March has been a bit stressy if truth be told and as much as I like to try and present myself as a strong, capable woman who has a handle on life and is running things smoothly, it really has got the better of me this month!
No one ever said parenting was easy and although I like to think that I’m doing the best I possibly can at raising my children to be happy, confident and strong human beings, every now and again something happens that full on smacks me around the face and reminds me of just how big a responsibility this is.
I’ll be honest, I get moments of mum guilt ALL the time, usually stemming from me losing my rag and going absolutely nuclear at them for things such as:
- Listening to them bicker for 20 minutes over how to header a ball properly.
- Huffing and puffing over the fact ‘it’s not fair’ that they can’t watch another Stampy video, having already watched more than is considered healthy.
- Refusing to stop talking/dancing/poking each other when brushing their teeth.
- Moaning that one is singing too loudly, farting too much, kicking them, poking their tongue out at them, pointing at them, looking at them, daring to even be in the same room as them!
And of course, five minutes after being told off they’ve forgotten all about it, whereas I on the other hand is left with the guilt and worry that I really must be the worst mum ever, that my kids will become shouting mini replicas of me and that I am damaging their emotional balance and they will grow up into mentally unstable adults…and it’s ALL my fault!
I know, ridiculous, but I bet all you mums out there have been there, right?!
I realised this month that it’s OK to shout, it’s OK to cry and it’s OK to feel guilty, it kinda shows you care. Because all of these emotions, whether we like it or not, are ones that our children feel at some point or another and they need to know that it’s totally OK to feel like that. They shouldn’t grow up with the belief that they should suppress their emotions. If they feel upset then they need to know that it’s absolutely fine to shed some tears, it shouldn’t be something they’re embarrassed about. If they feel angry, then they need to understand that it’s fine to get a bit shouty every now and again, if they really feel their voice should be heard. If they feel anxious, let them know that it’s normal to feel like that sometimes, that yes it does feel like you’re going to be sick and that you can’t always explain why you feel like that.
One thing I will take from March, is that even as adults we can’t always explain our feelings, so how on earth can we expect our small people to make sense of their feelings or indeed vocalise them to us. Children talk and tell you things when you least expect it; they play by their own rules. So, you might think talking about something that’s bothering them on the way back from school is a good time, but all they’re really thinking about is food and computer games. From my own experience, bathtime and bedtime are prime opening up times and OK yes it involves a teensy bit of procrastination on their part (they’re clever little so and so’s and they know full well that talking to you at bedtime means they get to stay up a bit later!), but if that’s what works for them and if that’s when you get the most sense from them, then just go with it!
Mothers Day was just last week and my kids spoilt the heck out of me with their handmade cards, chocolates, flowers and personalised book and it reminded me that no matter how loud I shout at them when they’re being pesky, they only remember the lovely mummy, the one who hugs them at night, kisses them better when they’ve hurt themselves, sings them silly songs to cheer them up, makes up games to entertain them and dances with them when their fave songs come on the radio. All they want from me is for me to be me, their mum. And ultimately, the only things that are important, the things that truly make a great parent, is being there for your child, listening to your child and supporting your child, and if we’re doing all that, then we have got this parenting thing down!
Oh and lastly, my top tip for the dreaded early evening mum guilt, when the kids are snuggled up in bed looking like perfect little angels…Prosecco. ‘Cos we all know Prosecco makes everything good again, right?! 😉
How Has Your March Been?
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