Am I a bad parent? Or does my child just know how to wind me up? Parenting is hard, we all know that. Our kids really know which buttons to press, don’t they? But have you ever found yourself questioning your parenting skills? I know I have!
I didn’t know whether to write this post or not because it’s quite personal and probably portrays me as a lunatic and/or the world’s worst mother. But, I decided to share it anyway because I am sure it will resonate with a lot of other parents. Or at least that’s what I tell myself so I feel a little bit better.
Last week was tough! Molly is very, let’s say, vocal, with a hell of a temper on her! I wasn’t feeling too good and I needed her to be on her best behaviour. Obviously, that meant she acted like a terror all week. She was probably picking up on my emotions but the more she pushed the worse I felt.
Molly is prone to meltdowns, usually when she becomes overwhelmed with something like too much noise or the environment, and I know she cannot help that so I try to stay as calm as possible when she has one. This behaviour was different though. She was testing the limits, on purpose, knowing full well she was being naughty (I hate that word).
I tried to keep it together, as I do with the meltdowns, by counting to ten, leaving the room etc. but even so, I still felt like I was falling apart and cried a lot! Either to myself, Chris or on the phone to my mum and sister. I even cried in front of Molly a couple of times, which I hate myself for.
I shouted at Molly a few times and said lots of meaningless things I instantly regretted too. Cue the mum guilt! Some of my favourites this week seem to have been, “I’ll throw your toys away if you don’t tidy up/stop throwing them around.” As if i’d do that, they cost a blummin fortune! Or, “Behave yourself or you won’t be watching your tablet.” As if again, that’s the only thing that allows me to get ten minutes peace every now and then!
The absolute worst thing I said was, “If you don’t get ready now, I’ll go to gymnastics without you.” On the surface, that doesn’t sound too bad; it’s the aftermath I have a problem with. The threat of me leaving without her prompted Molly to attempt to get herself ready. Result, right? Not exactly! It made me want to cry all over again when I saw her attempting to squeeze toothpaste out of the tube and put her pants on. I made my child struggle and cry because she thought I’d leave. What sort of parent am I?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Molly, unbeknown to her, well and truly rubbed salt in the wound later in the week when she was getting ready to go out with her daddy. She turned around to Chris and said, “Don’t go without me daddy, I’m just getting my shoes on.” Chris immediately responded with, “I would never leave without you sweetie, why would you think that?” Erm, I guess that may (DOES) have something to do with the world’s worst mother over here! Did I teach her a lesson, or have I scarred the poor thing for life because I can’t keep my shit together?
Just in case you thought I was being dramatic calling myself the world’s worst mother, here’s something that really cements my tag. I was sat having a conversation with Molly about all the things that make us happy. She said things like her Paw Patrol Lookout Tower, practising gymnastics, her bedroom, and her cousin Jessica.
Then I asked her who she thought made mummy happy. The answer was obviously Molly, but she listed about five people before I stopped her and had to tell her that the person I was thinking about was her. The words she spoke next will forever haunt me. “Mummy, I don’t make you happy, I make you sad.” I almost died on the spot. Why would a three year old think she makes her mummy sad? I guess all of the crying and shouting like a lunatic made her think that. Does she actually believe that? What is going on in her head?
I have tried to explain to Molly over and over again that she doesn’t make me sad. I’ve probably kissed and cuddled her to within an inch of her life every minute since to try and ensure she knows she makes me feel happy. I just hope I haven’t screwed her up forever.
Am I a Bad Parent? Probably not! I hope not anyway! I am chalking this week down to what it was; a bad week! There is no point in dwelling on it now as what’s done is done. I hope Molly doesn’t actually think she makes me sad, but if she does, I will change that by showing her that she doesn’t. She is my whole entire world and I cannot bear the thought of her being sad because she thinks she makes me sad.
Do your kids ever push you to your limits, making you feel like the worst parent in the world? Or have they ever broken your heart with something they’ve said to you? How do you deal with it?
Tales from Mamaville