Supermum Exposed As Fraud

Posted on Nov 26 2013 - 11:55pm by megganmamma

Morning madness

I’ve seriously had my buttons pressed lately, buttons I didn’t even know I had.  For years I’ve thought of myself as this super centred, calm, yoga teacher chick, but in the last two months I’ve had my patience tested to the max.

One of the big challenges for me has been how to deal with a new house guest – Mr Incessant Whining.   It felt like this unwelcome visitor arrived overnight.  I was like, “Hello!  Where did you come from?  You don’t expect to stay do you?”  At first it came as a real shock.  I thought, “Really?  My beautiful little boy is now whining like this?”

Not only did the whining arrive unexpectedly, it now feels like it’s never going to go.  It happens at a pitch which goes straight through my nervous system and wears me down f a s t.  I know my symptoms well now:  I can feel myself becoming hot and my blood pressure increasing. My breathing becomes short and shallow.  My eyes widen.  My ability to think clearly or rationally go out the door, passing Miss Crazy on her way in.

I want to be a gentle mamma, I really do.  I want to respond to Joshi’s needs calmly and not lose the plot, but oh my god it gets hard when the whining kicks in.  Often I just don’t know what to do.  I’ll ask him what’s wrong.  Of course he can’t talk yet, so god knows why that’s usually my first response.  I offer him water, food, boobies, cuddles, a story, a song.  I pick him up.  That didn’t work; I put him down.  Now he’s hanging off my leg; I pick him up again, put him in the carrier.  No?  Ok, out the carrier.  The whining continues.  Sometimes at this point I start screaming inside my head.

The whining builds up when Joshi desperately wants to get out the apartment and I can’t fulfil his need immediately.  Of course it’s natural – he’s a boy, full of energy and wanting to explore the world.  I know it must be hard for him, but in the morning I’m just not ready to leave the apartment before the whining sets in.  It’s not like I have anything major to do before heading out. I might only need to get dressed, go to the loo, tear a brush through my hair for 5 seconds and quickly eat something, but these basic and simple things become virtually impossible with him hanging off my leg.

I’ll hold Joshi and do my best to console him, hoping that if I give him my full attention for a bit he’ll calm down, at least long enough for me for me to quickly get myself ready, but it doesn’t work.  What does work in the mornings is when Simon takes him out into the garden for five minutes while I get ready, but that’s often at the expense of making Simon late.

It starts again in the late afternoon.  I’ll be in the middle of cooking dinner and although Joshi wants to go out I have to persevere because if I don’t, one or both of us is going to get very hungry real soon.  Of course when Simon’s home everything’s a whole lot easier, but often there’s no one around and that’s when I realise how such a huge part of this problem is that we don’t live like the cavemen used to – close to each other, in community.  What are we doing!

Anyway, so long as there’s no immediate community of people around us I have to deal with it on my own.  I can’t just walk away.  There’ve been many times where it’s almost the end of the working day and I call or text Simon, often saying no more than one word, “struggling” and then hang up.  If I’m lucky he’s not stuck in meetings and I’ll get a text back with a picture of a bus – the cavalry is on its way.

Motherhood’s hard.  As someone whose writing is almost entirely about the positives, it’s not easy for me to admit this.  But the truth is, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I want to be a woman who mothers my child with love and compassion, but I don’t always feel able to.   Sometimes, instead of being gentle and loving and compassionate I find myself cutting off, closing down and withdrawing.   I’m quick to speak up against practices like ’Cry-it-Out’, but I wonder if my inability to respond mindfully to Joshi’s needs in moments like these is just as bad.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love being a mother and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. It’s an honour and a privilege.   I really mean that.  But although there are so many wonderful and indescribably beautiful things about being a mother, at the same time, motherhood has seriously pushed me to my limits.  I have to remind myself that in this particular moment I am doing the best I can.  Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I’m a bad mum.  Sometimes what I have to work on most is forgiving myself.

Feel like venting about your challenges?  Go ahead, get it off your chest – dump your botherations in a comment below and be free of them.

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16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kira Smith November 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    The timing of this post could not be any more perfect for me. Thank you

  2. kate November 27, 2013 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Woowee!!! Haha, we’re all frauds 🙂

  3. Salene Souza November 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I love your honest posts! I agree with you about how easier it would be if we had a community support to share the “duties”! Count on me on Wednesday afternoon or evening to babysit Joshie! I can have the “blablabla” conversations with him! 🙂 xx

    • megganmamma November 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Salene! I’m sure Joshi would love a bit of blablabla with you! x

  4. Jane November 27, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

    Yay!!! I am not the only one!! I love reading your blogs, they are always so interesting and positive and on the mark but they sometimes make me feel inadequate – not your fault, that’s my stuff – but i feel that way sometimes so it is very refreshing to hear you say that it is hard sometimes!!!

    Yes motherhood is so incredible but oh so hard at the same time. Wait till the tantrums start. Yesterday it took me the better part of an hour to put Sukie to bed for her nap and she truly tested my boundaries & inner strength.

    What do you do?? Your baby is screaming and throwing herself about. She does not want to be cuddled but she does. When i pick her up she is slapping my face and pushing me away. I don’t want to hold her down and force her to do what i want but i know what she needs…. SLEEP

    I started by making sure she is safe and allowing the tantrum to happen – you can’t fight it. Then i just stay close (make sure i keep breathing and calming myself as much as possible) and every so often tell her that everything is alright and that i love her, i ask if she wants a cuddle… Keep doing this till she calms down or at least calm enough so i can put her in the sleeping bag.

    Once she was in her bag, the tantrum continuing, i just held her close and talked to her and telling her that i love her. She was so wound up she could hardly breath so i was breathing deeply so she could hear and feel me breath. She calms down, after a while i say come on, its bed time and the crying continues, eventually i just put her in bed encourage her to lie down, stroke her head and finally she falls asleep.

    I have come to the realisation that i am a good mamma and i do my best but sometimes i don’t have the answers. But at the same time kids need to learn patients and that they have to wait a little. I 100% put my daughter first – always – but i have to look after myself too so that i can give her my 100% & if that means she has to learn to wait a little or she has to do something she does not want to then she must learn. If she shows me how she feels through her behaviour i do what I can to help her deal with her emotions in the most loving way i can :0)

  5. Elissa Koskinen November 27, 2013 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Love it. Our boys are going through such similar phase… Chat to you tomorrow! 😉

  6. Ash November 27, 2013 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Woohoo Meg’s! You are one of us! A mum! A normal, perfect, fantastic mother. The whining phase will pass when the language skills improve, but it will be replaced by something else that tests your patience. All part of the wonderful journey. I find the guilt of not having the perfect patience all the time (regardless of the lack of sleep and me time) the most difficult emotion to deal with. It does get easier though, these are the most testing years!

  7. Vanessa Stasinowsky November 28, 2013 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Melissa Duck 🙂 xx

  8. Trisho November 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Impeccable timing, as always. Even a “mature” Mum can relate to your article. Buttons being pushed all over the place. Remember, this too shall pass. The ‘lesson’ will arrive on schedule. Trust the process, surrender, and follow your innate guidance into the future….one day at a time. We’re all imperfect in this Earth School called Life. You must come first, so be gentle with yourself….no judgments okay? You’ll get through this darling. Sending love and hugs. xxoo

  9. Gil Hershman (Israel) December 2, 2013 at 6:53 am - Reply

    dear Meggan,
    You are not alone.
    We have a 6 years old, and now a 3 months old.
    It never ends. It just changes when they grow. They become more sophisticated, these enlightened creatures.
    All this is another way for us (if we choose to look at it that way) to:
    Grow.
    And to forgive.
    And to accept.
    love
    Gil

    • megganmamma December 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      I agree Gil. These are all opportunities for us to grow. After all, it’s the challenges in life that we grow from most, right? Since I wrote this post the whining phase has passed and it all feels like a dream. The good days are so much more enjoyable once you’ve had a tough day!

  10. Sandi Ratliff February 20, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

    My children are grown adults now. And I can tell you Motherhood does not get ‘easy’ after 18. The challenges just change. When your child is going through adult issues that you can not (and should not) fix for them, it is heartbreaking and I feel helpless. However, without hesitation, I can tell you that being a Mom is the most rewarding, fabulous thing that I have done with my life. I cherish every moment…

  11. Kenneth February 25, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Focus on the Family’s Dr James Dobson summed it up well a long time ago. I’ll loosely quote him, “Your job as a parent is to prepare your children for adulthood.” Wow, that sounds pretty simple. And yet we often forget that in our parenting. Thankful for your honest assessment here. However, sometimes, crying it out by themselves may be just another tool in preparing them for adulthood. Life sure isn’t going to console them every time they are upset, that’s for sure! And I can’t think of a better way to raise children… and that’s a perspective from a parent of a pretty great 18 year old, 12 year old and 7 week old, so I’m headed into parenting all over again.

    Do we need to give them everything they want? No, because life sure won’t do that. I continue to remember that advise and it has served me and my children well.

    • megganmamma March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Kenneth, thanks for your comment. What really works for us is “crying in arms.” It’s when you stay with your child while they cry. Sometimes you hold them, sometimes you might not, but you’re there with them, silently supporting them through the tears. There’s this great book called, “Tears and Tantrums,” by Aletha Solter, which is all about how parents can respond helpfully to children’s tears and tantrums.

  12. Shirley February 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Glad that I’m not alone. I have 2 boys, 4 yr old and 2.5 yr old. The big one driving me nuts everyday. I really hate hearing him whining whenever he has a request. Till now he still behave like that sometimes and I always have to raise my voice to ask him to speak out what he wants!
    Argh!

  13. brooke March 8, 2014 at 1:24 am - Reply

    I’m so glad to read this this morning! I’ve been horrified with my reaction to the whine. It cuts right through me. To my core and I can barely function. Luckily, its mostly on the inside. Breck is 9mos and, though he is almost always a sweet happy boy, the kid can whine like a champ. It helps to know I’m not alone. I thought something was wrong with me.

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