#LuckyLinky Week 51
26th March 2018
#LionessMama March Round-Up
27th March 2018
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Before you instantly jump in with either a yes or a  no (dependent upon whether you are one of my occasionally delightful trolls who believe I am selling my daughter on this blog in order to make money – delightful by the way) just hear me out. Alyssa is two and a half soon to be three going on 14 and in the middle of what can only be described as a phase reminiscent to that of a teenager. We appear to have gone past the silly toddler phase of running off and at one point hitting/smacking which was bad enough (especially when done in public to the chorus of a million tuts from the observers around us) and now appear to be in the answering back, shouting no and in general misbehaving and purposefully doing something wrong phase which is, I have to say wonderous. We went on a play date two weeks ago (FYI haven’t heard from the friend since) where granted she wasn’t feeling her best, Alyssa wouldn’t sit at the table and eat, wouldn’t do as she was told at all, had tantrums and also did in fact smack me whilst my friends two children sat watching in amazement whilst behaving impeccably. I found myself apologising in a message once I’d arrived home and was of course told I didn’t need to apologise but I felt I did. I was angry. I was disappointed. I was sad. Mostly at myself…

a black and white photo of a little blonde girl sat on a path with a coloured toy that is sad with lots of bandages on

Whilst sat, running round or trying to hide my embarrassment at my friends house and inwardly wanting to scream for Alyssa to stop but outwardly remaining the perfect figure of calm and collected all I could think about was that saying…

“There are no bad children, Only bad parents!”

a little girl in a white outfit sat on a bed rubbing her eyesSo if Alyssa was doing all these things she wasn’t meant to do and behaving appallingly at times, does that mean that I am a bad mother?As I said, I did remain calm with her and followed the same process we do at home with two warnings and a third meaning some time on the time out chair with her stopping each and every time before needing to be put on the chair. However, inside I was angry. I was so cross and I was thinking about that post I wrote about being Angry Mama that person I really don’t like being and never wanted to be.

Well, I didn’t turn into angry mama and kept my cool, even when we got home. I knew she was having a bad day as well do sometimes. Alyssa uses her bad days as an excuse to play up which isn’t right at all but makes it more understandable. When she’d woken that morning, I had known it wouldn’t be a great day so perhaps it was my own fault for pushing her to go when she’d have been happy just resting at home. However, I’d been desperate to go. Desperate to see a friend, talk to a friend, interact with a friend and hopeful that Alyssa would make new friends of her own too. So am I a bad mother for pushing her to go, all because I wanted to go?child blue sky beach water sea toddler

Two weeks ago we got to go away on a mini-holiday to Bluestone Wales (post to come) and I got to take some of my family including Nonna, Lily, Uncle Ollie and Aunty Vicky as well as Alyssa of course. We all needed a little time away to relax and the girls are so close we thought it would be wonderful for them to holiday together and it was. They enjoyed themselves immensely as did the adults. However, we still had tantrums, shoutings of NO and pure damn disobedience. Again, I was cross inside. I was cross that she was spoiling moments of a holiday I had worked hard to provide and cross that she was playing up in front of people. At one point we were in the pool with her running away which obviouslywoman with her head in her hands crying could have been very dangerous considering she can’t swim and was heading deeper and deeper.

I know I was with family but I was also worried what they would think of her behaviour. There were a few gasps and looks which were to be expected. If there is no such thing as a bad child, I sit here wondering am I a really bad mother?

Truth? However much I worry about how good a mother I am, somewhere deep, deep down, buried within the sleep deprivation, expanding waistline and fifty feet of other worries I know I am not and if you’re sat here reading this wondering the same thing about yourself then I need to tell you that you aren’t either. My wise mother and a few very wise friends have said to me…

” The fact you worry about whether you are a good enough mother, means you’re already much better than you think!”

I have to say, I like this saying much better than the first. I am not a bad mother, I am merely a parent doing their best. I am raising a strong, somewhat stubborn, independent young girl who at times gets exceedingly frustrated by her own limitations and the limitations I give her for her own good and well being. This of course results in her “playing up” and pushing boundaries as a way of releasing her frustration. Yes it’s not good behaviour and yes it is annoying and upsetting and a million other things for us as parents but actually at some point, when we probably don’t even realise it, they’ll grow out of it and learn how to control and channel all these feelings and emotions that currently overwhelm them.

alyssa in a coat and wellies sat on grass smiling at the camera

When your child is “being naughty” it’s incredibly hard to remember to stay calm and honestly I don’t always manage it as it’s so god damn frustrating and it can be really difficult in these moments to remember the good times and the lovely things that they do. However, in my more lucid and less cross moments I have to remind myself that this is her way of learning and growing. I don’t want her to hide her emotions and not feel like she can be herself with me. I adore it when she comes over and wraps her arms around me and says “I like hugs mama and I love you,” but not all moments can be like this because even as adults we are not always happy. We are sad, angry, defiant, courageous and a million other adjectives I don’t have the time to type out. So no, she is not a bad child, I am not a bad mother and no neither are you.

18 Comments

  1. Lucy says:

    Such a tricky time to navigate. I’ve got some play date horror stories…You’re fab!

  2. Hayley @ M:M says:

    This is a corker of a post from you Katie – hope Mumsnet pick it up. You will have so many people nodding along with this. I understand exactly where you are coming from. I found an email yesterday detailing my eldest’s behaviour at this age and it made me realise the all do it and just to ride out this phase with the twins too. I too have the capacity to beat myself up about all this stuff but you’re Mum is so right. Take care lovely and A is fabulous! Xxx #ablogginggoodtime xx

  3. I totally agree that if you wonder if you’re a bad mum then it’s proof you’re not and you’re definitely not. We just have to pick our battles. We all have days where we feel like we’re failing, I called Poppy a pain in the arse earlier as she spilt her sisters Hama beads everywhere and for the next ten minutes she walked round saying “arse”. I didn’t know if I should laugh or be appalled with myself!! #ablogginggoodtime

  4. Kayleigh says:

    You are NOT a bad Mother. being a parent is hard and we are constantly pushed to our limits. We question our decisions and usually berate ourselves when we think weve made the wrong ones but ultimately we are all here, doing our best. The times I have had to firemans lift my kids out of various situations literally kicking (me) and screaming. Its so embarrassing, but we every all been there, we all get it. You got this Mumma! #ABloggingGoodTime

  5. I have to go for the notion that trying kids are independent-minded, ultimately interesting, resourceful and confident kids: they don’t tend to kick off unless they know deep down they are safe to do so. I’m speaking from many experiences of this kind of behaviour with ours, still gojng on in different ways, and not easy to deal with, but, as we know in our hearts we have to ride it out and enjoy the well rounded person we will raise. They of course will grant themselves amnesiac absolution from all their wrongdoings!!!

  6. Clare says:

    Hi yes I think we all feel like that sometimes, and proof that we probably are not! Although with Freddie who is now 8 thinks he knows absolutely bloody everything and is super cheeky with it, so today while at the shops we had a row. #badmum

  7. Tubbs says:

    This sounds totally normal to me. At that age the Tubblet was testing boundaries and wanted to do all the things … Children don’t behave well at all times but we expect them too which is totally unrealistic. Nobody does.I can think of a few adults who could use a time out every so often … And your delightful (not) troll needs their Internet privileges revoked. Sending hugs and tea

  8. I am so pleased that you realised that you are not a bad parent. I was all ready to jump in and tell you that myself however if I needed to. This is a great post and I think that you have really hit the nail on the head as this boils down to adult embarrassment. I find that children will be themselves and have no, “I’m in company” button. This of course can make it hard for their adults and I know that I have felt embarrassed but I know all my friends have too and this helps me to feel better – that constant I am not alone knowledge. If you haven’t heard from your friend make the next move and invite her over to your house for a play date. I’m sure she has just been caught up in life and didn’t think twice about Alyssa’s behaviour. We have all been there. This is a great post for all parent to read though. I will definitely be sharing it with hubby as he doesn’t see and hear all these stories and often thinks it is just us! xx

  9. It’s such a tough time, the toddler stage. I feel like it’s a battle with my daughter at times. There’s been moments I’ve burst into tears because I just feel so exhausted from the tantrums and hitting. You’re certainly not a bad parent. I’m sure many other parents would think this post resonates with them.

  10. kate says:

    Oh it is so so hard! I struggle with this at times, my older two have both been through phases where they’ve behaved shockingly and I always worry that it’s my fault and that I’m not handling it well. Great post x #ablogginggoodtime

  11. Berni says:

    like you said, the fact that you worry that you might be a bad mother is enough to convince me that you’re not and , hopefully, convince you too. There are trying times at all ages, but there are beautiful and wondrous times too. I believe the trick is consistency when they push boundaries. They should push its they’re job , it helps them work out how far to go , so as long as the boundary stays the same then they will get comfort (although it may not feel like it) from having a consistent response – its all about the learning xxxx #ablogginggoodtime

  12. Fabulous post babes. Of course you’re not a bad mum. And I’d say Alyssa isn’t even more stubborn or difficult than any other child her age. ALL kids go thru horror stages. As you’ve said, it’s how they learn and grow. Any parent who looks on in disgust either hasn’t yet faced the inevitable or is frankly being a bitch. From 2-4 they test you to the limit. Then they come out the other side as “normal” kids. I’m on the tail end with my 4 yr old but bloody heck it’s hard when they meltdown, hit, scratch, punch, scream, refuse to say sorry etc. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I promise. It also gets easier once they can talk. At least then you can learn to try and navigate the triggers. Also I am a very shouty mummy!

  13. The Pramshed says:

    You are totally not a bad mother and everything you are saying here is normal. Well at least I was nodding along completely agreeing with how you felt, and that angry feeling inside. But it doesn’t make you a bad mother Katie, I’m sure it’s a phase, my little one does the same. Try not to worry too much, you’re doing great! Claire x #ablogginggoodtime

  14. Such a great post! you are most definitely not a bad parent but I know I will be exactly the same and already sometimes think the same! It’s crazy because deep down you know that you are doing. A fantastic job and that it will all end up fine but in those few moments we can’t help thinking it’s all us.

    Thank you writing so honestly!! Xx

  15. Definitely not a bad mother. I have the same thoughts when Heidi used to act like this but she has calmed down a lot #ABloggingGoodTime

  16. Liz says:

    Love this…and by the end you have answered all your fears to prove that you are indeed a great mum! Your daughter is learning emotions and to self regulate…from an early age! She will be more prepared and confident for when she ‘goes it alone’ at nursery and school. Bravo mummy ❤️

  17. Helena says:

    Children certainly can test us at times but i agree that just as us adults have different emotions so do they. They are learning how to deal with them and I agree the fact that you worry shows you care. #ablogginggoodtime

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