Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Good mama / bad mama

Some days I want my mum. This week has been full of those days.

Mum's been in South Africa for two weeks now, looking after my nephew little C while my sister works on a big trial in Pretoria. So she's pretty much off the radar – rare two-line emails and zero phone calls where usually we talk almost every day. I'm discovering I don't like this one bit.

Who do I talk to now when it's 3am and I'm up, again, with a coughing baby? Who do I call to say, in a bout of self-doubt, "Why am I not very good at this mothering thing after all?" Who's going to tell me how to impress on a 22-month-old that while "please" is the magic word, it's not actually magic – as in, not every request followed by "peeese" will be granted...?

I'm actually, selfishly, getting quite annoyed that she's unavailable, and I'd have a good mind to call her up and grumble about it... if she was phoneable.

On the weekend I was telling my best friend that I sometimes think I'm not terribly good at playing long games with Berry. Of course I do it, but sometimes I get bored (I know, it's not meant to amuse me...) and then I feel guilty for feeling bored. But later that same day, Berry and I had a huge two-hour play-doh-fest that was so much fun, and I thought well, what was I worried about? This was great! It was the first time we'd played with play-doh, and it was a hit. Maybe trying new things with her is the answer! So I decided the next night would be our first-ever finger-painting night. I bought the paints and felt very pleased.

Ohhh boy. Finger painting does not sit well with our fastidious Berry. She hated it. She wouldn't touch that stuff, no way, and when I demonstrated she started wailing No no nooo mama nooooo! Peese? She wasn't pacified until I'd washed my hands and put the paints away, out of sight. It was a complete and utter failure. And more than a bit discouraging on the being-a-good-mummy front.

Anyway, in honor of this little moan, a rather brilliant apron from MeMake:
"Bad as in bad. Bad as in good – you decide. Look like a domestic goddess in this retro pinny when in reality you have plonked the kids in front of the TV again so you can spend time on the internet and eat their chocolate."

Well. At least I'm not that bad.



  1. Trying to think of any games I enjoyed with my kids when they were little. Hmmm. Can't think of any!!

    The best moments were always the unscripted ones. Oh, and Raffi. My daughter is 21 and still likes to put her Raffi in concert tape in once in a while and we both start singing along - ba-a-by balu-u-uga....

  2. Two hours of play-doh is a world record, I think. You are definitely not alone in the boredom. It happens. And then you play with salty, colorful dough for a few hours. Yay! Nice post.


  3. I bet all mums get bored with their kids from time to time, you're not alone, I know my friends do.
    Great pinny! Not one to give as a gift however...

  4. You're a great mom and it shows!

    I love the description of that apron. Haha!!

  5. it's very late here in australia and after a long day of getting the kids up, going to a day job (teaching), coming home and cooking, playing a bit with the kids and then putting them to bed, then washing up (my husband was out playing sport)...and then doing some business work - i am thoroughly exhausted and felt every bit of anguish in your post...

    i think we are normal...i think...hmmm... as usual the answer to all problems is coffee! i'm off to have my nightly dose!!!