Scary and sweary mommies

With each of my children, there have been few separate incidents over the years where I lost complete control of myself and screamed at them. SCREAMED!  Each time was ugliness Maximus. I didn’t recognize myself in the screechy person, foaming at the mouth and barking like a rabid dog. But each time I lost my MIND, it was effective in getting both my kids to turn their behavior around. After tears and apologies, we all survived. I still experience twinges of shame when I think about those times.

However my usual calm approach to parenting is SIGNIFICANTLY less effective than the more intimidating and strict ways I see others parent. I feel jealous of their confidence. I’m as intimidating as a newborn kitten when it comes to discipline most of the time, but thankfully my kids aren’t horribly oppositional and in need of constant conseqencing for negative behavior. Yesterday this wasn’t the case.  The shit got real!

My daughter decided NOT to listen to her brother when he picked her up from school and hauled ass into the middle of the street in front of a car. Luckily the driver responded quickly and she is still in one piece, however when my son told me about the incident, I felt like I could explode into a million pieces!

I fast walked out of the room, trying to control my tears. I was afraid and angry and had a mini-meltdown in private, hyperventilating and shaking uncontrollably. Once I was calm, I realized that I knew exactly what to do and how to handle the situation. For the first time in quite a while, I just KNEW. I found a way to strike a balance between Mommy Dearest and Tiger kitten. There was a good deal of crying here at my house yesterday. The tears were actually a good thing, for both of us since I am currently finding it incredibly difficult to find effective ways to discipline my daughter that mesh with our personalities and temperaments. We meshed yesterday. Someday I’ll think back on yesterday and feel twinges of joy.

I credit this change in MY behavior to the support and encouragement of some people I know who are scary moms who drink and swear and genuinely care. I could not have done this alone. The voices of support in my head guided me through it, step by step.

These are voices of people I know, some of them for over 30 years. Others are the moms that touch my life via the internet in different social networks AND even my own mother and her friends voices and opinions, both scary and sweary, are with me now.  I’ve said it many times but each time I write it down or say it aloud, it reinforces the fantastic-ness of it: I feel so lucky to have escaped the isolation and depression that was shredding my soul during my early days at a stay at home mother by reaching out to other moms for help. People, not parenting manuals and magazines, real people.

Of course I still feel terrible when I think or say things that I never imagined possible before I became a mom, and the shame returns. Today it’s just easier to turn the shame in to guilt and then release that guilt because I don’t have to feel it alone.  I plod ahead, vowing to keep trying to do better and to NOT flogging myself with each new failure. It is of immense help and relief to be able to seek support when I’m confused AND to confess some of my horribly negative and inappropriate feelings about being a mom. Before I reached out, my feelings of guilt and anxiety were burning through my mind and body, almost entirely sucking the joy out of being a mother. At least that was how it was for me before I started my bloggy blog.

There were some women who I could NOT turn to for support and encouragement and I know there are plenty more in my future. These days I keep those poisonous people away from my family and can easily recognize their counterparts from miles away. I know now that even when there are loving and supportive forces behind you, it only takes one or two toxic and terrible ones to shake your foundation. I think it’s because motherhood is SUCH a completely unpredictable and ever changing part of humanity. The intensity and passion that lives in every woman who is trying to create and then guide a human life is immeasurable and that is why the wise woman can embrace the subtle and obvious differences in how each of us choose to parent and still manage to provide each other with love and support.

I am currently in the process of writing MY story, banging out thousands of words about my struggles and successes in my own sweary style, but as I write, I continue to read.

I recently read She is my people. The community she built, complete with confidential confessions is nothing short of a miracle for the thousands of women who rely on it to keep their souls from ripping apart with guilt and bitterness. Her book is different from ANY of the other humor books I’ve read on motherhood. Her story is your story. She is not trying to impress you with alliteration, personification or any other creative writing skill meant to amuse you or warm the cockles of your heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I like it when my cockles get warmed and I can feel squishy and delusional about my family, but I admire Jill’s book because it fearlessly does just the opposite. Her brave book comforts me and as my weird personal stories fly from my brain to my fingers, I have found that my lack of censorship with regard to the dark and twisty stuff is not laced with shame because of the Moms who drink and swear and the over 150,000 confessions from Scary Mommies all over the world on Jill’s website.

Do I confess on her site? No. But if I had known about the anonymity prior to starting my own blathering bitch blog, I probably would have. Alas, it is too late now since anyone reading this can connect my thousands rants to a name and I’m good with that. If I wasn’t, I’d stop. I feel passionate about supporting parents trying to survive and I think Scary Mommy does this really well. Am I receiving any compensation for telling you about Scary Mommy and her book? No. Did she ask me to write about her? No.  But she did send me an early copy and I’m going to drop a quote from it to end my blog.

“Motherhood isn’t a chain of wondrous little moments strung together in one perfectly orchestrated slide show. It’s dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s EVERYTHING.”

Jill Smokler – A.K.A. Scary Mommy




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  • Fantastic! Now I have to read her book. ;) Another one of my favorite mommies is The Bloggess. She's brilliant and twisted and speaks openly about mental health issues. She's also started a project called The Traveling Red Dress. It's on facebook. Check it out. I believe it's right up your alley.
    Thanks for being here, Nikki, and for sharing your stories with us. You have helped me through some dark times, and I am forever grateful.
    Looking forward to your book. XoXo

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    I am a drinking, swearing mommy too! I love The Bloggess and Scary Mommy. I think that as humans there are times that our emotions take possession of our brains and override any rational behavior.

    I have been in your same boat, but the things I feel the most guilty about are the times when I truly think regardless of what I say I am talking to the air. Then I tend to just talk to the air as if it will listen, and most of the time it ends up being ugly. Had to apologize for that more than once, but beating myself up about it won't help me move forward.

  • OK you are literally my hero. I recently started blogging so that I could put all my good and bad out there and I LOVE your brutal honesty. In just this one blog I can honestly say that we are on the same level. My goal is always to help people. Not just parents but anyone who's ever struggled. Please check out my Blog and maybe even add me on Facebook. I am always looking to add strong honest woman to my circle.

    My Blog

    on Facebook Lisa Marescalco Keres.

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    I honestly love you. I found you when I was so depressed I didn't realize I was depressed. You made me laugh. You let us pimp our own blogs one day. And I went from someone with a blog that no one looked at to someone with a blog that 3 people looked at, 2 people commented on, and 1 person decided to follow. All of a sudden I didn't feel quite as lonely. A huge huzzah to you and all the blogging mommies supporting each other and not tearing each other down.

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    Wow, I just stumbled on your blog here and I am amazed!!! I love it. I am a very blunt, no "beating around the bush", cursing mom. I keep it real, cuz the real world doesn't always say please!!! Glad to see I am not the only mom out there telling their kid to "not chase the birds around cuz it will peck your eyes out."

  • The best part about reading what you have to say for me is that I notice I am breathing easier, literally. Usually, its because Im laughing, but today, its because I feel completely connected to your words and the unity amongst all of us who just want to do right by our way or the other. And bonus, I never read Scary Mommy's confessionals until today. Brilliant!! Thanks for sharing.

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    I remember, as a kid, I ran in front of a car and almost got hit. My mother picked me up, threw me over her shoulder, and beat my ass the entire 7 blocks it took to walk home. Tiger mama, that one.

  • On his way to bed last night, my 11 year old son walking down the hallway last night, puppy in hand, turns to look at me one last time, then says to the puppy, "She's not a mama...she's an evil blonde monster. Be afraid!" I felt a strange sense of pride at that moment.

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