this gem of a post by the very honest and hilarious Hurrah For Gin - a fellow blogger who never fails to make me laugh out loud with her stick people drawings and their witty and true to life quotations. This post about 'the shitty guilt fairy' was perfectly apt for the way I was feeling when I discovered and read the post and it thankfully gave me the kick in the backside I needed to get back to the reality of parenting life again and to stop stressing that it wasn't all 'I love you's' and happy smiles. In case you didn't know, this parenting lark is hard and I'm going to be very real with my feelings in this post.
You see I was feeling upset and rather guilty that I had shouted at Tyler, having become annoyed at his lack of being able to do what he's told. I was so upset and guilty, in fact, that I just sat on the couch in silence - yes me, the person who never shuts up couldn't even muster a mumbled response to Jacek's ploys to get me to talk, surely he should have be delighted by the rare bit of peace!
Yes I shout sometimes, I may portray a picture here on the blog that everything is perfect and that we spend our days out in the beautiful nature that surrounds us, frolicking around like fawns on a gloriously grassy pasture, but that's far from the truth. I shout sometimes, but it's okay because I'm human and if you don't yet have kids then you won't know the frustration it brings when your mini human just won't listen to you, does things anyway no matter how many times you've warned them against it, even if it puts them in harms way and makes you look like a bad, incapable parent in the process, even though you've been doing your damn best all day. Apart from all that it's also completely mortifying when it happens in public and you're trying not to lose your shit. All I can do is my best, I'm not perfect... and neither is my child.
My son isn't perfect. *Bad mammy alert* aren't us mothers supposed to think that our little darlings are the most perfect beings ever to grace the face of the Earth? *Newsflash* They are not. Don't get me wrong, I love the bones of that child, but sometimes it's very hard to be his mother and I want to cry. The fact that he was defying my pleads to be good in a guard station (that's a police station for everyone not in Ireland) of all places - oh the irony of it all - demonstrates that he definitely isn't perfect and that he doesn't give a shizz about authority at all. I even joked with the guard about locking him up in the cells... christ, anything to stop him running and shouting at the top of his lungs, he even scratched me at one point too and he wasn't arrested for assault, the audacity of it all! I joke of course, but honestly, I could hardly raise my voice at him in the guard station, so he got the full brunt of my 'shouty mammy' side when we got back to the car... then the guilt set in.
He's far from perfect, he's like that nursery rhyme about the "girl with the curl right in the middle of her forehead and when she was good she was very, very good and when she was bad she was horrid" (how apt that he also has curly hair by the way!) - well he's the boy version of that and when he's acting up I just want to get away from him. He looks like a little angel with his big blue eyes and head of blonde curls, but he sure isn't one, not even close. I'll admit that when he's out in public with Jacek and I and he starts acting up I walk as fast as I can away from them, pretending they're not with me (tell me I'm not alone in this by the way, don't make me feel even worse!). I've been left feeling mortified after many an outing when he turns from a little angel into a complete nightmare and it leaves me feeling drained. I then feel like the worst mother ever because when he's being affectionate, loving, caring and kind he's the loveliest child I could ever imagine.
But as I said, he's not perfect. He's three years old. Can I expect him to be as good as gold all the time - as other children seem to be, especially in those moments where he's shouting and roaring, trying to wrangle himself from my grasp whilst I plead with him and try to stop him running off? In those moments it seems that everyone else's children are little angels.
The answer is no, because he's a human being too and he's not perfect. He's allowed to have tantrums and get frustrated - just as I do when technology doesn't work like it's supposed to for example, don't even come near me when the wifi cuts off for no reason! He's allowed to want a sense of freedom, to have free will and to be grumpy sometimes. He's three and he's only just learning how to talk properly, something he's still struggling with and the thing that gets blamed for the majority of his frustrations.
I just want him to be good and respectful. I want him to appreciate what I do for him, but it seems that no matter how many teepee picnics, bedtime stories, days out, presents or time I give him it's never enough, he always wants more and it's like a slap in the face to be honest. But I'll keep persevering, keep trying to make him happy, keep giving him the love, care and attention he needs and try my best to steer him on the right path in life. I'll keep trying my best because it's all I can do, but I have to remember that it's all he can do too.
So next time you're child makes you lose your rag, raise your voice, long for bedtime... remember, you're not perfect so it's okay. Remember you're doing the best you can and tell the guilt to go and F off. But also remember that your child is probably doing their best too, they're not perfect either, no matter how much you want them to be.
I'm not perfect... and neither is my child, but that's okay because we can be imperfect together.