03/02/2018

Thought of the day: motherhood

 

With the beast from the east upon us, it’s meant the kids and I have been home bound. Living in a village, the roads are ridiculously dangerous and unfortunately for us, driving to and from places is our only option, or so it was.

That’s probably the biggest downfall for living where we do – you have to drive to get anywhere you need to because everything is so far away.

With the weather being how it is at the moment, we’ve spent the majority of the time indoors. Trying to entertain them as much as I can before we all go stir crazy is proving difficult. Alfie has spent some of his time outside playing with his friends, but within half an hour he’s back –

“Let me in, my toes are frozen!” 

And if he isn’t complaining about the cold; he’s inside glued to his XBOX (don’t judge me).

Holly on the other hand, is spending most of her time amusing herself with her toys, or watching YouTube unboxing videos. But being stuck indoors means she has every reason to be stuck to my chest like a fly on… You get the picture.

Yes, I’m talking about breastfeeding. Holly is 2 in April and I still breastfeed on demand when we’re at home. Venturing off in the car to different places gives me a break and spares me a few hours of untouched bliss.

So as you can imagine, we’re definitely feeling the cabin fever over here. Being stuck indoors with an active 8 year old and a *cough* inquisitive 23 month old, has meant my parenting has been tested immensely; which has made me question, am I failing in motherhood?

I try my best as a mother to take a ‘gentle parenting’ route.

Gentle parenting: Gentle Parenting is a scientific, evidence based, approach to raising confident and happy children. It is a parenting ethos characterised by the following four tenets: Empathy, Respect, Understanding, Boundaries. Gentle Parents are ‘mind minded’, that is they raise their children in a manner that they are aware and considerate of the child’s feelings.

I have tried to understand their frustration of being stuck indoors, be empathetic that they’re upset our plans to go to the farm this Sunday were cancelled, and respect their feelings of complete cabin fever in the hope they’ll respect mine.

But the past couple of days, I have gone completely against my parenting ethos. I have shouted probably more than I ever have, I’ve become frustrated with their frustration and I’ve become agitated if they begin getting upset over plans we can’t do.

Am I failing at this motherhood thing? Or perhaps I set myself for failure by trying to be the best mum I can be, all of the time. Their isn’t a worse feeling than when you’re sat in the bathroom sobbing because you snapped at your child for no reason whatsoever.

It’s very easy to compare yourself and your parenting with other parents. You know, the ones you see on Instagram playing in the snow with their children, flat laying their children’s ridiculously healthy lunch time meals and there is nothing but laughter and smiles throughout their entire Instagram feed.

Where is the TANTRUMS?

The TEARS?

The MESS?

That is the power of social media. I am too guilty of portraying our lives to be picture perfect and #parentingonpoint, and I do wonder if anyone ever glimpses at my Instagram feed and thinks the same as I do.

Patience has been tested, parenting doubted and my mental state questioned. Am I failing in motherhood? Probably. Will I always fail in motherhood? Most definitely. But I know for sure my kids think I’m acing this entire parenting thing, and they adore me, no matter what.