Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is a grumpy mummy

I'm feeling really bad right now. I got pretty angry at Emily about an hour ago because she wasn't listening. I'd explained something to her 4 times already and the fourth time she still couldn't tell me what I'd been telling her. She ended up crying. I ended up shouting at her, sort of, and now I feel terrible.

I get really irritated when she doesn't listen. I hate repeating myself. Worse than that today though was that I really wanted her to understand what I was saying.

Still. I should have kept it together. I'm the adult here.

Emily seems to have this notion that looks are important. She always wants to look pretty. She wants to wear something pretty. If she spills something on her clothes, as she did today at lunch, she wants to make sure that she changes into "something so she'll look pretty." It drives me batty. I don't know where she got this sense that pretty is important.

Take one look at me and you'll know that it wasn't from her mother.

I can't remember the last time I wore make-up or used a blow-drier. My clothes often have yogurt stains or snot on them. And I don't bother to change because why create another target when this one is already hit?

So, I calmly (the first time) explained that your clothes aren't important, it doesn't matter what you look like; what matters is what you are like as a person: kind, considerate, fun to be around, caring, nice to other people.

And then, right after lunch, she said it again. I went through it again, calmly, but this time she started fiddling with things and playing while I was trying to talk to her. My temper started to rise.

I explained it two more times over the course of the following ten minutes and I still wasn't getting through to her. I was mad.

And now I'm mad at myself for treating her this way when I was trying to explain that "it matters what you're like as a person." I probably should have added "but don't use me as an example."

I'm trying harder lately to be slow to anger. Unfortunately, that isn't my nature. Which means it is a bigger battle with myself, more of a challenge. I just wish I was seeing more success.

I don't want my kids to think I'm a grumpy mummy. As much as I adored my mum, she was a bit of a grumpy mummy while I was growing up. At least at times. I don't want my kids to remember me that way.

But I also want her to listen and learn and understand.

And I want to be a better example than I was today.

All this to say, I think I really need a weekend away.

Good idea, self. I think I'll take one. Tomorrow. I'm going to go to Toronto to visit my friend Deb.

Oh, and look at that. The flight is already booked. How fortuitous!

Hooray! Full report to come on Monday!


Anonymous said...

We all have those grumpy mummy moments, honest! They just seem to hit us harder when we are trying to promote a life lesson and end up failing at it ourselves.

I understand your angst re: Emily's concern over being pretty. I hope you can find a common ground to relish in her desire to feel good about her appearance while continuing to show her how her wonderful inner beauty draws people to her.

Enjoy your mini-holiday this weekend! You deserve it!


Shan said...

It's hard to keep your patience sometimes when you seem to be endlessly repeating yourself. I think it's also hard to navigate a child who is vastly different from ourselves in one way or another.The two of you sound a lot like Abby and I.

Julie said...

As you beat yourself up, try and remember what you did for Emily last weekend. Which do you think she will remember more?

Have an awesome weekend away from motherhood. You so deserve this! Have a couple of margueritas for me!