Well lately I’ve had some really nice comments about my parenting. Maybe I’ve been extra good at it lately or maybe I’m talking about it more. But whatever it is, it’s flattering and makes me happy to be recognised as a good parent because that’s what we all want to be- but at the same time it makes me feel guilty.
The other day I had someone say they were impressed with all the things I did. Really? ALL the things I did? I looked around my house, freaked out, felt like a fraud and swept my floors until they resembled something called ‘clean’
I had another friend say that I inspired them. ‘Thank you.’ is what I said verbally, mentally I was like, well I almost had a melt down yesterday because of the pile of dishes I have to wash. It wasn’t the pile that made me just about bawl like a baby, it was the knowledge that I’d be doing the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Well forever really. I guess…..who wouldn’t cry about that?!
My real estate agent from a few years ago, called me a ‘super mum’ as I had a 17 month old, a newborn and a 7-year-old, I was on my own, my house was lovely, my kids well-behaved. Super mum? Hardly, I had practically perfected being a horse. Well the part where I could sleep while standing. The inspection she was there for was the inspection I had to have because I’d just separated from my partner, and he’d moved out. My house was so clean because I was a magnet behind my children picking things up as they trailed behind. If I didn’t even for an hour, everything went downhill until you had to brush things away with your foot before you had a piece of floor to put that foot on.
I think Facebook is a big part of my false image. (I am not trying to say I am not a good mum, but I am trying to get the ‘whole’ story out there. I can not ‘do it all.’) I post photos and put up status’ of mostly good things, I am a positive person.
Ok let me give you an example to explain. Play along……
Today I got up, got my girls fed and dressed Bella organised for school and sent off with hugs and goodbyes. Glen and I then took our little girls to our local cafe` they played in the kids corner while Glen had a ginger beer and I had a cappuccino. We convinced the girls to finish their milkshakes so we could drop Molly and Glen home.
I then took Sophie and Violet to the library for story and craft time. I really enjoy this. I don’t know any of the mums and I don’t plan to get to know them, I don’t want it to be ‘social’ hour I want to listen to the stories with my girls and help them colour and cut and paste their crafts. We picked out a few books -Sophie’s really picking up words in the early readers we get every week.- But realised I’d left my wallet with our library card at home. We came home, grabbed it and went back to the library to pick up our books.
Home again. I’d been wanting to do a ‘pancake craft time’ for a few days now and thought I would test it out today. It was awesome fun. So I set to work in the kitchen……
The pancake recipe I use and it’s always awesome, fat fluffy pancakes is –
3/4 cup milk and 1 egg whisked or beaten together then added to 1 cup self-raising flour and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. (I usually make a triple lot for my girls, Glen likes them with butter for work too)
First I made the ‘canvas-cakes’ one per person. These were for our art work. Once bubbles appear, FLIP!
So we needed 6. 6 BIG perfect pancakes was a BIG ask of me, as I usually have a few at least that turn out….bad….it just doesn’t cover it.
Then I made heaps of little ones to use for petals, or decorating, let your imagination run wild!
After I made a bunch of little plain ones I coloured the rest of the mixture green and made green ones for leaves or….again, let your imagination run wild!
I made up some icing (just from icing sugar and milk) and separated it to colour pink, purple and yellow. Made some coconut green (mixed in food dye) used green and red seedless grapes, lots of different sprinkles (I am a serial cake decorator, you could use a couple of different sprinkles, kids won’t mind) I ended up also using sultanas, chopped walnuts and choc drops.
BUT….we didn’t do our pancake art immediately Glen wanted to go grab a movie for tonight, movie night with the girls in mum and dads room tonight! Thats always a special occasion especially once the m&m’s and popcorn are whipped out!
But anyway once, Molly had woken from her nap and Bella had gotten home from school the fun began!
So we all had a great time, afternoon tea lasted way longer than usual, and I didn’t feel guilty because I didn’t fit in any craft time today which the girls love….besides the library craft….
So I’m an honest person and when I get these ‘comments’ I feel like I’m hiding the real story. I’m not but I am telling the better parts. I am human and so far from perfect it’s not funny. Though I like that which is why I’m using my unlimited ‘space and time’ and getting it ALL out there.
So here’s what I will be calling
‘BEHIND THE SCENES’
OK…..So that all sounds fine and dandy doesn’t it? What a great mum, running around town with the little ones, library, home then library again- The bits you missed out on here was that each time I had to get Violet into the car she used this time to ‘express her emotions’ so I dealt with a screaming nearly 3-year-old in my face while doubled over in our car trying to buckle the darling in.
Oh and I forgot! It was raining when we pulled up at the cafe` and couldn’t get a park close so, we all got pretty wet on the way in. (that was kinda fun tho, but it’s another small hassle I left out)
OK so at home. Where did I possibly get the time to jump into the kitchen to whip up a fresh batch of pancakes?! Well Glen had the girls in Sophie’s room and turned her bus bed bunks into a cubby, they sang ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to Birmingham’?? Then as I listened they also went 4wding…..to the library! However Birmingham seemed like the most popular destination. They had fun with dad while mum spent almost an hour in the kitchen cooking and making up the decorations.
But this is what I am left with in the bedroom now….
These pics do not show the true devastation of a pretty little girls room, though I could only manage to grab a couple of pictures from the door before sighing, shaking my head and walking away to deal with it another day.
After the girls finally got tired of their pancake art, which has probably ruined their appetite for dinner, I was left with another issue that had been playing on my mind ALL day….
My dishes and kitchen in general. Its only small and looks disgustingly dirty very quickly. I hadn’t had the chance to wash up first thing which is my usual plan of attack and that way I can keep on top of it throughout the day, but today was not one of those days. So I sent the girls out to the backyard armed with containers to catch bugs in. My only piece of advice was that they ‘don’t touch anything that might bite’
So thankfully while I was half way through the dishes considering whether or not to cry over it, they turned up with ‘flowers’ beautiful containers filled with weeds which they demanded be put in vases..(YES! I saw another opportunity!, I stuck Sophie on a chair at the kitchen bench and she ‘arranged’ her ‘flowers’ while I finished up)
OH! Notice the chicken in the oven?! A handy tip- baked dinners are actually the perfect meal for busy families, chuck it in and forget about it, quickly peel some potatoes any chance you get and throw them in too. 10 mins before serving whack some mixed veggies in a pot with a tad of salt and boil up while getting plates and cutlery sorted. Meat and veg, my kids love it and would eat it everyday.
So as you can see, things don’t run as smoothly or perfectly as they should all the time (today was particularly good, so I’ll make sure to keep up with the ‘behind the scenes’ theme)
My only advice to other mums would be is stay calm and relaxed.
The days my girls are the worst is when I am stressed or frustrated over ‘adult’ things like money, my bad hair, boredom, gossiping, other people…..basically anything that children have no concept of. They feel your short snappy vibes and react badly.
They honestly think they are the only things that matter, the only thing you have time for.
And they have a right, they didn’t decide to be here.
They do have the right to be read to (everyday)
They do have the right to be respected and talked to (about anything! Do you think its going to rain? Whats that bird doing?)
And they have the right to go to bed feeling happy and loved. (every night)
If those few things are what make me a good mum then to anyone who’s ever given me positive feedback thank you so much. But if it’s not take a deeper look first.
The truth of it is…….
Anyone can be a good mum as long as you have good intentions and follow through on them.