Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mrs Accident can be a cranky old broad.

Sometimes I get cranky.

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. 

19 comments:

  1. You're absolutely right: we're our own worst critics. I think you were wise to catch yourself and calm down (though I'm chuckling over the 'flipping hen' part). What's important: raising girls with empathy and compassion, as you're doing. What's not? Well, in 5 years, no one will remember the spilled laundry.

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  2. Oh I needed this today. You are a God-send my dear. If I had time I would expound on how insightful and reassuring this truly is, but as Im short for time before Bird wakes up from nap, Ill just say *hugs*! :)

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    1. Back at you, my dear. So glad to have you here!

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  3. A lovely 'normal' post Mrs. A. If the worst you come up with is 'what the barnacles?', I don't think your two wee lassies will be irreparably damaged - in fact, I may just borrow the epithet for my own moments of frustration. I for one, think you are doing just fine and two loving parents are the best start any child could have in life.

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  4. You'd be surprised how satisfying that phrase can be - make sure you get the emphasis right though! I like a "WHAT the BARnacles?" but you might prefer otherwise... ;)

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  5. What a perfect time to say I love ya and I'm spreading some sunshine to you... http://woolmerhofslouisiana.blogspot.com/2012/06/sunshine-award.html. Thanks for always making me laugh!

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  6. Funny story, I got properly cranky at my 7 year old son just last night, for weeing all over the bathroom floor. He's not a toddler or a puppy!

    For the first time I made him scrub the bathroom floor with a scrubber and disinfectant in a bucket of water, (and I might add I made it a good long scrub) and then he had to dry the floor with a towel, by the end of it he was complaining that it was hard! YES! LESSON LEARNT! IT IS HARD TO CLEAN WEE OFF THE BATHROOM FLOOR, AND I'M USUALLY THE ONE TO DO IT! But not any more, he knowns next time he misses it will be him doing it, he is 7 after all!

    Now that's getting properly cranky!

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    1. I'm not supposed to giggling right now, am I? Sorry...

      Good on you for sticking up for yourself. Seven is more than old enough to learn that lesson! Now, if I can just teach Mr A... ;)

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    2. I have done this busy mum of 3...because they do need to learn that the wee just dosnt stay there, SOMEONE has to clean it up....

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  7. I feel like the ultimate cranky mum lately and have been constantly berating myself every night....but your post made me smile and reassess...it's not the end of the world and of course they aren't damaged beyond repair by my occasional blustering (i like to think i outweigh those days with lots of messy fun, lol)...however, when i got a 'little' frustrated yesterday at one of the twins and she did a big shoulder shrug and sigh i did feel as though i may need to rein in a little......not sure where she has heard that sigh!!!

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    1. Blustering. I like that word, it's very suitable.

      Sometimes a big sigh can be so cathartic, but sometimes I find it actually makes me feel more sorry for myself, y'know? It's always mildly concerning when the kids reflect back my less than wonderful attributes! Peanut always says "Sorry, hang on a minute, Mummy, I just need to...." because often I make her wait while I wipe the sink, or change a nappy. It's sobering!

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  8. Self criticizing? ALWAYS!!!!

    If I'm doing anything with my time that doesn't directly benefit the baby or the house... I get the guilts.

    Eg knitting instead of folding the washing or reading blogs when there's dinner prep.

    The inner voice can be quite nasty and calls me some awful names. I try and squash it but it's hard.

    I was VERY cranky at the fat baby yesterday morning because of a bad night's sleep. But some time out of the house and a play date sorted us out and we're friends again :D

    Now excuse me there are potatoes that need to be peeled...

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  9. I am a cranky mummy...I am also a fun mummy, a silly mummy, a human mummy, a scary mummy...all of these things.............and yeah, I beat myself up about stuff...and then the next minute I think I am a champion!!! I am a confused mummy I think........

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  10. Spot on Charlotte. We're all those things and more. I can be a REALLY cranky mummy sometimes, and sometimes I think my family are torn between hiding from me and laughing at me - I'd laugh at me if I wasn't so cranky LOL I stamp around growling at everything (how load my husband chews, the mess, the pets, the kids)...... and then I'm better. Showing our kids that we're normal humans that are cranky sometimes but get on with it anyway is good parenting - at least I think so.

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  11. I once got told by a very wise lady that a perfect mother can teach her children nothing about living life - they will never develop properly able to deal with the tough stuff or appreciate the joys. By living we teach (and learn) so if you are only presenting perfection they never learn about real life. I tell myself this every time I'm more human than super-human...now my kids know it isn't the end of the world when this happens and how I deal with it is how they learn to cope. :)

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  12. I have been known to wear my cranky pants from time to time. And I have high standards for myself. You're right, we are our own harshest critics. It's great to remind ourselves that we can take a breath and feel the good stuff all around us.

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  13. I loose it frequently but my biggest pet hate (and they are learning this fast) is when they are out the back or in another part of the house screaming out for me. I tell them over and over if you want me you come to me as they are more than capable. So one day I had had enough and cranked the stereo in the kitchen to full until they came to me. Then I turned it down and asked why I did that and they new. Lesson learned. I do beat myself up though when I go off, but it in a mother's nature to be their worst critics. I reckon your doing a fantastic job though. Jodie:-)

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  14. Aw. I totally get it. It's easy to flip out when three things go wrong at once. That's my quorum of things going wrong. I too don't want to be that Mummy.

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  15. It's so hard to always be the nice mom when the kids are young. I loved reading the transcription of the conversation with the dog. Just adorable!

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