Thursday, 15 March 2007

A Mother's day

A friend of mine doesn't think she's a good mum. She's a great mum. She doesn't think she's a great wife. It's hard for me to comment on this one but, from what I hear and see, she's a great wife.

She won't believe me when I tell her this. And I can only assume that she doesn't get this validation from her children and husband.

You see I train my children. They are taught to say "I love you Mummy" by rote.

They are also taught auto responses to simple questions.

"Who's you favourite woman/man/girl/boy?"

If their instinctive response to these questions isn't correct then they are guided towards a more appropriate answer. I had some trouble persuading Ethan that his favourite woman was Mummy because he kept insisting it was Grandma. We compromised for a while with Grandma being the favourite woman and Mummy being his favourite lady. Now he understands that Mummy is both his favourite woman and lady.

I remember a year or so ago discussing with Hannah who her favourite mummy was. You might think 'the answer's in the question'. But no, her reply was that my friend was her favourite mum, the same friend who doesn't think she's a good mum.

I don't know what to do. I've listened and sympathised because I truly understand. Scenarios she describes are very familar: kids driving you to distraction, kids not behaving in the way you'd want them to, husbands not getting everything 100% right every time, etc. It's very easy in these situations to react in a way that isn't a way you'd recommend for someone else.

It's easy to have the image of how the perfect mother behaves. It's impossible to live like that. Every mother has bad days and every mother does stuff they regret. I don't know any perfect mums, but my friend is up there with the best. She doesn't threaten her children with decapitation (I do).


northernlight said...

There's not much you can do (as it sounds like a self-esteem issue.)
Cheap options include buying a t-shirt or mug with "Top Mum" emblazoned across them.

Ann said...

I trained Ethan to say 'I love you' today but his words were lost in the noise of milling children. My attempts to get him to say 'you're a brilliant mum' failed too because brilliant is quite a difficult word for a two year old.

northernlight said...

It would be funny if he could master the word brilliant to see the reaction on other people's faces when he said it.