Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Bad Mother Club

Yesterday was not a good day. I felt tired, exhausted even,  and the Teenager was being, well, a teenager and pushing her luck. At the moment she hates her Dad (perhaps with just cause) and now she hates me too.

Last night I was trying to explain something to her and she started shouting at me. Because I'm a mature adult I handled it the best way I could - I shouted even louder. Much, much louder - more like a scream actually. She shouted "I hate you!" and ran upstairs to her bedroom, and I was left standing in the kitchen feeling really, really bad.

Later, I posted something about it on Twitter:

Within minutes I was getting messages from other mums saying how they often felt like bad mothers, so I tweeted this one:

I started getting tweets from other mums who listed their reasons for feeling like a bad mother. Here's a selection of them:
  • I scream quite a bit and feel like crap afterwards;
  • Just screamed at kids to go to bed;
  • Kids have gone to bed early to escape, I've been shouting all evening;
  • the longest I managed to breastfeed was for 3 weeks;
  • I worked full time after having my children;
  • I ignored all the shouts of help with hair washing to finish a blog post;
  • Wishing I could have time away from them to rest makes me feel bad;
  • Too many to list, but mainly guilt over working too much;
  • Working, not working. Being strict, being lax;
  • Giving them a cereal bar in the car instead of organising a proper breakfast;
  • feeling like a bad mum, I'm not cut out for this full-time mum malarkey;
  • I hated being a full-time mum.
It doesn't seem to matter what sort of Mum we are, being a Mum is a difficult job. But do we give ourselves a break? Do we hell as like, we beat ourselves up about not being perfect - whatever that means. If we work outside the home we feel guilty for not being a stay-at-home Mum. If we're a stay-at-home-mums we feel guilty about not enjoying it as much as we should be.  If we're strict we feel guilty, if we're easy-going we worry we're not strict enough. Not cooking every meal from scratch? Guilt. Not being able to breastfeed? Guilt.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We're our own worst enemies. Why?

So, I'm going to abolish the Bad Mother Club and I'm going to open another one - The Good Enough Mothers' Club, because most of us are good Mums doing the best job we can. And that's just fine.