A lot of days I feel at some point like I am more than likely LOSING. MY. MIND!!!! Because sometimes, my boys just drive me crackers!!
I don’t feel like I am doing any better, and most days thankfully any worse!, than anyone else. I’m just a regular Mum getting through each day one step and toddler strop at a time, celebrating each success and moving on from the inevitable failures. (FYI, getting to the end of the day without anyone being injured or completely losing their shit counts as a success! Pour yourself a glass of wine sister!)
Someone said to me recently, “You’re so patient with them …”
(Note to self: this was possibly code for your kids are being little shits and if they were mine I would kill them…?)
Anyway, for starters, if you knew me you would know that I am not a naturally very patient person (my husband can confirm this!) I do not suffer fools gladly, I often speak my mind (which sometimes is not appropriate – oops!), I want things done yesterday, and, I am told, I have ‘a look’ for anyone that’s really getting on my tits that often sorts that out pretty quickly… So being told I was patient when I often feel like I’m about to totally lose it kind of threw me a bit…
But afterwards it also made me think, I’m not being patient, I’m just being a Mum. (and also, Yay! For once I’ve not lost my rag in public and have instead appeared like a calm and sensible mother who’s in control of their shizzle!!)
Because if your children can’t be utter brats with you, who can they be with?… If they can’t act their worst and, after a good telling off, still get a hug from you, who else will do that?… Who else will put up with their questions about anything and everything under the sun at 9pm when they should have been asleep hours ago?… Who else will spend ages explaining to them why the seasons change, and why they have to go to sleep before its dark in the summer, yet keep them up way after nightfall in the winter?… Who else will pick out the ‘yucky bits’ from their dinner, or add carrots to any meal whether it’s in the recipe or not just because it’s their favourite veg (and let’s face it, if they’ll eat the veg it will go in!)?… Who else will crawl behind their wardrobe with a torch to prove to them that there are no monsters hiding there at 1am? (me last night!!)… Who else will high five them and cheer because they tried some fish at school when they usually HATE fish? (yet somehow it is delicious at school!! God damn dinner ladies!!)… Who else will fill up their Sky planner with episodes of Peter Rabbit and Q Pootle 5 so they can watch their favourite episodes over and over again?…
Don’t get me wrong, there are loads of incredible things about being a parent, but sometimes it feels like my boys save up all of their crankiness just for me. And as I’m the one that runs around after them 24/7, washes their clothes, clears up their mess and generally makes their lives work and be fun, that seems a little unfair. You’d look at these two beautiful, blonde haired boys, with their cheeky grins and think that this all can’t be true, yet I assure you it is my friends.
And I’ve made peace with the fact that that’s ok.
They’re like that with me because they can be – they know I will take them warts and all, all day, every day, forever, because I am their Mum. I am their safety net, their emergency release button, their catch all, their constant. I will be there and love them no matter what, even when they probably wish I’d bugger off and leave them alone. I will always do my best for them. And when my best isn’t good enough I will keep trying. It doesn’t matter if they are angels for everyone else and sometimes little monsters for me. It doesn’t matter if they save up their frustrations and tiredness for the end of the day when I am the only one to see it and receive the full brunt of the injustices of being a 4 year old or a two year old. Because they are mine and I am theirs.
And if that makes me ‘patient’, then pass me a sainthood people.
But what I’d really rather is for all parents to also make peace with the fact that this is normal. Everyone goes through it, feels shit about it and gets on with it behind closed doors. They are like this with us because you have done a super job of making them feel loved and secure, no matter what, and they know that you are unwavering no matter how much they whinge and scream and shout. You might shout and scream at them back, send them to their room or to the trusty ‘naughty step’, but no grudges will be held, no goodnight kisses and cuddles will be withheld, and tomorrow is another day. To start afresh. To start again. One day and one toddler strop at a time. Because they are yours, and you are thiers.