There are times in every person’s life, whether that person is a mom, single woman, dad, grandmother, etc., when some not-so-nice words slip from our mouths. We’re in a bad mood because of something that happened at work and yell at our dog to “get out of the way.” We snap at a customer service agent over the phone when he fails to clear up a mistake we probably made. We tell our husbands they don’t love us and ask our newborn why in the hell they’re being so “difficult” when they refuse to stop acting like newborns and keep waking up in the middle of the night.
We’ve all been there — and messing up and saying mean things puts an extraordinary weight on moms who already feel they’re judged harshly and show themselves no mercy.
We asked moms to reveal the worst thing they ever said to one (or all!) of their children — the thing that made them lose sleep wondering how it would affect their kids and taught them to be more mindful of their words. Some of these confessions might seem over the top, and your first reaction might just be to judge these parents for letting themselves lose their shit to such an extreme. Nearly every mom started off saying, “I can’t believe I said this and I feel horrible about it, but here’s my story.” We’ve all been there — we just express our anger, frustration and fear in different ways and with different words.
At the end of the day, we’re in this parenting thing together. These examples are proof that we’re all going to have great days and days when we learn about ourselves and our kids from our own reactions. Moms, give yourselves a break. You’ve got the most difficult job in the world and you are entitled to bad moments.
Here are their anonymous responses:
“I’m trying to stop using the word ‘stupid’ so much because I realize I use it a lot around my kids. I don’t call them ‘stupid,’ but I’ve called the TV shows and even some of the books they love ‘stupid’ because, to me, they don’t challenge them or encourage them to think. One day my daughter told me she was ‘stupid’ because she liked My Little Pony and I began to understand how she was making a connection I didn’t even think about. I now try not to use those words to judge things that are important to them.” — S.W.
“I told my son he’d be better off staying away from science and math careers when I got so fed up one night trying to get us through one of his harder homework assignments. I regret saying that so much — it hasn’t done anything, obviously, to encourage him to try harder in math and science and I hate knowing that one little thing I said can put him off from doing something.” — L. M.
“I said, ‘Go away! Leave me alone!’ I was feeling really overwhelmed. We have five kids. I still feel terrible for saying it.” — G.S.
“I have said nasty, nasty things about them when out of earshot, but would never call them names. Never. I have lately started telling them loudly to ‘shut up,” which I didn’t think I’d ever do. My stepson, for reference, has ADHD and is slightly autistic, so when things get bad they get real, real bad. I just recently started saying ‘If you don’t xyz I might kill you.’ Of course, jokingly, but I guess it doesn’t sound like that to them. Over the years, I’ve tried so many ways and have been so polite to these kids, but the way they push, sometimes the only way I feel I can push back is with words.” — T.R.
“I told G ‘I will kick you if you don’t shut up.’ Yikes.” — J.C.
“My kids were being absolutely horrible in the car one day — loud, fighting, not listening to me, just horrible, all on a five-minute car ride home. The words, ‘if you don’t stop doing that I’m going to kill you’ came out of my mouth. They never even heard me because they were being so horrible.” — E.B.
“I very recently told my daughter that she is ‘selfish’ and ‘ungrateful.’ In my defense, in that moment, she was being both of those things, but overall, she is not even close to being selfish or ungrateful and I am still apologizing for that one.” — D.A.
“They had to be, like, 6 and 10. I told them I was going to ‘fuck them up.’ They both laughed at me.” — D.V.
“My 4-year-old daughter says more words in a day that anyone I’ve ever met. My husband and I often look at each other, roll our eyes and complain, ‘so many words,’ but we’re usually pretty good at letting her express herself. One day, I couldn’t handle it anymore and I shouted, ‘Stop talking! You talk too much!’ I still feel bad about that because it worked to stop her from talking, but that’s not actually a good thing. I’m an introvert and she’s an extrovert and I know I have to be more mindful that I’m not trying to force my ways on her.” — L.F.
“I said to my son, ‘You are soooo annoying.’ I felt horrible after that.” — K.B.
“So let me preface this by saying I didn’t say it to her face, but it was still an awful thing to say. I was up until well after midnight the night before my daughter’s 10th birthday party and up with the sunrise to clean and bake. About an hour before the party, she finally rose her tail out of bed and proceeded to be as disagreeable as she could possibly be about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. Finally, after an argument about the white dress she was insisting on wearing, I’d had it. I told her to go to her room and stay there until the first guest arrived because I didn’t want to look at her. But that’s not the worst thing I said. When she was gone — or I thought she’d gone — I burst into tears and told my husband I ‘hated’ what a ‘fucking bitch’ she was being. Then I heard her behind me, sobbing. She hadn’t gone to her room after all. She turned on her tail and ran. I went to comfort her, but the damage was done. She thought I’d said I hated her and [had] called her a fucking bitch. The first wasn’t exactly true, but the second was, and I felt like a complete shit for saying it.” — J.S.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.