Sunday, June 29, 2008

    OMG: Freak Out !

    Firstly, I hope she doesn't read my blog.

    Secondly, if you do, from a link long ago, when you were part of our Mother's Group, please, it's me, not you. You seem lovely, just completely intimidating ( to me ).

    Louise mentioned in an email to me something about school holidays starting and I freaked - i'm planning on taking MC to kindy tomorrow - there was no note in his pigeonhole - is it still on ?
    Bit peeved. Dig up old paperwork, and it *seems* they don't stop for School Hols, but i'm sure they have before ?

    Consult the website and grab the latest 'newsletter'.
    Notice a pic of a woman I used to know. She used to be part of our Mother's Group, but kind of stopped coming. Her child was bilingual and accomplished ( actually, I think she spoke 3 languages, now I think of it ). She was also a girl. The rest of us had boys. Plain old boys. Loud boys. Occasionally naughty boys. Boys.

    We never knew why she left us, but we assumed maybe we were a bit rough around the edges. I remember geting a lecture once about the salt content of the canned baked beans I was feeding my son early on in the piece. Made me feel bad, and I ran home to google if I was killing my child. Conversational queries like 'and what else do you do with your child during the week?' always made me feel itchy when I replied 'hang out with him at home'. This little girl went to 2x Playgroups, and a kindergym I think.
    I used to feel so inadequate.

    So this photo is captioned 'M's Mum Teaches the Class about the Violin!'. And she's goddamn PLAYING A VIOLIN with her daughter assisting. Did I mention she also goddamn works, and has another goddamn smaller child now ? INADEQUATE.

    ( Oh - and she gave birth naturally, without drugs. Twice.
    Her mother was the assisting midwife.
    When I mentioned I wouldn't want my mum seeing my grown up bits, she said something about 'well, it depends on the relationship you have with your mother', which seemed a bit rude, but maybe I insulted her too, by saying that was WAY OUT FREAKY, OMG, NO ! .. so perhaps i'll forgive her for that one. )

    And why does this bother me ?
    Because there's a good chance we'll be at the same kinder in the same class next year, and although this woman is so very nice, I just know i'll be sweating again and wondering if I should make something up to make up for my son's lack of languages ( heck, he's having trouble with English ! ) and musical inability. Arghhh!
    The fact that we all enjoy a McHappy Meal ( yum yum ), and 1000x other examples of bad parenting I currently enjoy.

    "MC saved a whale last year."
    "MC has been studying mime. In France."
    "Yes, we'd love a playdate, but MC has to prepare his speech to the UN"


    In other news, i'm trying something new - a challenge if I can manage it:
    For the month of July, i'm going to try and refrain from words ( because, to be honest - i'm boring myself ), and instead post a pic-a-day - my life in pictures.

    Expect lots of pics of lint.


    Louise said...

    Oh she's one of those - you'll meet heaps more as MC goes to school etc. I am way more comfortable with normal - a nice balance of the good and the bad. Plus I think they need to do nothing to just enjoy being a kid. Mind you, I could brag about my girls' brilliant midyear school reports!! Oh and Chloe plays the violin. Ha ha.
    I'm so with you on the mother at the delivery thing - eeewww. And my lovely mum who is very close to me feels exactly the same. I do know someone whose Dad took photos at the birth of her children - mega eeewww.

    Melody said...

    There is one in every Mother's Group, Playgroup, Kindy, fact, I think it never stops.

    Kirsty said...

    You couldn't have paid me to have my mum at the birth of my kids - I did have lots of students at the first thought!!!

    Claire F said...

    She sounds like a bit of a pain if you ask me, which you didn't, but that's my 2 cents!

    I can't stand it when other Mum's ask me if Parker is writing her name yet, just because I wonder if they just want to do a quick compare. It takes all my strength not to say 'nope, thick as a brick, no competition there!'

    Now, bring on the lint!!

    Bird Bath said...

    oh the 'alpha mum' pretty annoying huh?
    Looking forward to the photos.
    The blog colours are looking good:)

    bluemountainsmary said...

    Yep that would be making my stomach churn a little.

    I wonder if I might join you on the picture a day thing. Nah probably not - I find it hard to stop yapping even when I do bore myself!

    kurrabikid said...

    Ye gods. Take comfort from knowing that 99.99% of we mums are just like you ... and not remotely like her. Here's just a snapshot of my own pitfalls to make you feel better: a) when he was younger A Good Night involved my son eating tinned corn ... from the tin. These days it involves him eating cheese on toast. b) any trip in the stroller requires me bribing him with freckles, smarties or whatever else is in the cupboard. c) we're toilet training ... months after everyone else.
    Hope this makes you feel better!!

    Anonymous said...

    Her only means of self-esteem is having an accomplished child.

    I am currently having looong conversations with a good friend of my daughter. Her mother was the same with her as a young child. She is now 17 and feels she can't stay at home because her mother is making all of her decisions and making her feel bad for even trying to think for herself.

    I believe that being a pushy parent just drives them away eventually - they look for a place to finally relax.

    telfair said...

    I agree with previous commenters...she sounds like the exception, not the rule, of mums.

    People keep telling me the most important thing you can do for your child is to make them feel loved and secure and supported for who they are, and that's going to be my motto.
    Violin lessons and six languages be damned! :)

    meggie said...

    I know a man who delivered his own granddaughter for his daughter- her choice. Yuk. I can never look at him without feeling repulsed.
    Dont worry about the other mother.
    You do just fine, & your son is very happy. Both of them, I feel!

    Muzbot said...

    Bah, you've got nothing to fear. You know your kids are fine and enjoying just being kids, and let's face it, "violin mum" sounds boring compared to "talented crafty arty fun mum."

    jorth said...

    My two cents worth:

    Kids need space to grow and develop at their own pace, and to hang and play with their parents without any pressure on performing. Activities/lessons are good, but I do wonder how many over achieving parents push their kids into all sorts of lessons way to early, and how much exactly do the kids get out of it.

    The best times Grumbles has are when we just hang out. I quite enjoy those too!

    sue said...

    I am sure there is always a mother that seems to live just for her child outdoing everyone else's. You already have two gorgeous boys which I would be very proud of if I were you. Anyway I am sure she wont get to do any wonderful pirate parties like you did.

    Stomper Girl said...

    Ah, if she starts with any competitive crap look at her with a sympathetic smile and say "yes but is she really happy? Even if she asserts in the affirmative, you will have sent her home with equivalent anxieties to the ones she gives you.

    Stacey said...

    The woman sounds like a pain in the arse.
    Diss her before the kinder year starts so everyone else knows in advance what a pain in the arse she is too.
    Serves her right. My kids live on baked beans and seem to be okay.
    As for Mum seeing my own grown up bits, she used to go a bit pale when I'd breastfeed so I don't think there would have been much chance of her being down at the goal end during child birth.

    Fairlie said...

    We had one in our mothers group who was super-competitive and super-pushy. I think the rest of us were a little too laid back for her, and she gave up coming along. I ran into her a few years later, when the kids were about 4, and the first thing she asked me was whether Queenie was reading yet. ARGgghhhhhhh!

    There's always one.

    dancingmorganmouse said...

    I bet I can guess which kid grows up to be happy, balanced and still loves his mum!

    Alby Mangroves said...

    There's always one, isn't there? Just like the idiot with shorts on in the middle of winter. Feeding their kids mixed grill at 3 months and teaching them bloody sign language so they can 'communicate'. OH PURRRRRLLLEASE. Bring on the happy, baked beans eating, no stress-enduring babies thanks.

    joanne said...

    she would die of heart failure if she came to my house.Baked beans for the kids once a week.Happy meal - we luurrvveee and as for the tv - well I think we keep foxtel afloat.I have two words for her - bugger off

    Damselfly said...

    I can't really add anything to the brilliant comments already here. But yes, those overachievers get to me too.

    h&b said...

    thanks guys ;)

    phoeberae said...

    I left my mums group cause all of THEM were like HER. I remember bringing out a Kraft cheese stick and getting gasps and 'your not going to feed her that!!!'

    Fast forward 20 years... I see therapy sessions with issues over mum never letting her eat the fairy bread and making her practice the violin for hours despite being allergic to the horse hair in the bow.

    Crikey, people like that make me feel inadequate too.

    trashalou said...

    We call them the 'mung bean and sandals' brigade. It is a mindset rather than an actual partiality to mung beans ;-)

    All you have to ask yourself is 'Is my child happy?' and if the answer comes back - 'Usually.' then you are on the right track. I go down the line of 'good enough parenting' and figure that anything else is too much to ask and anyway.... someone has to keep therapists in new BMWs!

    However..... (don't cringe, it isn't bad) my mother was at the birth of both my children and I would have been lost without her. She was someone who I knew I could trust and follow. But that was just me, also she is a practising midwife.

    shellyC said...

    there is always one isn't there!! I am sure she must feel inadequate if she left the group in the first place.

    Christie said...

    he, he, he...

    maybe, MC: first child in space!?

    or, you could invite her to his first photo exhibition!!!

    ps I'm with you on the ew factor re mum seeing your 'grown up bits'

    nutmeg said...

    Hi H&B just had to drop in on this post - and your blog! (Looks like you have great plans for your bathroom - can I steal them - I am oh so lazy....)

    Anyway, back to the topic of this post. Please read this book:

    "Under Pressure" by Carl Honore. It's about the cult of hyper-parenting (which usually includes types like this mum you've described here).

    Read it and jump for joy KNOWING that this type of parenting is NOT good for kids! Kids need LOTS of free play time - unstructured, at home or park - not a gazillion scheduled violin lessons, flash cards and gifted learner classes etc etc.

    YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING and so am I - add knowing smile here ;-) ha ha

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