Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mummy Jekyll // Mother Hyde

In company, I suspect I come across as a very reasonable, gentle, nurturing parent.

Why are you crying sweetie? What happened? It's not nice to hit your sister/shut your brother in the cupboard/systematically destroy any sliver of your sibling's happiness. How do you think that makes him/her feel? I understand you're upset because you can't have a sweet but eating too many sugary foods can be bad for our health and ruin our appetite.

I don't raise my voice, I explain, I am firm but kind and all my children, heaven bless them, they both look up to me and mind me...

Yes, so there is Maria von Trapp and then there is Mrs. Wormwood (the other Matilda's mum). When there is no one watching, it's not so much caring maternal patter, as vitriolic tirade.

Shut up, good god, just SHUT UP. Go away. I hate your whining, stop whining. Let go of me. Oh well just kill each other then, and see if I care! Why? Why??? Because I say so. Got it! And no more bloody sweets, your teeth will turn black, cause you excruciating pain, drop out, and you'll have to eat soup for the rest of your life!!!*

Does anyone know what I mean? There's my "Sunday best" mothering and there's my "Not in front of the neighbours" mothering.

* I recently overheard Matilda giving Owen a version of this no holds barred ban on sugar. She had remembered pretty well. I was impressed.


  1. I understand what you mean.

  2. Me too. And sometimes it's like being Jane and Michael's mother in Mary Poppins - "oops, they've wandered off while I was distracted being a suffragette (trying desperately to find time for my own interests)."

    1. On Wednesay morning, I was working on a translation, and secretly congratulating myself that my kids were happily and quietly playing with each other, leaving me in peace. After lunch I discovered that the arm of the sofa has been coloured in with black crayon. Matilda informed me that this little piece of interior decorating was courtesy of my youngest.

  3. We had sharpie marker all over the (then) new bamboo floor in the living room. Grrr... Ad yes, there's my super mothering skills at playgroup when I'm managing tons of kids and the resultant crap mothering at home after when I'm exhausted.


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