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Today, I was a bad mom. I did everything wrong. Even the things I started out doing right, I screwed up.

I let them sleep as late as they wanted, despite my resolution the night before that we were going to get up early and get something done today. I just didn’t want to start the day with a fight.

I made the 11 year old get dressed when she didn’t want to. I didn’t sit on her bed and stroke her hair and lovingly ask Why she didn’t want to get dressed. I just yelled myself hoarse for an hour before I threatened to take stuff away while cursing loudly.

I didn’t go to my son’s football scrimmage that he MIGHT have gotten in for one play…I went to the grocery store instead because he’s going to want food when he’s done…more than he wants his mommy to watch him play football.

I made them read their summer reading books. I didn’t try to negotiate…three pages and you can stop. Five pages and you can go out and play. I made them sit there and FINISH the &*$@ summer reading books before they were allowed to do anything. I yelled. A lot. They both gave me the finger when they thought I wasn’t looking.

I made the 11 year old pick up her Legos. I didn’t help her. I took her phone away when she refused. I took the iPad away when she refused. She threw her Legos at me. I shut the door and let her scream. The Legos are still all over her room. I’ll probably pick them up when she’s in bed.

I didn’t make my son another dinner after our late lunch and milkshakes for dinner. I didn’t let him have a bowl of cereal after he made a pound of buttered pasta. I yelled that he was eating me out of house and home. He yelled back that he was a growing boy. I gave in.

I asked the 11 year old to empty the dishwasher. She cried that she just emptied it this morning…I told her to take it up with her brother—he’s the one who makes all the dishes. They yelled, they slapped each other. I yelled at them to stop, but I was too tired to punish anyone.

I think I said goodnight when they went to bed. They don’t come down looking for a hug and a kiss anymore. I don’t bother to remind them to brush their teeth or wash their face. They don’t listen anyway.

I kiss their heads when they’re asleep…and silently apologize for not doing it by the books, not being a better mom for them.  I beat myself up for a little while after they’re asleep, hating the way I handled things. A glass of Shiraz later, I promise myself I’ll do a better job tomorrow. And maybe this time I will.

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