I will say to Murray - I was bad Mummy today and it makes me sad.
Bad Mummy days are thankfully fairly rare. However, pure, full on good mummy days should be more that they are.
Bad Mummy is the busy woman with no patience. The one who shouts. The one who throws clothes around her pre - teens bedroom in frustration when we already need to have left and he can't find his shoes. Bad Mummy hides in her kitchen at the laptop, eating biscuits, while she has bribed her littlest offspring ( with biscuits) to watch 15 mins of Mickey mouse/phineas and ferb/handy manny. Bad Mummy yells down the stairs when her children are squabbling and bickering - " I don't care who is doing what! Just stop it!" Mostly bad Mummy is negative and snippy and everything a good Mummy should never be.
Bad Mummy is disorganised, she forgets that the Nursery/school pictures are being taken and sends her children to school/nursery with unbrushed hair and their vest on backwards.
Good Mummy is positive, she makes time to sit and do puzzles. She listens, she gets down to her childs level and speaks in a calm voice. She is positive and smily. She is fun ,even when Bad Mummy would be grumpy, good Mummy can find the tickles and fun in the situation and the tension blows over much quicker. Good mummy is organised. She offers good choices and makes better ones.
Good Mummy is hard work.
I have been taking a good look at my mothering lately. I have been feeling bad about a lot of my choices and reactions. My children are special and they deserve the best.
For me, personally, babies are easy. I found it all so effortless. I knew what they needed, I could soothe them quickly and efficiently. I didn't often feel overwhelmed or stressed out. But after they hit four I just seem to be missing that part of my brain, I have to work at it so much more.
Parenting a pre teen is hard work, I'm not going to lie to all of you people out there who have babies/under fives. It gets worse. You think terrible twos are bad?? Imagine that same toddler with a full vocabulary and a whole 11 years of their own attitude/opinions and baggage. We haven't even hit the teens yet and I am lost!
Fraser is a good kid, he is never intentionally nasty or bad, he just talks himself into all trouble. Good Mummy , when dealing with Fraser, is mostly about staying calm when he isn't. Being patient with his lack of motivation/respect./will to do anything. Bad Mummy forgets to praise him and she tends to fly off the handle.
K's behaviour has been quite trying lately. She is a good girl and is usually fairly easy to parent. But lately she has been really loud, she refuses to listen to anything. Her sleep has always been sensitive and we are feeling the nap beng dropped and now the time change! Boy are we feeling it.
Bad Mummy shouts , bad Mummy gives time outs without quiet, firm explanations. Bad mummy forgets to talk and explain things, she is always moaning about needing to hurry up. Good Mummy remembers to explain what we are doing and why we need to hurry. Good Mummy remembers to be calm , firm and gentle when timing K out. Good Mummy remembers that K is four and needs Mummy to spend a large chunk of the day playing with her.
This week I have been taking a long hard look at this situation, which is what has brought me to typing this post, I think.
Why does K not listen anymore? Why is she being so loud? Why do I have to ask her 3 or 4 times before she will do any thing?
I am busy just now. At parts of our day we have very little time to do an awful lot. I get frustrated when no one listens or follows directions. I have to get into a zone, just to get everything done.
This week I tuned out of my zone and into my home and do you know what I heard?
Often they will have to say my name 3 times before I tune in to hear what they are saying.
Some days K will be told many times to wait a minute. Sometimes that minute never comes.
Some times I will say no when I could easily say yes, sometimes I just don't want to do something.
Sometimes I show the selfish traits that I try to teach my children not to have.
Yes I am busy, but really? If I get frustrated repeating myself 3 times then I have to realise that they do too! I wonder what will happen if I can say, yes I will be there right away. Will K turn the volume back down once she isn't having to fight for my attention? I need to remember to fill their mummy cups whenever I can. I need to remember to be present with them.
I have gone to bed for the past 3 nights and felt like good mummy.
I can't say bad mummy will be banished forever. She does help me realise where and when I need to make changes. I try to remember that no Mummy is perfect. But we should always try our best.
At least my children can learn from me that it is ok to make mistakes, we can say sorry and forgive the people we love for their failings .
Very soon my boy will be 12 and my baby will be 5. I will try to have as many good Mummy moments as I can, in this next year of their lives.
This photo was taken over 4 years ago and I can remember the day like it was yesterday.
They grow up so fast. Must treasure every moment.