I’m an angry mom. Not always, but moreso recently. I am always impatient when my kids refuse to listen or whine incessantly, but it’s worse now. And their behavior is also significantly worse than before the pandemic, which creates an awful spiral. I know this is hard on the kids, and I know big changes are scary, especially when you learn to read the word “deaths” on the TV screen. I’ve been through parenting books and articles and nothing has made a dent as of yet.
My rage isn’t really about my kids, it’s a reflection of the current state of the world. It’s the perfect storm of reading the news, becoming furious and anxious and needing things to be in order immediately, and having my kids throw themselves to the ground when I demand they pick up their junk or stop wandering around the entire floor plan while eating graham crackers like freaking Hansel and Gretel. I try gentle parenting, negotiation, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and then eventually I scream until my throat hurts. And still no one cleans, but everyone hates Mommy because she is loud and mean. And you know what? FUCK THIS.
If I thought I would be good at teaching, I would have become a teacher. When everyone is feeling more themselves and level-headed, I sometimes feel like my experience with diplomacy during Model United Nations has helped me mediate, but mostly I feel like nothing prepares you for parenthood, including having your own children, since all my kids are completely different. Add to that an article about the president claiming victory for his most excellent handling of the virus that (at time of writing) has killed over 90,000 people in this country, and the neighbors’ dogs yapping in their backyard every hour of every day, and a writing assignment for my six year old who cries in the fetal position every time he has to write a full sentence, and you get rage.
I have seen some other blogger parents try and broach the “what about the parents?” subject on the internet, and immediately they are flooded with comments about their shitty parenting and, “why did you have kids if you hate them?!” I do not hate my kids, not even a little bit when they are screaming that they will never ever upon pain of death pick up their Legos because they hate me and the dinner I made. But I do absolutely hate the situation. Parents are reminded that the kids are having a rough time, and a tantrum where they chuck their full plate to the floor is really a cry for your love. The parents are not okay, either. Who is coming to hold us and tell us it will all be alright? And also, when we were planning our family, we did not think to ponder what would happen should we choose to have three babies and then be shut into our homes for months because of a global pandemic. IT DID NOT COME UP.
The rage comes mostly from outside my confinement. I keep up with the news because I have always kept up with the news, and I want to know what progress we have made toward containment and safe reopening. I have to pay more attention than usual because of the steady deluge of bullshit coming from the White House. I don’t mean to be a spokesperson for Al Gore’s infinite wisdom, but just because facts are inconvenient, doesn’t make them false. Facts are facts, science is science, and if you are getting your information from anywhere besides a fully licensed and peer-reviewed medical outlet, you are objectively a fool and I assume you have trouble putting on your own pants in the morning.
The president is not a doctor, and if you get your medical advice from a man who not-at-all-sarcastically suggested putting a light inside the body and injecting bleach as treatments for a deadly virus, then perhaps you deserve that hole in your stomach. Experts all over the country are being muzzled because it’s not convenient to have a pandemic ruin your economy and put everyone out of work. Fucking it all up by fudging your numbers (Georgia) or refusing to report them (Florida) in order to justify reopening your state will not help anyone.
The violence and even murders committed by these fucktards who refuse to wear masks when entering a business is probably the most rage-inducing for me. Masks are communism! No, communism is a state-run media which, when one journalist contradicts the president using SCIENCE, is now unacceptable and we need to find a new network to pump out our magical-thinking garbage. Just mind your own business and wear your own mask, don’t worry about other people! Jane, you ignorant slut. The best way to lower the risk of spread is if EVERYONE wears a mask. I can’t just mind my own business while you hack your “allergies” all over the checkout line, since your germs are floating unchecked into my eyeballs. But I’m not sick! Everyone, except the governor of Georgia, has known for months that a huge number of infected people are asymptomatic, which is why the only way to stop the spread is if everyone stays home. The best part, as pointed out by a social media friend, is that the protesters often DO wear masks, but not the health and safety kind. They cover their faces so they can’t be identified while carrying enormous rifles into government buildings and flying the confederate flag, for some reason.
We are living in a society, and while numerous positive stories have come out of this worldwide clusterfuck, the bad stories are truly heinous. When presented with a list of actions we can all take to save our fellow citizens, an alarming number of Americans give that whole premise the double finger. I’m not staying home because I will be fine if I get COVID. Yeah, you might be. But you also might not be. You will pass it to approximately three people, who will possibly die, and even if you end up surviving, you could need to spend weeks in the hospital, as long hospital stays are common. The whole point is to slow down the rapid spread so that there is a hospital bed for you when you need it, rather than you dying gasping for breath in the waiting room. I’m not wearing a mask because this is America! Yes, land of the free, home of the brave, burial site of the imbecile. Governors and the federal government don’t want to declare Marshall Law to keep you fuckers in line, so they are all hoping you will do the right thing and follow the guidance of scientists, but boy did y’all show them!
It isn’t popular to be the leader who shuts down your small business, especially in an election year, but being a leader doesn’t mean you are everyone’s best friend all the time. Sometimes the right thing isn’t the most exciting thing. It’s the same with parenting. Sometimes you are the rage monster who teaches you how to pick up your shit so you can go on to be a functioning adult. Until all the bottom-dwelling conspiracy theorists and pseudo-science pushers are staying home or wearing masks, I will be suck in my house trying to gently coddle the feelings of my children whose worlds are also turned upside down by this mess. Get your shit together so that I don’t have to worry I will put in a medical coma and intubated because I went to the store to get bananas and you couldn’t be bothered to heed expert advice.