I don’t take myself very seriously.
I’ll happily do a funny dance in the supermarket just to make my daughters giggle, or say something outrageous to a waiter just to hear my friend snort into her latte.
My partner and I frequently poke fun at ourselves or each other just to get a laugh – teasing is basically our love language.
What I’m saying is - I think I have a good sense of humour… except, apparently, when it comes to my kids.
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Don’t get me wrong – I can joke about my kids. Any given day and I’ll be wondering aloud how much I’d get for them on eBay. Or I might suggest that a herd of rhinos would be quieter and less destructive than my two terrors. Or refer to them as my drunken dictators.
But if you make the same joke? Even if you’re my dearest and closest friend? Umm excuse me – how dare you insult my little angels.
Yes, I can see they’re being bratty. I know when their behaviour is ridiculous. And I can complain about it! But when someone else makes the same joke, even with the same good humour and affection as I would have, I can’t help wanting to leap to their defence.
Maybe it’s the motherly instinct kicking in, protecting my offspring at all costs. Or maybe it’s the insecurity that someone is ‘joking’ about something they really mean.
Of course, with friends I usually laugh politely and bite my tongue. I don’t want to be the mother that can’t take a joke! I know my kids need to learn how to take light teasing or tongue-in-cheek comments. Heaven forbid they grow-up without emotional resilience.
I like to think that I’m not a person who obsesses over what people think of me. And yet, something in me still wants to prove to everybody that I’m definitely a good mum.
Intellectually, I understand that we’re all just wrestling with modern parenting in the best ways we can. But emotionally, there’s a part of me that still feels a need to prove myself as a mother.