This week has been full of so many great things: great friends, great food and great conversations. What surprises me most is the number of moms I talk with (friends and strangers) who absolutely agree with me that parenting is the hardest job. (I thought for sure I’d find someone who thinks this is all just breezy). It’s not just the monotony of the daily routine that’s hard, although that can wear on a mom too, it’s the emotional ups and downs our kids have that have us reacting like someone just scratched their nails along a chalk board. (Or insert any other spine tingling, nerve attacking sensation).

I find it reassuring when I meet other moms who have “difficult” “spirited” or “challenging” children. It makes me feel like; OK I’m not the only parent who questions their abilities on a near daily basis. I’m not the only mom losing her mind trying to understand why … just WHY can’t my kids wipe their own butts? Why do they fight so much? Why can’t they drink from a cup without spilling it all over themselves? (Seriously kids, it’s not rocket science it’s a cup!). Why do they need a band aid for an imaginary cat? Why does their teddy bear need a band aid too? And for the love, why does the world screech to a halt when someone’s sister sits THISCLOSE?!

Some days with two talking Tina’s duct tape is tempting.

Kids. I love them, but they drive me crazy! Mine can certainly test my limits. But, isn’t that what childhood is for? Testing limits and learning just what makes this crazy world tick? I have to keep reminding myself that my kids are learning something about life and the world around them whenever they freak out when someone bumps ahead of them, or they cry because the shopping cart they want is gone. It can seem like such an annoyance, and yes some days it is when I’m in a hurry. But, (grrrr) it’s my stinking job to teach them how to get through these moments. I have to use my “nice” voice to model for them how to correctly and appropriately respond. I can’t say things like, “shut up and sit down! I’M in charge here!!” no matter how much I REALLY want to!

OK, don’t shut up entirely, but sitting still for a full minute might be nice!

I think some days the hardest part about parenting is digging deep to find that self-restraint, that self-control that is going to teach my kids the right way to handle a situation. Guess what? I fail. A lot. Like, really fail. I may or may not have ripped the handle off of my husband’s driver’s side car door in response to a screaming child who just bit her sister. In my defense, I did a spectacular job ignoring her glass shattering screams for the first two hours of our two and a half hour road trip. It was that last half hour that did me in. I also confess I had no idea what I was going to do once I got that door open. All I know is I pulled over and wanted to get out of that car FAST. I am happy to report we all made it home in one piece (of which I reminded my husband as I hung my head in shame and handed over the door handle to his car). 

(Full disclosure: I don’t have 4 kids, but I do have twins. That’s like drowning and someone throws you a bagel).

My point in all of this is, well we’ve all been there. It’s really true. At some point every single parent will feel like they have zero control over their child’s behavior. I think those of us who take this “raising productive humans” thing so deeply serious are the ones who are freaking out the most. We are feeling the pressure of doing everything right the first time. Truth is, no one gets it right the first time. That’s why most people get a practice kid (sorry first born). You get a chance to see that all that freaking out isn’t going to change a darn thing and it is certainly not going to motivate your kids into getting their shit together either. 

So to my mom friends who keep me real and help me see parenting from a broader perspective, I thank you. If it wasn’t for all of you screwing up your own kids first, I’d never feel this good about doing whatever I’m doing just to survive my day! (Don’t worry I’m messing up my kids too *wink*). 

Do you ever feel like you’re alone in your parenting struggles?


The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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42 Comments on Sit Down! Shut Up! I’M In Control Here!

  1. Sometimes, but I remember that I have friends who probably went through it too. When I call them about my frustrations, they laugh and said their kids did the same thing. It makes me feel better to know he’s not a mutant.

  2. My second (and youngest) is THAT child. I post pictures of his meltdown on Facebook all the time because I just have to laugh it off at this point. It’s like he goes out of his way to make things hard sometimes 🙂 That’s ok, though….he’s cute, so it cancels it all out.

    • For the longest time I was the only twin mom in my circle. It wasn’t until I met other twin parents who assured me we are all “normal.” lol

  3. I am not a parent but I understand where you are coming from as I look after children and have done since a young age. It can be difficult to show them you are boss and even harder to show a fine line between control and being a bully.

    • I have two very independent and capable little humans so it’s more of a control the situation at hand than them personally. They are at a stage where they argue with each other and I’m just like, “HEYYYY!!! Let’s not beat each other with toys today!” LOL

  4. I don’t have kids, but my friends do. And I often think about them when I sit here drowning in work, housework, finance stuff, and more… um they do all this WITH KIDS TOO! Then I’m reminded that I have it easier, but then that’s one reason why I chose not to have kids 😉

  5. Its so easy to forget that kids are meant to be curious which almost always leads to a mess, spill, broken bone, etc. As frustrating, exhausting, and unpredictable as parenting can be, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

  6. I think that’s one of the great things about blogging–being able to see that you truly are not alone! My brothers weren’t twins, but they were very close in age (15 months apart) and we routinely had to separate them, one at one end of one sofa and the other at the opposite end of the facing sofa, just so they couldn’t touch each other. They probably had the same time-outs in caves, this sibling behavior is so pervasive.

  7. I think that’s one of the best thing about blogging–you get to see that you are truly not alone! My brothers weren’t twins but were very close in age (15 months apart) and we routinely had to separate them with one kid on one end of one sofa and the other kid at the opposite end of the facing sofa just so they wouldn’t touch. That sibling behavior is so ingrained, I bet they had to do it with cave-kids, too!

  8. My New Years’ Resolution was to work on softening my tone. By the end of the day, I feel like I’m the one whining and sounded perpetually frustrated. So I’m practicing staying calm and my tone gentle and kind, even when I have to be firm. It actually makes me feel better and keeps the focus on her behavior instead of how I’m feeling.

  9. I have to tell myself that nobody has it all together as they look. That seems to help in those crazy moments!

  10. I feel like I fail from time to time but then I remind myself that we are all doing our best and at the end of the day it is so worth it! 😉

  11. It’s always hard. Just hard for different reasons. I just hugged my youngest good-bye as she leaves for her final semester of college. I have two already out of college and this is her senior year – You would think I could do these goodbyes by now without the waterworks! It’s hard.

    • I think every age and stage brings about a new set of challenges! As much as my kiddos drive me crazy I do miss them when they are at school (college is a ways off).

  12. I appreciate reading this because my 3 year old has taken me for a loop the last few days. He wants to be called “Otto” only and acted up so much that I gave up on grocery shopping the other day. It helps knowing I’m not the only one.

    • I once had to leave the grocery store after I had loaded ALL my items on the belt. My kid was SCREAMING so loud I just looked at the cashier and said, “I’m sorry but I can’t do this.” I left everything there and walked out of the store. It happens!

    • I love my kids…but, I honestly in all my experience with kids have NEVER met such stubborn and strong willed humans before!! Not even in working with adults!! Ha, ha!

  13. Thank goodness I have my husband to help with our teenagers. Parenting is hard work. Now I know how my mom and dad felt when I was a kid…

  14. I enjoyed reading this post – it was entertaining. I am not a parent, but I go through ‘auntie struggles’ – my nephew is a joy to be with, but sometimes, he honestly makes me thrilled that I’m just an auntie. Hope I didn’t offend anyone…just my personal opinion.

    • Ha, ha! I so get it. I LOVE being an auntie! My nieces and nephews are all so awesome and well behaved that I believed parenting was a piece of cake! LOL

  15. Oh yes! I know other moms are going through it, but it seems like in the moment I am the only one! And why is it that kids can’t wipe their own bums? It doesn’t make sense to me at all…I guess I should be thankful they are at least using the toilet…

  16. This is very eye opening to someone like myself who doesn’t plan on having children! I’m amazed that parents hold it together for so long, you definitely deserve much more credit for the good job you’re doing!

  17. My five year old is very spirited and chatty. He makes this screeching noise that makes me nuts. This week I figured out that he likes Simon Says AND that “Simon Says talk in a whisper” works to quell this issue, if used sparingly. Next week he will catch on and I’ll have to figure out a new trick.

    • I was excited when I discovered how much my girls loved playing the quiet game in the car! They are so competitive neither wants to lose! So it’s a nice quiet ride to school most mornings! lol

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