Everyone thinks I am doing a wonderful job. My family tell me, my OH's Mum tells me and the Health Visitor and the doctor I saw today said what a grand job I am doing and how well I must be coping.
But am I? Am I really?
I doubt my abilities to be a good Mummy. I want to be. More than anything else I do, so badly, I really do. Remembering back to my own childhood, I have so many memories of being shouted at by my own Mum, and I know how that made me feel back then. I promised myself that I would NEVER make my children feel like that. However, when I have an outburst like I did earlier, I worry that I am breaking my promise and that maybe I will end up being like my mum was back then.
The worst thing is Burton doesn't mean to wind me up and 95% of the time I handle it fine but today......today I snapped.
We got in from a walk and Jenson hadn't slept as I had hoped so he was crying. Burton was fine until we got indoors. I was trying to get his shoes and coat off and make him his tea before poor Jenson could be fed, but he wouldn't leave the hallway. I guess I couldn't understand what it was he was trying to tell me, and everything I tried to say to him made him upset! So I left him to get his tea and this made it even worse - he was screaming and throwing himself onto the floor. Poor Jenson was crying even louder which was stressing me out a little. Then Burton was screaming even louder. I tried reasoning with him but to no avail. Suddenly, from out of my mouth I shouted - on the verge of screaming myself - at him to shut up! I shouted that sometimes mummy wanted to scream loudly too but she isn't allowed.
His face - he looked at me, he paused and then he carried on crying even louder :(
As soon as the words left my mouth I felt so awful. So I took a deep breath and wiped away his tears told him, in my normal Mummy voice and tone, to come and sit in his chair and eat his tea and I would put 'Raa Raa' (The Noisy Little Lion) on the iPad for him. He did so straight away and within a couple of minutes was calling my name and pointing to the screen excitedly showing me the characters.
He had forgotten about it all already, luckily.
I didn't though. I sat feeding Jenson, crying as quietly as I could, hating myself for what I had just done. He didn't deserve to be spoken to like that. He is 22 months old, he is experiencing the 'terrible 2's he doesn't known what he wants most of the time. I am the adult, his Mummy the one person who should make him feel safe. I feel I let him down. I really must try not to raise my voice when his screaming stresses me out, afterall he doesn't know why he is most of the time. Also I must learn not to let it wind me up. Its just a build up of 'trying' moments - eg. every time I manage to get Jenson to sleep during the day, Burton wakes him up through noisy play or by touching the Moses basket or rubbing his brother's head! Again, he doesn't mean to do so. Being loud is one of the things I love about him - its part of who he is. It just feels like I spend all day trying to get Jenson to sleep! Therefore, sometimes when Burton displays one of his crying without reason moments, I find it hard to keep calm and rational.
Not only did I feel awful for Burton at that moment, but for Jenson too because he is left crying sometimes while I have to see to his older brother. I would never have let Burton cry as long as poor Jenson has to sometimes.
However, a nice thing did happen after tea. The OH looked after Jenson for half an hour so I could take Burton to the park - some Mummy and Burton one on one time. Something we have not had since Jenson was born. Something we have not been able to do for a while really,as during my last couple of months of pregnancy I wasn't able to do anything too energetic with him. Going to the park then was just too much as it meant lifting him or waddling around after him!
It was lovely. There were smiles and laughter, and kisses and cuddles. No tears or tantrums. No tellings off had to be issued. I felt like a good mummy again and for the first time in a long time, I had no feelings of guilt because I was giving Burton my undivided attention and wasn't having to juggle my time between my children.
It felt wonderful.
Except now, reading that last bit back, I feel bad to Jenson as it makes me sound like I was glad he wasn't there!
It's not easy being a Mum is it?