I Am Mother Hear Me Roar…

By 19 June 2018 13 Comments

We’re feeling beaten again. Beaten and a bit broken.  Not by life, not by tragedy or trauma but by three small people who seem to yield so much power over us that we’re literally on our knees.

Can I rant for a minute or two?  Do you mind if I vent? 

I’ve got it wrong somewhere along the way.  You see, I always wanted my kids to really like me. Always wanted them to think that I was the loveliest, softest, kindest mummy in the world.  To feel lucky every day that I was theirs and no one else’s.

What a load of old bollocks!

I watched a short video this morning.  Dawn French talking about lessons that life had taught her.  One of which was how she had absolutely no desire to be her daughter’s friend.

“It’s Not My Job,” she said.


It’s. Not. My. Job.

I kind of knew that. It’s been said to me in different ways over the years but this morning, as I angrily devoured a Twirl bar for breakfast and tried to regulate my erratic breathing that message finally hit home.

Enough of this softly, softly, fucked up guilty approach.  Enough of feeling somehow responsible for what is nothing more than blatant rudeness and defiance.

Enough of being scared of putting real boundaries in place, saying no and issuing consequences that actually have some affect.

Enough of dreading bedtimes, dreading wet Sundays and dreading the school holidays. Yep, I dread them. 

My name’s Emma and I dread long periods of time with my kids.

Are you still there?  Have you unfollowed?  Do you still like me?  You see, I care too much what everyone thinks.  What my teenager and three eight year old’s think when, actually, all they’re thinking about is how they can get exactly what they want from every single moment of every single day.

Which is normal and I get it.  But, god help us, somewhere along the way some kind of empathy has to kick in.  Will it?  It will, won’t it?  Please tell me it will.

(Dave actually googled Boot Camp for Wayward Kids this morning.  They thought he was joking.  He isn’t. I’m tearing my nit infested hair out and he’s on the brink of buying a camper can and heading straight to the Amalfi coast never to return. )

PS: You know I love them. I really, really do. But Jeez, things have got to change. 

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

More posts by Emma Campbell

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Jane says:

    I struggle with a 19 month and 5year old so I salute you. I feel the same as you at the moment and I feel awful that I need some me time but I also know if I don’t get it soon I will break. Love your honesty and I hope they do relent soon xxx

    • Emma Campbell says:

      Thank you so much for commenting. I felt a bit bad writing such an angry post but sometimes you just feel like you can’t take it anymore! Love to you and hope you get some ‘you’ time. We all need it xx

  • Billy Smart says:

    I’m trying to remember which comedian it was – about thirty years ago, who made fun of right-on parents who claim that, “We don’t think of our children as children, but as our friends!”

    “What kind of nine year-old is it who *wants* a middle-aged person as their friend?”

    (Remembered: Simon Fanshawe)

    • Emma Campbell says:

      You’re not the same Billy Smart that used to attend the Young Vic Youth Theatre by any chance? 😉

  • Billy Smart says:

    Indeed I am… Well remembered!

    Nice to hear you this century, and to occasionally read about you struggling through (the getting through bit is nice, I mean, not the struggle itself).

    The tides of the internet eventually make most things and people resurface, I find, but experienced at one remove.

  • Briony Kwouk says:

    I have 6 year old twins and an 8 year old and feel exactly the same way. I’ve got to take action but I don’t know how. I too dread the long summer holiday with them (and I’m a teacher so should be looking forward to it!).

  • Mel says:

    Mali’s favourite insult to me is “you’re not my friend anymore.”
    To which I usually reply “GOOD, I’m your Mum, now do… {insert whatever I’ve asked him to do 20 times already}”
    (While inside I cry that he’s not my friend anymore!) x
    PS and while I love ‘Mummy Friday’ and miss him when he’s at nursery in the week, there is no way I could be a stay at home Mum and do it all day – hats off to all the hardcore parents!

    • Emma Campbell says:

      We want to be everything to them, don’t we? Friend, parent, confidante, protector, playmate. It’s a lot of hats!! xxx

  • Clare says:

    It’s funny, I was talking about something similar this week. I remember being a kid and being mildly scared on my Mum, especially her wrath. I certainly didn’t speak to her the way my girls speak to me. I can’t work out if that’s a good thing or not though; I too am a people pleaser and the idea that they wouldn’t like me is frightening. But then again my role is to parent not to be their best friend. Aargh, who knows. We’re all just doing our best! Sending hugs xx

  • Such a brilliant read. Mine are only 2 + 3 and I can barely cope! And they just know how to push my buttons already. It’s so hard to do and be it all! x

  • Tanya says:

    I’m not a Mum, but this was a great read regardless Emma. From watching family members and friends mention similar feelings I know you are not alone. I hope it felt good to vent, we all need to sometimes. xx

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