

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  2. Patience and shouting is something I work hard on but like everybody it’s difficult super post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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    1. Thank you for having me on #thatfridaylinky 🙂 if there’s one thing CBT has taught me, it’s that thoughts are like sneezes, you don’t have to react to them. They just happen, and it’s about letting the thought pass rather than voicing the anger. (Not every action requires a reaction) I’m getting there, slowly. I’ve definitely come a long way since writing this. X

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  3. Wow- what a beautiful post! I bet that was a cathartic piece to write! 🙂 I love the way that you write about your family… even your dark side post is full of love! Good luck with your calm rebellion Zoe! I’m definitely calmer with my second (so far)… but not sure if that’s due to general environment or me!

    Definitely working on releasing my dark side to protect my babies though! Sounds like I need to take a leaf out of your book when it comes to assertiveness! Had some issues with in laws saying hurtful things to my teen recently 😦 So have been practising releasing the beast! (So to speak. I’m not sure if that is a rude phrase or not! It’s not is it!?).

    It’s all such a delicate balance.

    xxx

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  4. This is a fantastic blog Zoe. Toxic family patterns have such an incidious and strong hold on our lives. It’s when you become a parent that one really has the opportunity (however difficult) to see those patterns at work. We can’t choose our parents and we can’t change the past, we can only move forward. The challenge, I think, as adults, is first recognising what patterns exist that are not helpful and then (and this is much harder) choosing to do things differently. Many people never see their way clear to take that enormous step and I would humbly submit that they therefore never properly embrace adulthood. Rather, that they are stuck in a kind of burdened adolescence. You have to work through the anger of your past before you can let it go and choose a different modus operandi.

    I’ve spent a lot of my adult life examining the patterns in my own family. Some of my upbringing was fantastic, with supportive, loving parents who have helped make me what I am today – in part! Some aspects I’ve come to realise were less productive and held me back. I know I don’t always get it right with my kids but I try every day to speak to them with my own voice and not my parents. Joe turned 18 today! He’s a fine young man with a strong sense of self. I wish him so much happiness and good things but I also hope that one day, he doesn’t have to spend too much money on therapy! Xxx

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  5. Being a gentle parent all the time is impossible, while taking that breath remember to forgive yourself for those times you let rip. It is normal, natural, healthy behaviour, you also need to allow your children to see anger and frustration as acceptable so that they do not repress their feelings. This will help them to learn how to control their behaviour when experiencing negativity. Much love to you. Xx

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    1. Thank you Ruth. It is tough being gentle. I suppose I’m angry at myself for being angry at insignificant things. It’s easier to shout and scream than be reasonable. But a toddler doesn’t understand Mamas rage. A toddler just wants love. Screaming isn’t love. I can’t disguise it as passion. I need to break the chain of angry. I don’t want to be bitter xx

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  6. Not just wonky brains we share Zoe, well done on this blog! Remember, sometimes we are harder on ourselves than on others. But you’re right count to five. You’re not a monster but sometimes like me, the devil on your shoulder is stronger and louder than the Angel 😘

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    1. Ahhh Emma. I sometimes wonder if the devil is on both shoulders so much is the struggle not to be angry. I have no reason to be angry.

      Thank you for being my beautiful wonky brain friend xx

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