Imperfect Mother, part one
February 24, 2012 7:47pm CST
I have just been going through notes I wrote, and found this one from February 2010. I got a lot of feedback from mothers who thought it was a great note, and were grateful that I openly admitted my failings. So here it is - Imperfect Mother, part one, February 2010. I am an imperfect mother. This week, I left ketchup in my 2 year old's hair for 24 hours after I noticed it, and made him put his hood up in public so nobody else would see it. Why? I just didn't get time to wash it out. I could have kept him up past bedtime to fit in an unscheduled bath, but I didn't want to upset his routine. Hell, either way I lose! I shouted at my 4 year old in front of her friends and embarassed her, because they were all being mean to her brother. I also told another parent that my daughter was being such a brat lately, its a wonder she still has all her teeth. Yep, that's me, the terrible mother. Sometimes I forget to tell them to brush their teeth before bed. I let them have an extra biscuit, or bribe them to keep them sweet. I told my girl today that if she didn't tidy her room, I wouldn't buy the next issue of Hello Kitty magazine. That's a step up from last night, when I told her spiders love mess and would sneak into her room. I ended up staying in there on spider watch til she fell asleep. Occasionally, they really get to me and I lose my temper and act like a child. They throw something at me and I throw it back at them. For some reason, this works. When Mummy loses it that badly, everyone suddenly behaves. I can't credit my parenting skills here. When I'm really tired, I trick my son into taking a nap just so I can have one myself. When I want 10 minutes peace and quiet, I tell him I have a job to do upstairs, and hide in my room for a breather. I buy my daughter cheap make-up to avoid her ruining mine. I always said I wouldn't do this, until she smooshed my Chanel lipstick. You live and learn. I send my son to nursery even when I know he's got a dodgy tummy, because he wants to see his friends. They'll send him home if there's a problem, but I don't want him to see me as the mean person who didn't let him go. I kept my daughter home on the last day of term before Christmas. She wasn't ill. I just didn't want to spend ages bundling the kids up to go out in the snow, and I know they don't do any work on the last day. I can't cook. My kids think cooking means taking something out of the freezer, heating it in the oven, and cooling it in the fridge so its ready to eat quicker. Both my children have DVD players in their rooms to stop them coming downstairs at night. I don't like the idea, but their dad gave them the damn things and I like the result too much to argue. Did I mention I'm an awful mother? Perhaps the most disgusting crime of all, according to many people, is that I am not against smacking my kids. I use it as a last resort, when all else has failed - talking to them, removing priviledges, counting to three... but yes, I smack my kids when they really deserve it. So shoot me. I hope this made you smile. Watch out for part 2 :)
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Feb 12
This is great and it really does go to show that all of us that are mothers are imperfect mothers. I can think of several things that I've done in just the last couple of days that qualify me as being an imperfect mother. But then, I also have to think that if we were perfect then there would be nothing that we would be able to do to improve. So our houses might not be properly tidy and the kid's faces aren't always clean, at least they have a childhood and they know who loves them.
27 Feb 12
You are really a good mother.You have done a good job in bringing up your children,however you still make a self-criticism for it.In fact,Some of what you said in your notes is not altogether inexcusable,for example when children get to you, you lose your temper;trick your son into taking a nap so that have a little time to yourself;sometime you have to smack your kids when they act up.If my memory serves me well,you are a mother of three,I can well imagine you have lots of worries.
• United States
25 Feb 12
marianne I so understand you. It is funny to read, but because we have all been there and done that. It doesn't make us awful mothers if we are at times lazy. We are human beings after all. With all we have to do, we are entitled to little bouts of laziness, selfishness, and those little breathers. The Bible says "spare the rod and spoil the child". I think that as long as the smack is on the rear end and not across the face or top of the head, then it is appropriate once you have exhausted every other means of discipline. Sometimes, the little people just don't respond to anything else. Motherhood is the toughest job that you will ever love (regardless what the military branch may say).