bad mother #23

You know you’re a bad mother when… you receive a backhanded compliment like this one:

“Mum you could be a teacher if you wanted to. You would just need to work on your mood and try not to be so cranky at the children”

The truth hurts…

little bother of a brother

This morning as I was trying to leave the house an argument erupted.

Scarlett was trying to tell me something, and her brother was complaining at me that I hadn’t put his cereal bowl in the right spot. I told Scarlett to wait a minute. At this point she burst into tears and ran down stairs screaming that Xavier always gets to talk first.

After losing my own temper, I put Xavier in his place (screaming) while I went to find Scarlett. When I found her I apologised for what had happened.

As I hugged her she said “I wish Xavier had a zipper in his mouth and only you could open it”.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

the end is nigh

 Would you consider this scratch to be the end of the world?

 Well according to Scarlett it is.

Today as we left the shopping centre – we were on the home straight, groceries bought, tantrums averted and sanity intact – Scarlett tripped over and fell on her knee. On concrete. 

The screams she let out had fellow shoppers worried there was some sort of emergency. By the sounds of things she may have been in dire need of an ambulance, or at least some stitches. No. Nothing quite so dramatic. A scrape on the knee. Hardly any blood at all. 

The screeching continued to the car – which I only made it to thanks to a helpful stranger. I was carrying Scarlett while pushing a heavy trolley. After she was safely in the car and I began packing the groceries into the car, her screaming continued. More strange looks from near by drivers and pedestrians wondering what terrible thing I had done to her. 

The sobbing and whimpering continued all the way home and for an hour longer once inside. It seems she copes VERY badly with pain.

This has happened a few times now. I was asked about it by a preschool teacher after her gross over-reaction to a scratch after tripping over. Each time, all I can think of is “imagine the trauma if she broke her arm” or “how will she cope during child birth one day”? 

It seems like such a minor thing to worry about, but these situations have such an impact on me. There is nothing I can do to calm her down. Talking, cuddles, bribery. Absolutely nothing helps her get over it. Today she told me she was never going to go outside again, as this would apparently solve all her problems.

I wonder if other children are like this. Are some people just so super sensitive to even the tinies amount of pain? It must be awful.

advice from a four year old

Telling a story
It’s been a difficult little while with work getting me down, and my emotions being all over the place. I applied for a new job which I don’t think I got (I had an interview but haven’t heard back), which only highlights how miserable I am in my current situation.

I find it hard to contain my temper sometimes. When it’s been a long day and the kids just won’t do what they’re told, I yell. It’s the only thing that seems to get a reaction. Scarlett has started to tell me when she doesn’t like it when I am ‘mean’. It makes me feel bad – like she’s the grown up – and it makes me stop and look at my behaviour.

Every now and again when I’m experiencing a moment of clam, I like to tell the kids that I don’t mean to be cranky so much and that no matter what I always love them etc etc.

Today when I told them this, Scarlett gave me some advice. She said that when I am feeling cranky, I should pretend that I am not cranky, then go into another room if I want to be cranky. I told her it was a good idea.

It makes me wonder what she thinks of me. I know she loves me – she tells me often – but I do feel that I let her down as a parent sometimes. I’ve been to the positive parenting program. I should know better. I should be the grown up.

going it alone

With my other half away for the past three nights, I have noticed something about my parenting that I find fascinating.

Left to my own devises, I seem to be able to get everything done all while remaining more calm than usual. I think there are a several reasons for this.

Getting things done:

  • when alone, I’m not waiting for or telling someone else to help out with dinner/dishes/bath time etc. This saves quite some time and the kids get to bed earlier than normal
  • when there is no other option, I don’t feel the same resentment about having to do these chores

Staying calm:

  • there is no-one else to blame for things not being done, so unless I rant at myself there is no ranting
  • having no ‘back up’ during tantrums (from the kids) means that I have to stay more calm. Usually I can walk away and let someone else deal with things if I need to, but with just me there, I am very aware of the need to be the grown up

Now that my other half is back, I will try to stick to being my calmer self. Perhaps it’s not as difficult as it seems?