The text read: today I failed as a mother.
Today I failed. I failed as a mother. I wrote to my husband with tears swelling in my eyes.
I felt such shame at the fact that I brought myself to a point where I had to say this.
Because of the reason.
The reason that was so heavy.
I went on to explain how I yelled and how I felt horrible afterwards.
How I tossed the plate of food for him to just eat and be quiet.
How in reality, I just wanted to break anything in sight, including that plate; especially that plate.
I failed as a mother today because of what my son told me after I yelled.
I cannot explain quite precisely enough just how horrible I felt, how ashamed, how small.
When I calmed down and caught my breath, I went to apologize to my son for my unacceptable behaviour.
And in an attempt to fix my mistake, went on to ask him how it made him feel, or what it made him think of when mama yelled.
His next words rang in my ears like a high pitched dismaying noise that has yet to cease.
“It makes me think I’m going to yell at my kids when I get big.”
And in that moment, it’s like I hit a brick wall.
I felt my throat tighten and my cheeks burn up.
I was utterly disgusted in myself for the mental pain I had inflicted on my son and for the cycle of trauma I had part in initiating.
Because this is how it begins. Little moments like this that have a huge ripple effect.
My heart hurt so much for this little human whom I have no right in hurting. I was literally, physically hurting. And I deserved to feel that pain.
I can blame it on exhaustion and anxiety and rage and the state of the world.
I can blame it on all of the struggles of motherhood and the daunting numbness that follows; the numbness I’ve been feeling for some time now.
Or I can own up to it and take the opportunity to do better. To use it as a learning experience. To show up for my children rather than traumatize them.
I can confess that the toll motherhood has taken on me is now negatively affecting my children first hand. But I also can, and will make a change.
I have to put an end to this very ugly pattern and I will gather the courage to do so.