1. I'm crap at playing.
I'm not talking about playing an actual board game, or (some) sports... I'm talking about imaginative play. You'd think (what with me being a writer n all) that I'd be pretty good at it. Not so. "Ooh, here comes dolly!" "Hello Miss Dolly!" "Hmmm. Shall we do something else?" To be frank, this kind of play is very cute to watch but very dull to participate in. See? Crap mother.
2. I say "yes" too often.
I know it's character building to say no. I WANT to say no. I WANT to stick by my guns. And I have seen what happens during the teenage years when parents are too permissive. BUT, if Timmy cries because he wants to take his bottle on the trampoline, or Lily wants just "one more" cupcake, then I find myself going against my judgement, looking at their beautiful (manipulative) eyes and saying. "OK, just this once..."
3. I take Happy Pills.
Which means - gasp - I suppose "on paper" I have a mental health problem. Although the term "Happy Pills" is always a bit of an insult. Feeling Happy when your mindset is a little too tipped in favour of "low mood" takes a great deal more than a sugar-coated smartie full of mind altering chemicals, let me tell you!
4. I long for bedtime.
Yep. Both mine, and THEIRS. I love the evenings when I can relax (ish), get work done, TIDY up, have a cup of tea and not worry about where I put it while it's hot. Sometimes when it gets to 7.00pm I feel as if I've won the lottery. OK, well, maybe a mediocre raffle... but you know what I mean.
5. I've just employed a Nanny
Or 'Garde a Domicile' for those who live in France. 4 days a week 9-4pm to help out. So yes, I'm farming off the twins while Lily's at school. Hardly supermum!
Why it's OK.
But... in my defence:
1. I'm great at teaching, at drawing with the children, at taking them on trips out. In the future, I'll probably be much more useful than I am now.
2. At least I'm AWARE that I'm being too permissive. I'll work on it... just maybe not today?
3. It takes more strength than people realise to admit you need a little help. And a little extra serotonin benefits the whole family!
4. I'm tired. Did I say TIRED? Make that KNACKERED. Plus, I like tea... Plus, when I sit there in the evenings, I kind of wish they'd all wake up again. The great parental irony...
5. 4 years and 6 months of full on childcare, four kids four and under, barely a night slept in the whole time... A twin pregnancy and two single ones... several bouts of PND. And an occupation that I love and is fulfilling (plus state subsidies for childcare). Why the hell not! Now we can take the boys swimming, for trips out, as well as get our work done and have proper time to spend with them.