Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Epic Mummy Fail

Oops, a lot later than planned, but here are my efforts for this week's Monday Club, creation of Hello Wall.  Do pop over there too, and have a read of her fab blog.

The reason for my delay is that I stuck to my word and have re-thought some of our ways of tackling naughty behaviour since the conversation I refer to in this blog post, and as such my little man seems happy and has made no mention of being sad since.  I wasn't going to write about this at all - but actually I daresay this might crop up again one day, and it'd be a good reminder for me to know that sometimes taking a step back, thinking things through & making some positive changes can affect us all for the better.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Epic Mummy Fail

As I was putting the twins to bed on Thursday, L told me that when the register is called at school, the children answer by telling the teacher how they are feeling.  Sensing this was a cue from her, I asked her how she was feeling.  She said that was feeling sad, because she'd had to give the school teddy back.  I reassured her, and reminded her that it was so that her other friends could take turns having the bear, which meant that one day it'll be her turn again.

She seemed quite happy with this explanation, and H then wanted to take his turn at telling me how he was feeling

He told me he was sad...because his Mummy had shouted at him a lot.

I'm not sure how a few words from a 4 year old boy can break a heart so much, but they certainly did.

It's true, it had been a particularly shouty couple of nights - my husband had been out til way past the childrens' bedtimes 2 nights in a row, and I'm not going to lie, it is hard, hard work doing the evenings alone, knowing that after a brief twin rest when we get home from school, we have to start the homework production line as soon as we can (they may be twins, but they are total chalk and cheese, and as such doing their homework together just hasn't worked at all), cook/eat tea, bath/shower then stories and bed whilst also juggling for the latter part of the evening, an over-tired baby who would just like to feed thanks very much.

I could tell you now, that I do, still, think my shouty moments were quite justified - like the moment I nipped out to the bin after tea when H spotted Daddy's tea sitting on the side & put his hands in it to see if it turned them orange (it did), and so tried putting hand-prints all over the kitchen cupboards "to see what happened", and a string of similar incidents.

But.. whilst he had been naughty (and knew it), his behaviour was not borne from malicious intent, it was genuinely borne from being curious (another example where I shouted was when he was in the bath and squirted a mouthful of water all over the baby who was just out of the bath herself & dressed, on the opposite side of the room.  His reason behind the soaking - he wanted to see if water could reach that far and what shape it would make if it did).

L saved my heart & sanity quickly after H had made his comment, by reminding him that Father Christmas was listening at all times (!) and asked him if he was sure that he was feeling sad - he very quickly changed his story, telling us no, no he wasn't sad.  He said he was happy, but he admitted he didn't like being told off.

I guess no child likes being told off.  But even so, he has a point re the shouty thing.

With my parental head tucked firmly between my tails, I realise it's time to revise our (very vague) strategies for reinforcing/praising good and positive behaviour, and our strategies too for dealing with naughty behaviour.  I am reminded of one of the many SARK sayings (see picture above) - they sum up the Mummy who I would love to be; the Mummy who in reality I probably never will be; but the Mummy who nonetheless I'm going to try a little bit harder to be.

(Image borrowed from


  1. I could have written this post myself - many times. I hate it when I get shouty and always feel incredibly guilty afterwards even if, as you say, I feel the shouting was justified. Often it is not and down to bloody hormones.

    It is a real struggle - we have 3 kids and often my OH is not in 'til late and trying to get them into bed is hard enough, never mind harmoniously.

    I console myself by thinking of all the dear little kids out there whose parents don't care enough to feel guilty and then I get even more upset and pour myself a large glass of wine.

    Thanks for linking up again x

    1. Thanks for your reply Sarah, it's good to hear others go through similar. Yes funnily enough I did then think of how for some children, constant shouting & so much worse is "the norm" in their house. So sad. And yes, an emotional glass of wine followed shortly afterwards... x

  2. ABsolutely agree Katie. Being a mum is the hardest job in the world and sometimes shouting is the only thing that gets their attention. However, when they bring it up later, you feel so bad, don't you? The whole guilt thing is a real killer. I love this saying and totally agree that this is the mum I would love to be - hearts and flowers every time! The reality is that they push my buttons and I react :( Must try harder! I wrote a post about being a 'yes mummy' instead of a grumpy 'no mummy'.....still not really adhering to it but it helps to write it all down ;) x

  3. Parenting certainly is the hardest job I've ever done (but the best too, it has to be said). The shouty thing is still (always) a work in progress this end, but am trying to avoid it if I can, but I'd like to think we've made some progress. I'll pop on over & have a read of your post now. x