School Trek II: The Wrath of Mom

While my husband typically takes responsibility for the morning routine and getting the kids to school, this morning the task fell to me. I'll admit, I got the kids up about 5 minutes later than usual. So, a smidgen of this morning's shenanigans are mine to own. My kids get to own the others. Some of the irritants: my daughter taking 35 minutes to put on a pair of jeans; my son taking a morning (vs. evening) shower that would have drained the hot water heater had I not kicked him out. It's typical stuff, I'm sure. Still, I had little patience for it this morning. I have enough trouble managing myself! Directing every step and giving clock reminders was a little like being forced to watch 4 straight hours of political campaign commercials.

And I made them pay for my inconvenience.

That 12 minute ride to school probably felt like an entire day. I gave them a complete critique of their performances and even threw in a nasty "if you can't find your Brownie vest, I'm not buying you a new one because it's not my problem."

Oh my God! I felt like such a turd for being Mean Mom. I dropped them off with a deep sense of regret for hammering them for their every move. I swear the only bright spot for them was the moment I woke them. When I still felt nice. Before I had to remind them to get out of bed. Again.

So, I drove to work with my Mom Guilt. At one light I realized the car next to me was the scene of a similar experience. A forlorn looking teen sat next to his mom in their Volvo as she apparently spewed her disappointment and directives. I could see the look on his face: "When will this light change? Come on already." I'm betting he never realized he could be so happy to arrive at school.

I was on the one hand comforted that I'm not the only parent that goes through the Car Bitching routine. On the other hand, I got to see what it looks like from the outside. Any comfort I found was erased and I returned to full-on Mom Guilt.

We have a lot of power as parents. We can induce guilt. We can suppress a spirit. We can also support, encourage, empower, guide and uplift.

Riding the elevator up to my office this morning, I took some deep cleansing breaths and vowed to make this evening a better experience for my kids.