Parenting Fail: Total Meltdown

Ok, so I may have snapped and shouted at my daughter like she was an adult, but I've learned a valuable lesson about parenting from it



Not long ago I wrote to you about an epic parenting fail. Well, I've surpassed it, and this one isn't even funny.

Sick and tired

Remember how I mentioned I was sick? Well, weeks later I still had the cold from hell. I vitamin C'd, I zinc'd, I green tea'd, and Day and Night Nursed my brains out, yet it still would not budge.

My last straw

Imagine seven am Saturday morning, my husband is out of town for work and instead of a relaxing morning to convalesce, I'm struggling on all fronts. I need to get the child dressed, fed and to swim class on time; I'm dealing with a hyperactive puppy; my own coughing, sneezing and generally feeling like poop. By the fifth time my daughter ignored what I asked her to do, I lost it.

I raised my voice and asked why she didn't listen to me after I'd repeatedly asked her not to get the dog riled up.

She got up, went into her room and closed the door. I was too angry to let it go, so I followed, harping on the same point. As she looked at me blandly, all my feeling sorry for my sick self just bubbled over and I went on a tirade.

It's too early for whine

"I get up at six every morning, I feed the dog (your dog), I make breakfast for you and daddy, I clean everything up, I get you to school on time, then I come home and work. After I spend all day working, I pick you up and take care of you until I put you to bed and then I collapse. I'm sick, but I take care of all of you! Who takes care of me?!"

Her little lip quivered and her blue eyes filled with tears and she quietly said, "I'm a bad child."

That broke me out of my self-involved fog. I grabbed her and hugged her and reassured her that 'no, she was the best child, the light of my life' and that I was just 'ill and grumpy'.

I should know better

I have always prided myself on being a patient parent (I like to pretend it's one of the perks of being an older mom). I've also been very conscious about always talking to her like an adult. Yeah, there's skipping the baby talk and then there's a bitch-fest better suited to your bestie over a Bloody Mary.

Patience with children, we should have

When she was just a week old, one of my best friends from New York - and my parenting Yoda - was visiting. She looked at little, tiny, baby Izzy and said, "we're so patient when they're babies and then we expect so much as they get older, but we need to remember they are still just children even at seven."

I thought that she was right, 'I'm going to be that way. I will listen to Yoda and be Zen Mommy'. But that Saturday morning, I was as far from Zen as could be. I heaped all my grown up misery on a small child who still sleeps with a multitude of stuffed toys. How is she supposed to understand the pressures of adulthood? More importantly she shouldn't have too. Not yet.

I'm only human

I never want to see that look on her face again, even writing this pains me. So, since then, I've kept it all together.

It might have helped that my cold is finally gone.

Sharon, Working Mum and Native New Yorker

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