Now before you go calling child services on me, hear me out. You might even be rolling out the oats as you scoff your Pad Thai next Friday night too.
You see, I would describe myself as a fairly typical modern day parent. My children are most definitely always heard as well as seen. Unless they are up to something that may occasion bodily harm, or involves permanent marker, or they’re mean to one another, they have a pretty free run at life. I take the Dr Phil approach with extra-curricular activities and let them keep trying different things until they find their passion (which worked brilliantly with No 1, but I admit I’m struggling a little to keep up with the numerous passions of No 2). We regularly engage in whole family activities, we play board games with them, we take an interest in the TV shows they watch and books they read, we ask their opinions on things. Basically we treat them like any other people we like and respect … they’re just shorter, is all.
And generally speaking, they are pretty good kids. They are interesting and they make us laugh a lot. So we like spending time with them. In fact, we’ve developed a bit of a Friday night ritual where we all go out for a meal together – for a nice if not fine dining experience to end the working work and herald our weekend hanging out time.
As much as we all would look forward to our Friday night family outing, though, for some reason, for some god-unknown reason, so often in the half-hour before we’d be set to leave, the kids would turn feral. Feral, fighting lunatics. (Bear in mind they are 14 and 9!) Despite numerous requests to cease fire, useless efforts at counselling them through their given issue of the evening, and moving beyond that to full-on threats (realistic ones like ‘if you don’t stop fighting we are NEVER going out to dinner again) somehow, our lovely family dinner out would end up more like joining a divorcing couple for their last supper. Snide remarks, sniping, bickering, and constant tension in the air.
Watch these very brave women admit the moments they felt like a terrible mother. (Post continues after video.)