I’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.
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?
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Linking with Essentially Jess for #IBOT