I expect my children to be grateful for all the things I do for them, I bloody mean it.
I don’t go in for this “I’m a mum, it’s just what we do” business. Who says that? Who says that as mothers we are to wipe shit, work, cook, drive, clean, drive, drive, drive because we are programmed to do so out of some kind of natural maternal instinct that kicks in the moment they pop out.
Bullshit. I think some children believe that it is in their mother’s DNA to love soaking their skiddy jocks, ironing their shirts and baking the entire class gluten, nut, wheat, dairy and integrity free cakes for the fete. Sorry dick heads, it isn’t. (I’m sure your child isn’t a dick head, I just got a bit caught up, forgive me.)
I’m busting that well worn theory right open. As always — if you are a woman who thrives on doing countless tasks for your children and the only thanks you require is the happy smile on their faces, then GREAT! Well done and what are you smoking?
I am a firm believer in teaching children about true gratitude. As soon as our kids can sit upright, we teach them “ta”. They have no idea what it means but they do know they’ll get another tiny teddy to suck the soul out of and smash up their noses so they say it, over and over again. As they get older, we drill “please” and “thank-you” into them, so that they will be able to trot it out for elderly relatives and for when they are in public and you are being judged by their manners. The thing is, I am pretty sure that most small people don’t really feel the thanks they are expressing. I want my kids to actually BE grateful, not just encourage them to be.
Yesterday, when my glorious Odette came home from school, I sat her down and explained how I had to save the life of her beloved Toby the wonder dog (he must always be referred to as thus, never just Toby) because of those f*cking teen tiny elastic bands that I bet your children are currently making bracelets, rings and other worthless miniature pieces of crap out of. (FYI – I could have written a whole post about those things, and the unholy craft circles that are evolving at primary schools around the world.)