You know those women, the “Supermoms”? They’re the ones who work all day, go home and tend to their kids, make home-made brownies for snack at soccer and host those candle parties on the weekend, all with a smile plastered on their face? Yeah… turns out, they’re full of it.
A University of Washington graduate student did a study and found those “Supermoms” are depressed. Wanna know why? Because they can’t do it all! We can’t! None of us can! Today, I worked the old 9-5 and then picked up my kids. Thank the Lord their after school care lady fed them dinner (she fed me too, God love her.) By the time we got home, it was past 7. They go to bed at 8. I did the math: I got 53 minutes with my kids tonight. Swell. And, most of those 53 minutes were spent rushing around, trying to get them to get their homework checked, their lunches made and their pajamas on. It’s friggin hard! I did read them a book, which partially squashed the mom guilt, but still. I don’t even work full-time, and I’m still kind of depressed. You just can’t do it all! By the way, Stay at Home Moms were more depressed than working moms. There’s just more to do… and no work release where you can acceptably swear in front of other adults…. Well, that’s my theory anyway.
The concept that we are not perfect brings me to the second subject I want to discuss: “Hot Sauce Mom.” The jury began deliberations today in the trial of Jessica Beagley, the mom being publicly crucified for disciplining or abusing her child by pouring hot sauce in his mouth and making him take cold showers. Although this case has been going on for some time, I’ve been reluctant to discuss it until now. For one, I’m a journalist and I’m not sure it’s appropriate to toss my opinion out there. However, I do write a mom blog, so, as a journalist, I’m eager to hear what you think.
Here’s my beef with discussing this case. I don’t want to get in to who did what or why. What I do want to say is, we’ve all “been there” with our kids. But, for every parent “there” has a different meaning. I like to call it becoming “Crazy Mom.” It’s when you’ve been pushed to the point of no return. You need a time out, but you just can’t get one. Even the best parents break some time. Now, I’m not saying this to excuse her behavior. Nor am I condoning or condemning what she did. What I am saying is this: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7)
If you have never, ever gotten to the point where you’ve done or said something to or around your kids, good for you. Good for you for being able to lie so well to yourself. I bet every single one of us can think of some traumatic thing our parents did to us when we were young. Some are more severe than others. Abuse is abuse. Yes, I get that. But let me ask you this: Were you ever forced to put soap in your mouth as a kid? Do you think your parents should have been brought up on charges?
My best friend’s son has disciplinary issues. We talk a lot about her struggles with her son. The common theme I hear from her and most of my friends who have frustrations with a child that “just wont listen” is a child who knows how to “push your buttons.” These kids know what to do and often do exactly what will drive you to the “Crazy Mom” tipping point.
No wonder moms are depressed. It’s hard to parent. And when you do parent, there’s always someone there to judge you. If you spank your kids, someone calls the cops. If you’re too lenient, people complain then too. Once, in Wal-Mart, my middle child was being a total brat. (It’s okay to call your kid that every once in a while, when they deserve it.) I was choosing to ignore his behavior, something that’s recommended in several parenting books. A man in a Cowboy hat walked by and said very loudly “I’d spank that kid if he were mine!” Thank you sir, for your unsolicited advice.
It seems everyone knows how to parent each other’s kids. So, instead of letting each other get depressed or crazy, why don’t we just help each other out more?
Tell me. I’m interested… what is your take on these two stories?
Do you feel depressed at times?
Do you ever feel like you lose your cool with your kids?