Days like these

Allison Tait blog
Posted on April 20, 2011

I’m not happy today. I’m tired and grumpy and fussy and fidgety. My poor children who are good children and who behave admirably for children were on the receiving end of my grumps today. Nothing serious, just a general lack of, well, interest.

They were fed and watered and bathed and kissed and cuddled, but no playing. Not today.

I don’t mind telling you that I dislike myself on days like this. I hear myself telling Mr7 that I’m no good at Lego and he’s better off building his emergency rescue boat without me.

I hear myself telling Mr4 that I’m not interested in playing firemen. The boardgames remain in the cupboard. The book that Mr7 and I are writing stays in the drawer.

Not today.

I wonder if this will be their overwhelming memory of me as a mum. They won’t remember that yesterday they dressed up in their firemen gear and we made a movie together: Fireman Sam and Station Officer Sam and The Great Tent Fire (it’s an action thriller).

Not today.

They’ll just remember me saying no.

There’s no real reason for my grumps. The usual weight of deadlines/lack of time conundrum. The waiting that seems to have taken over my life. The small matter of a book that needs finishing and just, well, isn’t. None of it their fault.

The trouble with family is that we feel so loved and so comfortable with them that we can be ourselves. The rest of the world gets the best of us. Our family sees the worst. When it is they who deserve our very, very best.

Fortunately, the boys are forgiving types. And I am full of resolve to do better. Which I will.



  1. Beth Ann

    I’m sorry those day suck. I get them too and feel like I’m the meanie in the room all day long. I can see myself doing it and I want to stop it but it just doesn’t happen.

  2. Megan Blandford

    I can totally relate. Hope it got better and you enjoyed your Easter. xx

  3. InkPaperPen

    oh I was riding the Poopy Train earlier in the week, no real reason. Just felt over “it.”

    But like Mrs Woog said above, we are only human. And I think your boys are more likely to remember the good days. My mum spoke to me recently about one of her grumpy days – I must have been about 6 at the time. She stills feel guilty about it, I have no recollection.

    I am late to this post as usual (i seem to catch up on your blog on the weekends) so hope you are feeling much better now!

    Gill xo

  4. Seana Smith

    Hope today was better, Allison… but I think (hope and pray) that it’s OK for the kids to see us down some days. It’s life, it’s real. My son told me aged 3 once: “It’s all right to be sad.” He’d learnt that at preschool in a talk they had… but he’s so, so right.

    I was thinking of you just now as you once wrote that you worked out your blog posts seconds before you wrote them… and I’ve just written my first totally spontaneous post. All it took was two glasses of red and the prospect of a long weekend!

  5. Jodi Gibson

    We all have days like this, some more than others. I’m guilty of them more than I’d like to admit. But I still believe we have a happy home where the children are loved and they know it. That is the most important thing. And as others have said, kids remember the good stuff so don’t feel guilty. You are a wonderful mother and person and are allowed an off day. Take care x

  6. jose mcbride

    Every mother has days like these…and i think that reflecting on them makes us better parents. It makes us try harder and see how we can do it better (until the next time)
    Dont be so hard on yourself – its a normal part of family life…its the parents that dont realise they are doing it are the problem.
    Happy Easter

  7. Suzi

    What do you remember from your childhood? The big stuff. Not the small stuff – I remember the times my mother and I made playdough cafe’s and dressed up dolls, built lego mansions and went to the park – I dont remember the times that she said no, or got a bit cranky, I remember the good stuff, your kids will too.
    Your a great mother, even the simple fact that you do feel guilty (even though you shouldnt!)makes you a good mother.
    Take care xx

  8. thepowmill

    In the long term , you will be totally surprised what your adult children remember about you …not at all what you think or plan it to be . I remember days like yours . Chin up ! There will be more !

  9. Wanderlust

    I’ll bet your kids will remember the fun things. That’s what I remember about my childhood. I have a lot of days where I just say no to playing. I feel stretched to thin. We have to have boundaries too.

  10. therhythmmethod

    The book is like another child in itself. Think of it as a difficult newborn, taking up all your time. But once it’s past the stage of needing you all the time, you’ll be able to spread yourself around more evenly.
    They will forgive your grumps and remember the good stuff.

  11. Cate

    I remember going to one of those parent information sessions at kinder/school (can;t remember which) and the school psychologist saying that as a parent we just have to be ‘good enough’. Some days are great, some are rubbbish, but as long as we are good enough it will be fine.
    So don’t sweat the small stuff babe – it’s just a bad day. And overall you are way more than good enough…they’ll remember that (you know after the therapy kicks in:-))

  12. cjtato

    Hope you have a better day today. Oh and for the record, my childhood wasn’t particularly great but I do remember the good stuff and only the really, really bad stuff so I suspect your grumps will be forgotten and the movie making remembered.

    And I have just been looking at those bus rolls. There is one I particularly want and I was just deciding yesterday that when this headache disappears I’m going to do a blog about some of the things I’m loving at the moment (maybe a hint for hubby ;p).

    I could totally have a house full of bus rolls for girls/boys/dinner/bed/family. Limiting myself to one favourite though. LOL

  13. Mrs Woog

    You have got to have these days. It makes you human xx

  14. Love in a B and B

    I had a frustrating and grumpy day yesterday too: impatient and sharp with family – the ones who love me unconditionally. Today will be a day of trying to get back to the even path by way of apology. Thanks for your timely post.

  15. A-M

    Oh they’ll forgive you all right AND they forget. They know in their hearts that it is just a bad day and it is not forever. Mine forgive and forget every day. A-M xx

  16. Here Under the Rainbow

    What a wonderfully astute observation when you said:

    “The rest of the world gets the best of us. Our family sees the worst. When it is they who deserve our very, very best.”

    In recent years, I made a conscious effort in this area. I think of my relationship with them like that of a bank…am I overdrawn? If so, what actions can I take to get me back in the black.

    I dropped in from Ah Possibilities. Hope to drop in again soon.

  17. carol roberts

    I’ve raised two children, we all have days like this one, and will long after they grow and leave home, and they will remember the good and the not so good, and as they get older they’ll understand more and appreciate the whole of it much better. While I was busy ‘taking care’ of everyone in our home, I took little time to take care of me, and certainly was distracted by every day on goings that I missed a lot as well. So, stop now and then and just take it all in, enjoy what’s around you, the sound of your child’s voice, their silly thoughts and questions, find out what’s going on in their lives outside of ‘home’ , don’t take a moment for granted. Even the crappy ones, we all have them, so do our kids, remember that when they are having a crappy day <3 =o) Much Love to you! you are my first official friend on Blogger!

  18. Deer Baby

    You are not alone. I fervently hope that they will remember the playing and the games – I’m sure they will. You’re a great Mum. It shines through every post.

  19. Damia

    I wouldn’t stress to much.. I’m not a mother (yet) and I’ve had baby-sitting days that have gone the same way!

  20. Kim

    I have those days and I feel so guilty about them: physically there but emotionally-absent. Luckily, they are outnumbered by the good days.

  21. Dorothy

    Like that at my house today. I had so much to do AND I was grumpy. I console myself with the belief that unless their childhood is fraught with trauma and neglect, they are unlikely to remember the days when mum was too bored, or too grumpy, or too busy to play with them. I hope they remember the holidays, the walks to the park, the painting and the Lego building.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has days like that. Hang in there, Allison…

  22. tinsenpup

    I have too many days like this.

  23. Ms Styling You

    Same in our house today. I’m trying to get my work done to enjoy a five-day break. It’s a catch-22 situation that presses the big guilt button. Hang in there. Tomorrow’s another day.

  24. Kymmie

    Oh, this couldn’t be more true! I often wonder if this is what my boys will remember. But I hope they remember the days where we play and giggle and have fun. Not the days where I have to work and I’m grumpy.

    Why is it we are our worst for those that really matter?

  25. A Farmer's Wife

    I have had an average day too. (Actually sub average)

    It’s like John Denver says

    “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones”

    Mmmmm – must be a bad day if I am resorting to John Denver lyrics. Might just give up and go to bed.

    Hope tomorrow is better.

  26. Tai Tai

    I have so many days like that. But as my husband always says “tomorrow is another day”. I hope you feel better tomorrow lovely lady x

  27. Lucy@DiminishingLucy

    It happens to the best of us.

    I hope the waiting fidgetty grumpiness abates soon.


  28. Mama of 2 boys

    Oh Allison, please don’t be hard on yourself, we are all in the same boat. I guarantee the days when you say no or you don’t have the time or energy to play all day, won’t be remembered by your lovely boys. My Mama is one of my best friends, she’s been a wonderful mother all of my life. There was a time however, when she was sad. She had every reason to be. I would have been about 9 and although I recall that time in her life, she is still the BEST mother in the world, in my eyes. Children understand that their parents are only human. And you are a fabulous Mama, it comes across all the time in the posts about your family :o)

  29. Mrs M

    Eeek! I think you and I lived parallel lives today.

    To make up for it I cooked tomorrow night’s pasta sauce today, stuck it in the fridge so I won’t have to spend time cooking tomorrow.

    Tomorrow we’ll have ice-cream for breakfast. Surely they’ll remember THAT!

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  30. Joli

    We all have days like that. Your boys will remember the movie making, the dressing up as pirates, the fun you have as a family before they will ever remember your odd grumpy day! One piece of advice… Always have dinner together as a family around the table… It won’t always be pleasant when they are small and they are battling the alien veges on their plates … But it really is so important … Family time every night!!!!

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