Anyone who has read The Little Mumma before will know that I am all about shining a light on motherhood. A glaringly bright, often unflattering light. Because I can't pretend that this gig isn't ugly at times. Or unrewarding. Or boring. Or real. Motherhood is a hard slap of reality right in the kisser.
We all know it's not a baby powder commercial.
In saying that, there are plenty of beautiful moments to rival the most saccharine sweet tv ads. Having a child sets a fire in your heart that never goes out but geez, screaming babies, whingeing toddlers and extreme sleep-deprivation will give snuffing out that flame a red hot go.
I sometimes tell you that my kids are awesome. Because they are.
But I also need to tell you that sometimes I want to shut the front door on them and never come back.
And in between the highest highs and lowest lows are a zillion other emotions and I know that every mother finds themselves on the lower end of the spectrum at least sometimes.
If I tell you things are shitful, I'm not going to wrap the message up with the pretty bow of "Just gee gosh, isn't it all worth it in the end?" You're not an idiot. You know I think it's worth it (I have more than one child after all) but I believe we can just let shit days be shit. We'll come out of them eventually (unless we don't) and the cycle will continue.
I think it's freeing to say point blank, "Today my kids were arseholes and I was an arsehole back and this day sucked. Today that is my truth." In general, I am a sunshine and optimism kind of girl because I do believe in the power of attracting things to your life based on the attitude you choose to operate with. BUT as a fellow mother, I think the greater good is served by my honesty about bad days. When I tell you that my kids ain't perfect and my parenting ain't stellar, the simple act of admitting that frees not only me but maybe other mums, too.
So. I am NOT an advocate for veneer parenting.
But I had a thought recently.
We were at a play centre yesterday and LD pushed another little boy twice before hitting him in the face.
Ummmm, that's my boy?
We took him aside and explained that if that behaviour continued, we would be going home. The message was calm and controlled. It worked.
It hit me then. Parenting is the reverse of dancing. As in, while one should dance like no-one is watching, I propose we parent like EVERYONE is watching. Because I parent better with an audience. I take a deep breath and I act rather than react. My parenting is thoughtful rather than emotional.
When no-one is watching? I am capable of lazy, anger/exhaustion/apathy -driven parenting. Which is not only upsetting for everyone but unlikey to illicit the desired result of better behaviour.
I am still all about total transparency in parenting. Revealing my vulnerability as a mum is important. And I expect I will continue to drop the ball. But a more mindful approach to the way I interact with my kids is as good a place as any to start making a change for the better.