What Kind of Mother am I?

Welcome to a new game where mums and dads are challenged to think about what kind of parent we have turned out to be, compared to what kind of parent we said we would be - before we actually had children!

I have been tagged by the lovely Cathie who blogs at Wicked World of Lucas and after reading her hilarious confessions I feel we have even more in common than I previously thought!

Anyway, without further ado, here is my list explaining what kind of mother I turned out to be. Please don't judge me!

My child will never have dummies.

child asleep with dummy/soother
I think this picture says it all. I stuck to my guns with DS#1 but then realised he had substituted dummy with bottle teat after I switched to bottle feeding him.

He used to hang on like grim death to the empty bottle with his gums sucking air as I tried to drag it out of his mouth. If I added more milk he overfed and was sick. He wasn't too keen on water but the air made him colicky. Take the bottle away and he screamed anyway. DS#2 got a dummy.

I was actually advised by the special care baby unit to give my last two babies dummies to encourage the suck reflex. Unfortunately Grumpy (5) is still very attached to his me-me making me unfit mother of the year. (or decade?)

 I don't care- he doesn't have it at school and he'll give it up when he's ready, which I'm guessing won't go much past having his first girlfriend sleeping over at worst!

My child will never play with guns/weapons

children with toy guns
Gave up banning guns
Yes that lasted until my eldest was 2. He had already been making gun shapes with his fingers and saying "bang bang" but I had resisted buying him a toy one and had even taken the gun out of his cowboy costume set.

Then when we were camping in France and took them to Disneyland Paris DS#1 spotted a display of guns in Frontierland and the pester-pressure began.

We said a firm "no" and moved on. Cue a full scale tantrum. Which went on and on until he sobbed himself to sleep in the pushchair. My morning was ruined.

We stopped for a drink and DH and I examined our motives behind our decision to not allow guns. We decided that maybe we had put too much thought into the decision and by banning them as toys we had succeeded in making them even more important in our child's mind.

We bought a gun, the least gun-like gun we could find and when he had woken up, not mentioned guns and eaten all his lunch nicely (a rarity as he was a fussy child!) we presented him with our purchase as a reward. Which he played with for about five minutes and then abandoned in favour of a feather, or bit of paper or something equally trivial.

I adjusted my rule to no realistic looking guns which means Nerf guns are allowed and I have to say all my children, girls included have spent many happy hours hurtling round the field behind my house  enjoying fresh air and exercise aiming foam darts at  each other and it seems to have had no detrimental effect on their perception or acceptance  of real violence or aggression. Phew!

I will be a 1950's style mother offering healthy homemade food, encouraging constructive, educational play, preferably with wooden toys and listening to each and every word they say with smiles, genuine interest, and be ready to answer all their queries and applaud all of their creative efforts without pause.

 Now if you are having, or have just had a baby you probably also have this vision of you embracing motherhood in this way too.  Let me tell you *leans in and whispers* sorry love - mostly it ain't gonna happen!
home-made pizza
Sometimes it does and their little random tales about imaginary bunnies and made-up plays and musical performances really are adorable. Until you are trying to finish your tax return, or cook dinner or talk to the bank manager on the phone.

Sometimes you have the energy to make a homemade pizza and encourage them to decorate it with lots of lovely fresh produce making a face and sit back feeling smug as they then eat peppers, olives, anchovies and whatever. And sometimes you are so exhausted and busy that you find yourself convinced that yes, Jaffa cakes are a healthy supper choice being as they contain carbs (biscuit) dairy (chocolate) and fruit (orange). Hands up if you have ever allowed your children to scoff last night's left over Chinese takeaway from the fridge so you can have an extra 15 minutes in bed?  Yes, you are a parent.

boy playing Bananagram Jumbo Zip-it
DS#4 with an educational wooden toy
Cue rare smug mother moment!
Wooden toys? Yes lovely if your child is under 5. Or possibly 2. They look lovely in the nursery, fabulous in the playroom but given a choice (or when they have a voice) most kids will pester for brightly coloured plastic tat. Preferably with some brain-curdling electronic music built in which is programmed by sadistic toymakers to mysteriously start playing at 2am.

If said plastic tat has some form of TV-related branding on it expect to pay 500% more. And spend frantic hours at Christmas scouring shops and the internet for the all singing all dancing Ninky Nonk or whatever the latest "must have" toy is. I remember my absolute delight at finding a slightly soiled (and therefore reduced in price) bright red talking "Po" Teletubby for DS#2 one Christmas. It still cost more than I could really afford and more than it was really worth considering it was fundamentally just a stuffed toy with a voice box gadget in it which probably cost 20p to produce in China!

And although I vowed my children would never have a games console - now we have.... well more than one and I have been know in desperation to actually encourage them to go and play on them to give me a minute's peace. Yes, hand over the unfit mother award for being lazy -on a cold rainy day in the February half term sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

teen with controller

And now to the finale - the dream that you will always be fascinated and interested and happy to give all of your attention to your little one to ensure they grow up feeling nurtured, loved, valued and brimming with self confidence. All ruined by the realisation that in fact you are going to have to use the Mummy Minute and the Dad Distraction.

You know - your child asks you something and you reply:" In a minute" when you actually mean "please go away as I am trying to sort dinner, put the washing on, comb my hair and change my tampon all at the same time"

And although you really want to be able to answer queries about Black Holes, why girl's don't have willies or what did come first, the chicken or the egg, it turns out sometimes you really don't have time or energy to think of a reasonable reply and end up saying:"Ask your Dad/teacher/brother/Wikipedia." Or saying:"I'll look it up in a minute." See previous point.

And sometimes let's face it their fascinating anecdotes can be, well, a bit tedious unless you are hugely interested in what happened on the latest episode of Peppa Pig, or in the playground when Friend A found a daisy while Friend B found a dandelion and Friend C didn't but Friend A loaned Friend C the daisy. and Friend B wanted to hold it too but Friend A said no.......you see you're nodding off already.

DS#1 was the best for tedious tales (sorry love but you were) and we have video evidence of him talking while driving a small train round a small circular wooden rack through a tunnel his Dad had made because we couldn't afford the "proper" one. The conversation went something like this.
father and son
DS#1 and his Dad. 

"Look, Daddy, look. In the torn (his word for tunnel) In the torn". 5 seconds of silence. "Look Daddy look. In the torn. Look Daddy. In the torn."  Daddy did his best to make interested noises and comments but after 15 minutes of this even he was struggling. It has become a family joke and every time we go through any form of tunnel my now 19 year old yells:"In the torn Daddy, in the torn!"

 He's still a bit obsessed with trains actually and talks a lot about them - mainly since he spends so much riding the rails to Portsmouth and back to see FDIL (future daughter in law). I wonder if he shouts:"In the torn!" at the other passengers when the train goes through tunnels.....  check out his blog here  and you'll see he does have other areas of interest now!

So, at the beginning I asked you not to judge me but now I'm worried I've shared too much. I need other people to confess so I'm going to pass on the pain and tag Mary Louise at MyModelMummy, Claire at Laidbackmumof4 and Carolynne at MummyEndeavours.  Go on ladies - tell us- what kind of mum are YOU!

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