Where did that nice Momma go?

Last night, as my daughter was brushing her teeth, she came out of the bathroom to ask me what happened to that nice Momma in the picture frame–the picture of me on the beach on Santa Catalina Island–moments after my husband proposed to me. I ask her what she means? She clarifies. “That Momma looks nice, but this Momma,” she motions toward me “yells all the time. Why didn’t that Momma yell?”

Wow.

(In my defense, the only time I even slightly raise my voice is when I’ve already asked my children to brush their teeth three times and they are still dinking around on the computer. Or when I’ve asked them to find their shoes 47 times and am literally on my way out the door. That’s when I raise my voice. It’s not as if she’s dealing with a screaming banshee on a daily basis.)

My gut response is to look at the photo of that happy, younger, tanner version of myself and think–that Momma didn’t yell because she didn’t have anyone ignoring her every word. Or whining about brushing their teeth. Or refusing to wear their boots on a rainy day. But instead, I bite my tongue and think about it for a second. And my heart breaks a little for this sweet little girl whose mother is a basket case.

And I realize that my kids are not the reason I raise my voice. I raise my voice when I’m exhausted from being spread too thin between my work and my real life. I raise my voice when I’m running late because I planned my time poorly. I raise my voice when we can’t find any socks because the laundry hasn’t been done recently. I raise my voice when my mind is preoccupied thinking about ailing family members. And I raise my voice when the grown-up stresses of life take their toll on my psyche. None of those are good reasons.

Especially to a four-year old.

I’m not saying that the simple solution here is a week on a beach in the SoCal sun with a Piña Colada in my hand … I’m just saying that it might be a good start.

Oh, and also finding joy in everything that I do. That was my goal for February. I think I’m on the right path. But apparently, it’s still a work in progress.

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About Not-so-SuperMomma

See my previous blog at www.theminimalchallenge.wordpress.com to learn about how I used to be a SuperMom ...
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4 Responses to Where did that nice Momma go?

  1. Kim says:

    **hugs** When dropping off my child at their dads house, they excitedly ran up to him and said “Dad, you have to be judge as to which one of us sounds more like Mom”. Then, both my kids, aged 4 and 10 did their best Momlike stance, hand on hip and lips pursed. They had spent their time practing their intonation of a single phrase, trying to mimic mom perfectly. I swear this is phrase that I has only crossed my lips a few times in their lives. I stood there horrifed as my kids repeated, one after another:

    “Knock it off, or I’m gonna slap you both”

  2. Years ago as a busy divorced single mom professional and also involved in cub scouts, soccer, bible study and other miscellaneous activities my son sighed and asked why we couldn’t live in a trailer park like his school friend. When I asked why he would want to live there he said because his friend’s mom (unemployed, alcoholic and questionable morals – OK that sounds very bitchy but was true) was home all the time. Here I am doing my best to pay the bills and keep us in our small but nice house with our activities and provide a good life and all he wants is a mom who is home all the time. Broke my heart.

    I think God made sleeping children look so cute and innocent so that we fall in love with them again at night and they survive another day 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    You could always say that “Nice Momma” met someone named “Will.”
    Very young children love to fly on the breezes like kites, but when they learn more, they desire. That desire creates Will.
    Will causes the little kites to pull on their strings as they *want* to go and do more than what the breeze is offering.
    Will pulls Nice Momma around the park in many directions. Sometimes, she raises her voice when she’s afraid she’ll stumble and fall.
    Will has to be considerate to momma, so that momma can be compassionate to Will.
    Maybe…
    Just a thought.

  4. Pingback: Simple Pleasures | The Minimal Challenge

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