Trying Hard, Failing Miserably

As you may have gathered I really do try my hardest to be a good mother. I buy them tons of books, spend hours reading to them and playing with them. We do craft activities, cooking, go to loads of places. However, to be quite honest I am generally met with a total lack of interest. My craft activities which seem to take others hours take me five minutes to undertake with them and thirty minutes of planning. Neither of them can colour things in with any even small level of thought or accuracy. Neither of them can begin to write their names or even want to try. There is no interest in counting games. My choice of books is always wrong. They don’t wish to play tea parties, cars, Megablocks or those sort of things. They want to dress up and then roll around the floor in a scrum, or pull the sofa apart. I take them places, they complain and say they want to watch the television or a film. I try to garden, they want to dig a big hole in the middle of the lawn in order to find worms to throw at me.

All of this would probably be fine if I lived somewhere where people just plonked their kids in front of the television all day and didn’t speak to them. I don’t though and my parenting skills are scrutinised at every turn. Its tough, when my kids are determined to run around Pizza Express other peoples children of the same age seem happy to sit still and discuss the merits of organic as opposed to non organic food. I spend most of my life feeling harassed and I need of a break.

The speech therapy for Toddler Boy is proving an enormous challenge, he’s not interested, cant be bothered and when he can’t do something straight away he gives up. I have started to worry a lot about this, it wakes me up at night. If he is finding this a challenge, what happens at school? He doesn’t have the patience and attention span or attention to detail which would be helpful to him in a school situation. He is going to find learning to read and write a real challenge if he cant speak properly. Fifi copies many of these behaviours, this is all quite alien and a challenge to me, as someone who (still) just wants to learn, quietly and calmly, as opposed to in this sort of rough and tumble boisterous way.

I must admit that at the moment I think I am failing them. I am trying, but it seems that my best is not good enough to motivate them into behaving appropriately and developing and learning. I think that I must be going wrong somewhere, I just need to work out where.


19 Responses

  1. Alex 23rd September 2010 / 8:52 am

    It is right to be worried about toddler boys speech, that is natural but both the speech therapist and the childminder have both commented on how it is improving. And I see it improving too. When he isn&#39;t over excited he is speaking more slowly and clearly. I can&#39;t be imagining this because outside people have confirmed it.<br /><br />I think you&#39;re a great mum to the pair of them,

  2. cartside 23rd September 2010 / 9:11 am

    I had similar worries about Cubling – speech not picking up in either language compared to others her age, and a total inability to sit down and do one thing for any length of time.<br />In the past month, this has totally changed. Suddenly, her English language skills have exploded (not German I have to add) and she focuses for much longer periods of time. I never thought that was possible, was

  3. Kitschy Coo 23rd September 2010 / 9:47 am

    I&#39;m sorry that you&#39;re feeling this way and I really empathesise. It&#39;s so frustrating when you&#39;re trying to &#39;do everything right&#39; and don&#39;t get the level of engagement that you expect. Based on my own experience, I truly think the time will come for you though. My son is almost five and the difference between a three year old and a four year old is immense. He was a

  4. PantsWithNames 23rd September 2010 / 10:03 am

    It is so hard, this parenting lark. We just do the best that we can. <br /><br />In many ways going to Bosnia was such an eye opener for me – my boys were then 3 and 18 months. I stopped having everyone else to compare myself too and we just did stuff that we enjoyed doing rather than what I thought we should be doing. Crafty stuff almost stopped dead when I realised that we all hated it. We

  5. Garden Mum 23rd September 2010 / 11:35 am

    Well said Alex. Let them be kids. They don&#39; t need to learn yet. If a child is asking to learn somethin teach them. If not leave them to have fun. They have a lifetim of rules and hard work ahead of them. <br /><br />If you are still really worried think about letting him learn guitar properly. You can probably get a free trial lesson to see if he takes to it but if its sokething he really

  6. Garden Mum 23rd September 2010 / 11:35 am

    Well said Alex. Let them be kids. They don&#39; t need to learn yet. If a child is asking to learn somethin teach them. If not leave them to have fun. They have a lifetim of rules and hard work ahead of them. <br /><br />If you are still really worried think about letting him learn guitar properly. You can probably get a free trial lesson to see if he takes to it but if its sokething he really

  7. Nappy Valley Mum 23rd September 2010 / 11:40 am

    Don&#39;t doubt yourself! Someone I truly respect once gave me some brilliant advice on being a mum. She said you don&#39;t have to be the best mum in the world – you just have to do your best. Those are two very different things but only one of them is achievable. I try to remember it when the juggling becomes overwhelming, you just need to do the best you can and if super-craft activities,

  8. Marylin 23rd September 2010 / 12:07 pm

    I&#39;ve never done crafty things with my boys, they&#39;re just not interested. My youngest has been diagnosed recently as autistic, and is completely non-verbal so far (he&#39;ll be 3 in 3 weeks), so I *know* how frustrating and worrying it can be with the speech problems. He still finds ways to ask me to help him or play with him, and if that means him handing me the mario kart driving wheel

  9. Mirka 23rd September 2010 / 12:51 pm

    Oh, of course you are not failing them! We all have times when we feel like that, but from what I know after a few catching ups, i think you are a great mum and a great person. Sometimes it&#39;s hard, you just have to persevere. I think his speech has improved a lot, not just saying to comfort you, I mean it. Hope to come and see you again soon ;)))

  10. TheMadHouse 23rd September 2010 / 12:52 pm

    You are a fab mum, look at my boys running round the pizza place at butlins. They are terrors, they can be horrors, but they are boys and that is life.<br /><br />You need to relax a little and just let them be, it isnt always about entertaining them, but giving them the freedom to enjoy themselfs and learn to entertain themselves. The boys would rather go to the park than an museum and rather

  11. Spencer Park 23rd September 2010 / 5:11 pm

    The very fact that you care enough to consider that you are falling short speaks volumes. <br /><br />Having been a foster parent I have seen bad mothers and I know, for a fact, that you don&#39;t fall into that category. All children misbehave and it is unfortunate that we see our own children&#39;s &quot;naughty&quot; times more then we see other children who always appear angelic.<br /><br />

  12. Cosmic 23rd September 2010 / 5:53 pm

    You&#39;re a wonderful Mummy(just be and cherish the moments spend with them:)!<br /><br />xoxoxo

  13. Emily O 23rd September 2010 / 6:06 pm

    Stop beating yourself up right now. Forget the pressure and analysis from others on how you&#39;re parenting and do what feels right for you and the children. There is SO much pressure do to xyz with your children and I get bored with people telling me what level their child is at swimming – they&#39;re 4 years old for crissake! And even if they were older I wouldn&#39;t care. Why not have

  14. Laura McIntyre 23rd September 2010 / 6:47 pm

    You seem to have plenty of responses so i am not sure what more i can add but i will try.<br /><br />I feel i could written your post , just replace your son with my daughter and your there.<br />Speech therpy has always been a disaster for us because she would never sit still or even try to do it. Writing her name ? Numbers/letters – nope she would not even try . I panicied and was terrified how

  15. Whimsical Wife 23rd September 2010 / 7:42 pm

    Awww lovely don&#39;t be too hard on yourself – you certainly don&#39;t need to be perfect and you are clearly trying your best. <br /><br />All I could suggest is that you try to be easier on yourself, try to relax, don&#39;t try to hard to &#39;entertain them&#39;.<br /><br />Mine were never interested in anything other than emptying the entire contents of toy boxes and cupboards and walking

  16. mummy limited 23rd September 2010 / 8:08 pm

    I&#39;ve been feeling much the same way recently and have blogged about it too.<br />Go easy on yourself. I&#39;ve decided that even if Mini Mck only does an activity for 5 mins for those 5 mins he enjoys it so I&#39;ll do it. Let them do the things they want to and enjoy it, I say and don&#39;t worry about some tv and stuff. We all need a

  17. Aussie Mum 24th September 2010 / 4:23 am

    I think everyone else has already said it – you are doing a fabulous job so don&#39;t be so hard on yourself. <br /><br />What, as adult, we often consider to be &quot;naughty&quot; behavious is often a toddlers way of exploring the world and learning how things work. My Rascal is so different from his big brother and is always driving me nuts because he is into everything but that is his way of

  18. Tasha Goddard 24th September 2010 / 11:23 am

    I think we all feel we&#39;re failing now and then. But, from what I know of you, you most certainly aren&#39;t. <br /><br />Like you I&#39;m an avid learner, so I always had visions of sitting constantly reading books with my children and sharing this love of learning with them. But we don&#39;t always get what we want. Rosemary (and I think Eleanor is going the same way) needs to be expending

  19. Metropolitan Mum 25th September 2010 / 8:59 pm

    I really wished you wouldn&#39;t be so hard on yourself! You are doing fine. Your children have personalities of their own, because you give them freedom to develop into independent persons. <br />They&#39;ll get a taste for learning and sitting still one day, I am sure of that. Dxx

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