Thursday, 9 May 2013

What it means to be a mum

So Miss K and I had another fight this evening. It was a big one too. There was screaming, and yelling, and smacking and yes, even a little bit of vomiting. Gotta love a two year old for being able to throw a tantrum. And what was the reason for the tantrum?? I was yet again forcing her to eat something she didn't want to. It isn't even that she didn't like tonight's meal, it's just that she's had it 3 days in a row now and she's quite frankly sick of fried rice. She's like her grandma in this respect. Mum can only eat something for so long before it becomes tedious and she needs a change. I on the other hand have been known to eat the same meal for a week straight with no problems. But then I'm also the person who watches the same DVD every single night for a month at a time when I go to bed, so perhaps I'm not the best person to speak to about mixing things up.

The thing is, as angry as I was at Miss K, and as frustrated as I was that I had to clean up the thrown rice, and spew, and dodge her little hands when they swung out at me (she really stings when she makes contact with you, I've learned that one the hard way.) I had to be the one to get over my anger first, otherwise she wouldn't have calmed down. Of course I still needed a few minutes with my back turned to her, both to get my point across that tonight I was really mad, and to give myself five seconds to just breathe, but being the adult in this relationship means that I have to get over my crap really fast and help her out, and that's just what it means to be a mum.

We had a talk after the fight was over and she was out of her dirty clothes (well I talked, and she lay curled up in my lap whimpering.) She was taking such a long time to calm down, which is odd for her. Normally once I'm talking to her again she cheers up and moves on with her day, but this time she clung on to my shoulders and wouldn't let go, so I asked her if she thought I didn't love her because I  yelled at her. She said no, but I'm not sure if she didn't mean yes. (No tends to be her stock answer for every question that isn't do you want a drink.) So I explained to her that even when I'm yelling at her and making her eat food she doesn't like, it's because I love her, and I want her to be healthy and happy. And when I'm stopping her from climbing in the window, or jumping on the furniture, it's because I love her and I want her to be safe.  It was a strange conversation to be having with a two year old, but it seemed to do the trick. She still clung to me like a barnacle, but at least she'd stopped crying.

I don't know whether to call tonight a win or a fail. I let my baby girl get so upset that she threw up, something I've been so careful about in the past, and I wasn't sympathetic to her when it happened either, in fact it took everything in me not to yell at her even further. And sure, I managed to get her to eat some of her dinner, but tonight definitely would have gone a lot smoother if I had given in and just made her a Nutella sandwich. Then I would have been the awesome mum who gives her kid everything she wants in life. Sadly this fight, just like every other one we will have isn't about being the popular mum, it's about being the mum who teaches her kids right from wrong. It's about being the  bad guy in their eyes now so that they can be decent human beings when they grow up. That's just what it means to be a mum.
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