“I hate you Mammy”
Ok, well I haven’t quite heard that one yet, but it’s coming. However, I do hear “You are the WORST Mammy EVER!” at least once a week. I reckon we’re building up to the H-bomb…
My answer to her when she screams at me is usually “I love you too”, or “Why thank you very much.”
What I want to say is this:
“My Darling Daughter,
No Sweetheart. I am not the “worst Mammy ever”.
OK, I might be crap sometimes; I might shout and scold and sometimes I scream so loudly that I wonder if the neighbours aren’t putting on their shoes or finding their coats in fear; but this does not make me the worst Mammy.
OK, I might put awful food in front of you, like soup or vegetables, but just because you would prefer colourless Freezer food doesn’t make me the worst Mammy. Sometimes Mammy doesn’t have the time or energy to cook 3 different dinners and do you know what? Sometimes, you’ll just have to eat what’s given to you.
OK, sometimes Mammy says no. “NO”. One little word that frequently ruins your little day. This is something you might have learned to get over by the time you turn 26. I’m not going to give you everything you want, when you want it. I am going to make you help me to unload the dishwasher, or pick up your dirty clothes, or tidy your toys. Not because you are my “Servant” as you so frequently tell me, but because I don’t want you to grow up being a useless and entitled cretur who expects the world to owe them something. I will teach you what my parents taught me. You want something? You work for it. You try and you fail and you try again. You are entitled to nothing. Harsh? Now maybe, but when you’re older, you’ll get it…along with a job as soon as you’re able to get one.
OK, Mammy might be bad when she doesn’t always do what you want. When she doesn’t give you your way. When she turns off the TV or tells you you’ve had enough chocolate. When she doesn’t allow you to be completely in charge of the house and our day and the mood in our home. Because sometimes, we have places to go, or Mammy has work to do and while these things might interfere with your colouring or PJ Mask binge, they have to happen and it’s nothing personal my Darling.
But even when you are determined that Mammy is indeed the “Worst Mammy ever”, you don’t REALLY think I am. No. Of course you don’t. You probably think that Mammy is a royal pain in the ass and you’re angry and frustrated that you’re not getting your way.
Life’s a bitch. Mammy isn’t. It’s just my job to prepare you for it. All you see is Mammy blocking or ruining your fun. But that doesn’t make me the worst Mammy ever. It just makes me a Mammy.
And when I’m doing all of these annoying and frustrating things that are driving your little emotions to a new level of anger and tantrums, it’s not because you’re bold and really hate me, it’s because you don’t yet have the logic or words required to make sense of them. And that’s OK. Sometimes Mammy doesn’t have the words or the logic to figure out how she feels either.
I could say all of this until I am blue in the exhausted face and you’ll still only see that I turned off the telly, or that I didn’t buy Coco Pops… because you’re 5. (and a half and three quarters). But someday, (probably when you have your own minions and find yourself saying No more times a day than you blink), you’ll get it. And you’ll understand why sometimes, being the worst Mammy in the World makes you the best Mammy in the world…and it’s the hardest thing to do.
Because as long as when I say “No” and you say “You’re the worst Mammy ever”, we both know that underneath the snarls and snots, we are really saying “I love you”, then you keep shouting. And I’ll keep saying “No”. (Most of the time.)”
Giving in would be much easier. But I won’t have you being brought up thinking that you are the centre of a world which owes you everything you want. Yes you are the centre of mine. Yes, you can have whatever you want, but only with hard work and determination and resilience. And to learn these fading life-skills, (and trust me Darling, they are fading), you have to learn the word “NO”.
Because if you don’t hear it at home, where you ARE the most important person in the world, how will you cope when you hear it in real life, where you aren’t?
To you, I might be the worst Mammy in the world, but to me, you are the best daughter, so I guess we balance it out nicely eh?”
I love you,