In theory, I subscribe to the “There is no such thing as the Perfect Parent” ideology. The one that makes me feel better when I shout at the kids. The one that comforts me when I lazily put Peppa Pig in front of the kids while they wait for me to cook dinner (see photo evidence of my utter parenting failure). The one that unites fellow mummy bloggers. The one that I usually believe… But…
I didn’t really realise how much of a control freak/perfectionist I was until I had kids and discovered very quickly that when it comes to parenting, it’s impossible to maintain control. Be it control of my willful children, or control of my own emotions. One minute, I’m crying because I feel so overwhelmed with love. The next I’m screaming at the twins because they’ve done something REALLY annoying (or dangerous). Then I’m crying again, but this time because I feel so desperately guilty about shouting at them when all they were doing was discovering the world around them, demonstrating the curiosity of toddlers that is unsurpassed by any other age. The thing that can so often make me laugh! So I go through this emotionally exhausting cycle of tears-anger-guilt-laughter throughout the day and feel utterly drained by the end of it.
As we climb towards bedtime, I find myself itching for it to be 7 o’clock, so I can have some time to myself. And then the kids are in bed and I miss them, feeling guilty for wishing them asleep. I reflect upon the day and sometimes, all I can remember is how they did my head in all day, and how desperate I am to have a break. Sometimes I reflect in shame, remembering that moment I screamed at them, and their innocent little faces looked up at me in wonder, not even upset but just curious; “Why is mommy shouting at me?”
I hate that I do this but I have an image in my head of the Perfect Parent. The Perfect Parent isn’t the yummy mummy who keeps her life in order, but it’s certainly a mother who doesn’t lose her temper with her kids over something trivial.
My children are my life. I couldn’t face life without them. And yet there are times when I could bloody kill them!
Those moments where I lose it make me feel like a complete failure. I’m the grown up, and should therefore be showing my girls what is and is not acceptable behaviour. I know what kind of mama I want to be but for me, I think it’s unobtainable. And so I feel like a constant failure
Ok. Maybe not constant. Maybe there are times when I am supremely patient. When I indulge the girls’ natural curiosity. When I play with them. Cuddle them. Meet their needs. Teach them. Love them.
Maybe having a mama that gets it right more than she gets it wrong will have to be enough.