I keep telling myself there is no such thing as perfect. I am well aware that a perfect parent and a perfect child does not exist. Then why do I still feel guilty as a mum?
Today I lost it. It was so bad I sent myself to my room for a much-needed time out. What launched my insane out of body moment?
Homework! Yep, homework. I loathe homework. My little guy who is five just started having assignments to do. He has watched his brothers complete their assignments over the years and has always asked me to make fake homework for him. The fact he is excited about homework and has a good attitude about it truly makes me happy. I think I may have screwed that up.
To an adult, blending two letters to make a sound is as simple as it gets. To a five-year-old, not so much. After repeating this sound for what seemed like 100 times over and over and over again, I had had enough. “AT! AT! AT! CAT! HAT! BAT!” Nothing, he was not grasping the concept.
I could feel my blood starting to boil. I even told myself to calm down, take a deep breath and stay patient. I clearly didn’t listen. When I held up one of his index cards with “AT” on it, hoping the last 20 minutes had sunk in, he said, “I don’t know”. Really? I then went batsh*t crazy. I let my frustration get the best of me. How could he not get it?
Meanwhile, my eight-year-old was whining in my ear about helping him with his homework. “Why are you helping him instead of me?” “You never help me”. AHHHHH! Now I lost it on him. “Really? I never help you? Last week I handed you your assignment on a silver platter. I even read the same book as you so I could help you. Really?” I wanted him to do this on his own because I knew he could. Between the alphabet and the whining, I told everyone to leave me alone and escaped upstairs.
I knew I was being a horrible mum but couldn’t stop myself from expressing my irritation. I was having a full-blown temper tantrum.
My 11-year-old noticed and in his usual calm and understanding tone, asked me what was wrong. He assured me I am the best mum in the whole world and proceeded to tell his brothers to give me a break. Love him!
I later apologised and explained why I blew up. I didn’t excuse their behaviour but admitted my reaction to it was less than pretty. It was a great example of demonstrating to my kids that no one is flawless, not even Mummy.
I taught my boys that even parents fly off the handle once in a while. They are not the only ones allowed to throw themselves on the floor and have a good cry session over absolutely nothing.
My kids are my world and I was disappointed in myself. At the same time though, I am human. I have feelings and limits too.
We are going to have a ton of #MumFails in our parenting career and if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying. I believe in sharing these #Mumtastrophes, so mums everywhere know we are not alone.
What are your #MumFails?
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Ellie Hirsch is the founder of MommyMasters.com, a parenting resource offering unique tips, tricks and tools, including her award-winning children’s educational music. She shares her secrets to mastering it all and inspires women around the world.