I’d love to read a blog post that tells you how it is sometimes really is when it comes to parenting. At the moment I feel like I’m permanently hashtagged with #parentfail and I’m so hoping, wishing, praying I’m not alone.

Some nights I go to bed with regrets of what’s happened in the day.  There’s been yelling and screaming and lashing out and tears. Things have been flung across the room and emotions have run high. 
Lying in bed I wonder if it’s this hard for parents in general or do I just have a rather strong-willed daughter. We still have loads of fun together but it feels as if a day doesn’t pass without an argument, fight or showdown. 
My little Taurean is feisty. She knows her mind and once she’s decided on something it’s a little bit difficult convincing her otherwise. She’s precocious and headstrong and, dare I say it, naughty, and there are days, minutes, moments, where I feel like I’m losing the battle and the war. 
Consequence is so much better than punishment but there’s been times I haven’t been able pull myself away, calm down and then deal with the situation. Instead I’ve screamed and screeched like a fish-wife, surprising myself at the shrillness of my voice. 
No wonder Emma pushes back. Who wants to be screamed at all the time? She’s probably wondering, like I do, where the nice version of me has gone. At my worst I’ve seen a confused look on Emma’s face.  This isn’t the mom I wanted to be. It’s not the mom I see in all the magazines and out at play dates. 
There’s been moments when Emma has screamed that she’s not my daughter anymore and I’ve secretly, horribly, guiltily thought to myself ‘if only’. I’ve sat quietly and wondered where I’ve gone wrong. Wasn’t motherhood supposed to be picture perfect? Wasn’t I supposed to be perfect?
I’ve heard myself say “hurry up” a million times too many. And instead of stopping to chase a butterfly or look at the dragon-like cloud I’ve yelled “we’re late!” I’ve seen strangers look at me like I looked at them pre-children days and I’ve had friends and family offer advice on how to manage Emma.
I read blogs and Facebook updates from parents with what seem like perfect children. And I feel a twinge of jealousy. And sadness. How are they getting it so right? What are they doing that I’m not? 
But occasionally, almost rarely, I’ll read a blog post by a mom who admits to having ‘lost it’. Who tells it like it is. And as a mom who has ‘those’ moments, I don’t find myself smirking or wringing my hands with glee. Rather, I nod in agreement, in understanding, in empathy. Feeling not altogether alone. 
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8 thoughts on “Will someone please tell it like it is

  1. What an honest post. I think many mothers feel the exact way you do. I have a 6 month old so it's still all bliss and cuddles, but my sister has a 5 year old and not a day goes by when she isn't yelled at. As mothers we are groomed by society to fit into a neat little box of stereotypes and the reality is, no one fits into that box. We are human. Emma is a person just like you are, she has bad days and good days she gets frustrated and so do you. You're definitely not alone, I just don't think most mothers have the courage to come out and say “fuck i just cannot anymore” it's a scary feeling, its hard to acknowledge. Well done! I don't think it gets easier until they're in their 20's.

  2. Melinda, you are not alone. L is about the same age as Emma, and she also knows her own mind. She is stubborn and wilful when things don’t go her way. Lately, she also seems to have read the book on ‘How to manipulate our parents into doing what YOU want!’ If she asks me to do something, and I say I am just busy with something else, she says ‘No one has time for me, no, one wants me here’ etc. I also get ‘I don’t want to live here anymore’. She is an expert at dropping her head and shoulders, looking totally dejected, the picture of sadness and rejection.

    And you know, the more I talk to the other moms, the more I realise they are all the same at that age, and we all think we are alone. When talking to some of the moms that I think are getting it perfectly right, they just nod in agreement and tell me their own stories. Some people will of course never talk about it because they feel like failures. As in your other post about life not being a fairy tale, we think if our children are not perfect little angels all the time we have failed, so sometimes we edit the story we put out there.

    I made a conscious decision a while back to try and pick my battles and to let some things slide. I don’t want to be shouting all the time either. But even if we shout, and fight, and argue, it doesn’t mean we are getting it all wrong. It means we care. If I didn’t care I would let her go to school in her PJ’s instead of hassling her to get dressed, or let her live on sweets and biscuits instead of insisting on the apple instead. It would be so much easier all round.

    PS I try to think of it in a positive light, as least my child won’t be a pushover! She can stand her ground, and hopefully that will stand her in good stead in her life.

  3. People tend to put their best sides on their blogs, they don't want to expose people to how it really is in case they scare them off, or worse make people think of them as a “bad parent”. Which is sad because you end up feeling like you are the only one struggling. Which you most definitely are not!

  4. Never ever doubt that you are alone in the #parentalfails department. I go to bed most day guilty over a fail moment or twenty every day! And I have never been shy to write about them either and have openly admitted, especially with Hannah that I feel I fail her on almost a daily basis.

  5. I hear you! I don't write about it much because I suppose on 'those days' I really just don't feel like it. AND sometimes I feel like I will be judged so I just leave it and keep quiet. I really want to give J my absolute best always and I feel so bad when I don't. On Monday I screamed at him because he wasn't cooperating during the morning routine. I was sick with flu and just could not handle him at that particular moment. Needless to say I felt guilty the rest of the day.

  6. Hear hear Mel. As mom's we should acknowledge more often how challenging, how frustrating it can be even though at the end of the day we still feel it's all worth it.. (ok maybe not at the end of a bad day but mostly we feel it's worth it)

    You are not alone cos you are not perfect and neither is anyone of us in this world. It's easier to show the “perfection” on blogs and in social media so please don't use that as your yard stick as to how “good” a job you're doing or not doing.

    xxx

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