I got properly cranky this afternoon.
Panzer had weed on the floor again, and I had stepped in it. Again.
While I was cleaning my long suffering foot, Peanut decided to tip out three mountainous days worth of folded laundry and spread it around my bedroom. She wanted the laundry basket to be her boat, and the clothes to be water. And just around the corner, Miss Bug trod in the dogs water bowl and wet her leather shoes (probably out of sympathy with her mother's damp foot.)
I stomped around for a minute or two, furious. And I cursed (not the *big* curses, but there was definitely an "oh, flipping hen!" and a "what the barnacles?!" in there somewhere.
The kids stared at me in confused consternation. The dogs quietly backed out the door.
But after I had plonked the little ladies at the colouring table and made myself a strong cup of tea, I felt terrible. I don't want to be *that* kind of mother. Not a cursing one. Not a cross one. Especially not a mother who gets riled up when puppies and kids are just doing what comes naturally.
Oh crockpot, had I irreparably damaged the little ones developing psyches?
But then I got to thinking. And I remembered how, when Bug is fidgetting in the shopping trolley, Peanut will come around and peer up at her from under the handle, and sing her Old MacDonald, with pauses for Bug to insert her animal of choice and do all the noises (and everyone knows they're the fun bits. That's a very generous concession from a three year old.)
And I remembered Bug's conversation with (at?) Archibald this morning "Oh, luffly puppy! Good boy! Here tuddle, here tuddle. Awww, yushyou! Good puppy!" ("Yushyou" is "I love you" in Bug.)
I have two little girls who have hearts full of love for each other, and everyone around them. They get that from watching their Daddy, and they get it from watching me, too. Perhaps I'm not doing too badly after all.
Perhaps we all aren't doing quite as badly as we imagine?
For women of a certain age and mindset, I think we are our own harshest critics. We want the well kept home, the emotionally developed and educationally extended children, the home cooked meals, maybe even our food home grown and our clothes home made.
And we would prefer all this without a stumble. Without a slip.
And I think it's totally fine to want these things... but it's also totally fine to understand that when everything falls in a heap (and it occasionally inevitably will) then as long as the heap-falling is followed by a deep breath, a re-focussing on your aims and a heft back up onto the horse of "doing all you can", then it would be counterproductive to spend too long kicking yourself. Taking a long term view, chances are you're doing just fine.
So, do you unnecessarily criticize yourself? Please stop it. Right now.