mummy is always tired

In Which Grandma Tells Mummy Off

on February 4, 2014

It’s been pointed out to me that I am quite snappy with my children.  I’m not going to make excuses, BUT, coming home after a full working day, I am tired and sometimes when requests for help to tidy up go ignored or persistent demands for some contraband occur (usually cake) I can become ratty.  I know I am crotchety because my eldest often responds to my requests with words and phrases that sound frighteningly familiar: ‘what?’ (followed by hand on hip), ‘in a minute darling’ (usually with 1 finger gesticulating for emphasis) or ‘waait, waait’ with the emphasis on the vowels just in case there was any doubt to the importance of the meaning.  I don’t mean to be grumpy but I just want things done and anything that stops me getting these things done just needs to go away.  As mean as this sounds, mummy efficiency mode is not to be meddled with, any tinkering with this setting could result in all sorts of trouble.

But then Grandma comes to stay.  We love it when grandma comes to visit, there is endless laughter and chatter and my eldest in particular adores the fact there is someone completely dedicated to fun.  Want to do a jigsaw – Grandma will do it, want to smoosh play doh into small crevices – Grandma will help, want to draw endless random lines on sheets of paper – Grandma is willing and able.  Grandma comes to stay about once a month for a couple of days, sadly we don’t live near Grandma and it’s a 2 hour journey (3 when Grandma drives).  So it is an event met with much jubilation  when Grandma appears at the front door, plus it means my ironing magically gets done.  So, it was with said joy and delight when Grandma came to stay most recently.

We had a wonderful weekend.  Until that is my mother spoke the words that every child recognises as trouble: ‘now, don’t get angry, but…’  Now, I know whenever my mother starts a sentence with ‘don’t get angry’ that I have the potential to get angry.  And when I am angry, the incredible hulk is merely the jolly green giant.  My temper could fuel a rocket into space.  My other half knows this and my mother knows this too, although I am pleased to say it is not a well known fact amongst our friends.  I try to keep my wrath safely locked away – so far, I have been successful (I think.)  So my mother utters this phrase and I hear my other half take a sharp intake of breath – which way is it going to go I can almost hear him wonder? “Now don’t get angry, but I’ve noticed you can be very sharp with her [my eldest]and it makes her very anxious and she clams up.” This is a big statement for my mum to make but sadly, it is true and I know it so there is little I can do but graciously accept it as the truthful statement it is. “Yes, I know” I wearily sigh, it is all well and good knowing your faults but it’s quite another matter when someone points them out.  But there is nothing else to add because my mother, as usual, is quite right, I shouldn’t be so snappy.  My eldest is 3, she doesn’t understand that sometimes I just need to get things done and actually do they really need to be done? Is it so important that the floor gets mopped, does it really matter if those tops are a little bit creased or is it actually more important that my cuddles are unlimited?

So, I have been making an effort.  A real, determined effort to be patient, so far I think I’ve been pretty good.  I proudly emailed my mother to let her know I had only uttered my fearful “what?!” once in the last week.  My mother’s wise reply: “children grow up very fast, treasure your time with them.  They are very sensitive and can sense when parents are stressed and it causes them anxiety” she then added just before I thought it “I can say that now because I’m a grandparent!.”  And so my mother has shown that no matter how old you get you are never too old to be told off by your mum, now that’s a lesson I’m sure to pass on.


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