Friday, September 24, 2010


I'm finding this whole Motherly love thing absolutely shameful. The whole thing is a living cliche - how much a mother loves their child; I mean, who wants to hear about that? If you're a parent, you already know, if you want to be a parent, you can guess, if you don't, you don't care.

I spend a lot of my time telling my son off for various things... sometimes I stand back and listen to myself, it's disgusting. 'Don't do that; you're making me cross; you're making me sad; take that off, put that on, do this, stop, say please, say thank you, put it down, what are you DOING???'

I pretty much spend the rest of my time beating myself up about it. A friend of ours has been berated by his brother for the amount of times he tells his daughter off; the brother feels that no-one has the right to tell a child what to do. I can't actually remember the outcome of the conversation, either the brother has no children or his kids are a nightmare; either way we all laughed heartily at the story... but secretly I bet we all doubted ourselves.

Mums confess things to each other. How we shout at our children, how we sneak up on them at night and cuddle them when they can't squirm, how we secretly like it when they fall over and need comforting; how we lose our cool, how frustrated we get. How guilty we feel all the time; about loving them too much, neglecting them, spoiling them, feeding them crap, forcing them to eat things they hate; guilty about secretly loving them clambering into our bed after a bad dream, about how sometimes every word they say is like a knife in an exhausted brain.

It's good, the confession, it shows us we are all the same, that maybe we have nothing to feel guilty about. But it's hard, really, to admit the truth: we are mothers; we did it to ourselves. Mostly.

Anyway, so nobody needs to hear about it, which is why I'm not telling you about our day today; except that it was lovely. At the end, I got told how much my son loves me. There were a lot of 'really's in the sentence. It ended in 'a lot'.

That's what's become of me. Who would have guessed?


Elsie Button said...

I am so glad you said the 'sometimes every word they say is like a knife in an exhausted brain' - i felt as guilty as hell today after getting ratty with betty for just talking nicely (admitedly she hadn't stopped for a solid 4 hours). You're right though, it's hard not to be gushing about your children at times but it is lovely when they tell you they really really really love you a lot (although i have never had quite so many reallys from betty, if any)

FortyNotOut said...

Gorgeous post Lovely! It always makes me wonder how kids can make you go from wanting to throttle them to wanting to cuddle them to bits! But Im gonna say it too.... when they tell they love you. Heart. Melt. That is all. xx

Hoto said...


Carol said...

I think it's perfectly natural to go through all those feelings and there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing them!

C x

Juniper said...

I come into the 'don't have children and don't want them' category and it's so refreshing to hear an honest account of being a mother. Normally all we childless/childfree people hear is what we are missing.

I will stand up here and admit that I am pretty much the same with the dog - when he is being a pain it is "What? what the *** do you want now??" but 5 minutes later I'm feeling lousy and giving him a big cuddle.

No, not a mother; but I am a pretty damn cool auntie, though I say it myself ;-)


Juniper said...

Hi, I have awarded your blog an - er - award! You can find the details in my latest post 24 Sept.

Dreams and Reality

Thanks for a great blog!


Sparx said...

Elsie - yes, I wanted to shout at Charlie the other day just for asking me nicely if he could have some juice - he'd been non-stop asking for things and demanding things and nattering for several hours and I could no longer think for myself...

FortyNotOut - that's it exactly; makes up for the frustration... without that I'm sure I'd go completely over the top...

Hoto - yeah, talk to the hand.

Carol - thanks - it is normal, every Mum seems to feel the same.

Juniper - when I was pregnant, we had a cat that I loved so much I couldn't imagine loving a child more. To be honest, the feelings were very similar; although when the cat died, my life was not in the sort of ruins it would be if something awful happened to Charlie; but if you have a major love for a pet, you do share some of the same feelings.

Thanks for the award - I'll come over to check it out. I don't often 'do' awards anymore, I never have time to pass them on!!

Juniper said...

I'm sure I will get like that too, it took me ages ;-) but hey it's my first one, ooh!


Anonymous said...

Its that little bit of unconditional love that
Gets us in the end. Fabulous post, very true.

CJ xx

Sparx said...

Crystal Jigsaw - thanks so much. It's true though, there's nothing that beats that. No bloody thing. Shameful!

Sphinx said...

And when you're not busy loving them to pieces, or berating yourself for being cross with them, you njust worry about them... no matter their age!
Lovely post.

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

I remember this! When my Hairs were wee that was me going off on one over small stuff all the time. Still do in fact.

They say don't sweat the small stuff. Listening to that old adage gave me many many many moments of doubt over the years.

But in some perverse way sweating the small stuff seems to give me perspective when I really need it.

Oh sure I can yell like a fish wife over undone chores, loud music (yes I am now officially that old) and homework but I remained absolutely calm and cool when my 15 year old Hair got poured through the door sodding drunk some months back!

Sixteen years into this parenting gig I'm finally realizing that it might be better to sweat the small stuff so that you can pull out your best self for the big stuff; when it really matters.

We've had no more pouring incidents - it's been nearly a year - and while chores and homework remain an issue, curfew never is.

Go figure.