It's not often that I feel entitiled to a good whinge...... but I do today :)
..and I'm complaining about my children, so the rest of you are off the hook ;)
I'm guessing that sometime or another in a mothers life, she feels taken for granted. My turn came yesterday. Obviously it's not the first time I have felt a little unloved, but its the first time I sulked and felt sorry for myself!
For the last two days, the primary school has held their anual mothers day stall. For the second year in a row, my kids didn't buy anything (for me). I organised for them to have a few dollars each but JJ forgot to go and Lani didn't want to. Benny has been home sick so JJ was meant to get something for him too.
When I picked them up from school, they told me straight away that they didn't get anything. I joked with them a bit, pretended to cry and told them it was okay. I pushed away the tiny feeling of hurt, laughing at myself for even caring about something so little.
Once we walked in the door, I showed Lani the small pile of clothes I had put in her room for her to put away. She growled and grumbled and carried on as if I had asked her to fold the entire family pile (which on a side note is usually quite huge!) - My negative feeling started growing a little...
I noticed when I put Bennys pile of clothes on his bed that his room was a mess and asked him to clean it up before he went outside to play football. Another explosion hit; including lots of grumbling, complaining and something like "I don't like you!" I remained calm and prepared them all something to eat.
They ate their snack and ran off leaving their plates and mess on the table. Nothing new to me but it got on my nerves this time.
The last straw was when JJ got angry with me for trying to help him correct a part of his music during his piano lesson. - Which in all fairness to JJ, happened at the same time that Sisi was throwing a whopper tantrum.
I'd had enough, I went to my room, lay on the bed and sulked until Job found me. I also felt like being angry at him too but couldn't find a good enough reason ;)
I told him I was feeling unloved and underappreciated by the kids. He decided that during dinner (once I had finished my time in self pity) we would have a family meeting. That way the kids would be trapped around the table so we could fire away at them and demand that they stop acting like spoiled brats! - well, that's what I imagined but we ended up having a chat instead. I tried my best to be patient and loving while I explained to them that they had all hurt my feelings that day. I think they were a bit suprised to learn firstly that I had feelings....and secondly that they were resposbile for hurting them. The funny thing was that they all said in unison "It's because of the mother's day stall isn't it?" I laughed (and lied a little) when I said no.
It only took them a couple of seconds each to identify what they had done and how they had each behaved. They were very cute as they all apologised and promised to try harder.
Then the conversation took an unexpected turn and Benny and Lani took turns telling me how sometimes they felt like I don't love them. Hang on a sec - I thought this was about me!
Realising that my brief encounter in the 'me' spotlight was over as I took a deep breath, put my mother/nurturing hat back on and listened as they explained to me where I was at fault. JJ and Sisi are quite secure in my love for them. JJ found it a little comical that Benny and Lani couldn't see the all the evidence. The whole conversation taught me once again that each of us interpret 'love and acceptance' differently. When I asked them how they knew that I loved them, Benny said "Because you carried us for nine months.....and then you fed us." Lani said "Because you suprise us on our birthdays and sometimes you clean up our rooms for us."
I was hoping they'd notice the more day to day things, but maybe I'm expecting too much at the moment. I was up with Benny who was feeling sick until 2am this morning. I slept next to him on the longeroom floor and settled him on and off throughout the next 4 hours sleep that I had. I am not going to hold my breath that he noticed!
Maybe next year they'll remember to get me something from the mothers day stall and then all will be right ;)