True Confessions: Randi


Randi is the newest blogger to join CTWM’s and her first piece delves right into some great parenting confessions!

1. I love picking at my children, and now at my grandchild.

– I used to pay my younger son to let me squeeze his juicy blackheads. I had an entire kit of tools for this purpose.

– My older son carried Q-tips in his pocket when we went out in public, knowing I was sure to spot some wax in his ears and obsess about it until I could get it out (must be his Cub Scout training – always be prepared!).

– The grandbaby has deliciously flaky cradle cap!

2. I fought constantly with my sons about too much television-watching and video-game playing. I was worried about their lack of interest in other things, but I wasted a lot of years being bitchy about an activity they loved. Especially ironic because my mother did the same thing to me about READING TOO MUCH.

3. I yelled a lot when they were growing up. Now that I have a stepson, I see that I definitely hold back with him, and I realize that all the yelling was unnecessary and wrong. I was raised in a family where we verbally treated our loved ones badly, and I am sorry I continued this tradition.

4. Same deal with quipping and sarcasm. Unnecessary and really unfair for the parent to do to the child, who takes the parent’s words so seriously. Example: My stepson was going into the bathroom and saw that I was headed that way. He said, “I’ll be really fast.” He wasn’t. So what? When he emerged, I simply said, “Thanks.” In the past, I would have said sarcastically, “I’d hate to see you when you were going slowly!” Har har. Completely unnecessary and mean.

5. I, like other confessing moms, found work to be a refuge. In hindsight, I don’t think that is so bad, although at the time, I felt guilty. Now, looking back, I think I was able to be a saner mother because I had the opportunity to work and use my brain.

6. I hated other people’s children. Still do. I like my own kids, of course, and my nephews and a VERY FEW kids of friends, but for the most part, I found other people’s children to be totally obnoxious, ill-mannered and shockingly nosy and demanding. I was part of a carpool for many years in which I had to restrain myself from shrieking at my wee passengers. Example:

-Me: “We’re home! Get out of the car, Evan!”

-Evan: “NO.”

Just “NO.” And there he would sit, when I was racing the clock to pick up my other child at a different school. If I tried to unbuckle him, he would writhe and cover up the seat belt buckle. Where was his parent? In the house. Grrrr.

7. I resented when my children asked if they could have some of my beverage and then took a huge endless sip. I felt they were sucking the life out of me.

8. I felt that my children did not appreciate me and all that I did to make the house run, especially when I became a single parent when they were 15 and 10. I resented that there was no father to say, “Look at all your mother does!” I spent a lot of time on this in therapy, and learned that I had to talk about it instead of sulking. I also learned I had to let them know that I wanted loving birthday cards and mother’s day cards, not just the joking ones. Instead of getting all hurt and wounded about the joking ones, I explained to them that there are 2 days of the year I would like them to express their love to me. It was VERY difficult to do, and I believe I cried. To this day, they will say, “Oh yeah, here’s your LOVEY-DOVEY CARD, Mom!” But I hope that I helped them to be better partners to their respective women by teaching them this. I was really cross about the lack of the dad doing so (he was in their lives, just not too with it).

9. I said some bad things about their dad after we split up – many less than I wanted to, but still I made them feel uncomfortable, and sometimes I still do (when they tell me about some asinine thing he has done in the present day, it’s hard not to make sounds of derision and disgust).

10. My older son, age 31+, just told me LAST WEEK that he realized in therapy that there was one galvanizing moment when my nasty reaction caused him to be afraid to ask questions for the rest of his life. He was probably 4 or 5 when I blew up at him when he asked if he could watch more TV, after watching 5 or 6 hours straight. He remembers that I later apologized, but he figured out that the lesson he came away with was that it is dangerous to ask questions. I am actually thrilled he discovered this, because that is how therapy is supposed to work – you figure out what’s holding you back, and then the childhood trauma gets minimized and you can go on in your adult life without having the child within dictate your reactions. However, although I certainly know I wasn’t a perfect parent, of course it does really hurt me to know I hurt him.

11. I hated, really hated the Berenstain Bears. Too many words, stupid storylines, ugly characters.

25 comments on “True Confessions: Randi”

  1. Welcome Randi! I laughed out loud at #1 and the black-heads! And THANK YOU for validating my instincts that my children should be allowed to enjoy their video games ~ really, your perspective is a wonderful thing to have here! ♡

    1. Thanks, Kate. I know it’s hard to imagine those sweet little faces someday having blackheads and beards, but it really does happen. I’m so glad to be part of this group and I LOVED reading about your sparkle missions.

  2. Hey Christa — isn’t that just like Tom to steal my intern! He does that all the time. Yes, he’s still there and just as nutty as ever. I am sure he’d enjoy talking/emailing/seeing you. Do you want his email or phone? Michelle is now our OFFICE MANAGING ATTORNEY — a meteoric rise through the ranks, eh? So nice to reconnect with you, especially because you have been part of the cult that is CLS Waterbury…our motto: “We put the FUN back in dysFUNctional!”

    1. I truly loved that internship…I wish I could have somehow skipped all the necessary schooling it would require and just do that as my job. The folks at CLS Waterbury are just great. Plus Michelle introduced me to sushi. And Tom still has a dish of mine from some office party at his house…so he’s an intern AND dish stealer…

  3. I loved getting to know you a bit through this post, Randi! Welcome!

    Though, I realize that we do in fact know each other. Ten or eleven or twelve or so years ago I interned at CLS – it was supposed to be for you, and technically you were considered my supervisor, but I did most of my work for Tom. Michele Fica was an intern there at the time as well (though I was undergrad and she was law school). I’m hijacking my own comment here, but I’d love to reconnect with Tom, too, if he’s still there 🙂

  4. Many thanks to Michelle and the other CTWM veterans for welcoming me! I love being part of this community of wise, honest, insightful women.

  5. I see that there is a need for an “I Hate the Berenstain Bears” support group. Who knew? I thought I was some sort of subversive anti-childhood creep because I hated them. This really demonstrates the value of this website — learning you are not alone.

  6. Great post, Randi, and welcome! I hated the Berenstain Bears when I was a kid and still hate them now. I just didn’t like the look of them AT ALL. 🙂

  7. Randi…the hat thing is so funny, because that is my battle with my husband. I always yell at him when I see our kids not wearing hats. My mom use to bundle us like there is no tomorrow during the winter months. Studies do show that most of our heat is lost through our head. =)

    1. Michelle was nice enough to allow me to begin to show you all the other end of the tunnel — I think I may be able to help new moms relax a little. Looking forward to sharing my momhood experiences.

  8. Awesome post Randi, I can relate to it from both your side and your sons’ side.

    I pick at both my kids and my husband. I’m always checking my kids’ ears for wax and noses for buggers. If my husband gets sunburn in the summer, I love peeling the flaky skin. I also yell at my kids way too much, repeating my mom’s attitude toward me when I was a child (it’s really hard to change oneself).

    When my parents got divorced, my mom would always say things about my father in a negative intonation. She still does that from time to time, but I learned that it’s her issues not mine.

    My mom’s reactions always “scared” me. When I was 23 and had a minor car accident and asked my father to tell my mom. If I do not have to tell my mom something, I don’t. I hope I can change that with my kids. I can see this issue already with my seven-year-old; she comes crying when she thinks she did something wrong before I even get mad. Her father will be her savior like my father was my savior.

    1. Sofia — I hope you can take comfort in the fact that kids really do need boundaries, and by demonstrating a moral compass for your daughter, you are helping her to develop her own. My sons tell me that now they drive by kids waiting for the bus who are not wearing hats in the cold weather, and they want to STOP and SCOLD THEM!! The lengthy battle of the hats that dominated their teen years has borne fruit!

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