I feel bad most of the time that I don’t do enough with the kids. It’s an occupational hazard that goes with being a working mother, I guess. I work out of the home for five hours a day, five days a week, and it does take it’s toll.
Instead of playing with the kids each night and over the weekend I do have to do some of those jobs that I obviously can’t get to during school hours. Like washing, cleaning, making dinners and lunches, shopping, the dishes and general tidying up.
As a result, I’m not really the most fun and involved mum. And it does weigh on my mind.
So, I sometimes feel the need to do more. Which leads me into situations where I have to shake my head afterwards and realise that I should have known better…
Last Friday I needed to go out and run a few errands after work so I decided to take the kids with me (actually there was no choice about it, I HAD to take them with me!) and spend some time with them.
The first stop was the bank. Following the sale of our land we needed to clear up some accounts and I went there to try and close one of them. Of course, my question was not easily answered and required the service assistant to make a call which took time.
While waiting for the answer, 3 year old Delilah decided to perform gymnastics on the metal queue barrier, 7 year old Matilda filled out bank forms and wrote out her name in bubble writing (apparently this is THE thing with Year 2 girls), while 9 year old Gilbert had a mini-meltdown and started swearing at strangers.
Yeah. I was the mother with the out of control kids, in a roomful of strangers, just wanting to do their banking and get the hell out of dodge.
What topped the whole thing off was that I couldn’t close the account anyway as both Nathan and I have to be present to make that happen. So, I had taken the kids there for no reason. Awesome.
Next up was the solicitor. I somehow coaxed the kids up the stairs with the promise of afternoon tea afterwards. Guess what? The solicitors were closed – obviously they like getting an early mark on Fridays. I was silently weeping inside – seriously, I had gone through all this effort so far, for absolutely nothing?
The chemist at least could fill my script so, filled with a little more optimism, we set off for the cafe. It started well, they had some yummy looking chocolate cupcakes and could do mini-milkshakes – win. But the milkshakes were apparently too small for Gilbert and the cupcakes not actually to Delilah’s taste.
Then Gilbert had another mini-meltdown after becoming sticky with the chocolate icing and needing to be cleaned up right away. I skolled my hot chocolate (such a waste of a good hot chocolate…) and took them all to the parents room to clean up and have a comfort stop.
At this point, I was at the end of my tether and just wanted to go home. Five hours at work followed by an hour or two wrangling uncooperative kids in a public setting will sap the very life out of anyone. I started heading towards the exit as the beacon of hope to end this sad and sorry tale when Matilda reminded me.
I needed to pick my script up at the chemist.
Crap and double crap. By this stage Delilah thought it was fun to run away from mum and go into random stores, such as the newsagents, to look and feel all the pretty things. Meanwhile, Gilbert was making no secret of his displeasure in being amidst the great unwashed and Matilda just kept asking random questions, very loudly.
I just wanted to go home. The very last thing I wanted to do was head away from the exit and take them anywhere else.
But, I needed to go back. The script was for my “happy pills”. If I needed them anytime, it was now.
So, I dragged my three very unwilling children back through the bowels of the shopping centre to get to the chemist to procure my drugs. It is no coincidence that I helped myself to two 100 packs of panadol on my way to the checkout. By this time I had one mother of a headache!
We did make good our escape and got back to the car in one piece. But I did have to wonder – why?
Why do I think it’s a good idea to take my brood out on my own and try to spend time with them while running errands? Why do I insist on taking my son out when he clearly does not relish being in a public place? Why do I think “it will be different this time?”
Why do I have to continually remind myself – I should have known better?
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Oh Kirsty – kids & shopping, i hear the universal groan of sympathy from any parent as soon as I read this! You did well despite it all I think!! 🙂
Firstly, if you are worried about the time or quality time you are spending with kids, you probably are doing a good job.
Secondly, if your kids are being jerks, sorry, KIDS in the shopping centre, every parent there is thinking ‘thank god it’s her turn, not mine’ because we all have our turn. So think that you are doing every parent in the place a service, for which they should be grateful to you for, by have the turn of the kids going nuts in public day.
Lastly, you have to think it will be different each time, (1) because some times it is, so worth 10 bad for that 1 good (2) they have to learn and they only learn thru experience (think of how long toilet training can take, and we don’t think twice about persisting with that) (3) you’re a parent, and obviously a good one, so you are programmed to forget – like the way they look like angels when they’re asleep so you instantly fall in love with them again or the way you forget how horrible childbirth is and go back a second time…
I’ve written my ‘I must confess’ so I’ll see you next Monday!
haha! Oh dear I only have one (and a half) and sometimes I feel the same way, why oh why oh why oh why!!!! There was time my hubby had accompanied me to spotlight and it got so bad that I may or may not have made a break for it, pretending that that child wasn’t mine (95% of the time he is the most delightful little human being – really!)
oh love. I can’t take my one 5 year old with me on errands as he doesn’t want to stay with me and has no patience for anything! hats off to you for even TRYING with 3! lots of hugs for you xo -Aroha
Oh, you poor thing! I think just about every parent has been in that position – many times! I know I have. Don’t beat yourself up about it, we’ve all been there.
Oh you poor thing – I used to think twice about taking one child out – and if we went out clothes shopping (at the insistence of A) – he would sit her down and tell her how she had to be nice while we were out because otherwise I would just crack it and leave and go home !!!
I think you are doing an amazing job with your children. I totally agree with Lydia so won’t repeat it all.
Have the best day and take care of YOU !!!
Oh lovely you poor thing! We have all been there, not that that actually helps any. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses my dear xx
Parenting can be a tough gig, we have all been there and done that, in a few years, well quite a few years, hopefully shopping will become a joy. My girls are now both in their teens and I love having shopping days with them, so much fun! Don’t be so hard on yourself, your kids are alive and well, you are doing great! xx Nikki
Kirsty, it’s easy to say after the fact that it was a bad idea, but good on you for having a go. Yes, we’ve all had the kid who has the meltdown, and we’ve all seen someone else’s kid having a meltdown. Most of the people in the shopping centre were probably thinking “been there, done that”.
It can’t be easy, but you’re having a go and one day it will surely get a bit easier. Take care x
Oh Kirst, I struggle with dragging out 3 little ones, but to drag three big ones out, WOW, you deserve a pat on the back! Next time, if you can, look at the list, if it can wait til you have reinforcements,then don’t do it til hubby is home. You need time out too. xxx Em xx
What is is about banks that make kids run wild? I fully sympathise there. It isn’t too bad now but the worst place to take my kids was the Post Office. Waiting in line for sometimes 30 mins with all that gorgeous postofficey stuff around, is just too much temptation for little fingers.
That you managed to take all three out and bring all three home is a feat in itself. I was sure you were going to say that you’d lost one along the way and that would be PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE in my book.
I take my hat off and throw it in the air to anyone who even contemplates producing three children, let alone raising them into healthy, confident, walking, talking and intelligent beings.
Well done you.
Because one day you won’t have to think you should have known better! I’ve not reached the stage of taking more than one child with me to the shops but even with one there are some days where I wonder what stupid idea made me think to do it! I hope you have recovered sufficiently and didn’t need to down too many of those panadol!
#teamIBOT was here!