I’ll admit it. I nag my kids. I don’t want to do it, but I just can’t help it. I think it’s a parent’s job.
All I’m trying to do is to get my kids to learn the basics – get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, wash face and get out of the house at the right time with the right stuff. It’s not a lot to ask of a bright bunch of kids. Then at the end of the day – get undressed, put clothes away appropriately, have your drink, brush your teeth and get to bed.
To me it seems so simple. Surely they should get it after all these years? So I ask nicely, then I ask again, a little less nicely, then I tell, then I tell a bit louder. And suddenly I’m shouting and nagging.
I maintain that if my kids just got on and performed these very basic functions of their own accord that I wouldn’t need to nag.
I’m not proud of myself. I appreciate that other styles of parenting are available, but I just don’t seem to be able to use them. But until you’ve had three (or more) kids in under five years plus a part-time job plus a husband who works very long hours, please don’t judge me.
I’m afraid my eldest bears the brunt of my nagging. He seems to be the least able to do the basics, yet surely as the eldest he should be the best?
I’m really trying not to, but somehow I just can’t help it – he goes out of the house with his shoelaces trailing, he drops his clothes on the floor, he forgots his violin and his PE kit, he makes a mess wtih his breakfast every day…
My husband says I’ve got to ease up on him and choose my battles or risk damaging my son and his relationship with me. Now obviously that’s something I really don’t want to happen, so I’m going to try even harder. I could let him be late, I could let him go out the door with his shoelaces undone, I could let him forget his homework, I could sigh quietly at the mess he makes with breakfast and then just clear it up myself…
My husband has also had a word with him to point out that mummy, sorry MUM, nags because he’s not getting these basics right and maybe he could try a bit harder to get organised and be tidier.
If I’m such a bad mum, why am I the only one who hears when my son cries because he’s hurt himself, my daughter shouts in the night because she’s had a bad dream or my son calls from the bathroom because he can’t find the shampoo?
Everywhere we go people comment on how well behaved our kids are, how bright, how good at sport… My husband acknowledges that it comes from me pushing them just a little bit and always encouraging them to try their hardest and keeping bad behaviour in check.
Every day, at school, in the shops, outside the various clubs we go to, I see parents who talk to and treat their kids a lot worse than I do. They don’t just nag, they shout at them and talk to them with no respect, sometimes they swear at them, sometimes they even physically push them around a bit to get them to do as they’re told.
I may not be a perfect mum. I may be a nag, but I’m the very best mum for my kids and I will carry on being the best mum for my kids.