“You’re the worst mummy in the world, ever.”
When my children look at me, sheer rage in their eyes, and utter those words, it hurts. Like a knife to the heart.
It’s usually over something relatively trivial. Like asking them not to wipe their sticky hands on their clean clothes. Or it’s a reaction to me shouting in exasperation after asking them for the hundredth time to put their shoes on because we are running late for school, and they are getting all the toys out instead.
“Everyone else’s mummy lets them do it,” they’ll say.
“Oh really?” I’ll say, grabbing my phone. “Shall I message all the other mummies and find out?”
They retort, “No one else’s mummy is as mean as you. Their mummies believe them.” And then, the real killer, “I hate you”.
Speaking to my mum friends, I know I’m not the only one who gets called “the worst mummy in the world” on a regular basis. I’ve even seen a tongue-in-cheek t-shirt with those words being shared on Facebook.
I know it happens to dads too. Well, it does to Cardiff Daddy in any case.
We know we’re not the worst parents. We know children find it hard sometimes to express emotions and they say these things out of sheer desperation because they don’t know how else to get their point across. We know it can be out of sheer frustration because we parents ultimately set the rules.
We know that when we’re not so caught up in the moment we will laugh about it.
But it’s still horrible to hear those words. Because this parenting thing can be so hard sometimes. We are always second guessing our decisions and asking if the things we do make us a “bad mum”.
We all know our job is to be a parent first and friend second. We need rules and boundaries so that our children can learn right from wrong, know how to look after themselves and understand what is expected of them in wider society.
Of the millions of mummies in the world, I know I’m not perfect, but I very much doubt I’m the worst.
You sacrifice so much of yourself when you become a parent. No matter how much you say your life won’t change when you become a mum, it does, irrevocably. Everything you do is with your children in your mind.
So when it feels like they don’t appreciate you, it hurts. Even though you know deep down they don’t mean it, you find yourself questioning your parenting methods. Am I really that awful?
And then suddenly, a few hours later, when I’m reading them a story, or we’re playing a game together, or I’m cooking their favourite dish for tea…..
A little person will wrap their hands around me and hug me so tightly I don’t know if they’ll ever let go.
“You’re the best mummy in the world, ever.”
Those words melt my heart.
Of the millions of mummies in the world, I doubt I’m the best.
But I do try my best to be the best mum I can to them.
And when they recognise that, and say those beautiful words, with so much sincerity, it makes all the hard stuff worthwhile.
Can you relate? Let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy