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PTSD from parenthood

On any given day lately, I feel like I have a laundry list of about 103930 things on the verge of driving me completely insane. Like, one day I think I’m going to have PTSD from parenthood.

One day things are going to be smooth sailing (probably not until they go to college) and I am going to be in a corner rocking back and forth, drool puddling in my lap, and mumbling lines from Dora the Explorer

“Isa, turn the wheel! Turn the wheel, Isa! I’m turning the wheel! I’m turning the wheel! I’m TURNING THE WHEEL!”

That is probably going to happen.

I don’t know if it’s just my kids but something about right now is really hard. Or maybe it’s just me.

It’s no secret that sleep in this house is a contentious subject. I would like everyone to have more of it and Emma and Joshua would like everyone to have less. I am losing this battle mightily.

But even when I do get a good night’s sleep and there is plenty of rest during the day, the feelings of irritation and exhaustion are still there by the afternoon. Sometimes earlier.

I walk around feeling, quite frankly, like I’m drunk. Or hungover. My brain is foggy. I get dizzy spells. Everything seems louder than it actually is. If one more child touches me for one more second, my skin might actually burst into flames.

Joshua is demanding. So, so very demanding.


“Get me milk!”

“Get me a snack!”



It’s like I’m raising the boy version of Veruca Salt. I’m working on manners and asking nicely. Success with being…not a brat…is slow-going but it’s happening. Mostly. I think. Sometimes.

He has absolutely zero patience and every parenting trick in the book to help him build patience has failed. Unless there’s a trick I haven’t tried yet and then maybe that one would work. Except I don’t know it.

Mostly I just get flustered and shake my fists up beside my face and clench my teeth to keep from yelling “WOULD YOU JUST WAIT FOR FOURTEEN FREAKING SECONDS!!!!!!!111111”

Everything is an emergency. Except nothing is an emergency.

I’m trying not to yell so much. Trying really hard. It’s not working. I can tell it’s not working because Joshua yells. He’s a yell-er. Just like me.

He yells at me. He yells at Emma, telling her not to go down the hallway, not to sit on his cushion, not to cry. He yells at her for touching a toy that he’s not playing with because the minute she touches it the toy morphs into the very thing that he must play with right that very second.

I’m not willing to believe that yelling is a genetic trait so I can only guess that he’s learned it from me which makes me incredibly angry at and ashamed of myself but also frustrated with him. (Except sometimes it’s funny.)

Emma is so very into everything. Everything. And she wants everything. And she wants it now.

At least some of her behavior is related to the chicken pox vaccine. The rest of it is related to the fact that she’s So. Very. Aware. of the world and has no words. So she grunts and flails and points and scratches and climbs. OMG. She climbs.

She climbs on everything. She uses the dog to do it. The dog helps her by laying still and allowing it to happen. They are conspiring together to make me even more insane than she and Joshua will. (BTW, I do stop her from climbing on the dog when I see it. And I’m so very thankful for a patient pup.)

I’ve tried taking them to the daycare at the gym just to get a few minutes of no one touching me or screaming at me or demanding anything and then I go and pick her up and find out she’s been crying the whole time and feel like a giant, soggy poop sandwich.

And speaking of poop, Joshua always has to go in the middle of a meal, and not by himself, and Emma goes something like 5 times a day. Both of these things contribute to the wide-eyed, dazed face I have by 4:00 in the afternoon.

PTSD from parenthood is a real thing and I think I’m going to have it one day.

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Law Momma

Thursday 2nd of May 2013

Oh so much of this post. Okay all of it. Except, you know, the second child. J is awful about patience... AWFUL. I've started setting the microwave timer for five minutes when we get home and told him he can't ask me for ANYTHING until the timer goes off. I wish I could set it for thirty bc MY GOD the first bit after coming home at the end of the day is mother effer maddening.

All that to say ... Yeah. Rock on. I get you. :)


Wednesday 1st of May 2013

I'm so sorry, Miranda. But I have to be honest and say this post makes me sad. I know you absolutely love your kids and this is your outlet to vent your frustrations. But I can't help but wonder how your kids would feel if they read some of your posts one day. I wonder how someone who truly suffers from PTSD would feel about the term thrown around lightly. (Much like I'm sure you would if someone tossed around PPD). Am I over-reacting and over-analyzing? I can't help but think about my friends who have struggled to become mothers, and my friend who has lost two sons. I think about my students who are unable to communicate - whose parents would love to hear them talk, and even complain! For all of these reasons, I try not to take any mothering moments for granted. I'm not always successful with that, but I try to be. Again, I don't mean to sound judgmental, so please don't take it that way. I know you're just venting. But I thought about it a lot and I just felt compelled to share my feelings. I'm thankful that I feel like I can honestly express myself here, and I hope I haven't offended you.


Thursday 2nd of May 2013

I'm sorry this post makes you sad. The string of days leading up to this post made me sad.

I have a general rule about what I post and what I don't. If it's a story I would tell the kids about themselves or growing up or our life, I will write it from my perspective. They may remember it a different way and I'll encourage them (as they get older and remember) to tell their stories from their perspectives. If you asked my mother and I to both tell the infamous brownie story from my youth, our tales would overlap but be different. Two sides to the same story and all. I feel confident that I will at some point likely say to them "you guys are making me crazy right now" and so saying that here, where other mothers sometimes feel the same isn't off-limits for me.

There are times when motherhood isn't happy. Or pretty. Or enjoyable. That's just the bottom line. I don't think we, collectively as mothers and women, do a disservice to motherhood by talking about the less grand moments. In fact, I think closing the dialogue around the less glamorous moments and not talking about them actually hurts mothers. When we only talk about the happy times, mothers who are struggling look around and say "she has it all together. I'm a failure because I can't do that." when the reality is that sometimes that togetherness isn't exactly true. I've been that mother looking around at others and wondering why she can do what I can't. I'm still that mother sometimes. I hate being that mother and feeling that way.

Comparing unequal situations isn't helpful. Saying that a person can't or shouldn't feel how they feel about their situation because someone else has it "worse" or different attempts to negate that person's very real feelings. Someone will always have it worse than another, and yes, perspective is good. But it doesn't change the fact that people have feelings.

The fact that there are moments that I don't enjoy doesn't mean that I take mothering moments for granted. That I don't enjoy some of the moments doesn't mean I enjoy NO moments. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to be be mother to these children. But there's not really much that's enjoyable about having your meal interrupted by a trip to the bathroom (after finally getting to sit down to what is likely a cold plate by the time I made sure everyone else had what they needed), and I should hope that's something that we all can agree on. Poop is about as unappetizing a thing as I can think of.

I appreciate your perspective. And I know you're not trying to be judgmental. And yes, you can always express yourself honestly here. Honesty is kind of what I'm doing here, you know? ;)


Thursday 2nd of May 2013


Monday 29th of April 2013

Could you elaborate on how some of her behavior is a result of the chicken pox vaccine? Has this been confirmed? I'm just curious I'm pregnant and always wanting more info about vaccines.



Thursday 2nd of May 2013

Regarding the vaccine, that one in particular has just made my kids grumpy. Or grumpier than usual. So some of her whining over the weekend/end of last week was likely related to just being grumpy from the shot. And then also just because she's a girl and can be grumpy if she wants to. :)


Monday 29th of April 2013

I'm right there with you about the yelling. And I know even more that it's me because Ava never yelled. And neither did I when she was little. Now both of them are sass pants. Sigh. We can just consider ourselves works in progress. Right?


Thursday 2nd of May 2013

I think I've always been a yeller. :/

And yes, totally works in progress.


Sunday 28th of April 2013

I love the realness and vulnerability in this post - while still having your hilarious voice. Parenthood is NO JOKE. :) You are doing a great job momma!


Thursday 2nd of May 2013

Thank you. Parenthood is definitely not a joke.

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