I feel like a terrible mother. I know as I type this you will read it and say no you’re not, you’re doing great.
You are ace, don’t worry, keep it up lady! You will say what part of me is telling myself too – that it’s ok not to be perfect, to have bad days, to lose your temper and to cry in front of the kids – but it’s bothering me and I can’t shake it off.
Before Roger died, I worried about how I would look after our children (who are six and two) when they were upset and I was too. In fact, it’s more a case of how do I manage to look after myself when they are not visibly upset, but acting out and testing the tired and irritable me.
Some if not most days, the normal things that kids do manage to wind me up so much that I can’t seem to deal with it in a rational way, and end up shouting at them way more than I should. I’m taking it out on them, I know, but it’s like until I can give myself space to feel better, I can’t react to them in a rational, decent mum kind of way.
It’s not all bad news – we have had plenty of lovely moments when the three of us are cuddled up on the sofa, having a group hug, watching a film together or playing a game. But there are definitely the harder times when I feel I can’t cope, and I look ahead and wonder how I will cope with these two little beings, these parts of us, on my own.
My straight-talking friend Zara reminded me yesterday, just after Florence threw herself on the floor in a magnificently crowd-drawing tantrum, that this is the worst it will ever get and to give myself a pat on the back for just getting through each day. The basic thrust of her advice was, if you get to the end of the day and they are still alive, then you have done a good enough job!
Like the angel on my shoulder, she reminded me it is the end of the school holidays – a time when most parents are at their wits’ end anyway – and not to judge the rest of my life on this week. Turns out that is probably sterling advice.
I’ve had another reminder that things might not be quite so bad this week in the form of a set of life-affirming cards from Yes Mum, aka hypnobirthing guru Hollie De Cruz.
The cards are meant to be put in a place where you can see them daily, as a little nudge to say we mamas are all doing a great job. Each with its own phrase, my favourites include ‘Today I shall slow down and try not to rush’, ‘I do not judge or criticise myself’ and ‘Feeling upset doesn’t mean I’m getting it wrong’.
The mantra I need tattooing on my brain is this one: ‘Everything is going to be okay’.
I certainly hope that’s right.
The cards were developed by Hollie as a way of encouraging a positive thought process, which in turn affects the way we live our lives. As she says, ‘a change in emotional state directly affects the way you experience the world around you. The more you tell yourself something, the more you believe it, and ultimately the more you live by it.’
It’s definitely worth a go!
PS I was sent a set of Yesmum cards but they were not intended for review, just to cheer me up! I liked them so much I blogged about them.