If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know two things:

  1. I’m shit at writing regularly. I’m in the process of rectifying this.
  2. My approach to life, every day and every way is this: just don’t be a dick…

…which is why what my daughter is doing at the moment is just not ok.

I’m not the perfect mother. I can get impatient and shouty and tired. I’m not great at recognising these things and before I know it, I’ve unleashed the rage monster and the kids are crying for ‘Daddy’ with a sense of desperation. I’m not proud of this tendency, but I’m also not beating myself up about it…I’m working hard to try and change it.

It doesn’t come naturally to me. The amount of times I’ve had to pretend I’m getting a phone call  mid ‘conversation’ with my three year old, so that I can leave the room to take a few deep breaths (and glugs of wine) to ensure the negotiations are more ‘United Nations’ than ‘Hunger Games’ is too many to count. As hard as it is to do, I know that when I keep my cool, it’s easier for everyone all around. After all, I’m the adult in this situation, right? And, when it’s finally resolved in a calm way, I don’t come out of it looking like a total rage-filled reprobate who’s only recourse is to scare the small people around her into submission.

The problem is, I think my daughter has cottoned on. I think she’s realised that I’m doing my best not to be monster mum that she’s almost seeing how far she can push me. Normally, during the day, I can beat her at this game. After all, during the day, we’ve got all the time in the world. If she would rather shout and scream at me than go on a playdate, or go somewhere cool, then I’m ok with that. If it saves me having to get everyone out of the door and in a car, then honestly, that’s easier for me. No skin off my nose. It’s a parenting win-win.

But when she does it at bedtime? Fuck me, I’m done. How long can I legitimately let her drag out a conversation, a chat, a negotiation, a tantrum before we pass the point of no return and I realise that I’m not just paying for it now, I’ll pay for it tomorrow too. The kid needs to sleep. That’s not me being a mama maniac; that’s just fucking science. I don’t have all the time in the world to be calm and cool and let her wait it out because frankly, I know that she’d rather be awake and fighting than submit to sleep.

And this is why she’s a dick. I’m working really hard on taming the shouty shrew that lives inside of me so that a) I don’t feel like a shit mum for shouting at the kids and b) the kids don’t think I’m a shit mum for shouting at them. But every night at the moment, she makes me bring out the fish wife in me that I’m desperately trying to kill off. She makes me throw threats of cancelled parties and no bedtime stories all delivered at a volume and pitch that leave no room for misunderstanding and then I’m the bad guy all over again and worst of all? She makes me do it so that it’s the last thing she gets to see before she goes to bed.

I came down from the sixth trip upstairs tonight when I’d finally (metaphorically) beaten her into submission and said to my husband, “Sometimes I really fucking hate her for making me do that. Why can’t she just let me give her a cuddle and a kiss and read her a story and say goodnight? Why does she always push me to have to shout and scream at her? Fuck her for making me the bad guy.”

Indeed. Fuck every other small person out there that’s forcing you to be the bad guy and feel a little bit shit about yourself. Sometimes, it’s them being dicks, not us. Sometimes, they ask for it and one day, a long, long time from now, when they have their own kids who are behaving all dickish, you’ll be able to smile a secret smile and know that the odd shouty, parting shot at bedtime wasn’t the worst thing after all.


  1. Masha says:

    Wow. I normally love reading your blog, but this one has made me feel quite sad for your daughter. I get how tough this parenting gig is and how our buttons can be pushed by a toddler, but viewing them as the bad guy is horrid. Blaming them for your lack of control is plain wrong. Check out the concept of Love Bombing. I think it would help you and your daughter out. I don’t mean any of this in a judgey way – I genuinely think it would help you to read about it and to understand that it’s literally a toddler’s job to push the boundaries and what they need is clear, consistent and calm limits set. They keep pushing, so that they truly learn the boundary, which they desperately need. If it’s unclear and they’re receiving mixed messages, they will keep pushing for clarity. Shower her with love. Cuddle her and tell her you love her, even when you think she’s being a dick. She’s just a babe and the best tool for teaching our kids is what we model for them. xx


    • catsims says:

      Hi Masha,
      We know all about Love Bombing and regularly practise it. This blog is about those times when you can’t be the perfect parent; those times when it’s ok to hold your hands up and say, ‘I’ve got nothing. I literally don’t know what else to do.’ I totally get not every blog will be for everyone but every blog is an honest reflection of my parenting experience at a certain point. It’s a way of making those parents who don’t get it right every time realise that it’s ok xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SArah says:

    Yep! I love my girl to bits and 90% of the time we can negotiate through the day. The other 10% we are both dicks….the sooner we realise that the better – although she is only 3 so she may not realise it yet m!


  3. Ginger says:

    Honestly? Cuddling your child when they’re being unreasonable is not the answer to me. To me that’s teaching them that it’s ok to be awful and to not show respect for people and you still get everything you want and even get a cuddle too. In real life when you treat people badly, behave badly there are repercussions. And I believe children should be taught that you cannot do as you like all the time and everyone else has to lump it if you’re feeling angry/nasty/mean. That’s not real life. Sure we all have bad days but we have to learn that we have to rein it in. A cuddle after they’ve shown some acknowledgement of their behaviour being unreasonable and there’s some semblance of remorse or acknowledgement of how they’ve upset Mummy etc., absolutely. A parent’s role is to teach your child to be a good human not to indulge and make sure they’re happy every moment of the day. I aim to teach my four children (and the hundreds that I have taught/teach) how to be happy not to make them happy. So far I’ve raised two children to be incredibly self sufficient, satisfied adults and understanding of their role in helping make society a happy place not just themselves. And yes children can be dreadful. And in regards to temperament, the apple rarely falls far from the tree lol. Oh and wait till she’s 13 😱 Ffs 😫🔫


    • catsims says:

      I do agree. I know it’s not fashionable but sometimes kids behave badly. Our job is to show them that’s not ok. Nine times out of ten I do this calmly. I don’t cuddle her but I calmly ignore her until she’s prepared to discuss something calmly and without stamping feet/throwing herself on the floor. The problem comes at bedtime when I don’t have the luxury of time to wait for her to figure that shit out! X


      • Ginger says:

        I don’t know why people are not willing to admit that children are not nice sometimes. And that you dont always want to be understanding because you have marking/washing/cleaning/work/organising tomorrow to do and you would like to have ten minutes peace and that when you’ve not been having all the sleep you need and the pressure is on and work has deadlines and your partner is working away and you feel like saying ‘I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR ALL THIS SHIT’ and you’re a human and quite frankly you’ve reached breaking point and it is NOT OK for someone else to be pushing it further. Some days you will have the patience and some days you will not. And that is OK. Because you’re human and a person and not a robot and not JUST someone’s parent. People telling you that you’re horrid or something you did is horrid really isn’t useful. Exploding or losing it or raging is something we do when we’ve had enough and if we don’t let rip, let off some steam or have a break then we break. That’s why we have so many mothers on anti depressants. We are told we have to be perfect and we should be feeling guilt all the feckin time 🤔 Children need to see that Mummy is human and mummy needs a break. They need to learn to look after Mummy too and to think of others x


      • Ginger says:

        The message is more intricate as age progresses, but the essential message should be there from day one explicitly and intrinsically.


  4. possumpeach says:

    I absolutely love this post. I’m not a mama yet, but women need to be more honest about how bloody hard parenting is. Crazy Stepford wives who look down on realness are much more intimidating than the thought of tantrums. Thank you for this – really refreshing :).


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