Save the Worst for Mom

You know the drill– you have been texting your baby sitter throughout date night asking how your little devils oops I mean lovely children are doing. “They are angels!” she gushes. You shrug and check back a couple more times. “They are playing together so nicely!” Hmmmmm, ok?

Fast forward a couple hours later and you arrive home wondering if your kids have been kidnapped and replaced with aliens. As soon as you walk in the door all hell breaks loose. Kids are screaming, toys are being thrown, and the youngest has attached herself to your leg and is biting your calf.
“Oh my goodness” says the sitter as she grabs the cash and rushes out the door, “they were so good all night!”
Why does this happen?!?! 
Even more confounding to me is this. My oldest daughter is extremely dramatic, sassy and strong willed (around me). So when it came time to send her to school I fretted and dreaded the teacher conferences. To my surprise every interaction I have had with her teachers for the past 3 years has all been positive. Not once has she talked back to her teacher at school or crashed on the floor in a fit of tears because she got a green marker instead of a red one. 
“Oh, your daughter is so HAPPY! What a beautiful blessing. Is she ever in a bad mood?”
Say what? Are you sure we are talking about my daughter? She has long dark hair and a semi-permanent scowl?
Her bus driver called me and said “What a sweetheart your daughter is. She puts me in a good mood every day. When is her birthday I want to get her a card.”
I swear when she gets home from school she retreats to her room and passes notes under her door that say “I love mom” circled and crossed out with a big X (to say I don’t love mom).
I am pretty sure I’m not the only one who has this experience with their child. 
Here’s why I try to take this as a compliment (and you should too):
-You and your home are your child’s safe zone. The outside world is big and scary and she holds it all together out there all day being a good little child. When she sees you it’s time to acknowledge all those feelings she was holding in all day.
-I tend to cry more/share more with my mom than anyone else. It’s because she is so important to me. I need her to know me fully and accept me for who I am. Your child likely feels the same about you.
-The way your child is in front of you is the real her. She is showing up and being authentic. Do you know what that means? When you get those moments of pure joy and smiles from her THEY ARE REAL!! They mean so much more when she shows them to you.
Trust me Mamas – I know it is frustrating and sometimes downright infuriating to get alllll of the emotions and bad moods and sass talk dumped on our heads everyday. But, trust me on this as well – your child would not let her guard down around you unless she knew you were the epitome of unconditional love and acceptance. And she loves you to pieces for that.
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Patricia Nicolas
Tricia is a mama to two bright and beautiful girls who keep her laughing every day. She is also the owner and head photographer at Viva Portraits ( She has lived in Pittsburgh her whole life and met her husband while studying art at the University of Pittsburgh. Tricia has worn many professional hats including advertising sales, graphic design, and even veterinary technician. In 2010 after her first daughter was born she found her true calling in custom photography of babies, children and families, and never looked back.