Today I have felt like a bad mum. A bad mum because I’ve been too tired, grumpy and snappy.
I have been a bad mum because I got frustrated when my eldest swiped his lunch bowl off the table, all I needed to do was breathe and count to 10, instead I glared at him to the point that I made him cry. I didn’t need to react like that. I was frustrated that once again I am battling meal times because what? He’s not doing as I expect him to? He’s at an age where he’s pushing boundaries and I am letting it get to me, why? If I just stayed calm and let it go I wouldn’t have to sit and console my child that I made cry with a “look”.
I have been a bad mum because I have put the needs of one child over another. This is not just today but for the last 6 months since my youngest was born I have had to put my eldest and his wants and needs on the back burner, and I feel awful for it. I miss playing with him, I miss it being the two of us, I’ve forgotten how to play with him. I know this is temporary, and even now I can see that my youngest is growing up so quickly already, he’s almost sitting, he wants to explore and play and he loves his food.
But I feel like a bad mum when my eldest is crying out for me “mummy, mummy, play” and I have to put him off.
I feel like a bad mum because I am resorting to the easy way….to get some peace I put the TV on, I’m not making as much effort when I should be, I can use the excuse that I’m tired because I am but I don’t think that’s good enough, I’m always tired so that’s not a reason. I just don’t want to put the effort in at that moment as the washing machine has just finished and the laundry needs pegging out, the dishes are piling up by the sink and need washing, I haven’t considered what to make for tea yet but I need to get my arse into gear. To do all this and play….I sacrifice the more enjoyable moments just so I can stay on top of everything. Why am I neglecting my children? The laundry will still be there tomorrow *and the next day…and the next!
I feel like a bad mum because I frog marched my eldest up for his nap and rushed reading his books just so I could get 5 minutes peace and settle in for a nap with my youngest. What did that achieve? Not the 5 minutes peace. With all the rushing about, the saying “no” and making a moment which should be enjoyable for us all (reading together) I have created an upset toddler who stood at the gate with his blanket and stuffed sheep crying out for mummy once again….and what was I thinking? “I wish I was alone right now”
I wanted to be alone, alone to sit and let it go, a moment to do something for me, a moment to actually do all the things I’ve been wanting to do for months. I don’t have time to complete baby journals etc etc but I do want to make a scrapbook of our lives together. I want to collate some of the things I have thrown together in the boys keep box and make sense of it all. I want to sit and have a cup of tea in peace. I want to go shopping for some running gear *sad I know. But the only time I get to myself these days is the 30 minutes I go out for a run, and now I’m getting into it I want to feel confident in what I’m wearing, but also I don’t want to buy nice new clothes yet as I haven’t gotten to where I want to be, so the only fashionable items I’m buying are skinny lycra running pants with funky patterns. I want to be alone to bake again…or make a meal that takes more than 10 minutes to throw together.
Instead of being alone I continued to put my eldest back to bed amidst the tears and tantrums….in the end I thought “why am I fighting him???what am I doing??” That feeling of guilt was sickening. So when he weebled his way into our bedroom and whispered “mummy” I opened up the duvet and asked if he wanted to come and have a cuddle….he lept into bed and within minutes he was asleep holding my hand tight….god I feel like such a bad mum.
Some days this parenting can be tough, it can make you snap at the littlest of things but really there’s no need. Having a read a blog earlier this week I have reflected upon the words. “Today you are their number one, you are their world, but one day they will grow, make friends, meet a partner and maybe have kids of their own, and you will no longer be their number one…make the most of the time as their number one”.
Just thinking about those words brings tears to my eyes, I don’t want to be their second or third, they are my number one, I want to be theirs. So although I know I’m not really a bad mum, in fact I know I try my damn hardest to be the best mum I can be, I need to try and be a little better….everything else will still be there tomorrow, but my days as their number one are limited and I shouldn’t waste it being snappy and frustrated, I shouldn’t rush to get them to bed and leave them upset when all they want to do is be with me. I should be privileged that it is me that they want.
Today I felt like a bad mum, tomorrow I promise to be a better mum.