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My girlfriend thinks she's the worst mum in the world...

(2 Posts)
NewLevelsOfTiredness Thu 19-Apr-18 11:43:11

Hi - about a year and half ago I was lucky enough to move in my girlfriend and her two girls (2 & 6 at the time, now 3 and a few days away from 8.)

The whole step-parenting thing is fine, no issues there. We've been blessed that both girls have not just accepted me but been actively positive and welcoming. It's been fantastic. The girls have their moments, but generally those moments seem in line with what I read every day on this site:

SD7 is willful, tries to negotiate every about rule, occasionally rude (to us and her dad at least - pure sunshine to everyone else!) moans about homework and is a champion daydreamer and procrastinator (much as I was!) Her dad has ADHD and I know that can be hereditary, but the school say she performs well and while her focus isn't amazing it's within normal limits.

SD3 is dirven by a core of pure stubbornness. I read that 2.5 is the general point at which a child is aware of themselves as an individual entity and wants to be part of the rule making process. SD3 wants to be the BOSS. (It's just occured to me that Boss Baby is her favourite film. Hmm.) There's tantrums every time, which we don't give into. Last night she was dreaming in her sleep about arguing with her mum that she WOULD take a certain toy to kindergarten.

Both are utterly amazing, hilarious little girls most of the time.

But we get the battles, of course. Maybe twice a week one or both of the girls will have my gf barely holding her shit together at bedtime and crying once she's downstairs again. maybe once a fortnight there'll be something else that upsets her that much.

And it's because she thinks she must be the worst mum in the world for these moments to occur. If she very occasionally loses it and shouts, she's the worst mum. She's holding ehrself up these skyhigh standards that I don't think any mum can reach. She looks at the other kids and parents and thinks they must be doing so much better.

Is this just... normal? Like, your kids are the most precious things in your universe so every little thing that you think you could have done better feels like the most crushing failure in history? I hate seeing her beat herself up so much.

The girls are happy, they have a happy life. We take them places. We arrange it so they both get a good amount of 'just mum' time alone. They have hugs, love, attention, she's an amazing mum. The amount of time we or they will be rolling around on the sofa laughing... I just think they have a happy life and she's always thinking about giving them the right examples and lessons for the future too.

She doesn't do internet forums. She knows I read and post here but she has quite a stubborn "I should be able to work this out myself" outlook.

But it's not an unusual feeling for even a mum who does her best right?

gingerbreadbiscuits Fri 20-Apr-18 13:57:51

I think a lot of Mums feel guilt and think they can do better but no it is not normal to think you are the worst Mum in the world.

Testing boundaries at home while being good as gold with other people is a normal thing. It means that they are confident enough in their parent unconditionally love and support. It would be odd if your children did not behave this way

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