Monday, 31 October 2011

If Sundays aren't best, am I a bad mother?

Every other Sunday the Panther of News  prowels off to lead his editorial pack in their search for fresh prey. This means that I am alone in the Palace of Bundance with the Boys.

Now you'd have thought that this was something of a treat. My lads all to myself.

However, lately these days of domesticity have been anything but heavenly. I've tried quite hard to work out just what causes me to end up exhausted, bewildered and positively twanging with tension.

Sometimes it's because I have work to do - deadlines leap out from under a heap of laundry and take me by surprise. This week, for example, I was attempting to catch up after Boy Three's hand, foot and mouth virus played havoc.

Within minutes I realised the futility of this ambition and pared the to-do list back to the essentials. I considered including "pick the same things up many times" just to give me a sense of achievement.

So off we set to the supermarket. Least said about the escaping toddler and his constantly talking brothers the best. Or the alarm being triggered by someone going the wrong way through a barrier.

At least we did manage a contented trip to the park... until an ice cream van was heard in the distance. I understand that not taking no for an answer is a good thing in some circumstances, but not when it's nearly lunchtime and I said so. Besides any operation that involves moving the toddler anywhere is complicated by his insistance on playing catch me catch me. Also every single puddle, even those in the middle of the road simply must be jumped in.

Finally, we were home and he was asleep. Time to spray paint large cardboard boxes for Halloween costumes, like you do. So far so harmonious until the boys couldn't agree on how to divvy up the seasonal craft stuff, thus beginning the low grade bickering that starts to sound like a knife scraping a plate.

Speaking of noise, once little Houdini got up in something of a grump the only thing that cheered him was a few boisterous rounds of the Boys' favourite game. It's called scream at the top of your lungs for as long as you can.

Perhaps it's the proximity of All Hallow's Eve but everyone seemed a bit annoying. The brink of teen boy has come over all pedantic about, well, everything. The toddler wants to do everything his way. And middle boy thinks he knows best. All of these things happen symultaneously. Oh and no one will do anything I say first, second, or even third, time of asking. Fourth time lucky.
Oh, and there is much stickiness, everywhere.

So what can I do to make the next solo Sunday a but more fun or at least end the day not feeling quite so defeated.

PS I know single parents are stuck with this all the time, I remember. My hat, as ever, is off to you.


  1. It must be really difficult to find things to do that they will all enjoy. I must admit, I am of the 'going out' variety of mothers and find a day out in the fresh air much easier to handle than days at home, not least because I am less likely to get shouty if I have an audience ;) Can't you take them to visit Supersister or something? x

  2. Or leave them with supersister (so she can get used to having more than one to wrangle!) and slope off to a spa. Oh, dear. Not difficult to spot the feckless childless one here is it? xxx

  3. Jo, I'm going to have to be more focused on organising something in the future, I think. x

    Debbie, Not sure SS would be entirely thrilled with your plan. x

  4. My day was grand, came home to the chicken fight in full flow and then wallop, little fella was asleep and family watching X Factor. You just need to organise better dear.

  5. Husband, consider yourself in receipt of the look.

  6. I struggle with this - after a hectic working week the weekends are pressured to get all the jobs done plus have a good time - end result is we all end up getting cross

    I'm trying to take small wins as enough - if we have a nice meal together once that is good, if we get some jobs done too, also accepting that there are times when I'll let Bigger play with her LeapPad whilst Littler sleeps so I can get things done... maybe that makes me a bad parent too...

  7. Ahem.super sister here. Not sure i like being suggested as the solution to "bad sunday"!
    Clearly, neither jo nor debbie were here yesterday when we resorted to the gruffalo film on a loop!
    Boys need exercising like dogs! Definitely i'm all for going out out the least then it doesn't get messier than it already is!
    Ps would love a visit from boys 1,2 and 3 as long as they go home again....or even better we persuade the panther and mrs b to have all boys and we go to the spa!

  8. Muddling, I think you hit the nail on the head - we have hectic weeks and then spend the weekend trying to do our other jobs. Not bad parents. x

    SS, Do you think Mrs B and PoN would go for that? x

  9. I like those indoor play areas - the ones in pubs preferably, where you can start on the wine / gin early and even get grub there when they're worn out. Otherwise, I shove stuff in the slow cooker and walk them until they drop and start the wine early anyway! Boys will be boys...

  10. OSM, Excellent suggestions - interesting they all include wine/gin!

  11. I agree with the indoor play centre: I always take our girls there when lone-parenting. They run themselves ragged, meaning they have a good nap. And the screaming is impossible to pick out from the shrieks of other people's children.

    But it does suck. And I cannot but admire those who do this 24/7.

  12. And you do think your head is going to explode afterwards - unless you are lucky enough to have a local one like ours - where the adults can sit just outisde, watching through the glass! And What's OSM?

  13. Older Single Mum, I just abbreviated you. And that softplay sounds more like putting the kids in a pen at the zoo - not necessarily a bad thing.


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