I have a confession. I am not as great as a mother that you all think that I am. I make many mistakes with Munch and I just pray that I don’t mess him up too much.
However, on Sunday I had a major mommy meltdown and I cursed at my son. Yes, I actually cursed at my son. I am so disappointed in my behavior. Ashamed actually. I have never cursed at my son and I can’t believe that I lost my cool and composure and actually cursed at him. I went upstairs and cried.
Yep, I literally cried. I felt ashamed, disappointed, frustrated and a failure as a parent. I felt like a bad mommy. How could I ever look at my son after my outburst?
Now, I know that some of you may think that I’m going overboard, but for me I believe that words matter so I’m always cognizant of how I talk to Munch. I don’t want him to ever feel that his mom was mean because of the way that I talked to him. I don’t like to yell at him and I never curse at him. So, this was a major parenting fail and I felt like a bad mommy.
Here’s what happened…
Munch receives a weekly homework packet. We sat down Sunday to work on the math portion of the packet. Since he has trouble with math we remove the time constraints of doing it during the week and focus on it on the weekend. We then just review it during the week. Well, this week’s homework was on counting money.
We struggled on the first two problems. He couldn’t add two quarters and a penny together. It was like pulling teeth. He knew what they represented in actual value but didn’t seem to have enough reasoning skills to add them up. When I told him to add them up he did and got the correct amount. I was livid. Frustrated and in awe that my Munch is acting like he fell off the turnip truck the night before.
We moved to the next problem. The picture was a picture of a quarter and two nickles. I asked him to write down the answer. He turns to me and says that his teacher hasn’t taught him this. Now, let me tell you that my son told me a bold face lie. Why? Because the way that the curriculum is done at his school – new material is introduced in first and second quarter and then repeated in third and fourth quarter. What you worked on in first quarter will be repeated in third quarter and second will be repeated in fourth.
So, I told him that’s not true. This is the same curriculum we worked on before. I explained that he needs to know how to count money or he will be cheated. He just looked at me. I said, “Well add the totals up and you will be able to figure out the answers.” He couldn’t do it. He sat there crying and trying to figure out the answer. I asked him, “Munch, what is 30 + 5?” He responded, “80”. What the heck?
I lost it. I looked at him and yelled “Are you fuc**ng kidding me? You knew how to count at 4! Before you ever entered kindergarten. What the hell is wrong with you?” He started to cry. He got scared. I got up from the table and said, “Work on your math by yourself. You have 10 minutes.” I walked upstairs.
I was seething. I was hurt. I was ashamed. I called his dad. Yes, I called his dad. I explained what happened and I was actually crying. He told me to calm down and everything would be alright. I asked him “Why are people telling us that he’s brilliant when he says stuff like this?” He responded, “He is. He just doesn’t want to do it so he gives you a flippant answer.” He told me to calm down and have him work on everything else in the packet except the math. He said “Save it for Tuesday. Calm down and work with only the math on Tuesday.” I agreed.
I went downstairs and saw Munch sitting at the table still crying. I picked up the packet and turned it from math and told him to work on the entire packet skipping over the math. We would work on it another day. Just focus on everything else. He kept crying and said “Okay.”
I called Mr. C. and explained what happened. He laughed and said, “I’ve been there. I’m sorry to laugh, but all parents go through that. You can’t give up on him.” I told him that I felt like a failure as a parent. I told him how I never curse at my son and I can’t believe I lost it like that. He said, “Well, I’ve cursed at my son when helping him with his homework. Never used the F-bomb but it’s okay.” I cried all over again. He told me to dry my tears and it would be okay. It had been over 40 minutes since I left Munch doing the packet.
I went downstairs and saw Munch sitting at the table working on his math. I said, “Didn’t I say we would work on math another day? Why are you not working on the rest of your packet?” He responded, “I’m almost finished with math. I have only 2 more questions.” He was smiling. I heard my mother in the kitchen and said, “You suckered your nana into helping you?”
I go in the kitchen and see my mother. She said, “You can’t help him with math. You’re too close to it. He knows it. He’s so afraid of disappointing you that he just guesses. I couldn’t help you with your math. You can’t help him. I will work on math with him and you can help him with French.”
“Okay” I responded heavily. She said that when she got home that he was crying and said “My mommy doesn’t like me anymore because I can’t do math.” My heart broke. What had I done?
He finished his homework and took a shower and got into bed. I came in and tucked him in. I said, “Munch, I’m so sorry for losing my temper. For cursing at you. For being disrespectful. I love you and I know that you can do this. I was upset and frustrated at the situation and I should have handled it better. But, I need you to know that nothing. Absolutely nothing will ever stop me from loving or liking you. You are mine and I am yours.”
He smiled. I kissed him and asked God to heal my guilt ridden spirit. I talked to a lot of other parents and they expressed that it’s quite normal. They’ve lost it too. They encouraged me not to beat myself up too bad and gave me some great suggestions when my frustrations rise.
Whew! Parenting is hard.