Dear kids,

I’m sorry I yelled. But in my defense, ya’ll got me so stressed it’s the only outlet I have before I spontaneously combust from holding it all in.

I know you’re tired and cranky. I am, too.

So when I ask you to pick up your Hot Wheels for the 76th time and you continue to dance around clucking like a chicken, I lose my crap. Then when you melt into a puddle of snot because I yelled, I can only step over you and your Hot Wheels and move on to the next mess cause momma ain’t got time for this.

I have daycare pickup, cheer carpool, football carpool, carpool for carpools. You want a last-minute ride to a friend’s house? Sure, load up the crew, what’s another trip. You forgot you needed supplies for a project due tomorrow? Kroger, here we come. Last-minute practice changes? Why not, sounds great.

I’ve got lunches to pack that I’ll throw most of away after school tomorrow. I have 10 minutes of homework that will surely take four hours. I have dinner to cook that you will refuse to even try because it has green stuff in it, which will then be followed by a gourmet five-course meal of your choosing consisting of Easy Mac, a hot dog, chicken nuggets, yogurt, and cereal of which you’ll consume a cumulative 6.5 bites before it joins the majority of your packed lunch in the trash.

I have hours of laundry to fold and put away so you can yank it all out of your drawer tomorrow and throw it all over your room while looking for the stained, too small shirt you’ll insist on wearing to make sure everyone thinks your mom never does laundry or buys you new clothes. Then when I yell at you to clean your messy room, you will pick up those clean clothes from your floor and toss them right back into the dirty clothes hamper. Hence, the never-ending laundry and my need to yell. Again.

I have 12 blankets to pick up and fold from all corners of this house. Not because it’s freezing in here but because your favorite hobby is getting every blanket out and dragging it through the house and dropping it wherever you feel the urge before going back for the next one.

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I have costumes to pick up from every surface because you want to be Captain Underpants when you get home from preschool, you have to eat dinner as a Ninja Turtle, you insist on putting on your football uniform to play imaginary tackle football with yourself, then gear up in your police uniform to head out to patrol the backyard in your police vehicle.

The yard. Oh, the yard. It’s a never-ending job picking up construction vehicles and returning them to the sandbox. Gathering random socks from around the trampoline. Rounding up 43 basketballs, footballs, and kickballs. Watering my dead plants out of principle, not that I actually think they have a chance of ever coming back to life.

I have sand to sweep from the floors and scrub from the bathtub after the ring left from bathing dirty little boys. There’s urine to mop up around the toiletsbecause again, boys.

I have permission slips to sign, money to be handed over, fundraisers to solicit.

There’s kind of a lot going on.

So, at the end of the day when I ask you to pick up your Hot Wheels, please do not cluck at me. Just pick up the darn cars and put them away. Because believe it or not, I don’t like to yell. It does not spark joy within me. It leaves a huge weight of mom guilt on my shoulders that never really goes away. It may shift from my shoulders to my mind at night, so I have plenty of things to overthink and worry about as I lie in bed instead of resting my overly tired mind. It infringes on my allotted six hours of sleep I so desperately need before waking up to do this all over again. By morning, it will shift back to my shoulders for me to carry around all day again because no amount of worrying and overthinking seems to ever make it go away.

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I’m sorry I yell. I really am. I will try harder tomorrow but no promises can be made. I know you’ll be super shocked to hear this, but I’m not a perfect mom. It’s hard to tell from the forgotten show-and-tell days and the unsuccessful, Pinterest-worthy school projectsbut it’s the truth.

I try my best, I really do. But many times, my best doesn’t feel good enough. Not because you make me feel that way, but because I feel nothing will ever be good enough for the perfectly imperfect little humans your dad and I have created. I will forever want to do more. To be more.

But as much as I yell AT you sometimes, remember I’m yelling FOR you most times. Yelling on the sidelines, proud of that tackle. Yelling encouragement when you try out for the sport you’re not the best at but willing to try anyway. Yelling I’m proud of you for receiving the best grades you’re capable of achieving. Yelling you’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re kind because that’s what you need to hear the most. Those yells by far outweigh the frustrated, tired, cranky yells.

So, at the end of the day, please don’t remember the times I yelled.

Please remember the carpool karaoke of “Old Town Road” on repeat because that’s your favorite songand because you were forced to participate in two hours of carpool because your siblings have places to be. Please remember your belly being full, your clothes that smell like Tide, and the overflowing bottomless toy box. Please remember me running through the house as you chase me with a sword and clapping for you as you perform imaginary tackles on the living room carpet in your football gear. Please remember the silly songs we make up and sing as we scrub the dirt from behind your ears and sand from your hair.

Most of all, remember I love you.

I’m proudly yelling “I LOVE YOU!”

Please, just remember that yell.

Love,
Mom

Originally published on the author’s blog

Parenting is a wild ride, but the strategies in Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World have made it a little smoother for us. (And YAY! It’s on Audible as well for those of us who don’t have time to sit and read.)

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Amber Kruse

Amber is a professional Accounting Manager by day and a train wreck mother by night. She is a wife and mother to four children ages 5-15. She gets through life on copious amounts of coffee, lots of humor, wine by the box and tons of laughter usually brought on by her kids’ shenanigans. You can view her Facebook page at The Motley Kru by Amber Kruse.