Isss Okay


August 25, 2012

I’ve been a steam boat lately, plodding through the rough blue water, with no hesitation of rolling over waves and whatever lies beneath me. I have to be careful. I have to tread more softly. I have sensitive children. Their eyes are receptive, and they absorb feelings so easily. They got that from their dad; that ability to become a chameleon.  If the room is tense, they become tense. If the room is light, they are light.

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But then there’s me, bulldozing through, mucking up their mood, and barking commands, and raising my voice because it feels good, because she should know better, and I’ve told him a hundred times not to.

The worst is when other people are witness to my madness. And then my anger becomes real. It takes a stranger for me to feel the weight of my sin. It’s palpable; them watching me as I react to my children, watching me as my anger flies somewhere far away, and gets caught high above me, where I can’t reach it, and there’s no way to pull it back down. It’s not that I scream at my kids all day, it’s that one little thing sets me off, and my mood becomes terse, my words curt, and my tone cutting. It’s not every day either, but when my anger flies, I’m ashamed. I give myself excuses as to why: I‘m tired, I’m pregnant, this bra is digging into my boob, the kids didn’t touch their dinner after I spent an hour making it. But there aren’t enough excuses, the fact of the matter is, I’m wrong.

I apologize. I try to make it right. But the damage is done, they are sponges, absorbing, learning, and creating associations. Just like I did when I was their age, and my mom would get angry at my brother and me. The pattern has continued, without my consent.

I have to be careful.


School is starting soon.

Real school.

Berlyn will start Kindergarten in two weeks.

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Which means I have two weeks to get all sentimental about her growing up so fast, and cry over old baby socks, so by the time I drop her off on that first day I can be a pillar for her–strong and confident.

But that’s the opposite of what I really am, which is fearful, and soggy.


Hudson is in the midst of being potty trained. But I am already done. Finished. Because it’s not working. He continues to pee on my carpet, couch, and floor like an untrained terrier, and when he does he declares, with his most precious voice, “Oopsies! I peed!”


Yeah, buddy, you did, let’s do that in the toilet next time, okay?

Okay mommy.

But does he?


I don’t want advice about it, because it stresses me out. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about it, says breezy things like, oh it was so easy, my son just threw away all of his diapers, and that was that. No accidents. Or, my daughter loves to pee on the toilet, she was potty trained in one day. Your advice and your comments make me want to punch you in the kidneys, and steal your perfectly potty trained child so he can teach my child.

I’ve read books about it, and blogs, and talked to moms, and maybe he’s just not ready, but I can’t bring myself to put him back in diapers, and to undo all that I’ve done, I feel like a failure, and worse, I think Hudson would feel like a failure. So we continue. I take him potty every 15 minutes, where he plays with the roll of toilet paper, and says, “I don’t hava go, but isss okay.”

Is it okay?

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Yes, I guess it will have to be.


I have accepted the fact that Emma will NEVER be potty trained…. There I said it out loud( judgement be damned). 🙂

by Michelle on August 25, 2012

I remember Celia peeing underneath a decorated canopy in a posh children’s store while Moira had a blow out of epic proportions shooting down her legs. Now you know why I talk about Vodka all the time.

I totally understand the yelling. I do it too. I’m not proud of it and I don’t want my kids to think I’m a total f*****g tyrant but for the love of God, pick up your shit. It seems somewhere in the midst of child rearing, I lost my mind and am just plain angry all the time. I so need to get over myself.

by gorillabuns on August 25, 2012

You are so perfectly real, and it translates beautifully in your writing. I adore it. thank you. No judgement or advice here. Just a round of applause for getting up every day and doing it all over again.

by Carrie Braun on August 25, 2012

Wow. I just found your blog and incredibly honest writing and I am smiling! Thank you for sharing your mama moments, I hear you on all counts. My favorite line: “The pattern has continued without my consent.” –beautifully said. I think our kids are almost exactly the same age. I have one starting Kindergarten on Monday and one potty training, both boys. Your emotional state of mind is right in line with mine, staring at my 5 yr old longing to see a bit of the baby I remember and wishing my almost 3 year old would get the toilet thing figured out, I am ready why isn’t he!
I am toasting your thoughtful blog!

by Carrie on August 26, 2012

I have no advice, but I’ll tell you that potty training my son was the hardest and worst and most emotional thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know what I’m going to do this next time around. I guess just take the advice (ha! bullcrap) to just let him do things on his own time. I want to cry thinking about it. I’m so sorry.

And wow for Kindergarten. That’s crazy. It’s crazy. Adjusting to K was the second hardest and worst and most emotional thing I’ve ever done.

by Lora on August 27, 2012

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