It’s probably ‘that’ time in my cycle but just lately, my kids have been annoying me. Not the usual, can’t stand that whingeing tone annoying but actually pissing me off. What have I done? Have I really spent the last 7 years raising ungrateful kids? My kids are so fortunate that it’s ridiculous. They have two parents, who live together and who love them entirely. They are extremely well-fed. They are clean. They are warm. They live in a beautiful home filled with more stuff than they could possibly need. They are paid attention. They are paid respect. They are healthy. They are fit. They are smart. They can see. They can talk. They can walk. They go to school every day with their friends and are taught by teachers who are invested in their growth and education. They have extended family who adore them and they have a broad network of family friends who enrich their lives also. They have travelled. By car. By ferry. By bus. By plane. They have a great life so it is infuriating to me when I hear them complain and I’ve had just about enough of it.
I’ve started a new regime in this house and things are gonna change. Yep, parenting is thankless, we all know it. I don’t mind so much that I’m not thanked for being a bloody fantastic mother but I do mind that I have to defend myself, that I have to beg for gratitude for the simplest things. It does not excite me to cook dinner every fucking night of my life. It doesn’t bring me joy. It doesn’t fulfill me as a person. It certainly doesn’t challenge my creative flair as I only have about 12 dishes I can choose from to ensure the entire family will eat healthily and on time. So when I am told ‘I hate this dinner’ I go a little bit Rambo.
"In town you're the law, out here it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe."
When my kids complain that we do not have a Wii, Playstation, DS, Foxtel, X-Box blah, blah, blah as they’re sitting on their leather sofa, watching a DVD from their own personal library on a flatscreen tv playing a game they have downloaded onto my iPhone, my head dips down and I get a bit Dirty Harry.
"...you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
And when I get home from walking them to school in their clean uniforms, with their homework done and the excursion forms signed and their money orders for book club packed neatly in their school bags next to their homemade lunches and I trip over the pyjamas I ask them to put away in their bedroom instead of leaving them on the lounge room floor every fucking morning… well that sends me a little bit Falling Down.
"I am not a vigilante... if everyone will just stay out of my way, nobody will get hurt."
I spoke to another mum the other day who is an awesome woman. She’s an entrepreneur and a wife and has four kids. She’s young and dynamic and confessed that she has given up cooking vegetables for her kids. GIVEN UP. What are you kids doing to us? What are we LETTING you do to us?? The nightly battle to get good food into her kids is so hard for this amazing woman that she has surrendered. Cue every other mother’s confession of letting their 5 year old into their bed every night because they’re too tired to take them back to their own bed or bribing their kids with chocolate to keep them quiet in the trolley at the supermarket so they can get 15 minutes peace to buy them good food or giving in to their toddler’s tantrum for whatever it is that they insist they need just because they don’t have the fight in them that day. Our kids are wearing us down. My kids are wearing me down. And I’m not putting up with it anymore.
There’s a new sheriff in town boys. And her name is Rambo Harry Down. Don’t mess with her – she’s nuts.