Dear Children, I’m Sorry. I Was A Bad Mummy Today

Dear Children,
my two bundles of joy,
my heart and soul,
my wonderful little boys,

I’m sorry. I was a bad Mummy today. I was tired. Not because Baby A was waking up in the night but because R was. And you have been, sweetheart, for the past two months.

At first you were scared of the dark. But we conquered that with our monster spray, your new Lightning McQueen nightlight and by leaving some of the upstairs lights on.

And now you are not scared, but you are used to the attention. And Mummy has continued to respond to your beck and call every night, giving you cuddles and tucking you back in, repeatedly. But now you are trying to take control of the situation by making demands which change as quickly as the seconds on your Gro-Clock click past. You begin to throw tantrums if I point out that you can take your teddy out of bed yourself (because, despite you carefully picking him out before bed, you have decided at 1.30am that you no longer want him in bed with you and apparently you need me to throw him on the floor).

I know this is a phase. And this phase would be bearable if you had enough sleep so that it was not affecting your daytime. But you are tired. You are so tired that I am starting to worry it is affecting your development and your disposition during the day.

I am tired too darling. I am exhausted. And that is why I was a bad Mummy today.

But that is the reason. It’s not an excuse. I do not excuse my bad Mummy behaviour and so….I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I was cold and quiet for the first twenty minutes of the day. As a teacher, I am used to separating one day’s behaviour from the next. But today, when you got up at 6am, after being awake for hours at 1.30am, I couldn’t control my frustration. It boiled up inside of me and the only way I could stop it from completely overpowering me was to be cold and detached until I had calmed myself down. If I spoke to you much, I was afraid I would speak in snappy sentences and an angry voice. And I was afraid all my angry, frustrated tears would just explode from my eyes and run down my face. So when it seemed like I was ignoring you and playing on my phone, please know that I was actually trying to protect you from an angry Mummy. I know it was only for twenty minutes. But I also know that it must have been a horrible feeling for Mummy to ignore you. It hurts my heart to think of you craving Mummy’s attention and affection. I hope I showed you for the rest of the day that I am here always. I will always give you my attention and affection darling (tantrumming aside of course!) But sometimes I am angry and I am frustrated and I don’t deal with it in the best way that I should. I’m sorry I was a bad Mummy.

I’m sorry that I was frustrated by you Baby A. My Wonder Weeks app tell me you are going through a developmental leap. A big one too. It tells me you’ll have nightmares (which you had two nights ago – it pained me to hear and see you crying in your sleep but made me feel better that you calmed as I stroked your hair and rubbed your back). I know that, with a leap, you will be clingy and whiney and just generally unsettled and dissatisfied with everything. I know this signals amazing progress. I know I should scoop you up, feed you, shower you with cuddles and sing to you. But today I was so tired and I felt overwhelmed by the jobs I had to do this morning. I was trying to prepare your lunch to take out with us, getting your snacks ready so you didn’t go hungry. I was busy fetching nappies and trying to decide whether you would need a coat on our walk or not. It felt like hard work to carry you around whilst I did this. I know I didn’t scoop you up gently. I picked you up, plonked you on my hip and didn’t speak whilst I went about my jobs. I am ashamed that I didn’t give you what you needed at that point. I hope I made up for it by squashing myself in between you and your brother in the back seat of the car to stroke your hair and hold your hand whilst we drove to our day out. I will always help you through a leap sweetheart. But sometimes I am tired and lethargic and I don’t do exactly what I know I should be doing. I’m sorry I was a bad Mummy.

I’m sorry you ate rubbish. I know this doesn’t bother you as much as it bothers Mummy. Of course Baby A you had your usual pasta and veg, because even a crap, tired Mummy can boil pasta and vegetables in a pan. But R, I’m sorry you didn’t have homemade fish in parsley sauce, chorizo jambalaya or spaghetti bolognese. I’m sorry you had popcorn chicken, oven chips and sliced peppers – (thank you for eating these darling – they were the only redeeming feature on the plate and the fact I gave you so many, and you ate them all, makes me feel slightly less crap). I know you love popcorn chicken but Mummy should really feed you better food than that most days. I’m sorry I was a bad Mummy.

But you know that twenty minutes I was playing on my phone this morning? I was browsing for your Christmas presents boys. Because I know exactly what I want to get you. Because I can’t wait to see your faces when you open them on Christmas Day.

Because even when I’m being a bit of a bad Mummy, I am always loving you so fiercely that you are my whole world. I am always thinking of you. I am always trying to make you feel safe, secure and happy. Sometimes I might fail. But I hope, when all is said and done, rubbish days aside, that I can prove that I can be a good Mummy to you both. For you both. If I keep you safe and make you happy then I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job. So today I was a bad Mummy. But tomorrow and forever more I hope to be a better one.

Love you always,

Mummy xxxx

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  1. We all have those days, especially when our kids are young and we're trying to do it all – including teach! And sleep deprivation…I understood after having babies how that is a particularly horrible form of torture! Hang in there!

  2. I think everyone has those days where they feel totally overwhelmed. I think the way you handled it was much better than being snappy with them. Please don't think that makes you a bad mother, it makes you human, doing the best you can, and to me that makes you a good mother! #bestandworst

  3. Oh bless you… are not being a bad Mummy you're being a normal one….we all have these days and my god they are tough, I don't have alot of patience and at times snap at my son and then feel horrendous for hours after but they soon forget, after all they are in their little baby bubble 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to the #bestandworst see you again! x

  4. Amy Gage

    Could have written this today about my entire weekend. Daddy on night shift and three hyper children, baby going through leap 3 :-/

    • Becky H

      Sending lots of strength. It is so so hard when we’re tired, they’re hyper and Daddy’s not there to give you a little break! And as for those leaps – I love that it’s a developmental thing but hate how cranky and clingy they get!

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