How do children manage to make us feel so rubbish and inadequate How are they so very good at it?
For a few months I have been leaving the breakfasting of our children on a school day to their dad as he always maintains an apparent air of calm. I have them been coming into the room to get them into school uniforms, looking respectable and then on the school run which is always a battlefield so this week I went on child strike. I left the whole of the morning thing to daddy up to the point of doing Alex’s hair and then I’ll do that in time for him to do the school run. It’s been much calmer for them in general and my head isn’t screwed by the 20 miles a day of school runs which don’t seem to phaze him a bit.
Well there are the first inadequacies. I can’t get them ready for school without a shouting match. every time I walk in the room the atmosphere changes and I am ignored if I ask them to do something yet they do it calmly for daddy. I leave Alex with a parent at her school so I don’t stress about getting Jack to school on time yet Daddy has the ability to stay with her and get Jack there. Bad parent me for daring to leave Alex (yes a little comment was made about that – not the bad parent thing but the leaving her “with just anyone”). Bad parent me for stressing, apparently, over nothing, because if he can do it then why can’t I?
Daddy went to pick up Ben from pre-school this afternoon and I thought I would surprise the little fellow and get the pop up tent out for him to play in…….. why did I bother? He whinged about being in the tent, he whinged about being out of the tent. I went to play with him in the tent then just stressed about him trying to climb on the top of it, he wanted the door open,, wanted it shut, kept jumping quite harshly on me catching me and hurting me several times and it was just stupidly demoralising.
The children love doing things with their dad. He wrestles with them; plays rough; gets them to school, seemingly perfectly; they prefer his food as he is better in the kitchen than me; his bedtime routines are better because they are calmer; he lets them do things that I don’t and then I get moaned at when I won’t let them – the list goes on and on.
Sometimes I think it is just me who has a problem with some of the things they do. Things sch as I have an issue with Gangnam Style and think it wholly inappropriate for youngsters to be singing it and doing the dance yet others think it hilarious to see the video of Alex and Jack doing it. Everyone else just thinks I am too strict and they can’t see why I get so upset at things like that.
Right at this moment I really don’t think there is much point me actually being a parent in this family as I am so far off the mark from everyone else but these things are important to me. I can’t lower my standards from what I think is appropriate behaviour because I hate seeing children who are behaving like impolite louts and I don’t want mine to do that.
I used to think that my children were pretty well behaved and a lot of that was down to me but this last week has made me think that they are like that despite me as they respond to their daddy so well. He is good cop after all!
What do I do?
Sitting here with tears running down my face as I don’t know the answers yet feel so totally inadequate and useless.