I thought a few days before I wrote this post about the social ramification, after much deliberation I decided to try and walk the fine line between frowned upon and wrong. (Its a fairly uncomfortable place for most, but I find myself there none-the-less frequently!)
I have two children at the moment; my daughter started school in September and my son goes to nursery a couple of days each week. Nothing unusual... I am what most would consider a "stay at home" mummy. I work from home, for myself, so its assumed I'm a glorified housewife. Safe to say there is nothing glorious about this roll, it is neither glamorous, boring, measured or quiet. I do NOT find I have lots of 'spare time' as many people may assume and I certainly do not attend the gym each day and have my nails and hair done once a week either. In fact it's like working 12 hour shifts 24 hours a day!!
To those who do not look after children ALL the time, like carers, grandparents childminders etc, your children (my children) may well seem like little angels. And I'm lucky enough to know that when they are with other people or school they DO behave themselves moderately well, (better than most, not as well as all). But, and here it comes, (eyebrows and judgemental looks at the ready) I shout at my children....
Yes - I do. Ok so now we have it out in the open, lets discuss... I am an educated women, who does not come from a council estate, or wear tracksuits and shop at Iceland, but.... I do shout. I find myself exasperated to the point of exhausted at times, especially with the 4 year old. In the month since she started school we have not had ONE morning where she has been able to lay her hand on her school shoes. Not the end of the world... once or twice but at 8:10 when the tears start flooding because I am getting the baby changed and dressed and she refuses to look for her own shoes, I loose my temper.
Quickly I interject your judgements, I put them in the same place EVERY evening, the cupboard by the front door... Every evening. And EVERY morning she runs around the house crying its the end of the world she can't find them. Every morning. Every morning I say , "Go and look in the cupboard..." She goes... and then bursts into hysterical tears immediately.... WAILING
"I CAN'T FIND THEM....!!!!!"
Mummy-dearest can be patient. I believe myself to have a modest amount of ordinary patience, I'm no saint, but anyone who does something repetitive, just makes me snap! Adults alike, surely the human brain has the ability to learn from common mistakes...?????
Even at the age of 4!
So invariably by 8:15, I fly down the stairs, enraged and incensed by the repetition of the same world-ending disaster as the day before and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that.... and you get the picture!
Yesterday I was violently halted in my fit of despair at the 4 year old (who just can't SEE school shoes it would seem), by my husband who has decided to work from home. He has always left by this time on a normal day, but he is OUTRAGED by the scene he hears unfolding in the hallway... 4 year old having a melt down and mummy BARKING from upstairs in a mad tone of voice....
"THEY ARE IN THE CUPBOARD... FOR GODS SAKE! I'M SO S-I-C-K OF THIS...EVERY MORNING, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR EYES... YOUR SCHOOL SHOES ARE RIGHT THERE! STOP CRYING!!!!!!"
In hindsight mad-mummy probably does sound ridiculously scary, but the husband begins an equally tyrannical rant upon me... as the adult who should know better, the stay-at-home-mommy, who should NEVEr shout, never loose her temper, never smack, never ignore, never..... blah blah blah.
Are there ANY mothers who are like this? Well it would seem that there ARE.
I met one. I met a mother who SAYS she has NEVER raised her voice to her 4 year old son, she has NEVER chastised or reprimanded, she has NEVER ignored or not put him first, she has NEVER not listened, supported and helped her son every single day of his life.... Impressive you think? It goes on... She SAYS, she has never made him do anything he didn't WANT to do and she would NEVER EVER EVER smack or even tap her son- EVER.
I thought this was either really interesting, really amazing or really embarrassing- either way, it made me look like an idiot... Until I found out, that her little cherub son was a little DEVIL.
A demoniacal, precocious, stunted, terror of EPIC proportions. Hmmm, begs some questions now... Having met dear-little-X, I was horrified by his social and emotional understanding of behaviour and consequences. And despite the fact she had supposedly NEVER shouted at him, this is all dear-little-X did - SHOUT. Scream. Kick. Punch. Fight. Upset. Bully. Demand. Terrorise. Disrupt. Disobey.
And after I met dear-little-X, all I thought was "dear-little-X needs a good smacked bottom!"
Yep - I'd have pulled down his pants and smacked his little bottom and let him cry about it! And no I do NOT believe myself to be a child-beater in any way, but I don't think "the naughty step" would work on this little demon!
Barking mad mummies aren't as barking mad it would seem after all, but I don't think anyone is prepared to accept that getting into trouble, being shouted at and given the occasional smack on the bottom IS good for children- are they?
My husband and I have fallen out over this, he too believes children are "angels" and its only parents who are badly behaved, and that if my children f***-up, then its only me to blame. Hence the screaming 4 year old in the hallway is a direct RESULT of my bad shouting...?
There is probably some truth in this, but I'd rather I shouted and my 4 year old screamed than have a dear-little-monster on my hands...
DISCLAIMER: I do not in ANY way endorse child abuse, in any way shape of form, this is merely a small snapshot of an incident, and NO children were in any way harmed in the writing of this posr