So, of course, I am the perfect mother. My house is immaculate, and I have life incredibly well organised, my children only ever eat organic, fully home made foods, never any junk food or treats, they do all their homework, we are at the school gate on time, they cheerfully help with chores, sleep beautifully, never fight with each other or argue back at me, and their behaviour when we are out and about is perfect. They only ever watch educational programmes on tv and screen time is tightly monitored, I never shout at them and motherhood is just a dream. Yup…
Ok, I am totally lying there, and if you know me in real life or read this blog, you will possibly have wondered for about 30 seconds if I had finally lost track of all reality. I was just click baiting you there!
Because I like to keep it real and honest, here on this blog, I will tell you about a bit of a parenting fail of mine, that recently happened, with the tween.
I can kind of justify it, because frankly, tweens and teenagers can be hard to read and sometimes you just don’t actually know what is either going on in their heads, or why they are behaving the way they are (ok, often) and they can be frustrating and annoying (ok, adorable and lovely, for those who not yet in tween stage and want to be in denial still that it really is worse than toddlerhood!) But it still was a fail, and now I have recovered my sense of humour and come off my guilt trip, I can share.
The tween was a bit grumpy, and not quite herself. She has had a bad couple of days at school (tween girls are a whole species of their own, and let me just say that playground politics and emotions are fun when they aren’t working well!) I put her moodiness down to that and the fact that she has a violin exam coming up which is stressing her out slightly. We have all had a slight cold, and we have had a few late nights the past week due to some social activities that are out of the norm for us.
So she was grumpy and a bit whiny, and moaned and complained about being asked to do things, a bit more than usual and also kept commenting that the house was either too hot or too cold. I put it down to hormones, (we have had a lot of that lately) and also the tween grumps and mood swings. She seemed to be managing ok, and was eating normally and getting on with life, but she was getting a little annoying with the extra stroppiness.
It dawned on me, at the end of the day, that it was rather unusual for her, to be so tetchy. Because I had had a particularly busy day, and had been out and about for most of it, I hadn’t actually been around her much, but the husband had (and he had been messaging me also being whiny about his tween’s behaviour, there is a whole other blog post there about Dads and tween daughter emotions!!) but she came to me and told me her back and legs were sore, and was very grumpy, but I took one look at her, and suddenly realsied that she actaually may not be very well. I can usually tell, with my kiddos, they get a look about them, that they cannot fake, that I can usually spot a mile off. I pull out the thermometer (she had taken some medication earlier claiming she had a headache, so she didn’t feel hot to the touch) and lo and behold she had a fever, and it was quite high. So, nurse mum comes into action, and she is medicated and despatched to bed with a cup of hot tea, a hot water bottle and I stopped telling her off for not doing enough daily violin practice. I did ask her why she hadn’t told me she wasn’t feeling well, and she said “I didn’t know, I just thought I was tired and had a sore head, and had worked too hard at swimming and PE this week!”
Needless to say, she was given grace for her grumpiness and my mum guilt kicked in that it hadn’t hit me earlier that she was actually unwell and NOT just being a horribly grumpy, unreasonable tween. She also hadn’t told me that four of her classmates had been off sick with similar symptoms last week, so I hadn’t put two and two together to work out that she was coming down with a bug.
It wasn’t serious. Just a viral thing, nothing a day in bed, fluids, pain relief and soup can’t cure, and she will be back at school tomrorow (she’s back to eye rolling at me, arguing with her brother and eating normally, signs she’s feeling better!) but it just goes to show that not all tween grumpiness is simply because of age and stage, does it, and yes, I still feel guilty I didn’t work it out sooner…
I am off back to practice at being a perfect mother again, I will let you know when I have cracked it and written a book to tell you all how I manage it… 😉