I read an article by Tanith Carey in the Daily Mail yesterday, forgive me Father for I have sinned, where she asked ‘Why do mums like me get the blame for EVERYTHING?’ She details her pursuit of the ‘perfect Christmas’ beginning in the summer when she battled Oxford Street to find the must have toys. She tells us of her delight as she watched her daughters unwrap their presents enjoying each one until her eldest, 8 (remember she is EIGHT) realised that she was missing 1 present off her list, a £2.99 folder from Paperchase. The daughter proceeded to berate her mother asking ‘where’s my Paperchase folder? It was on my list.’ Tanith describes her daughter as having a ‘full-blown tantrum’ as the daughter shouted ‘Why didn’t you get it for me? I TOLD you I wanted one.’ Tanith then apologised (!) and the daughter said ‘It’ll all your fault! This the worst Christmas…You’re the most terrible mother in the world!’
To say I was a bit astonished is a bit of an understatement. I expected the article to then detail how she frogmarched her daughter upstairs, took away all her presents and gave her a lump of coal to chew on but no it didn’t. Tanith then went on to ponder why (oh Why???) is it that mothers get the blame for everything and not fathers?? Yup. She was more concerned with why she was being singled out for the daughter’s vile behaviour and not her husband.
Really? Really???? Is that what she took away from that less than perfect scene?
There are 2 things that I immediately thought.
- If any of my children ever acted so ungratefully about not getting presents they’d asked/hoped for I would be incandescent with rage to say the least. The way her child was allowed to speak to her, and carry on speaking to her mother, was astonishing.
Why did Tanith not mention this? Why did she not even seem to express any surprise in her article? There was no hint of embarrassment, no ‘Oh, this was so unlike her to be so rude and ungrateful…’ Nothing. Is this normal in her house??
- Whilst Tanith was scouring the high street for latest must have toy, whose must have was it? Was it Taniths’ or her daughter’s? It did seem that she didn’t once mention that Lily would like the toy it seemed more that she must have this toy as that is what she had read/seen other mums are buying for their children. Lily’s behaviour could be interpreted another way in that all she really wanted was a £2.99 folder from Paperchase and that was the only thing she didn’t get….
Of course I don’t know for definite the ins and outs of Tanith’s house and I certainly don’t know the wishes of her children. But I do remember when I was training to be a teacher one lecturer said that we had to remember that a child in front of us who is sobbing their heart out because they had a red penguin biscuit wrapper and they really wanted a blue one should be understood and not shushed away as in their life, at that moment, that is the most important thing to them and they should not be belittled.
So maybe Tanith shouldn’t be using her child’s ungrateful behaviour as a way to beat herself up about her parenting choices and she should stop pondering why she gets the blame and not her husband. I would love to say to her that she needs to try to think less of what others feel about her and to stand up to her ungrateful child, whoever they are being rude too, and try to show her the error of her ways. If she doesn’t do this soon then I think she will have a vile teenager on her hands demanding lifts to parties, money and shouting ‘You’ve ruined my life!!!’ a la Kevin the teenager.
But then, I suppose, Tanith will be happy as then she can hold her hands up in despair, feigning utter ignorance of how she got to this situation and say ‘Why do I get the blame for everything?‘
I would say, loud and clear, because it is actually is your fault!