What If I’m Bad At Parenting?

I’ve spoken before about never really thinking I had the temperament for parenting. Throughout my teenage years and early twenties I told anyone who would listen that I didn’t want kids;

“I’m not patient enough, I get angry a lot, and I love sleep. I’d be a rubbish mum!”


In fact, until I actually had a child, there was only one person in the entire of existence that I had ever confided in about wanting to have children. I think what I actually said was “I want kids right now!” which in hindsight might have been a bit scary! Nevertheless we made a pact that if neither of us had children by a certain age that we would do it (we chose names and everything!).

Needless to say the pact wasn’t needed, and over time we have drifted apart, a friendship reduced to glimpses of each other’s lives on social media. Which is probably a good thing given that we are both prone to outbursts of emotion, anger and opine! And it is exactly these parts of my personality that I truly believed would hinder my parenting success. Basically, sometimes I behave fairly similarly to my unpredictably emotional nearly-three-year-old, so how the hell am I supposed to parent her?!

As it turns out, my personality and temperament affect my parenting in both positive and negative ways.

Emotional Outbursts

Sometimes the inability to control my emotional outbursts results in behaviour towards my child which I regret, such as raising my voice unnecessarily, getting frustrated too easily, and even the odd (if odd means A LOT) whinge… But the fact that I openly display my emotions has taught Amelia that it is ok to have emotions and to express those emotions. No-one wants to raise an emotionally repressed child, and while the parenting stage where we are supposed to teach them how to manage those emotions can seem like a fruitless pursuit, I’d rather that than an emotionally incompetent teenager on my hands.

What if I'm bad at parenting?
I wanna wear wings and a Christmas jumper!

Temper Tantrums

Sometimes my anger and temper flare up when really I would rather they didn’t. I’m prone to the usual triggers; tiredness, hunger etc (see, told you I’m like a three-year-old!) and these can lead me to angry outbursts which neither of the kids are fond of. By angry outbursts, what I mean is that I will yell at myself, at inanimate objects, and at life in general. Sometimes I will even physically punish inanimate objects; picture me opening a cupboard in the kitchen, bag of pasta falls out, and then picture me yelling at that bag of pasta… I might even pick up that bag of pasta and hurl it if I’m exceptionally tired/hungry/whatever… It’s so ridiculous it borders on comical.

These occasions of anger, however, allow me to reflect later with the children, especially if Amelia (Wills is a bit young yet) sees my outburst. I always try to use these occurrences to talk with her about what is ok and what is not ok when we are angry. As far as I am concerned, hurling a bag of pasta at the wall is acceptable (and mildly cathartic), whereas hurling a cat would probably be frowned upon. When Amelia is feeling angry, I am perfectly happy for her to go to her bedroom and throw something if it mean that she doesn’t resort to violence against her parents or brother.

What if I'm Bat at Parenting
Wills certainly doesn’t hide his emotions!


Finally, there’s my opinionated nature. I will admit that as I have got older I have learned a little bit about when and where my opinion is wanted, relevant, or necessary, but this doesn’t mean that I am any less opinionated. I know better now that I am older to take steps to ensure that my opinions are well-informed, and researched if necessary. But I am still very opinionated. And actually I don’t think that is a bad thing, at least not as far as my parenting goes. I am always very conscious of ensuring that my kids are free to form and express their opinions, whether it be about something they like or don’t like, or about something they do or do not want to do.

This is not say that I let Amelia do/say/eat whatever she wants simply because she expresses it, but I do always try to ensure that I respect her opinion. A prime example is an item of clothing that she was bought for Christmas; I have made no secret about the fact that I do not like the item in question, and Amelia has equally made no secret of this;

“Well I like it Mummy, so I’m going to wear it!”

Fair play, kid.



  • Jade The Parenting Jungle

    I really like and respect that you recognise things in yourself and then accept that your children may replicate it to and acknowledge that and see the strengths in. I think its hard on kids when there parent can be one way and they have to be different. I am kind of the opposite I thought my temperament would be great for kids, I never got angry or impatient…then I became and mum and that relaxed attitude went out the window…now I am naggy extraordinaire! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

    • MummyMamaMum

      I just hope that they develop a strength and confidence of character to become amazing people… and I’m getting so much better at containing my outbursts, so hopefully that’s a good thing too! x

  • Ali Duke

    I have had a few outbursts at times, why is it the silliest things push us over the edge? Luckily my kids don’t do this too much, they now just go and sulk in their rooms lol.

    • MummyMamaMum

      It’s funny you say because for the first time today Amelia copped a strop about something or other and actually took herself to her room, came out about 5 minutes later and said “sorry Mum for being grumpy” 🙌🏼🙌🏼

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    When I grew up, I was to be seen and nit heard, speak only when spoken to and clearly instructed not to make a mess for fear of death. It looks to me like you are doing wonderfully and you get a giant Bravo from me! #stayclassymama

  • Suchitra

    Haha…haven’t we all been there and well…some of us are still there. I think parenting should be imperfect so kids learn how to cope with different temperaments and learn some kind of responsibility. I am sure there are lessons hidden around how we parent. As long as we aren’t the kind of parents who abuse and neglect our kids, and our imperfections are confined to anger outbursts, tantrums, and opinions, we are doing a pretty good job. #ablogginggoodtime

    • MummyMamaMum

      Yeah I did worry when writing that if I was coming across how I meant – obviously I’m not abusive towards my kids, I’m glad that came across! X

  • Let your light shine Mummy

    I can be very emotional, reading this I was smiling and nodding in agreement. I can feel very guilty about my behaviour and when I look back wonder what I was thinking. J (my husband) does not find it so amusing. When BB or LP see me, I do explain to them, and talk about what’s wrong or right and that Mummy can make mistakes too. I think its important that they know we are not perfect. Thanks for sharing this. xx #ablogginggoodtime

    • MummyMamaMum

      Mr C is the same! I try to talk to Amelia about reflecting on our behaviour and trying to think of ways we could react better, and I think it’s good that I do it too rather than it just being an Amelia rule..! Dont get me wrong, I’d much rather be totally cool, calm and zen mama, but it just ain’t in me haha!!x

  • Susie / S.H.I.T.

    I’ve just written a post about the stress I put on my kids by my stressy outbursts! I like to think we all do it, impossible surely, to keep patient all the time. I can go from nice, fun mummy to psycho, screamy mummy in 1 second flat. Its impossible not to, but we’re all just trying our best. I just hope my kids don’t remember it all!! #ablogginggoodtime

  • Catie: An imperfect mum

    I can be reactive too. Having a child with special needs has meant I have had to learn to change my behaviour. I do still have the occasional outburst though. I agree that we should show our children it’s OK to express emotion 🌟 Thank you for linking up to # #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    • MummyMamaMum

      Yeah I can totally understand – it must take some amazing self control. I must admit that my ability to self-regulate improved dramatically when my youngest brother (12 years my junior) was diagnosed as being in the autistic spectrum. I guess you just have to don’t you? X

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