The Mum Of Never Ever

This post is part of my Honesty Column series. Myself and Barbara Good of The New Good Life come up with a parenting related topic each week and have to be as honest as possible. This week’s topic is ‘The Whinge-a-thon.’

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5350382220_48d46283ed_mSome time before 8am the other day, lying in bed with me, Miss Five asked for something, was told it wasn’t going to happen, and responded with

“Aaaawww (rising inflection). You NEVER listen to me.”

Roll over and bury face in pillow.

A couple of hours later, as I drove her to her friend’s house, having realised it was not going to be quality time that we would be spending together if she stayed with me that morning, we listened to ‘Let It Go’ in the car. Because we listen to it all the time, and the rest of the soundtrack too, and considering that the edge had already been hacked off my morning patience (oh how my husband would laugh to see those two words together!), I changed the music to something I wanted to listen to without consulting her first, which resulted in

“Aaaawww (rising again). You NEVER let me have Frozen!”

Grip steering wheel. Breathe out.

I had to go to the supermarket late the other night because I had very little to put in the kids’ lunch boxes the next day. I ended up buying them some packaged stuff they never usually get. Hey, it’s the end of the year. They can have a treat. Or two. There was no coloured popcorn left in Miss Five’s lunchbox when she got home from kinder. Upon opening the pantry, asking to have some coloured popcorn and being told that no, she’d had enough today, I copped

“But you NEVER give me coloured popcorn!”

Close pantry door. Turn back and walk to sink. Absorb self in washing of last night’s roasting pan.

Miss Five had a friend over the play this afternoon. The same friend whose house I deposited her at for at least half a day the week before last. They had a lovely time playing Frozen, dancing on the trampoline, and eating ‘sometimes foods.’ At bedtime tonight, in an attempt to stay awake just a bit longer by trying to engage me in conversation, Miss Five informed me

“But, I NEVER get to go to Molly’s house!”

Ignore statement but sigh inwardly. Inform Miss Five with very firm voice that she must go to sleep. Immediately.

Life is tough when you’re NEVER allowed to do anything. It’s also tough when you live with someone who experiences this trauma on an extremely regular basis.

A couple of weeks ago on a Monday night, I went to book club. We have an excellent little group. We drink wine. We rarely bitch about our husbands (or kids) because we are too involved in conversations about books, movies and tv series. I told Miss Five that’s where I was going, she said

“Aaaawww, (rising voice, sagging shoulders, down turned mouth) but you NEVER let me go to book club.”

Close front door gently. Walk to car. Enjoy silence.

No, my dear, I don’t. And I NEVER will. Ever.

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Image is Ban Symbol by Vince

A Minifarm Moment

Of course, not all Minifarm Moments are perfect, but this one comes pretty close.

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Letters To My Daughters: Why I Yell

This letter matches up with my Honesty Column post for this week.

Dear Zoe,

I’m sorry that I yell too much. I don’t like it and I know you don’t either. Lately you have been covering your ears as soon as you think I’m going to raise my voice. It makes me sad that I make you feel like you want to do that.

I yell when I’m frustrated. Frustrated means annoyed and for me it’s like a little gripping feeling inside that can get very tight. To make the feeling go away I yell so it comes out. I think it’s a bit like how you feel when you don’t get what you want. You stamp your foot and yell a bit to make the bad feeling go away.

Thing is though, it doesn’t really work, does it? When I yell at you the gripping feeling sometimes actually gets worse, and then it turns into sadness because I can see I have hurt your feelings. I don’t like doing that. Sometimes the gripping feeling is so strong that I don’t think first. What I should do is to stop and take a big deep breath. Then I could talk to you without yelling and we might both feel a bit better.

I’ll try my hardest to do that.

I love you lots and lots,
love from Mummy.

You might also like to read a more light hearted letter I wrote to Miss 4 –  Things I Love About You.

The Honesty Column: Yelling


I’m finding this topic a little unbearable and have been putting it off a bit as I wasn’t sure what tact I was going to take. I was supposed to write this a couple of days ago. Turns out Thursday was mad and I didn’t have 2 seconds to rub together to write anything. On Friday I was functioning on less than 4 hours sleep so the topic was a bit too close to home as I was in the midst of doing what I was supposed to be writing about and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. Yesterday I just couldn’t get the thoughts right in my head. This morning I’m not moving until it’s done.

This post is about yelling – the fact that I do it, why I do it, and how it makes me feel. I have to be quite matter of fact about it I think, otherwise it could easily become a post about what a bad mother I am. Which I’m not. I’m a good mum. Not quite the Mum I thought I would be, but that’s ok.

I yell when Miss 4 is continually doing something I ask her not to do, is asking me for the same thing a hundred times even when being told no for whatever reason, and I have a whingy baby hanging off my leg or screaming every time she is put down. Of course I’m more prone to yelling when I’m tired, which is a lot of the time. I yell when I wish I was doing something else. I don’t want to be Mum every single minute of every single day. When I’m at home it is mostly impossible to get even two minutes where there isn’t a demand made on me and my time by one of the members of my household, husband included. Some days it drives me batty. I yell. At everyone. Even the dishes on the sink. I know, silly right?

Sometimes I yell really loudly. I yell things like

  • “Don’t take that off Sadie!!! I’ve already told you not to do that!!!”
  • “NO! I’ve already told you we are NOT doing that!”
  • “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!!!” (4 year olds can rarely tell you WHY they did something, so it’s pointless thing to yell and ask!)
  • “JUST STOP IT!!!”
  • “AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!”

And then there is the annoyed and snappy responses which wouldn’t pass as yelling, but certainly get there if the frustration continues.

It doesn’t help anything. I know that, but it’s the result of a build up of frustration that just explodes. A couple of times it’s even taken me by surprise. It’s awful to see Miss 4 put her hands up over her ears when I breathe in. I do say sorry. I’m always forgiven. Miss 4 says to me “You never do that again, ok?” and gives me a hug. That has made me cry a couple of times.

Does it happen every day? No. Do I feel bad when it happens? Yes. I have to give myself a bit of a break though. I’m not perfect. I’ll try harder because I want to. I won’t get it right all the time. I’ll yell again and I’ll apologise again. But maybe next time it will take longer for it to happen or I won’t yell as loudly.

Is this a cry for help? No, just the facts about my experience. Being a parent is hard, it can be boring, and its definitely not always fun. I’ve realised just how much of myself I’ve given up in order to be a Mum to two small humans. I wasn’t quite prepared for the extent to which my own self would disappear, or be pushed aside, and I must admit I do struggle with that and the lack of time I get to myself as a result. It’s why my littlest one goes to Family Day Care three times a week (even when I’m not working) and why I was counting down the days until four year old kinder started. It’s the main reason why I get so frustrated and yell.

I’ve written a letter to Miss 4 about why I yell and how I’ll try not to because it doesn’t make any of us feel good. You can read that here if you like.

That’s about all I can handle writing about this I think. Do check out what Barbara Good has to say about this same topic.

Yours In Reduced Frustration,
Jess.

P.S Next week’s topic certainly more light hearted than this one! Tune in next Thursday to read about “Peppa Pig – You have a lot to answer for!”