My friend Jaime, from James and Jax, started a weekly Bloghop that will be exploring those things we’re doing right. There’s no topic per say but a general heading by which you can write whatever you want about & how you’re feeling. I’m a few weeks late in jumping on board but I’m starting today. Life is busy. It’s full of ups & downs but this weekly reminder of things I’m doing right will make a difference to me & help keep Patty at bay. Cos that bitch is back at the moment which pretty much sucks.
I’m sure that it’s not just my house that has what is known as ‘feral hours of bath & bedtime’. It’s the end of the day & everyone’s tired & Orli sees this as an opportunity to test her authority, independence & her stubbornness all while being exhausted because it’s the end of the day. It’s bloody exhausting. I actually get anxious leading up to this time, not because I don’t think I can manage the situation (because I always do & one way or another she gets into bed) but get anxious about ‘the unknown’. There’s absolutely no way I can predict her mood or behaviour from one minute to the next & this unknown factor every night can be really challenging.
I often wonder if she can sense my anxiety, my fear, my trepidation as we get closer to bath time. I then tell myself to stop being ridiculous as there’s no way she can see or feel it as I’m not displaying anything that could lead her to making those assumptions.
There are some nights that things run smoothly & everyone goes to bed happy. And then there are those nights…. full of frustration, tantrums, shouting, demanding & defiance that I would do anything to just get her in bed so I can forget it ever happened & gear up & re-energise for the day ahead. On those smooth running nights, I reinforce how lovely it all was after I finish reading her her bedtime story & she agrees & we snuggle & cuddle & say goodnight. But there’s no guarantee that moment will be remembered, cherished or replicated the next night.
On those hard nights, I often wonder if my giving her time out or arguing with her is going to damage her long run. I wonder if she knows that sometimes I feel terrible & guilty at yelling at her about putting her shoes away – cos really, who cares? They’re just shoes. I wonder if my friends are having the same challenges & wonder if they’re handling them better than me, differently or just have angel kids that don’t require any reprimanding. Thinking, wondering, obsessing, convincing mental loop. It’s one thing that I struggle with when my mood is low (when Patty’s visiting) because the negative thoughts, negative self-reflection & negative self-talk turns something like how I handled bath time & bedtime into a yardstick on my parenting as a whole & my capacity & ability of being a good mother.
And then each morning I am met by a happy four year old who wants to give me kisses & cuddles & say ‘good morning mummy’. And for that time I relish her happiness, forgive myself & remind myself that she’s ok & she’s going to be ok. Because for every battle, for every argument, for every time she defies my authority, challenges me & asserts her independence I know that SHE knows, she’s loved. And I also know that she feels safe. And you know what, it means that I’m doing an ok job. I’m being a ‘good enough’ mum. Some might even say, I’m doing it right!