Been a mom is hard work. It takes determination, commitment, sacrifice and surrender.

Been a dad is hard work too. But its different. Dads seem to get time away, if not physically, then their short attention spans allow them to drift off.

As ‘older’ parents we knew that having a baby would be a full time responsibility and we were happy with the change it would bring to our lives. We also realised that our time would no longer our own, our money no longer ours to spend willy-nilly and our affections would be shared too. All things we were happy to surrender.

What is hard, especially for me, is those moments when your little angel seems to be taken over by a demon of sorts. Surely it has to be a possession because there’s no way your sweet little toddler who you spend hours with, loving, comforting, entertaining, teaching, encouraging, supporting, suddenly turns into Satan’s spawn.

Like today. Emma seemed to wake up a little tired so we had some breakfast, played a bit, went for a walk and then started settling down for a snooze. The other adults went off on the boat, some went for drinks. Others sat reading. You know, things adults like to do. I lay with Emma, trying to get her to sleep.
Eventually  she dozed off and woke up refreshed, a little less iffy. Off we went to the park. She played. We took a walk through a maze. We went and said hello to the doggies.

We got home to the adults having sun downers.  I got Emma’s supper ready. I had a bite or two of mine and then tended to Emma again. She wanted to play a game on my phone but every time she pressed the wrong button she’d end up going into a different application. She was losing her cool and I was losing my sense of humour. Quickly.

At some point she threw my phone. Picking it up to put it away I knelt close to her explaining that she shouldn’t do that. Her response. A rather unexpected hard slap to my face!

Of course she ended up on the thinking step with an explanation of why she was there. And then I made a dash for the door. Where I could quietly let the tears roll. Tiredness, not feeling too great and stress probably got the better of me but I was devastated. It’s happened before and I was devastated then too.

Sometimes this motherhood thing seems like a thankless job. Is it just me who feels as if  I’m in the trenches on my own? I feel useless as a mom and of course as a woman I wonder as to what I’m doing wrong. Am I not strict enough? Does she, like everyone else, think I’m an absolute walk over? I love Emma so much it hurts. I dream for her. I hope for her. I wish for her but sometimes it’s hard to like the little monster that rears its head.

But then I get a hug and a kiss and a ‘I love you mommy’ and I’m recharged to face another day…


3 thoughts on “I’m not a bad girl. You’re a bad mommy!

  1. You are not alone. Though I know, you, like myself will often feel alone. I feel that way almost everday. It's so easy for Dad's to 'escape'. My hubby has spent the holidays playing PC games – so I feel even more alone now because he IS at home – but not. My son doesn't even talk yet, and isn't very fond of Mom either. He prefers Dad. So my frustration seems to peak real fast.

  2. You are SO not alone! And you are clearly a fabulous Mum. I've also been smacked in the face by my littlest one and felt like the worst parent. I think for the child it's about frustration with being disciplined for something they did wrong and testing boundaries. “How far can I push Mummy before she doesn't love me anymore?”

    There is a wonderful book called “No matter what” by Debi Gliori which reassures children of their parent's unconditional love “No matter what”. We have the board book and it's delightful. If I can remember through the tears after my children have treated me very badly, I tell them that I always love them – I just do not like their behaviour at the moment.

    Good luck – this parenting gig is not for sissies!

  3. Sjoe, I'm not sure how I would cope with this situation but I am sure that I am going to have to learn in the future…

    You are a wonderful Mom to Emma Mel. But I can understand how this situation must have made you feel like you weren't. That being said I respect the way you handled it. Like a Mom who loves her little girl.

    Much love

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