It goes without saying that I’m extremely proud of both of my children for many reasons but this post isn’t about that. It’s about what happened when I said the thing I said I would never say to my children….
This house isn’t a hotel so don’t treat it like one!
I said I’d never say it because I always want my children to feel comfortable in their own home and to know that they’re always welcome and that they can always bring their friends round (which they do – a lot). I’ve made sure that they have comfortable bedrooms that have space for them to play and it pleases me that they both love their bedrooms as it’s important for everyone to have their own space.
But last week was so busy that I felt like I’d hardly seen them – if they weren’t playing out with their friends then they were at one of the various after school clubs and activities they go to, playing on their electronics, doing homework or upstairs in their bedrooms relaxing.
The reasonable side of me completely knows that last week was just a busier than usual week and understands that it was an exception but unfortunately, I can’t say that my Needy Mum side is as understanding which led to my mum sulk!
It happened one night last week when I was in the kitchen making tea, Miss Frugal came downstairs and said she would like to eat her tea in her room as she was talking to one of her friends online. Master Frugal then piped up that he’d also like to have his tea upstairs because then he could watch a video on YouTube that someone at school had told him about.
I explained (nicely) that I like us to have tea together and no, they couldn’t eat their tea in their rooms so Miss Frugal would have to say bye to her friend and Master Frugal would have to wait to watch his video. I then turned around and took a deep breath only to hear one of them tut and the other one sigh! When I turned around both of them had faces on them that would have made you think I’d threatened to do something awful to them rather than just ask them to eat dinner as a family.
So what did I do? Did I talk things through calmly at this point and explain that tea time was a chance for us all to spend some time together talking about our day? No, not at all!
What I did was
shout tell them that our home wasn’t a hotel but if they were going to treat it as such, then they would be treated like hotel guests. Tea was ready to serve but rather than serve it onto plates for them, I put the food in individual dishes, flung some serving spoons in and told them it was a buffet! I then served my own (with lots of slamming) and went and sat in front of the TV explaining that if they didn’t want to eat tea as a family then they didn’t have to.
They served their tea and sat at the table together, barely speaking although there was the odd whisper. When they’d finished, I heard them clear the table and tidy the kitchen up which is an extremely rare occurrence without them being told. Next, I heard them creep upstairs together where they stayed for the next hour or so.
Then they came down, gave me a big hug and presented me with this:
They made it out of a small blank canvas and some washi tape and I love it, particularly number 1!
I’m pleased to say that things are back to normal now and we’re enjoying a week off together filled with lots of family time as well as lots of everything else that they love. But there’s lots more jobs being done without being asked and everyone is back to eating tea together at the table without any tuts or sighs in sight.
I highly recommend the occasional mum sulk!
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