I am driving the bus on the highway to mommy hell. It’s the guilt bus! It’s a dark cinnamon red, and covered in swirly black flames. The seats are upholstered in matching velvet. There is plenty of room on board, and I bet each mommy out there has taken a seat for a ride every now and then.
Me? I got so used to being on the bus, I volunteered to drive the damn thing.
There are any number of mommy failings that can get me a ticket for a ride on the bus, too much fast food, too much t.v., not enough interactive play with the kids (“No I can’t play with you now, Mommy is blogging”). I am guilty of small shame-worthy infractions every day.
However, there is one thing I do, one aspect of my personality, that makes me hop on the bus for the long haul.
I am a yeller. I have a hard time not raising my voice when the buttons have been pushed one time too many.
I know what you’re thinking. “C’Mon now Scylla, everyone can yell when their buttons are pushed. This is nothing.”
You have never heard me yell.
In my first life I was a theater fiend. I spent from age 9 to age 19 projecting the smallest whisper to the point that it could be heard throughout an auditorium filled with people. My voice is a power that should only be used for good, like “Look out! Car!!” or “The Groom has something he wants to say everyone, please quiet down!” I can raise the roof with the sound of my voice. I am really, really loud.
When I am really angry I can yell loudly enough that I give myself a headache, instantly. I can also yell loudly enough that I terrify my kids, sending them into shocked tears, sending them running from the room.
I don’t yell often, because it’s horrible to see the looks on their faces, but sometimes the yell slips out. It fights free. It says “Look!! I have been sensible and reasonable and calm and quiet through a day full of argument and not listening and mis-behaving!! I am coming out damnit!” Then it roars forth, from my throat, over their scared faces, into the house, up the stairs, out onto the street. It leaves them forcibly subdued, their tear stained faces turned away from me.
It never feels good after. I don’t get results, or better listening. I don’t feel any release. I just feel really guilty, and sad that my kids were scared of me. I try really hard not to yell again. I can go weeks without doing so, but then there will be a day when I didn’t sleep enough, or Monkey is particularly argumentative, and the loud angry beast will start chomping at the bit. I will inevitably lose the fight for control, and my yelling will land me squarely in the driver’s seat of the Red Velvet Express Bus to Mommy Hell.
So, when you come on board the bus for any of your mommy infractions, please be sure to tip your driver.