Shame Spiral

Shortly after their respective births, I assigned each of my children (whom I love with my whole heart) a name. He, Rex. She, Sydney.

I say these names with exhausting repetition each and everyday. “Rex, sit here. Sydney, don’t put that in your mouth. Rex, please stop. Sydney, eat your food.”

Some days, however, are different. Today was one of those days.

Sydney started the day “Sydney.” By mid morning Sydney was “she” (as in “she’s really fussy”) and by dinner she was “it” (as in “it won’t stop crying!”)

I sincerely hope I am not alone in the name-to-pronoun morphing phenomenon because if I am, my fear that I’m not cut out for “this” becomes a very real possibility.

Anyway, I experience days when my little people wear me down. Today was one of those days.

Inevitably, when my children (whom I love with my whole heart) become pronouns, I shame spiral. “Why don’t I have enough patience?”… “Surely, I’m the worst mom on the planet (or at least MN).”…”I’m ruining them…” Etc. I then feel like a worthless parent and yell more. [Cringe]

Here’s the thing about shame spiraling though- It’s dumb and pointless and just another thing we parents do to torture ourselves.

Let’s stop.

My sister jokingly said not long ago, “they [her family] are always critical when I yell…they should really be proud of all the times I DON’T yell. That’s the real accomplishment.”

She’s on to something. Let’s flip the script.

So you forgot to pack lunch… I’d be willing to bet you usually remember to feed them…

So you said sh*%… At least you didn’t say f#%^ …

So you yelled at dinner… I bet you told them more than once already that you love them…

Bottom line: What we lack in perfection, we more than make up for with love.  There’s always more good than bad. We just need to train ourselves to look harder…and stop being so damn critical ;).

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4 thoughts on “Shame Spiral

  1. Sarah- totally been thinking the same things. I’ve been on a short fuse and feel like I yell a lot! Alexus calls me on it. I simply state over and over I wouldn’t tell if you kids listened the first time. However I agree- we have to stop the guilt. We are not perfect. We have to breath and remember and remind ourselves everyday that we got this! We can do this. I feel like some days I maybe am not as good of a mom as I thought and aspire to be. Keep on keeping on! Smile. Laugh. Breathe. And for shit sake yell sometimes- it’s needed to not explode. Lol 😉

  2. I’ve said before that I have a problem with yelling. So you know that I’m in the same boat. 😉 My approach now is to try to make it through the day without yelling (just started on Saturday). I’m doing better…but have had a few days that are just out of control. But then I just pick up and try again, either in the next situation or the next morning. And I pat myself on the back when I can get through a situation calmly. But however I act, my kids are the most forgiving creatures on the planet and love me unconditionally….same goes for you. 🙂

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