Malone worries about being a good enough mother
Bleary eyed and waiting in for an Asda grocery delivery. I was up late sewing a costume for my child’s school party. It feels good to feel tired from something that puts someone else’s needs first. I now know why mums put all that effort in making costumes and stuff. I feel like some sort of maternal goddess.
Any shouting or mum grumps I get can totally be taken off my points racked up as costume-sewing mum-god! What do you mean my four year old isn’t point scoring me? I am. Any guilt for not being a 100 per cent perfect mother (which I think most mums beat themselves up about) is now redeemed.
Did I offer enough compassion when she banged her knee for the 16th time today? Was I too dismissive? Will she grow up needy for attention, because I was busy taking the potatoes out of the oven when she wanted to show me her painting of an alligator? I, like a lot of mums, constantly worry I could be doing better.
In this job, I don’t get appraisals every six months but every half hour. And not by a scary boss, but worse, by myself, the hardest person in the world to please (bar the offspring…). If I don’t match up to my ridiculously high standards (being some sort of fun nun like a body popping baking Mother Theresa) then I beat myself up.
“Any mum grumps I get can be taken off my points racked up as costume-sewing mum-god”
Which results in me not feeling great about myself as a mother, so then any tiny thing that my four year old says upsets me. “My friends have packed lunch, why do I get school dinners?” I hear as: I’m a bad mother because I haven’t made the effort to prepare packed lunches at 6.30am.
“Daddy lets me do X/Y/Z” results in me worrying that I’m too strict and don’t allow her to be a kid. Overdramatics when she bangs herself results in me worrying that I have over indulged her with love/sympathy before, and now she’s just using it for attention.
Then conversely if I’m matter of fact, I then become consumed with guilt that I have not been loving enough. Are all mothers like this? Or am I just mental? I hope I am on some scale of normal.
It feels like whatever I do it’s not good enough, from my own judgment of my parenting or her screamed feedback: “No! I already said I do not like purple ones!”. Sometimes with parenting, I just want a manual to refer to!
Just buzzed the door for the Asda delivery and accidentally let in a Jehovah Witness exclaiming: “More of us should turn to the bible for help!” Suddenly I’m glad I am not a nun and actually I don’t need a manual. Manuals are open to interpretation.
I’ll just bumble along shaping my baby human as best I can. I’ll just try not to worry and sew more stuff….