Have you ever, in a moment of total frustration and anger, felt yourself transform from patient, loving super-mom into evil super-villain mom?
Then you are a better mother than me.
It doesn’t happen everyday, but it happens. Like when a sweet child o’ mine (I won’t say which one) uses a full size LaLaLoopsie doll as a weapon. Have you seen those things? Their heads are like little bricks. Maybe the evil mom takes over when you walk into a room and find it completely trashed 10 minutes after you cleaned it and 30 seconds before your friend (who keeps a perfect house) is due to arrive?
It happens to the best of us.
My nephew is a 5 year-old super hero. One day he’s Batman. The next day he’s Ironman or Superman or Thor. Everyone in the family has a superhero identity so we can play with him on demand.
Recently, he committed a not-so-heroic act. He hit his little sister in the face with his fist.
His mom (my sister) lost her cool. She lashed out. She wanted him to understand how serious this was and how wrong he was to hurt his sister. She was loud and clear and hopeful that she got through to him and that he would never do it again.
He looked at her. He starred deep into her eyes for a long moment and declared,
“You aren’t my mother. Your eyes are not her eyes. You must be Dark Mom.”
He thought she was possessed.
Have you ever thought about what we look like to our children when we flip out and yell? Dark Mom is frightening. Don’t agree?
Get up, go to the closest mirror and pretend you are yelling at someone you really want to smack, like the lady who cuts you in line at Costco.
Did you do it? Not so pretty, I bet. Dark Mom is one scary villian, right?
We morph into our darkest selves and the kids are left to wonder what happened to their beautiful, smiling mom. Unfortunately, if they’re thinking that you’re possessed by an evil spirit, they aren’t thinking about what they did wrong.
They’re contemplating what weapons they will need to save mom from being forever consumed by darkness. Will Thor’s hammer rid mom of evil? Can a zap from Ironman knock some nice into her? They’ re freaking out – how do I get my mom back?
We don’t need to get caught up in the good mom / dark mom talk. We’re all a little of both. It isn’t possible to be cool and calm all the time. If you are, I’m not sure you can be trusted.
The kids will see that they aren’t the only ones who lose it once in a while. And if you can go back and address it, they’ll also learn that it’s okay to apologize. After an appearance from Dark Mom, I typically apologize to my girls for scaring them. I tell them that I could have handled it differently. And then they apologize for trashing the place or using innocent dolls heads to draw blood from a sister’s head.
I don’t want to be Dark Mom. It doesn’t make me feel good. I’d rather be Black Widow. Wouldn’t you? I know, not the image of non-violence that I usually go for, but if I had to be a superhero…