I am an awful mother.
I deprive my children of certain things because I am scared of what others might think. Of what they might say. Of them just looking at us. Talking to their partners about us.
I am an awful mother.
My children aren't even naughty.
They are NOT.
They are just children.
They are not being made to act like adults at such a young age.
THEY ARE CHILDREN.
Today I made Harry leave a birthday party. I brought him home, met my mum at my house and went back to the party to be with Charles.
Why did I leave?
Because Harry wouldn't sit down to watch a magic show. He wanted to be part of it. He couldn't understand why he had to sit down. He couldn't understand what he was watching.
He couldn't understand why another child was allowed to stand next to the magician (to be his helper) and why he wasn't allowed to.
At times the magicians magic wand would "break" and the end bits would fly off for the children to run and collect. Another reason Harry didn't quite understand the sitting down thing.
He is two years old.
Do I expect him to sit and watch a magic show and understand it all, to be patient and take it all in?
Did I get paranoid as he stood up whilst the other child sat, and wriggled a little, on the spot?
Because I felt as though some people would be looking at me, waiting for me to make him sit down.
So I did that a couple of times.
And maybe that drew more attention.
It made him angrier.
He didn't see what he was doing wrong.
Because he wasn't doing anything wrong.
I gave him something out of my bag. A piece of promotion tat we got from somewhere, and he thought it was a crown. He went to put it on Charles, then went to gently place it on another girls head.
I could have left him. He wasn't doing anything wrong. He was being sweet.
But I didn't leave him.
I rushed over. Picked him up. Sat down with him.
I then felt panicky.
I felt like everyone had had enough of him.
Had enough of my boy doing, well, nothing.
He wasn't screaming.
He wasn't hitting or biting or punching.
He wasn't touching anything he shouldn't be touching.
He was being a child, wanting to play, wanting to dance like he had been 10 minutes earlier.
My head was ready to explode with my paranoia.
It wasn't me being ashamed of my child.
I don't think he deserved to leave.
Or he should have left.
But I picked him up, and I got my phone out of my bag, went outside, phoned my mum and asked her to meet me at mine in 15 minutes to look after him.
I went back inside. Grabbed my bag. Asked my friends dad if it would be ok to leave Charles, to which he said yes, and I walked out.
I didn't even let Charles know where I was going because I didn't want him to be upset either. As I walked past he looked at me with the biggest smile on his face as he giggled at the magician.
As I drove home I hated that I hadn't said I love you to him and told him where I was going.
Just in case.....you know. And I know that will now stay with me.
I came home, grabbed Harry a juice, put him in his room for a nap.
He was tired, hot, and upset.
I was angry, hot and upset.
I am FED UP with feeling this pressure to keep an eye on both of my children every single second.
To not be able to look away, or turn my back, for fear that they might upset someone. Someone might be offended by them.
In the past year this has happened:
1- I was tutted at for Harry going near to some swings at the park. He almost got knocked over. I was running to grab him.
I'm a bad mother how? For trying to get my child out of the way?
He's a naughty boy why? For walking over to the swings, unaware that he could get knocked over.
2- Charles was walking along and his cardigan was slightly hanging off of his shoulder.
A man turned, looked at him, looked at the cardigan, and pulled a disgusted face.
This man had a young child with him too. Clearly this child's clothes are always straight and cardigans, coats etc never slip of the shoulder a little.
3- Charles was sat at a table in a restaurant, was excited at being with me, and said "this is how excited I am to see you mummy" and made a funny excited noise whilst shaking his head from side to side.
Nothing offensive, nothing too loud, it was sweet, cute and just flippin' lovely.
Of course, he was given dirty looks by a neighbouring table.
They didn't even hide their disgust.
I would have understood their being disturbed for 10 seconds from their meal if this restaurant hadn't been a family friendly one, with other children in, including their own.
Clearly, I need to tell Charles to never show his emotions. To keep it all locked up inside.
I don't want my child to be a robot. If he wants to show me how excited he is to see me then he can, as long as it isn't too loud, which it wasn't.
4: Charles was jumping off a wall into some sand. Ok the wall was a little high, but not for a 4 year old boy. He was happy, he was confident, and he was having fun.
Then he landed wrong and hurt his foot.
As he cried, I comforted him on the sand, and directly behind me a woman turned to her husband and said "Well, he's only a little boy, he shouldn't be jumping from that".
I stopped myself from turning round, wanting to ask if she thought I was a bad parent for letting my child explore and have fun, not being able to control my child, or if she thought he was a naughty boy for jumping from high walls and not sitting in the sand.
Instead I comforted my child. But her comments stick with me. And will do for a few days maybe weeks or more.
5: We were sat in a fish n chip shop. We were making Harry laugh and he was getting quite over excited with it. In a happy way. So it was a cute little squeal, and then a giggly belly laugh.
And old lady decided it best to tut at him and give him a look I never, ever hoped to see anyone give to my children.
Again, how was I being a bad mummy? By making my child laugh?
How was he being naughty? By reacting to the things his mummy was doing? Should he be holding in his emotions, and not laugh because he may offend someone.
What kind of world do we live in when innocent laughing offends someone so much that they tut and feel a child deserves to be looked at in that way.
My children are lovely, they really are.
They are funny, they are amazing.
They may test boundaries, they may want to see how far they can get with us, they may make too much noise sometimes, they may get over excited, over emotional, they may get bored.
But they are children.
And I am fed up.
With justifying that. With having to add disclaimers.
For feeling like an awful mother.
Like I've done everything wrong.
Like I'm lazy at parenting.
Like I've raised my children wrong.
I KNOW I HAVEN'T.
But I can't help but to feel like an awful mummy all of the time.
And ok it's easy to ignore other people, forget about what they've said and done because I know my children aren't naughty.
But when someone, AN ADULT, tuts, looks down at your child, talks quite obviously with his wife/her husband about you and about your child, then how else are you supposed to think?
I'm at the point where I feel I can't share anything about them on my blog without adding a disclaimer, or just sticking the posts straight into drafts without hitting post.
Without being paranoid over what people are saying and thinking.
I feel so over-protective of them. I don't want anyone to feel badly or negatively of my children.
But I know that people do, because it's clear. It's obvious.
So many times we say we are not perfect parents, yet seem to judge other
parents and children so much. I can't quite understand that.
What do I do?
Keep my children locked up in the house until they learn to be robots or until we all go completely crazy.
Or maybe someone could share the "Perfect Parent and Perfect Child" handbook to me?
OR, here's a thought, maybe we could all just lighten up, stop being so hard on each other.
Don't be so bloody mean to children. (Yes I swore, I rarely do that on here but still)
Ignore something that you don't like.
Accept that if someones child is running off, making too much noise, playing up that the parent is doing all he/she can do calm down said child and the situation, or maybe what you see as playing up and too much noise is actually not the same to others, and may be acceptable.
Let's concentrate on our own parenting, and our own children, and stop making people feel the way I do right now.