Pour Your Heart Out: My Child Would Never Do That

soccer field

The little boy looks to be about 5.

Cute. Flushed pink cheeks from running around at soccer practice. He almost looks like one of the Campbell’s Soup kids.

But then you hear him speak to his mom.

“I hate you.”

You cringe and think I’d never let my child say that.

But the mom doesn’t react, other than to quietly tell the boy it’s time to go.

“I don’t need a mommy any more,” the little boy cries.

My child wouldn’t speak to me like that, you think.

But again, the mom barely reacts.

Until the little boy hits her and slams his head into her arm so hard that she visibly flinches.

My child would never do that, you think.

But that mom, all she does is take her son’s hand and start guiding him toward the parking lot.

“I’m going to kill you,” the little boy yells. “I’m going to kill you in your sleep!”

No reaction from the mom, other than a brief hitch in her otherwise determined stride.

Some people, you think, can’t control their kids. Mine would never, ever behave like that.

Meanwhile, the mom drives home, stopping to pick up her other children, gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles and playing the radio a little too loudly. She mentally reviews their calendar: therapy appointments and who she can call for more help.

They return home and the kids pile out of the van and into the house.

Mom follows, slowly.

Wishing she’d never heard such things.

Wishing there was a way to get through to her son when he gets upset.

She passes her other two boys on her way to the laundry room, briefly running her fingers through their hair, thankful that they don’t react like this, that little things aren’t such a struggle for them, that they understand that words can hurt.

She closes the laundry room door, sinks to her knees in a pile of dirty clothes.

And cries.

I wish I could be like that mom on the soccer field, thinking my child would never do that, instead of being the one crying in the laundry room. Last week was hard, y’all.

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      • Heather says

        I can honestly say I know how you feel. Today my son said, “I’m going to kill you with a real knife!” It was heart breaking. It wasn’t the first time, nor, I’m sure, will it be the last time he says hatefull things. I don’t know what to do. If you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.

  1. says

    Oh Shell, sending big hugs your way!

    This was written beautifully though.  I think the scenarios like above only reflect the strength of a mother, of a parent.  That strength of unconditional love, to love their children for who they are no matter what is said or how they react to things. 

    You are strong, never forget that! 
    Jamie recently posted..Dear Depression:My Profile

    • Shell says

      I know you get this. How frustrating and heartbreaking it is.

      I loved the positive in your post. Some days, it’s hard to see it. 

  2. says

    My guy is wired just this way. I have to remember that it isn’t me he is really made at. It is about his reaction to me or to events. Your son is so lucky to have a mom that wants more than just shouting back angry words at him to be her response. You want the best and so you thinks and cries through the best way to respond.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted..Weather Activities Hop With Kid BloggersMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you. I “spill it all” here but I have to admit, this one was a really hard one to hit the publish button on. 

  3. says

    OH Shell hun I have been there, and still am some days. Bipolar SUCKS. Afterwards my son is old enough to understand remorse and does feel bad for the dark moment when his rage flared and he was trapped mentally. Bless your heart and his. Praying you peace and some calm.
    Angel recently posted..SWAP catch up and TTUTMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Mine doesn’t really get it. He gets over it and to him, it’s like it never happened.

  4. says

    Oh Shell, I am so sorry that you had a rough week and that you are feeling so down. My horrible weeks don’t amount to yours, but I have had some pretty low ones. I’ve had my own moments of rage then lowness. I know that once my emotions calmed I felt very terrible about I reacted to something. Those days are long gone for me , I pray and believe that those days will be a distant past for you. :(
    BIG hugs.
    Tiffany recently posted..PYHO: Dance MomMy Profile

  5. says

    I sympathize.  My son expresses anger and change in the same way.  When I was a child I expressed anger like this.  We both have Asperger’s and I know all too well what it feels like to express anger by the first thought that comes into my head.  My mother used to take it personally.  I don’t.  When he lashes out I simply say, “Well, I love you, and I always will.” It’s still hard to hear, though, no matter how much I can relate.
    DB Landes recently posted..My Husband Has a SecretMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I usually do respond by saying I love you- this time, all I could do was be quiet. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS recently, after years of lead poisoning being the only label: though lead causes anger issues. It helps to know there’s a reason he reacts like this, but it’s still hard.

  6. says

    My falling-on-knees and crying my heart out place is my closet! I used to be one of those moms – and then the humbling times came. God gave them to us because He knew we wouldn’t give up on them or stop loving them! Praying for you and your little guy! (Psalm 139 – God put everything there – He knows what is needed – that has gotten me through much). I don’t know if this helps – but my challenge, the one I cried my insides out about is serving with the National Guard right now in a town devestated by tornadoes – he’s helping with unspeakable things that break my heart – it is a far place from where he was. Don’t give up hope friend – it is a journey!
    bluecottonmemory recently posted..She Prays!My Profile

    • Shell says

      I can’t even reread my post b/c it makes me cry to think about it again. Thank you.

  7. says

    Oh Shell. That broke my heart. I’ve been the mom crying in the laundry room too. My son Cam reacts in much the same way to any change in routine or situation that frustrates him. It’s heartbreaking to watch him struggle and so very hard to be on the receiving end of his rage. Many hugs.
    Semi Domesticated Mama recently posted..So What?My Profile

    • Shell says

      So, you get it. I’m sorry that you do- but also comforted that I’m not the only one. xo

  8. says

    Oh girl. I cried… because I just ..was afraid the ending was going to be you. You are strong. You are so tough. I don’t know that other moms actually think that… because many of us have been there. (when I say been there – I mean… on an occasional , semi-regular basis – not dealing with all the things you are.) I guess… what I mean to say is – I don’t think every mom thinks, “I would never.” Because a lot of them have. Love ya girl. Hold you head up – because we all do. xo
    kristen recently posted..The things we do for our kids – that we won’t do for ourselves.My Profile

    • Shell says

      I wish I were strong. I never really feel it in that moment. I feel like a total mess. 

  9. says

    Strong. You are strong, saving those tears for when no one is around.
    I never ever judge I just count my blessings for the good days with my children. I know that this week will be better for you.

  10. says

    Sending you hugs! I can relate though my kids often do it behind closed doors…which means I am not as goo as keeping calm and carrying on as you did. Hang in there!!
    Robbie recently posted..Best Day EverMy Profile

  11. says

    I am sitting here fighting tears.  I think I can imagine how hard that must be, although I am probably not even coming close.  I wish I could help you in some way.  Even if it was just a hug.  I am praying for you both and that this week is a better one.
    Stephanie recently posted..A new one and an old (but good) oneMy Profile

  12. says

    Oh my Mothering Heart, Shell. I’m thinking about you and your sweet heart and your BIG love. 

    I’m so sorry about the hard week.

    (You told this beautifully, an excellent reminder that everyone has stories, and to show some grace whenever we can.)

    Galit Breen recently posted..Well Practiced LoveMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you for understanding. Painful to write, painful to go through, but hopefully a reminder to those who don’t have to go through these things that there’s always a story they don’t know.

  13. says

    Sending big hugs across the blogosphere. My heart aches for you. Judgements will always be passed, but remain strong. It’s always easier to say how things should be when you’re merely looking in. Hang in there, and know there are hearts standing beside you without judgement. Beautiful, heartfelt post btw. 
    The Anecdotal Baby recently posted..She’s Ok and I Should Be TooMy Profile

  14. says

    Oh Shell, I am so sorry that you are hurting this way.  But I have to commend you, and I was doing it  in my head the entire time that I was reading this post.  As I was reading your words (without knowing at first that it was you in this situation) all I could think was, “I wish I could be like that mom.  The mom who remains cool in such a hard situation.  The mom who still reacts with love instead of inflicting hurt.  The mom who is obviously such a better mom than me, because I would have only embarrassed myself. ”  You are doing all the right things.  You handled what was obviously a very hurtful situation with the Grace that not many have.  
    I’m thinking of you, and sending love your way tonight!
    Paging Dr Mommy recently posted..Super Hero Day at SchoolMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I don’t always respond with grace. I’ve lost it. But, I’ve learned that it doesn’t help at all. 

  15. says

    Sending so much love to you and to your little guy. My friend heart knows you are strong and the best advocate around for your boy, and you will work through these issues together. But my mom heart just wants to hug you right now. xoxo
    angela recently posted..When Safety Trumps Second ChancesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Deep down, I know it. He’s my mama’s boy- he loves me fiercely. But, in those moments, it’s hard to remember. 

  16. says

    I promise you this – many a mother on the soccer field is feeling compassion for you because she has been there herself.  I, for one, would be thinking how bad-a$$ you are for being able to keep your cool because that is something I struggle with when my blood begins to boil.  I admire you for posting this and for truly “pouring your heart out”. 
    Charlie recently posted..To sleep, perchance to dream..My Profile

  17. says

    Kids can be rough and tough to their moms and it hurts bad! Brad does this very thing at times…it’s frustrating, embarrassing and hurtful. Your guy is little and doesn’t understand the meaning of the words he says. Hang in there mama! Hugs to you girl! 😉 xoxo
    Tammy recently posted..Weight Loss Journey #3,472My Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you, my sweet big sis. xo 

      I should call you when I get overwhelmed, but I worry you wouldn’t understand me through the sobs. 

  18. says

    Shell, I’m so sad for you. I’ve been there too. Autism isn’t quite the same, but there are so many similarities. You did a great job holding it in. I’m sure it won’t last forever. I know my son finally started to realize the power of those words and he stopped. Yours will too. They don’t really mean what they say. But that doesn’t stop the words from hurting.
    momof12 recently posted..Beauty PageantsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      This week has been a little better. Still rough, but not as bad. Thank you for reading. xo 

  19. says

    Oh, Shell. i wish I could give you a giant hug. I’m so, so sorry that you had such a bad week last week and such a tough day. If only our kids really knew how much their little words hurt us as moms. Keep your head up!! xoxo
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..If Time Wasn’t a FactorMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Moments later and he didn’t even realize he’d said anything. Being a mom is hard. 

  20. says

    I wish the Mom in the story didn’t turn out to be you. I think you handled the situation the best way you could. Hopefully you have a support system around to help you figure out the best way to move forward from this. I don’t have any living children so I don’t have any practical advice, but I do wish you the strength to get through this.
    Finding My New Normal recently posted..Such A Simple QuestionMy Profile

  21. says

    Oh Shell, now I’m even more cross blogger lost my post last week. nevermind, I posted this week on similar things with my boy :(

    BIG hugs to you – you are not alone!

  22. says

    oh sweetie! My eyes are welling up….it must be so hard….words hurt no matter if they mean it or not or understand what they’re saying to us….
    prayers are being said for you and your sweet boy….

    and if it makes you feel any better, I too broke down in my laundry room last week crying from being overwhelmed with….everything
    and I don’t say that to diminish your feelings, just to let you know you are not alone…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..WordMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It is nice to know I’m not alone. Even in something painful- it feels less overwhelming to know it’s not just me. 

  23. says

    Shell, All I could think was..I want my friend to feel better and not struggle this way. My heart thinks of you daily not just because I love your blog but because I love the person that you are. Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder how you and your son are doing. I know that just because you are not writing about it doesn’t mean it is getting better. I wish all of us that follow you could give you the magical answers to help your son through his struggles but we can’t. What we can do is give you lots of love and support when the days and moments are hard. We are all here for you whenever you need us. You can see from all of these very heartfelt and thoughtful comments that that is just what we intend to do…support you…because at the end of this post we were all on our knees crying beside you in your laundry room. Much love…sincerely, Kristen xo!
    Kristen recently posted..Size REALLY Does Matter…My Profile

    • Shell says

      The support means so much.

      I try to find a balance in how much I blog about my son. I have enough that I could blog daily about our journey, but I have decided that isn’t what I want this blog to be. So sometimes you get a fluff post when really, we’re having a hard day. 

      Thank you so much for reading and caring. xo 

  24. says

    I’ve been that mom in the laundry room too. More times than I would like to admit. You are not alone. You are strong and doing everything you can for your son. Sending you support, big hugs, and a nice glass of wine.
    Denise recently posted..What if they get it from me?My Profile

  25. says

    Oh Shell, I’m sorry! Words do hurt even when we know they don’t mean it. Last summer when my son was doing really bad, he would have these meltdowns. And they would always be directed toward me. He would scream he hates me, tell me I hate him, and just scream the most hurtful things to me. SO loud everyone on the block could hear. My youngest would be sitting right there, and my heart would break at thought he just wouldn’t understand why his brother would say such things. I would worry that he would learn the behavior. It’s awful. I share all this to not bring attention to myself, but I guess, to tell you that you’re not alone. They hurt the ones they love the most. That’s you. Sometimes I think they don’t trust anyone else as much as us, and they feel like they can meltdown in our presence. Even if it’s directed toward us. :( I’m sorry last week was hard. I hope this one is going better. {{{HUGS}}}
    Adrienne recently posted..How do I get there from here?My Profile

  26. Angie says

    Oh Shell, how I wish I could give you a real hug. I am sitting here crying praying for all of you.

    • Shell says

      Thanks, Ang. 

      This is just not like him. Not my mama’s boy. It broke my heart. 

  27. says

    Aww, Shell.  I’m sorry things are so tough for him…and for you.  Words really do hurt, and even though we are adults and we know they don’t really mean it, they still hurt.  

    Buster is in the phase where he tries out the “I hate you” or “I don’t even love you” phrases.  My pat response is “Okay.  But I will love you always and forever.”  and then I move on.  It’s so hard not to react in any other way.  Many, many hugs and prayers for you!
    Kmama recently posted..Ahoy Matey!My Profile

    • Shell says

      I’ve tried that other times. This one was so extreme, I couldn’t really speak. 

      Thank you for listening. xo 

  28. says

    Oh my. Sigh. My heart hurts for you Shell. I have nothing to say except – don’t you ever forget what an awesome mom you are and how much he loves you.
    imperfectmomma recently posted..DiseasedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you- it’s hard to remember in those moments. When I feel like the world’s worst mom. 

  29. says

    Shell, I’m so sorry. Often I’ve wondered just what makes your days so hard. I went on assuming when you were ready you would let us in a little more. Thanks for letting us in a little more. I wish everyone understood. I wish moms would swallow their pride and recognize when another mom is doing her best and despite her efforts things don’t go smoothly. Things are hard, almost impossible to control. My nephew says those things, runs away, hits, kicks, threatens, you name it and to add to all of that he is 7 and weighs only 5 pounds less than I do. To be extremely, heart breakingly honest, it makes it really hard to love him. He never, ever gives love, never. I’m not sure he’s ever said the word love. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken that before. I’m not his mom. I know you love him, but I know he breaks your heart and you just can’t understand why things can’t be different. There’s a difference between the moms that make the effort and the moms that don’t give a shit and leave it to someone else to handle. Please know there are moms out there that aren’t judging you and that are saying a little prayer that each day you see signs of success and can end the day with dry cheeks. Sending my hugs and love to you, girl.

    By the way, I think you handled it perfectly. If you didn’t care, you would have brushed it off or laughed it away while in public.
    Tayarra recently posted..Just Some FactsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I never know how much to share. I could turn this into a daily update on how he’s doing, but I don’t want that to be all I blog about it. And sometimes, I can’t even write about it because it’s too upsetting.

      Thankfully, my little guy is usually very loving. Especially to his mama. I think that’s why it hit my so hard. 

  30. says

    Oh Shell, this breaks my heart.  I know you are actively seeking answers to help your sweet boy.  But that doesn’t make those words nor the judgement from outsiders unaware of the situation sting any less.  xoxo
    Evonne recently posted..No diggersMy Profile

    • Shell says

      The judgement makes it harder. I’ve been told by others that I should just explain to everyone. Everyone? Really? I need to tell every single person we come across what is going on? Sigh. Like life isn’t hard enough! 

  31. says

    Oh Shell – I’m so sorry. I wish there was a way to make it better. You are a great mom for caring and helping him through all this. I know I said some pretty awful things when I was a teenager to my Mom that she didn’t deserve and I had no excuse other than being a brat. You will get through this and we are ALL here for you. ((hugs))
    Diana @ A Little Bit of Life recently posted..PYHO – Should I Stay or Should I Go?My Profile

  32. says

    You steal the very breath from my heart… how shattering for both of you and yet you continue to be the most amazing mom…smiling, laughing, FINDING laughter, love, and the good moments through it all.

    You touch SO many people with what you share. You give strength to an otherwise completely limp noodle who is attempting to thread herself through a very small hole.

    Ducky recently posted..WishesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I want to print this out and read it over and over when I’m having those bad days.

      Thank you so much, my sweet friend. xo 

  33. Dana K says

    Im so sorry. I know it’s not quite the same, but I was the kid who said awful things to my mom as a child. Years later, it was finally explained to me that I have been living with depression nearly my entire life. It didn’t take the hurt away or get rid of my guilt as an adult, but there was a reason. My words were not reflective of how I really felt. I love(d) my mom more than anything. I also knew she wouldn’t abandon me so I could say the horrible things I was feeling about life in general. You are a good mom. {{{hugs}}}
    Dana K recently posted..Top 5 #Blissdom TakeawaysMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Knowing my son has a reason does make it a little easier. I don’t know what I’d do if it were one of my other boys saying these things. 

  34. says

    I can’t even imagine how much pain this must cause you. Please consider this “virtual” hug. I give you huge props for not rising to it and doing your best to let it bounce off you (at least while he could see it). I don’t think I could have handled it as well. I truly hope you can find the support and answers you need!
    Victoria KP recently posted..100 Word Song: The Dimming of the DayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m getting so much better at holding it together in public. I wish I didn’t have so much practice, though.

  35. says

    Wow, I never expected you were talking about yourself. Well told. So sorry your days are so hard. Hugs ..

    Having a teen that suffers from depression, I understand how hard it is to raise children.. god bless.xx

  36. says

    Had a fight with my 8 YO daughter this morning. Words hurt and our little ones are just starting to learn about their power. Tears for you–hang in there! We aren’t alone and thanks for being brave and sharing it with us!
    Christine recently posted..Battles Worth FightingMy Profile

  37. says

    I haven’t read all the other comments, but I offer this: my kids say hurtful things to me as well, in spite of everything I do.  And it hurts *so* much.  You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

    Also, know that whenever I have one of those sneaking, judgmental thoughts like “my child would never do that”, inevitably my child does that at some point.  

    You’re not alone.  And when I see a mom “not reacting” the way you describe yourself not reacting, I don’t see a mom who is being neglectful.  I see a mom who is keeping her cool under the worst circumstances, behaving better in the circumstances than I might behave myself. I see a mom being put through the wringer and handling gracefully, like a champ.

    Hang in there, mama.  You’re doing great.

    • Shell says

      I have to admit that sometimes, when I get those judgmental looks, I sometimes wonder if karma will come back for those moms. 😉 

  38. says

    Shell, your post made me cry today. I’m so so sorry and since I’ve become a mother I’ve had to take a step back and wonder what the TRUE story is behind every behavior. Because as observers we never know. I once read a story about a man and his two boys in a subway train (don’t know if this is true or not). The boys were acting up and the dad did nothing. A lady barks at the day– how can you let your kids act like that? And he told her, “we are on the way back from the hospital where their mother just died. they don’t know what to do just as I don’t.”

    Moral of the story, we should all judge less, empathize more. (((hugs)))
    Melissa {momcomm} recently posted..Blog Critique: Moments that Define LifeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’ve definitely come to realize that everyone has a story. So much more than we see on the surface. 

  39. says

    Oh Shell, thinking of you. I can give 100 phrases of reassurance, but it still hurts. And I sincerely hope that people don’t judge, because that is heartbreaking. You are strong and brave and one amazing mom. xo
    Practical Parenting recently posted..The Making of a BullyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      The judging hurts. 

      Not just of me, but of my son. When I know what a total sweetheart he can be. And that he can’t really help how he’s reacting in those moments. 

  40. says

    Oh, dear. I’m crying for you too. It’s so hard to remember that they don’t really mean it. It’s so hard not to take those words to heart. Just keep praying and know that God is with you. You are such a brave, strong mommy. Heavenly Father would not have trusted one of his most special children to you if you were not.

    I think this story also reminds us not to judge. You never know what is happening in someone else’s life. Thanks for sharing, even thought I know it had to be hard.
    Double Dipped Life recently posted..Herb Crusted TenderloinMy Profile

  41. says

    I’m so sorry. I don’t know how I would react to such things- especially when you know that they aren’t meant to hurt you, really. I hope you are having a better week this week.

  42. says

    Beautiful as usual, Shell.  Big hugs and encouragement.  Of course I can relate to all of this.  I know about kids who can all but break you without even realizing the impact of their behavior.  Sometimes are harder than others, this one seems awfully hard.  Praying for all of you.  Remember, nothing a child says or does can take away the fact that you are the parent and you are in control.  I think it sounds like you handled this perfectly!

  43. says

    That’s ghastly wretched, and yeah, there are parents out there who judge us as we fail to ‘discipline’ our ‘misbehaving’ children. And for me it’s the school administrators. I’ve got two more months at this school where Sam MUST go if I am to not have to quit my job, and then oh fuck have I got some heart pouring to do. Oh -wait — I have an idea. I shall e-mail.
    Jessie Powell recently posted..Ella’s GunMy Profile

    • Shell says

      So frustrating for you! 

      Btw, I’m majorly swamped on emails- I’ll get to your email soon! 

  44. says

    Oh I have tears in my eyes reading your post.  Please know that every parent has their moments when they feel judged or thinks other parents are saying “my child would never do that” in their head.  Everyone’s struggles are different but we’ve all had those days.  Many hugs.
    The Little Style File recently posted..zozobugbabyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you. I’ve definitely learned not to judge. We never know what is going on with someone else. 

  45. says

    Sweet Shell I was there too not so long ago with Jacob. There were days when he would throw chairs at me and threaten my life. I would just cry all of the time and since I was with him more than anyone else it was so hard for my husband and others to understand.

    I will never forget when he made a scene in front of my family at a restaurant and no one would let me deal with it my way. Sometimes we just feel helpless.

    I do have to tell you that it does get better. It really does. I always thought it never would but I promise that it will. Even though our situations are not exactly the same, they are similar, and I am always here for you sweetie.
    Jayme recently posted..Ohio Michigan Blogger Meet UpMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you, Jayme. Your comment gave me comfort that I’m not alone and hope that this isn’t forever. 

  46. says

    I’m glad you let yourself cry.  My kids have said all of the above except for the killing part.  They’ll figure that out soon enough.  I usually don’t stay silent though; I handle it the same way I handled my students calling me nasty names: I know, I’m a terrible mommy/teacher. I’m so mean for (…).  And left it at that.  Then, like you, I dealt with it in private.

    We all deal with things that should not happen in different ways.  You are brilliant.
    Kristin recently posted..No Socks, but Full ServiceMy Profile

  47. says

    Oh Shell!! So so sorry. But hey, you are strong– you did your son the best service by not reacting by not freaking out and playing into it by being so incredibly strong. It’s okay to cry, it is needed. You do so much and are so good. Keep fighting the good fight, keep going. I recently read in the news about a parent that literally worked their child to death and it sickens me that those parents were so weak. You have been entrusted with a special spirit of God’s because he knows you are strong and who you are; he knows you will do anything and everything for your child and are good. Don’t give up. Praying this will be a better week for you.
    Emmy recently posted..He’s How Old??My Profile

  48. says

    Oh shell  I am so sorry.  I get it. I know you know that after reading YLMB. people have said so many things to me in those moments. People try to explain things to him, yell at him,correct him, or admonish me. I am sorry it’s you too. I am sorry you live this.
    Annemarie Vinci Chagnon recently posted..AnxiouslyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Others who don’t understand jumping into those moments just make it so much worse. 

  49. says

    My heart aches for you.  I hope this week improves.  *hugs*

    And I do hate the judgment of other mothers. We all do it. I just wish we could all learn not to — to always remember I have not walked a mile in her shoes before such “never” thoughts enter our minds. You just never know what sort of battle someone else is facing.  I’m so sorry for yours.  xoxo
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    • Shell says

      Thank you. xo

      I’m learning that everyone has their story, one that most of us don’t know and won’t see on the surface. 

  50. says

    Hi Shell- I’m a new follower and have just fallen in love with your blog and what you write. Your words are so inspirational and touching (especially as a parent and wife). I feel so deeply for you after reading this post. Being a parent, I have also recently been experiencing this with my daughter and it can really hurt sometimes…to the point of wanting to curl up in a corner and cry. Your family is in my prayers and I hope that you all have better days this week. Hugs!

  51. says

    Oh Shell, my heart breaks for you. Reading this brought back the tears and the feelings I had before my son’s Aspergers diagnosis. I remember those words, I hate you mommy. It hurts bad. And going someplace private to cry. Sending you lots of love.

  52. says

    I cried for you, as I see did many previous commenters. My heart just breaks for moms when I hear this. My child has reduced me to tears many times with such words, too. If I had been at the soccer field and witnessed this, I wouldn’t have had the thoughts you mention here. I would have marveled at how that mom did not react. How she remained calm through all that, and how, oh how I wish I could do that.

    My heart aches for you.
    Kristin @ Meanbean recently posted..The Fashion PostMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks, Kristin. 

      I guess I just assume that there’s judgement. Thanks for making me see there might be more understanding than I thought. 

  53. says


    Know this.

    You are a GOOD mom. You are going to do what is best for your boys. All 3 of them, but currently, this boy. Nothing I can say will make it “better” so just know I’m thinking of you. Lots. Sending all the love I’ve got, and patience too – stay strong momma.
    MommaKiss recently posted..Almost Wordless Wednesday-CompensatingMy Profile

    • Shell says

      This one was hard to share. It hurt to have to admit that this is what is going on in my family. I want to counter it by then talking about his sweetness… but I didn’t want to lose the point of just how hard being a mom is sometimes. 

  54. says

    Oh, Shell.

    My heart is in my throat over this.

    I don’t know what to say, other than if I were close by, I’d come over and just share a cup of tea with you.

    And listen.
    Alexandra recently posted..Smart ChoicesMy Profile

  55. says

    Every black cloud has sunshine waiting to peek through it. You will find a way to show your son how much you love him and get it in return. Even on the hard days, remmeber he does love you too.
    Jaime recently posted..A Lovely BunchMy Profile

  56. says

    I can say I completely understand how you feel because I am also that mom. My little boy says and does terrible, horrible things to me also. He is 8 years old and we have been handling his behaviors since he was 2. From experience I can say in some ways it gets easier and in some ways it gets harder. All you can do is the best you can do on any given day. I know how hard it is to not react to your son or the other people. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Created In His Image recently posted..My Children and VaccinesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I probably have a million typos up there b/c I can’t reread without crying. So, no edits for me. 

  57. says

    Oh, how I know that feeling.  My eldest has the same lack of control and I know where he gets it from – me.  I was the same way with my mom.  It’s so hard being on the other end, when you know what they’re going through yet don’t know how to help them.  When all you can do is cry because, while you know that your child is speaking in the heat of anger, it doesn’t mean it hurts any less.  It’s so hard to be that mom walking off the soccer field, knowing you can never be the mom convinced of her own perfectly behaved children.

    I wish I had words of wisdom to share, but all I can do is tell you that you aren’t alone in that laundry room.  There are more of us shedding our own tears and sometimes, knowing that, helps make things a bit better. *hug*
    Amber recently posted..So Much, So Little – PYHOMy Profile

  58. says

    Oh Shell, I am so sorry it took me all day to get over here. My heart is just breaking for you, but you have to know you are doing EVERYTHING you can to make that little boy know he’s loved and cared for. I think of you and all you’re doing and I am filled with so much pride. You rise to every challenge and while you may cry in the laundry room (and my own eyes well up knowing that) I also know that you are the best advocate for that little boy and that he is LUCKY to have you in his life.

    Sending lots of love and hugs to you…love you girl.
    Kir recently posted..Pour My Heart Out: Listen: The LYTM AuditionMy Profile

  59. says

    I am sorry you had a rough week last week. Your post was so well written, it pulled at my heart. I try not to judge other moms or parents or anyone, but I know I do at times. This is such a good reminder that I have absolutely no idea what is going on in their lives, just as they have no idea what is going on in mine.

  60. says

    ive had those looks given and been that mom with the music a little too loud and come home to cry behind closed doors too.  I vividly remember a time when my oldest was 7, and was laying on the floor between the automatic doors at target having a massive meltdown.  It was sensory related and she had totally lost control and refused to work with me to regain control even when I used techniques from therapy.  my heart hurts for you, mama.  thank you for posting about this to give others a personal view inside your perspective.  *HUG* love you
    Frelle recently posted..Sorry To Hear That…My Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s so hard when we can’t do anything to help. And the outside world just sees a “bad” kid and not the real story. 

  61. says

    My daughter is four and tells me she hates me sometimes. But when I ask “You don’t love me?” to confirm she says “No, I love you.” So it makes me feel a little better. I still cry about it sometimes, depending on the situation and my feelings at the time. I’m sorry you had a rough time. :(
    Shary recently posted..[Almost] Wordless Wednesday #6My Profile

  62. says

    I’m writing this week in a crunch to get some things finished, but I saw your tweet thanking people on Twitter for their support and I had to rush over here to see what was wrong with my best girl. 

    Oh Darlin’. I’m so sorry. So very sorry. I wish I could have squeezed into that laundry room with you. I would have given you a huge hug and then folded all your laundry for you. 

    And just so you know, I can’t be the only mom who knows that each child has their own set of special circumstances and I would never judge a parent having a difficult time with an angry child, in public. Not that it helps your broken heart, but I just wanted you to know. 
    joann mannix recently posted..When In France Don’t Try To Burn Down Their Restaurants—I Speak From ExperienceMy Profile

    • Shell says

      My laundry would have frightened you. It’s why I can go in there without anyone following me. 😉 

      Thanks for the reminder that not everyone judges. It feels like they do sometimes, but you’re right- not everyone thinks that way. 

  63. says

    Oh, Shell. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I know that I’m probably the last to comment and will say something similar to all the others before me, but I am truly sorry. I only wish that I were closer to you to lend a hand or do whatever I could.
    Instead I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that things start looking up. Hugs to you.
    Jackie recently posted..Wordful Wednesday ~ My EpiphanieMy Profile

  64. says

    My heart breaks for you. Know that you are doing your best, and have your little boy’s best interests at heart. I know it doesn’t help the pain though. Hugs.
    Leigh Ann recently posted..4 years of hairMy Profile

  65. says

    Since having gone through so much with my daughter, I’ve learned motherhood is NOT one size fits all – and there are many, many days we are all just trying to get by.

    Remember that you are an amazing mom & somehow, someway you’ll both get through this.

    I’m always an email & tweet away.
    Theta Mom recently posted..On Being an Advocate for My ChildMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks, Heather. 

      Motherhood is so hard sometimes. Because of my middle son, I’ve learned that everyone has a story and we can’t judge. 

  66. says

    I’m sorry Shell. It’s hard sometimes. My toddler has been telling me lately that she hates me. Not much I can do but stay calm and try and teach her love instead of hate. 
    Jessica recently posted..I Didn’t Want To GoMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Other times, he tells me he loves me nonstop. I don’t know if he was still acting out from me being gone- he HATES when I go out of town. 

  67. says

    Oh Shell, it’s times like these when I wish I lived near. I could give you a real hug. Cyber hugs will have to do. You are an amazing woman getting through those moments the way you did. And the cry in the laundry room was totally needed. Praying for better days ahead. XOXO
    Lourie recently posted..Plumber Is Here..My Profile

  68. says

    WOW! I totally feel for you! This is my first time to your blog. I have read a few of your posts throughout the day, although I haven’t commented on them.

    Sending you a big hug!

  69. says

    I just want to give you a “virtual hug.” I’ve been there crying in the laundry room too. Sometimes being a mom can be so hard.

    • Shell says

      It really can.

      Apparently, a lot of us go to the laundry room to cry. I guess everyone else thinks we’ll put them to work if they come in and bother us. 

  70. says

    I can relate…so, so much. My son recently started saying “I wish I had a different Mommy” and it kills me a little each time he says it. It hurts. It sucks. And I’m glad you were brave enough to say it.

    I have a post in drafts that I’ve been afraid to hit publish on – I think this finally gave me the courage to do it….maybe next week for PYHO!
    Natalie recently posted..Why I Fell In Love With Microsoft Office 2010 At BlissdomMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It hurts so much. I don’t know if it was because I had just been out of town and he HATES that or what. 

      Hit publish and share, girl. I was so nervous about this one, but am so glad I did it. 

  71. says

    There’s really no advise I can offer all I can say is hang in there. You’re in a hard place and I won’t pretend to know what that’s like but have faith that it will get better and remember you are doing the best you can and that’s commendable. I’ve been reading for a while and I have the utmost respect for you and what your family is going through.

  72. says

    I’ve been there, curled up in a ball bawling my eyes out about something my son said. I sometimes dont’ know what I’m doing wrong. You probably wont’ read this comment, as it’s #143, but ust wanted to tell you that you’re not alone. You ARE a good mom. None of us truly know what we’re doing, we learn as we go. That’s all we can do, our best. Hang in there. Hugs!
    mrs.monica@RTP_inHeels recently posted..PYHO: Verbal Diarrhea 2GMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s so painful when our kids say hurtful things. We love them so much.

      Btw, I always read all my comments. 😉 

  73. says

    OMG Shell! I definitely understand and I just wanna hug you and give you a shoulder to lean on right now! It sucks when our kids say stuff like that to us, worse when they’re older and actually realize what their words do to people, especially those who care and love them so much. This reminds of that one PYHO post I did about my daughter not liking me at the time, although yours really makes me wanna cry!

    How you manage to stay so strong and positive through all that you face, girl, you’re a true inspiration!

    Hugs sweetie!
    Vivian recently posted..The Big Bang Theory – The Party GameMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I don’t really stay positive. I was a total mess right after this happened and for days afterwards. 

  74. Kim says

    I know you have tons of comments here and tons of love on here. You are wonderful. You are a wonderful person, mom, blogger, and friend.

  75. says

    I wasn’t going to leave a comment today….because there were well over 200 already.
    but then I thought, well darnitall……. if this isn’t a time to shower someone in all kinds of love and goodness – what the heck is the time? And after the week you had, I am sure you’re not going to get tired of hearing you’re amazing, and strong and courageous and so deserving of something wonderful just coming your way right freakin now……..for the 275th time.
    RoryBore recently posted..Poetry Workshop: I say, Doctor?My Profile

  76. says

    Oh honey- hang in there…I am so sorry al I can give you is a virtual hugs and verbal encouragement…but thats what I’m giving.

    We’re all here for you. Tracy

    • Shell says

      It’s easy to think that someone just doesn’t have control over their child or that their child is a brat- but we never know the full story of what is going on.

  77. Dizzy says

    So many comments, I can’t read them all! I’m glad you have support with something like this… I still have similar issues with my son & I don’t have a real diagnosis or solution. I do understand how hard it is & I am glad you posted… I usually just gripe on twitter or go hide in my bedroom until the storm passes.

    • Shell says

      We only recently got another diagnosis- it hasn’t really helped very much, but we’re taking steps. 

  78. says

    My heart is aching for you my sweet friend. I wish I knew the words to make you feel better. Prayers are coming your way for an easier next couple of weeks. HUGE HUGE HUGS!! xo
    Jessica recently posted..6 RosesMy Profile

  79. says

    You know, I could sit here and tell you not to let other peoples’ opinions get to you . . . but we both know that sometimes it’s easier said than done. I am so sorry you had a rough week. I think you’re a great mom, and doing everything you can for all three of your boys. *hugs* chicky!!!! 
    Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] recently posted..Getting Ready for the Clinical TrialMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks for understanding. Usually, I can tell myself not to worry about what others think, but it’s hard to never care about it. 

  80. says

    Oh honey. I can’t imagine. Except that as much as I hope my child would never do that, I know enough to know that it has nothing to do with being able to control your child. My heart breaks for you, and I hope this week hasn’t been so hard. 
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Spreading BeautyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you, Robin. It’s so hard when others see this in him and don’t get that ” a good smack” wouldn’t change anything. 

  81. says

    I think we’ve written each other before about the challenges of autism spectrum disorders and young kids. (Or am I thinking of someone else?!) It’s so hard when they’re little. I got “beat up” during tantrums on a regular basis until my son was 5. I think my biggest message for you before was that it gets better. It really does get easier. As your son adjusts to the necessity of adjustments–even the simple ones, like the transition of leaving practice, the freakouts will lessen. It’ll be easier to see then that the rages and anger are really outward manifestations of feeling out of control on the inside. Most of the time, it’s nothing more than that. When life starts to feel more manageable, the fits and hitting and threats and all of that, lessens big time.

    And having gone through it, you will appreciate the relative peace all the more. I promise you this. It is a peace to look forward to–and a thought to help during the roughest times. <3
    Danielle recently posted..Just doing my part for mankindMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Your comment means a lot to me. Someone whose been there, who can tell me that better days are coming: THANK YOU! 

  82. says

    Oh, Shell. Coming to this late as I’ve been crazed this week/moth, I couldn’t read and walk away without commenting. This is the hardest, hardest stuff. And while my Jake is not in this mold, I have friends whose sons regularly scream and snarl their hatred to their moms. Even one who goes for the knife drawer. I can’t imagine anything more painful. And I too get “the look” from other moms when Jake is, say, throwing sand at their kids in the playground when I’ve had the audacity to take my eyes off him for a moment. And when they ask me to remove my son, I want to scream at them “He’s not being mean! He’s not a bad kid! He’s autistic and this is his way of trying to PLAY with your kids!” (Because throwing sand is FUN right?) But I just apologize profusely and slink off.
    Varda (SquashedMom) recently posted..March is the Cruelest MonthMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thank you for your comment, Varda.

      It’s so hard when other parents don’t understand. And as much as others have told me to just explain to other parents about what is going on- it’s EXHAUSTING. And truly, I shouldn’t have to explain to every person that we came into contact with. The same way that I don’t expect the parent of the child who is screaming his lungs out on the playground to have to tell me that it’s only happening because her child has recently dropped naps and is still adjusting. 

  83. says

    I know the heartbreak that you are feeling, I deal with the same thing each and every day with my 13 year old son. The battle starts the minute he opens his eyes until the minute he goes to sleep at night.  The anger, raging and the words that he says to me tear my heart apart the way nothing else can in the world.  My advice to you is to keep on doing what you are doing, be strong, cry when you need to cry and keep loving your little boy to the moon and back…

  84. Cynedra says

    I’m as usual late reading and replying to this. My heart aches for you and my prayers are with you. I think you would be surprised at the parents who were not thinking “My child would never do that” but were instead thinking “Thank goodness it isn’t my child that is acting that way today.” I think only the non-parents are the ones who think that their child would never do that. My boys don’t have any diagnosed problems (yet), but they do this as well. Probably not as often as your son. I keep reminding myself, it could be good training for when they are teenagers, while I cry in the bathroom. Children will be children no matter what. It is how we respond that really matters. There are so many worse things you could do than cry. Again prayers are with you and your family.

    • Shell says

      It’s hard not to think others are judging when I see the looks. Even though they are the least of my concern in that moment, it definitely doesn’t do anything to make it any easier. 

  85. says

    oh Shell. I’m so sorry. I can only imagine the feeling in your chest. My heart breaks just reading it. Your strength amazes me though.

  86. says

    Oh Shell. I am so sorry. I am having that exact same week with my middle son and it is frustrating, heartbreaking, and more than I can bear at times. I have barely been in the blogging world this week because I feel too overwhelmed by daily struggles with him to turn on the computer in my moments alone. I related to this post more than I want to, for sure. If only we lived closer, we could definitely do drinks and cry and pray it gets better soon….knowing we’re doing all we can for them, loving them and trying to help them learn.

    Keep us posted!
    The Mommy Therapy recently posted..Five Quick ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m so sorry you are going through this, too.

      Damn, I wish we lived close. Maybe a bottle or two of wine and being able to vent to someone who truly gets it would help. xo 

  87. says

    Oh, my heart just breaks that you have to hear things like that. I’m sorry that last week was so hard. I think you are so brave to share your experiences with all of us, I know it has to help other parents that are experiencing similar things.

    I can’t even pretend that I understand what that had to feel like, but I wanted to say I’m sorry and I’m thinking of you.
    Caitlin {Pacifier In My Pocket} recently posted..Home Again, Home AgainMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks, Caitlin. This was probably one of the hardest posts for me to push “publish” on. But, everyone has been so amazingly supportive. 

  88. says

    It’s one thing when a mom just lets her kid mouth off to her like that fir no reason and doesn’t do anything about it, but it’s a completely different thing when there is something wrong with the kid that can’t be controlled. You are very strong for dealing with that. I would have been so humiliated in front of all those other people.  But thank you for reminding me not to judge all parents when their kids act out like that. .. u never know what is going on! *hugs*
    Deanna recently posted..Thirsty for Comments Thursday Blog Hop 3/8My Profile

    • Shell says

      It definitely made it worse that we had an audience.

      Going through all that I have with my son has taught me not to judge other parents- since I never know their full story.

  89. says

    I wish I’d been at the soccer field to hug you.  

    My oldest doesn’t quite go there, so to speak, but he does say hurtful things almost daily.  I’ve been thinking about taking him to see a counselor.  He’s so good at school and a good student and essentially a good kid but sometimes the way he acts and the things he says just completely throw me for a loop. Needless to say I can somewhat relate.   Many hugs.  I hope things are better this week.  
    Elaine recently posted..Not a lotMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks, Elaine. A hug instead of judgmental looks would have been so appreciated. This week has been easier. 

  90. says

    I’m sorry. That just hurts so much the first time. Once they find out they can’t play you, they stop. The girls both entered that phase at the same time. It took me awhile to figure out to not react. “Okay, but you are still not going to [the thing].” Or “I know, but I am not her mother.” Mine didn’t say “I hate you,” the first time; she said, “You aren’t my real mother.” Ultimately, I came up with, “What am I? Imaginary? The real mom wades through the shit and that’s what I’m doing. This. Is. Real.”

    Most of the other moms on the soccer field have been in that laundry room. Or they will be.
    Maggie S. recently posted..Why It’s Crazy to Guide Your Teens Through LifeMy Profile

  91. says

    Wow. I am the one in tears now. You so eloquently wrote what I have been feeling and wanting to write for 6 months now, maybe longer. One of my children has started saying similar things…but about himself. He wants to hurt himself. In bad ways. He isn’t even 5. And so I say to you one thing…it is WICKED hard (my northern roots coming out, hope you appreciate that!) and I am really inspired by how WELL you handled yourself especially since I am sure you were getting judgmental looks. It is hard to stay calm in these circumstances and that is just what we need to do. The next time I am up against the wall and want to scream bc of such an incident I am going to think of you and your grace and composure. Wow, I am blown away. I hope things are going well, ish. I know, it’s all relative. Thanks for being so honest about such a hard topic. You’re helping your son by being so strong and helping others too. P.S. Cry away…we all do :) 
    The Orange Rhino recently posted..How does it feel NOT yelling at my kids for 56 days?My Profile

  92. says

    New reader…. your post stopped me in my tracks and made my heart ache. I can’t pretend to even know what that moment was like for you.  But, it was beautifully written and I felt like I was right there with you. I have two boys and two (soon to be) step daughters. Life is good, but challenging at times. It’s during those tough times when I lose my cool and feel so rotten for not acting like a mature adult that gets to me. I will take your story with me and hold it close, and remind myself during those tough times to do as Shell does.

  93. says

    New reader…. your post stopped me in my tracks and made my heart ache. I can’t pretend to even know what that moment was like for you.  But, it was beautifully written and I felt like I was right there with you. I have two boys and two (soon to be) step daughters. Life is good, but challenging at times. It’s during those tough times when I lose my cool and feel so rotten for not acting like a mature adult that gets to me. I will take your story with me and hold it close, and remind myself during those tough times to do as Shell does.Hugs, Val
    Val (Mom Gone Mad) recently posted..Easy MoneyMy Profile

  94. says

    Oh wow Shell how did I miss this? This is my life too and I feel those stares all the time. So powerful to hear coming from you. Sending a million hugs. I’m always here for you.

  95. says

    I wish that none of us had to be crying in the laundry room. Hope you have a good day today and many, many more following…
    tracey recently posted..Red AlertMy Profile

  96. says

    Thank you for writing this. I know it was hard. I was in this spot yesterday (as I am many times). Yesterday, unfortunately, I broke down in front of my little guy and just told him how much those words hurt me. I explained how I would never choose to be friends with someone who hurts me or threatens me but that since I am his mom that I must love him-but it is hard when he says those things. This was the first time I have ever seen him look truly sorry and he even apologized (which he has NEVER done before). I know it won’t change the explosions but for the first time, I know he understands that those words hurt. My friend saw this post and sent it to me. I am grateful to her and to you for putting this in words. I realize it is a year later-amazing that your words could help someone this much later after you wrote it.
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