I hate having to pretend that I don’t shout at my kids. You know that way when you’re out in public and they’re kicking off and all you want to do is go slightly apeshit at them, but whats-her-name from down the road just so happens to be in the same place as you so instead you have to do that menacing whispering thing about how if they don’t buck up right this second they will die. Yeah I don’t like that much.
I regularly lose my shit with my kids. Not every day, although there are weeks when it feels like every day. I have a very low threshold of patience and all round tolerance of bad behavior. If i’ve asked them twice to get their shoes and they’re still moaning to me that they ‘don’t know which ones to wear’ then chances are I’m going to explode and also lecture them on the fact that some kids don’t have shoes. Ungrateful little wankers.
Also, #1 knows EVERYTHING. No really, ask her. She knows everything. And she has to have the last word. And she’s stubborn. She gets two out of those three things from me, so those arguments are so.much.fun. Some days I can indulge it. I’ve had a full 8 hours sleep, I’m not rushing, or stressed and I can mentally remind myself that she’s just learning, and inquisitive, and that soon she’ll be moved out and gone and I’ll be pretending that I’m sad about that. Some days though, ugh, some days just shut the fuck up already. I am right. You are wrong. Be quiet. Now.
And then inevitably I go to bed and berate myself on how shit a parent I am, and how I’m messing up their fragile like minds, and how I’ll need to win the lottery in order to pay for all the therapy they’ll need to get over the awful childhood that I subjected to them. Most night I fall asleep thinking ‘tomorrow I won’t shout’. And inevitably, it doesn’t happen. I am naturally quite a shouty person. I go from totally calm to batshit mental in about 0.8 seconds depending on the situation and the face that is in front of me.
Last night, when #2 was at Rainbows, #1 cuddled into me on the sofa and we watched The Island with Bear Grylls (she is OBSESSED with BG) and she said to me, totally randomly, ‘mummy, you are the best mummy that there is in the whole world’. Fuck me. Really?! I mean no, really?! I just lectured you on leaving half a bowl of Spag Bol due to the fact that there are starving kids in Africa, and I’m the best mummy? Well ok then.
Huh. Maybe I’m not doing such a bad job after all. Maybe none of us are. Maybe, instead of focusing on the fact that sometimes I shout, I should focus more on the good stuff that I do. Maybe we should all stop giving ourselves such a hard time. Having kids is bloody hard after all. Some days we lose our shit, some days we don’t. But I bet, even with all the shouting, your kid thinks you’re the best.