Mom Life

Just Tell Me, I’m Sorry, Kids Are Jerks

Friday was a rough day. The kind of day that makes you feel like you can’t do anything right in the world of parenting. As far as the actual world, everything was just fine and dandy. But in my mom world, there was non-stop screaming, crying, arguing and an attitude of epic proportions. And he’s only three!

I usually include a personal photo with my posts, but if I took one today it would just be me lying face down in a puddle of my own tears trying to figure out why my son has been screaming for 20 minutes straight about his inability to hop on one leg.


It all started this morning when he refused to go to the gym with me. The gym is usually my only chance for a little “me time,” so he was throwing quite a fit for me to give that up. There have been many times when I have basically thrown him in the car and held him down while buckling him into the seat. When it comes to that, there’s a 50/50 chance he will just mess up my workout anyway by crying or saying he has to poop so I have to stop and come into the kids room. I just didn’t have the fight in me today to gamble on it.

This is the kind of day you should just not talk to anybody about, except another mom who can identify with you, because anybody else is going to say some well meant thing that will probably piss you off. For me my friend Effie is that mom. I know Effie would say, “Wow, that sucks. Kids can be such little jerks sometimes. Good thing they are so sweet sometimes too.” She’s been there. She knows. She’s said it to me many times.

But I made the mistake of venting to my husband, who suggested I just throw him in the car and go to the gym, as if I hadn’t thought of that. And even if we did do that, it would not have solved the later debacle of the one legged failure, the monster truck meltdown, the scooter throwing incident, the moment he ran out the front door and DOWN THE STREET and the myriad of other awful things he decided to heap upon me today.

And then my mom called, right in the middle of everything, and decided it was a good idea to follow up with a really long text advising me to give him a “good spank” and let him know “I’m the mom and he’s the child.” I wrote back several snarky things before deciding to just delete the whole message and not sour our relationship. I know she is trying to help, but mostly her advice infuriates me. She seems to think I can just command him to stop acting like a child. It’s been 40 something long years since she’s dealt with an unruly three-year-old, and from all the accounts I’ve heard, I wasn’t all that unruly. She has NO IDEA what it’s like to have a crazy little boy on her hands.

He has his good days and bad days. This was just a particularly bad day. And after hours of being beat up emotionally all day, all I needed was some compassion. Some understanding.

What I really needed to hear was, “You’re doing a good job. Some days are tough. He still loves you. All kids can be like that. Hang in there.”

That’s it.

So next time some mom you know is having a rough day, please for the love of God do NOT give her advice on how to manage her child, and just let her know she is doing an OK job. She doesn’t have to be doing fantastic. That may be stretching it. Let’s keep it believable. I’m OK. You’re OK. We all made it through today in one piece and sometimes that’s enough.


17 replies »

  1. I loved this. I relate to this so much this. My parents are extremely lax, and think I should let my kids run the show. If I even raise my voice or get a little upset, they tell me I’m foolish and being a toxic parent. It’s hard dealing with toddlers and when people can’t just say “I got you” or “you’re a good mom having a bad day.” I’m sorry you were having a rough go of it. I really hope things perk up. You’re strong and incredible!


  2. Hello, I just nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award! Congratulations! Check out the latest post on my blog for what you have to do next.


  3. Friday was a bad day for us and the girls too, maybe it was a full moon. But we made it to dinner time. Then it became bed time. Then i missed them, like we always do when they are peaceful and quiet. Then my 4 year old comes into the bedroom at 3am. And it starts all over again!! 😂 We got this…. Good job for holding your own. My mom is the same way. ” you are the parent and they are the child. You mae them do what you want.” And all i can think is thanks…. But no…..


    • You know, another friend said the same thing about her son having a meltdown. Maybe there was something going on…lol. And ugh, I’d like to see our parents in our shoes for a week and see if their heads don’t explode, LOL


  4. I’m new to momming but this already speaks to my soul. You are my standard for what a “good mom” looks like and it means the world to hear you say that the crazy, frustrating days are just a normal part of the journey. ❤️


  5. Oy…I have been right there with you. So many times. Sometimes, I just feel like the girls tag team me. J has been home all week because of the ridiculously cold temps here and it’s been so nice having both of us home.


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