I’m not a bad mummy so why do my kids think I am?
This was the question that was swimming around my head yesterday evening. I’ll put my day into context…
I’d woken up, put their clothes out and got 2 of the 3 of them dressed (hooray for 9 year olds who can dress themselves!). I’d ferried the girls to breakfast club at school before 8 o’clock, lugging with me two book bags, a PE kit, a cello, violin, music bag, two lunch bags and two coats. Oh and don’t forget the baby.
I’d come home, put washing on, put drying on, washed up, fed the baby breakfast, fed him half of my breakfast too, tidied the house and their rooms and headed off to a baby class.
I’d returned at 12, made lunch for the baby, put him down to sleep, cleaned the house, did some work, put more washing on and more drying in. I woke the baby from his sleep, put him in the car and headed off to pick them up from school. They had friends over from school which meant I had 5 children, a cello, a violin, a music bag, 2 book bags 4 lunch bags and 4 coats this time – oh and the baby too. And they wanted to go to the shop after school for a treat. Of course I say and come out £4 lighter having gained a selection of kinder eggs that the 5 children would open against instructions in the newly cleaned car, smearing chocolate everywhere and dropping small pieces of foil all over the floor.
They come home, try on every single outfit on the dressing up rail and get all the toys out (and I mean ALL the toys). I make macaroni cheese for the kids whilst trying to make tomato gnocchi bake for the grown ups to eat later. All the time I’m doing this the baby is emptying the kitchen cupboards and throwing the contents on the floor. I can hear screams and shouts from the kids playing upstairs as they fight over toys.
It’s dinner time, they refuse to eat what they are given of course so I make ham sandwiches. The tomato gnocchi bake has come as far as chopping the onions…
Dessert is gratefully received of course but in the excitement to get it a whole tub of raspberries is pulled from the freezer and spills onto the floor. Le sigh.
Fuelled by strawberries and ice cream they head back upstairs to mush playdoh into the carpet and fight some more. I head upstairs to supervise. I witness my own child growling at her best friend because she doesn’t want to play the same game. Another cries because the other two won’t play nicely. I try to pick playdoh off another child’s clothing while watching the clock for home time which might be the biggest battle of all. How do I get them in the car? Bribery of course, chocolate brioches all around (clean car is a distant memory). OF COURSE they fight about which seat they all sit in which means seat roulette as I drop them off.
I make it back home with my two at half 7. I’m told I’m the meanest mummy ever who does NOTHING for them because I won’t let them watch a film (because it is bedtime!). I’m told they wouldn’t treat their children this way, that I never give them anything. The hubby has put the baby to bed but he is still screaming and I try to summon the strength to go through the teeth/bedtime battle. Dinner of course, lies abandoned in the kitchen still.
You’ll notice at no point in the day did I do ANYTHING for me. Lunch was even eaten standing up whilst feeding the baby. I don’t watch TV or read a book or sit down unless it was to work. My day was governed by the small people, dropping them off, picking them up, trying the make their day fun by having their friends over. And the gratitude I get for this is to be told that I am a bad mother.
I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t cross I was honest to God sad. I know I’m not a bad mother. I know that every little thing I do is for them. I felt sad that they have come to under appreciate me this much. That they feel that this is an acceptable thing to say to your mother to get what you want. I felt sad that they might even actually believe that I am a horrible mother.
So do you know what I did? I sent them to get ready for bed by themselves (cue much wailing) and I went out for a run. I took some time out to focus on me and do something that I wanted to do and it felt good! I didn’t feel guilty. I came back and finished the gnocchi bake and ate it in front of the TV and didn’t do any work. I didn’t even make their lunchboxes for the morning. I took the evening for me. I do need to make more time for me and I see that now.
Bu this doesn’t solve the problem does it? Why do my kids think I’m a bad mother? Why don’t they appreciate my efforts and what on earth can I do that will change all of that? I know that we have a problem but I’m stuck as to the answer. Are they just spoilt? Should I stop all treats? Are they just brats and there is nothing I can do? Should I point out to them everything that I do? Should I make them do more? Answers on a postcard or leave me a comment! Help a fellow mum out!
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