Just when you think you’re a crap parent…

Just when you think you're aI’m going to be honest. Parenting has felt difficult recently. The kids just don’t listen, everyone seems tired, and some days, I think I might as well be invisible. I was talking to my seven year old the other day, when while he was looking at me, he said, “pardon, are you talking to me?”

At least he didn’t say, “what?”

I felt like banging my head against the wall.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much of a routine we have going or what lists of chores we have so there is no surprise on what is expected. No one seems to listen to a damn thing I’m saying.

Frustrating. So frustrating.

Until today.

It was another feral weekend when the toddler decided he was not going to have his much needed day sleep, and the seven year old was tired after soccer and seemed to have lost all ability to focus or listen.

We had been awake during the night with sick dogs and a toddler that kept waking up. We had had a rough week. My husband and I were exhausted. We were cranky. No amount of coffee was going to fix it.

We put on a movie in the afternoon so we could all just regroup for a bit.

The kids had baked beans on toast for dinner.

I felt like a crap parent. I didn’t want to try any harder. There seemed no point. The kids were highly likely to not eat anything else and I didn’t have the energy to argue.

However, at dinner time, I received praise from the seven year old on the “delicious” dinner and was rewarded with a clean plate. There was no arguing. He took the plates to the kitchen bench. I was starting to smile.

What turned the day around though, was what happened after dinner.

The seven year went off and got his notebook and pencils and told me he was going to write in his journal. After he had been writing for some time, he asked if I wanted to know what he was writing about. I replied that, for most people, a journal is private, where they can write about whatever they want, and not have to worry about other people reading it. He insisted I read what he wrote.

He had drawn up a list – a profile, he told me – of each of us. Under “Mummy”, he had written “super, kind, wonderful, beautiful”. Under “Daddy” and his brother, he had written similarly wonderful things.

I was gob smacked. I gave him a huge hug and said “thank you”.

My heart felt fuller.

My faith was restored in my ability as a parent.

I couldn’t believe that I’ve felt like a broken record or banshee all week. Like no one has been listening. Yet he has thought I’m super.

Have you recently felt like a crap parent?
Have your kids written a lovely list about you?

Make sure you’re following Life, kids and a glass of red on Facebook for extra giggles and snippets of silliness!

Linking with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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21 thoughts on “Just when you think you’re a crap parent…

  1. Yeah, I’m weird. I honestly never feel like a crap parent. I think I’m a pretty kick-ass parent and I DGAF how arrogant that sounds. LOL. My kids are lucky to have me, and I wish that women weren’t so hard on themselves. I know so many awesome mums, and they all think they should be doing better. Fuck that. They are doing great. And I have no doubt that you are too x

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  2. I had a really crap parent moment just today that left me rocked to the core. Parenting is just so tough, and I am finding that parenting teenagers, all 4 of them is the toughest time of all. Hugs to you. xx

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  3. Oh what a gorgeous, emotionally intelligent boy you are raising. Parenting is the hardest job in the world but it’s certainly moments like that that make it all worth it. Such a lovely story x

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  4. I feel like a crap parent most of the time, especially when I try and get things done and the toddler deliberately destroys them so my house looks like a bomb site all day long. Unfortunately she can’t write me a list yet, but she does have her moments where she will randomly say mummy you’re so beautiful or mummy I love you which make up for it. #teamIBOT

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  5. Moments like those really help you get through the crappy moments don’t they. I have an almost 7 year old and I’m hearing you on the lack of concentration and hearing. ‘Are your ears painted on’ seems to be a popular catchphrase in my house at the moment.

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  6. Emma, if you’re kids are feed, clothed and have a roof over their head then you are doing a fabulous job as a parent! What a heart warming moment from your eldest. If only it happened more often xx

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  7. Oh man, I feel like I am running on the shortest fuse at the moment. We are; moving from Canberra to Sydney in less then two weeks, starting a new business in July, expecting a new baby in October and I feel like all I do is lose my sh*t at my 3 year old and my 20 month old. And then last night, they both jumped into bed with me and just wanted to cuddle. Motherhood is tough and we are all just trying to do the best we can.

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  8. I think we all have days, weeks and even months like that. I have a teenager who’s probably said less than a dozen words to me in the last month. I took her shopping for her birthday last Saturday and she nearly talked my ear off. Needless to say, we spent 4 hours shopping while I soaked up every word and every smile! Thanks for sharing your personal struggles.

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  9. I often feel like a crap parent but my kids (and others) regularly remind me I’m doing a better job than I think. Moments like those just melt your heart, don’t they? I think we’re our own harshest critics. And more than anything, my kids show me they just want to be with me and spend time with me.

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