Sometimes, I see parents rushing out of the store with their kicking and screaming child, snapping something harsh at them, and then, we make eye contact and the caught-red-handed look comes over their face.
At first, i think, "I will never do that with MY child." and then, I re-evaluate the situation: How many times have I dropped my head into my knees in frustration and starting sobbing? How many times have I had to leave her in her crib and walk away for a few minutes? How many times has some horrible thought crossed my mind and then I immediately "took it back"?
I will, more likely than not, have those moments where I'm the one getting caught saying something horrible to my child. I don't want to be that person. I don't. I love my baby more than anything. She's shown me true love, true happiness. But sometimes, I have those moments when I just want to scream.
My life was headed no where, fast, before I got pregnant. I was so ashamed of the person that I was. Constantly trying to escape from myself instead of face it like a healthy person would. The adjustment has been difficult (to put it lightly). Suddenly, I have responsibility and someone else will have to bear the consequences.
I live in guilt. It follows me around like a shadow and haunts me when I try to sleep. "You're a bad mother, a bad person," it says. "Nothing you do is good enough." Sometimes I wonder if I really am faking happiness, forcing a smile to the outside world, where people expect me to be a patient, kind, nurturing, loving mother - who would never trade selflessness for self-indulgence even for a minute.
Then I wonder, maybe everyone else is faking it, and I'm the only one being honest with myself: Sometimes being a mom sucks. That doesn't mean we're really bad people, does it? Every mother has those moments, don't they? And just because we have those bad moments, doesn't mean that we don't love our children. We just get overwhelmed with life sometimes and slip.
Next time I see that mother at her wits end dragging a screaming child behind her, I am going to smile at her and try to wordlessly communicate, "I understand."