I felt like such a fraud at our music class this morning. The feeling nagged at me, even though the boys were lovely and less clingy than usual. We all enjoyed it but I still felt like a fraud. I felt like I wasn’t the nice mummy that people perhaps thought I was.
I shouted “You idiot” at my eldest this morning when he dropped a heavy box on my foot and hurt me. It wasn’t deliberate on his part but it was reckless. But shouting “Idiot” isn’t up there in my “strategies”. And he cried 😦 I felt like I could and should have stopped myself, but for some reason I didn’t.
So I felt like a fraud for the entire class. I reasoned that it is an experience that he will have in life – someone verbally lashing out when they’re hurt or upset. I told myself that it was better that it was with me, someone who he trusted, someone who would ‘fess up and tell him it is not acceptable and that I was sorry. He will know not to regularly take rubbish in the future. Won’t he? I added into that that children need to see how people say sorry. He said sorry too for hurting my foot; his little brother (who was just a spectator) even managed to find something to say sorry for.
Finally (in a further attempt to make myself feel a little bit better) I decided that it is good that I don’t try to practice perfection. Whilst it’s not a deliberate lifestyle choice, children probably need to see that people aren’t perfect. Don’t they? That being human means slipping up sometimes. Being perfect isn’t realistic after all and it can’t be healthy to try. After the physical and emotional safety of your children, the most important thing is surely that you’re good at trying and ready to hold your hands up and say “I’m so sorry, I love you” after making a mistake. Isn’t it?
I think I worry that they will be as soft as my husband (whose girlfriends used to nick his lunch money at school!). I want them to be kind and caring but with a strong sense of self-worth. Maybe I think too much….
Anyway, I still felt like a fraud. And I felt really bad. Maybe because I would have kept my cool if he had dropped the box on my foot at the music class.
I felt like a fraud until later this afternoon when we made a mess of the kitchen together and made a couple of chocolate quinoa cakes to ‘practice’ for his birthday hedgehog cake. Then I felt like a good mum again. I felt a bit smug actually. I think the fraudster mummy is probably a lot less annoying.
I still feel bad though and said sorry again at bedtime. Tomorrow’s another day and I won’t let myself be defined by a slip up. I’ll turn them on their head and get better from them (sorry, smug mum – and the wine – are taking over). I am a good mum, I just make mistakes.