Most days I think I'm a pretty shit mum. I'm happy to tell any friend that I think I'm a shit mum. I don't know why that is, so I thought I would look at it more in depth here on what is basically my parenting blog.
First I have to look at why I think I'm a shit mum. Ok so I swear - a lot. I yell - a bit, more than I would like. I get frustrated, easily (which leads to point one and point two). I don't in particular speak nicely to my children all the time. Sometimes I just want to be by myself without being interrupted every two seconds.
So. Reading that over, it would seem to me that I'm crap at coping with stress. Really - that's basically what it boils down to. I'm crap at that, and somehow that relates directly to my parenting ability.
So what is a crap mum - society would probably deem a crap mum to be someone who doesn't give a shit about her kids. Someone who happily lets them play in the gutter with needles or some foul substance and not care if they catch some incurable disease or get really sick.
Or maybe a mum that puts herself before her children - all the time - like, makes sure she is fed but the children go hungry (my children make that choice themselves, they never like my dinner I cook them).
Or someone who beats the living shit out of their children just for walking in the room because they can't stand the sight of them. Or someone who doesn't bother using a car seat for their children because they don't care about their safety.
Or maybe a mum that doesn't breastfeed or use formula and instead uses some weird concoction of substances that looks like milk because she needs to feed her nicotine habit before her baby.
Would that all be considered a crap mum do you think? (these are just examples, I don't actually know people that do this)
So on the surface, it would appear that I'm not a crap mum. I may not be a "perfect" mother, I don't do a lot of craft, I don't do a lot of reading or playing games. I don't remember my mum doing that either but I don't care to be honest - what I care about is that I knew she loved me. She would have yelled at me, and I would have gotten into trouble - and I can't remember any of that. What I do remember is her hand on my head when I was trying to hide in her skirts when approached by a stranger. I remember her sitting next to me for hours one night when I had made 2 litres of powdered milk and drank the whole lot and ended up with huge stomach cramps and a good dose of the runs. I remember her sitting next to me on the cold toilet floor rubbing my tummy, rubbing my back - trying to take the pain away for me.
So hopefully my children remember the things that I do like that. I rub their tummy when they are sore. I give them cuddles whenever they want. I share my bed, my food, my water although they backwash, I share my heart.
Hopefully my children will grow up remembering the things I can do well, instead of my crappy coping skills.
I'll keep trying every day to get better at coping with high level stress situations, even if it means I have to count to 10 before I answer a child, to make sure I use a nice tone instead of a harsh tone.
To keep trying is to have a greater chance of success - even if it takes longer than expected.