Moms have been described as Volcanos. Some rumble all of the time but aren't really dangerous. Some ooze lava constantly so that everyone knows to stay away. Others lie dormant and never bother anyone until the fateful day when they finally blast and destroy everyone in the village. I've been each of those at one time or another. But since we are being honest here (I'm being honest, you may be hiding behind a bowl of something tasty hoping nobody sees you nodding in solidarity)- I've been worse.
I've been the monster that trampled the volcano that destroyed the village and all of the villagers.
I've been the mom no mom ever wanted to be. I've been a horrible person in myriad ways; liar, cheat, thief, bad dancer, reckless driver, and poor tipper. Often a bad kid -there were many parents who wished the girl with dirty blonde hair would go away for a while. I shudder to think what the neighbors must have thought. Even now I'm the one who never puts the trash can away properly. I was a rotten student most years; paddled by the principal in second grade and a nightmare to my teachers and parents through high school. But the worst of my atrocities has been in the setting of motherhood.
They say the low man always kicks the dog. The bully on the playground is often the one who cannot control anyone or anything else, least of all himself. The meanest person you've ever met is the one who never learned to love himself. I've been the dog kicking mean bully sonofabitch- and more than anywhere I've been all of that in my own home. I know I'm not the only one who does it, but that sure doesn't make me feel any better. I've been frustrated and yelled at my kiddos.
I mean yelled.
Like a crazy person.
Top of my lungs yelling stomping around maybe even throwing things and leaving marks on walls. I'm not proud of it. I'm just trying to be honest here.
I've literally yelled so hard that my throat hurt.
About stupid things. Or I've been angry about stupid things and yelled about unimportant things.
Like spilled milk. Yes, I have literally yelled until someone (usually me) cried over spilled milk. All of these admissions are atrocious. But the worst part of it is- it was only to my kids.
I never yelled at the dumbass who'd cut me off in traffic and made me miss the light that made me miss whatever had to be done on time. The clerk who couldn't count proper change back never bore my wrath. Worst of all, it was never my husband or friends, siblings or other family that saw the veins sticking out of my forehead and neck because anger had made an uncontrolled beast of me.
That was reserved for my children.
The very ones who should never see such terror saw their mother lose all sense of reason. They may also then have been blamed for it in some defeating, passive aggressive, or just plain mean ugly monstrous fit of rage. Clearly the only reasons to have committed such travesty include one or multiple reasons with varying degrees of rationality.
First; A mother does not get a gotdamned moments peace. From the time they make that first palpable movement in the womb until...all eternity, they are either underfoot or on her mind.
Someone should warn every woman with that pang of desire to bring a bundle of joy into the world:
You will NEVER know another moment of freedom. Ever. There will either be one of two extremes. The crushing presence of their ever needing, ever nagging, constant whining, black hole of want want WANT; the need for you and of you. Worse, there is the silent abyss of distance between the one you carried within your own body that you desperately want to hold just one more moment.
Next; for some of us our children are the only human beings with whom we can be totally ourselves. Maybe it's because we form such a deep bond of honesty and trust. Maybe it's just because we can't get away from them for most of their first two decades of life.
It may be a horrible sense of entitlement; as if we own the little masterpieces we created in our own images and have somehow earned some sort of right to treat them as we see fit. Or we let our brutish desires play out in any convenient way they will- though we would never tolerate such lack of restraint in these little ones themselves. I don't truly know which of the reasons allowed me to treat two human beings who least deserve it so poorly on so many occasions. I just know they're two of my favorites. Partly because they still speak to me.
Only they have seen the very worst of me. Only they know just how bad I can get.
I've never been one to buy the bullshit that your parents are to blame for everything you fail at in life.
There have been too many great families turn out people who contribute nothing to the world and too many horrid human beings that somehow spawn the most generous, loving, and gracious people I have ever known. It's doubtful either of my children will fit neatly into either of those categories neatly. But if either of them is ever seen barking at the moon- I'm afraid I will know exactly why.