It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, leaving Dubai, settling at my mums, dealing with Daddy going back to work. Temperature changes, sunlight changes, life changes. It’s been hard to deal with. The boys, while generally taking everything in their stride, are starting to act up and play up. And I’m turning into a harridan.
A horrible, shouting, harridan. Screeching and shrieking, yet having the audacity to tell the boys to use their inside voices when I am most certainly not.
I’ve become a harridan shouting mum and I don’t like it.
The thing is, I know shouting doesn’t work. And even if it did work it’s not my parenting style. However tired I may be I like to be an attachment parent. A safe place for my boys to run too. Not a harridan for them to run away from. To rule with fear. Not my cup of tea.
Yet since the husband headed back to Dubai I’ve been that person. That harridan. That shouting mum you can hear down the road….
How many times do I have to tell you?
I’m counting to three….
THAT’S IT WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Along with repetitive shouting of their names when they do the whole “I’m not listening” charade. I’m sure by now everyone round my mums knows my boys names, with an average age of 70 in our street and an abundance of hearing aids that’s no mean feat.
Yes, there are the days that parenting is tough, I’ve been there, I lived them, I’ve cried about them on numerous occasions. The nights after those days when all you can do is sink down and not say another word. The days that you hate the sound of your own voice.
Recently, those days have been happening more frequently. I expected it to be tough being away from the husband, I expected the boys to have difficulty in adjusting, I expected that moving from expat life to UK life would be a rollercoaster. I knew saying goodbye to Dubai and our life there would impact us all I just didn’t realise it would turn me into this harridan mummy. This shouting mum.
I hear myself shouting and I cringe. I look at my boys, being children, and don’t understand why I am flying off the handle. Why the little things they are doing that I normally take in my stride are driving me up the wall.
When they’re tipping toys all over the floor.
When they’re smushing quavers into the carpet.
When they didn’t want the blue plate they wanted the red one, no the blue, no the red. Actually the purple one that is in the dishwasher.
When dinner gets left uneaten and thrown at me from behind the highchair.
When they follow me from room to room as I try to make dinner, get a drink or even go the loo.
When they want to go out, until it involves putting shoes on.
The list goes on. All normal kid stuff. All stuff that normally I bounce through, all stuff that happens to everyone everywhere. All stuff that I could, and should, laugh at. Not shout. Not become a harridan mum. A shouting mum.
I could list a million reasons why I’m doing this. I could cite a thousand excuses. I could blame sleep deprivation, moving countries and being on my own. I could blame the unsettled nature of life at the moment unsettling the boys, having them test boundaries. All of those are true. All of those are reasons. All of those are excuses. All of those are happening.
But they don’t need to define me, to make me this shouting mum. My boys must be looking at me and wondering where their fun mum has gone. The mum who jumps in pirate ships to play, pretending that we are sat in the sea surrounded by sharks.
The fun mum who gets in the kitchen and bakes with them. The fun mum who crawls around and chases them. The fun mummy that they know and love. Less of the shouting mum.
The fun mum is still there, the fun mum bursts out and laughter follows. But the shouting mum is there too. I don’t know when she came to light, but I do know that I don’t like her. This shouting mum.
This shouting mum can go do one. Yes there are times where shouting will be needed, to warn of dangerous situations, when the Baby is about to put his hand in the fire, or pull the TV on himself, or be bitten by the Big One. When the Big One tries to run off, when he is about to push his brother down the stairs. The big things that might necessitate shouting.
Until they happen, and I do not doubt that they will, I resolve to box the shouting mum back up. To start each day fresh, wipe the slate clean if shouting mum has appeared. To give as many cuddles and kisses as I can. To be the fun mum. To sneak into their room at nights to cover them both with kisses and whispered I love you (with not too much worry on what if they wake). To look at those sleeping faces and be filled with love for the pair of them, and vow that shouting mum stays at bay the next day. After all there is no way to be a perfect parent but a million ways to be a good one; even on the days you are shouting mum.
If you liked this post you can also find me on Facebook where I try to not be a shouty, moany mum….