Every Friday I feel like a rubbish Mum

Every Friday I feel like a rubbish Mum

Every Friday I feel like a rubbish Mum.  When I think I might have this “mum-thing” down at different points in the week, Friday’s just bring me crashing back down with a bump…

We have a toddler group on a Friday.  It’s one of those where you pay in advance for a block of classes, and they have a different theme/activity each week.  We used to go when F was smaller, but then stopped going once he started to walk and wanted to basically just run around and enjoy his new found freedom.

Now that he’s a bit older, I decided to try and integrate him into a class again.  He will eventually go to pre-school next Autumn, and doesn’t spend that much time with large groups of children.  The first week was OK… he seemed fascinated by the soft play, and wanted to play with the beach balls.  No chance getting him interacting with other children; even less chance of getting him on the bouncy castle!!

Then it came to all sitting in a circle and singing songs/playing games.  One of the aims of the group is to encourage independence; getting things on their own, and putting things away when asked.  When it came to everyone being asked to get some sticks from the bucket in the middle of the circle, the other children jump up and head to the bucket; eyes full of curiosity and wonder at what they might find.  They pick up the sticks, and bring them back.  F doesn’t.  He sat with me, and wouldn’t budge.  I had to guide him over, show him the bucket, and still he wouldn’t reach in.  I hurriedly pick up the sticks myself so as not to hold up the rest of the class and we head back to our spot.

The singing starts, and other children clap and bang their sticks together.  Nothing from F.  Just a fascination on his face, and sitting on my lap, cuddled in close.  Whenever I try to move him, to help him put the sticks back, or start a new activity, he’s just not interested.  The frowny face appears, and the whining starts.

I thought he might just need a few sessions to get used to it

But now it’s every Friday.  Every Friday, I sit there, and try and encourage him to climb, run, jump and get involved.  And nothing.  I watch as children much younger than him – 5/6 months or so – are doing all these things with aplomb, and a massive smile on their faces as they go.  The sense of achievement when they’ve been asked to get some shakers out of a bucket, take them to their Mum/Dad and sit back down; the look of pride on their parents faces.

And I sit there…. trying desperately to move my toddler and encourage him to head over to the bucket, and get the shakers.  All he wants to do is sit on my lap and cuddle.  And I shouldn’t complain; there were months and months when he wouldn’t really come anywhere near me for cuddles or help with anything, and was fiercely independent.  Now he wants cuddles and to sit with me.

I get the usual comments of “Oh, he’s so shy!” or “Someone’s tired!”.  And I smile and nod, and roll my eyes in a jokey way.

But I just don’t know what to do.  I feel rubbish.  I feel like I should have been taking him to these classes for months, and it’s all my fault that he’s not as developed as the other children are and doesn’t want to do that they do.  If only i’d got up and out of the house, with F in tow, looking for fun classes to do rather than thinking about the cost or whether it fit in with various schedules.

He isn’t like this at home.  He will gladly get things when I ask him to, and bang sticks, and shake shakers.  He’ll be loud, and fun, and i’m so proud of him.  It’s not that he can’t do these things.  He just won’t.

Maybe he’s just like me and Mr B

We are watchers too; we like to sit back and observe people, rather than being in the centre, bold as brass.  I’d rather wait my turn, or wait for someone to finish before making my point.  Maybe he is just like me.  But I want him to be brave.  I want him to be inquisitive and adventurous.  I don’t want him to sit at the back of the class like I did, not wanting to say anything.  I want him to thrive.  I want him to shine.  But how can I do that?  How can I encourage that in him?

Feel free to add any helpful comments below. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Every Friday I feel like a rubbish Mum”

  • Just keep encouraging – he may not shine at this, or might not shine at this just yet. Kids all develop at different and all we can do is support them when they need it and when they do. I think you are doing great – you are going there in the first place and giving the opportunity is the best start. #postsfromtheheart

  • One day he will find his own way to shine. How great that you are taking him out each Friday, where he can observe the world… even if he does not yet want to participate. One day he will let you know what he needs to shine. #postsfromtheheart

  • I don’t feel like I have the magic piece of advice to give you, but I’ve been you. I’m still you! My eldest son is 8, and he’s ALWAYS been like that. He’s still like that, to a certain extent. We’ve had to excuse ourselves from a birthday party once because he was bored and didn’t want to get involved! He was ALWAYS the only one who wouldn’t get involved, wouldn’t join in the songs, the fun, the dancing, the singing… Nothing. He wanted me, and often, he wanted to go home. But he’s not the shy child at the back of the class. He’s thriving, and he’s learning SO well. Just don’t put him in a situation where he feels like he’s being watched and judged. And I hated it, and I wanted him to be just like everyone else. But who else doesn’t like being at centre-stage and being watched and judged? ME.

    This is all to say that it’s not your fault! It’s not YOU. It’s his personality, and you’re doing well to encourage him and letting him know that where you take him, where he goes with you, he’s safe. If he doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to get involved, then it’s not the environment for him, right now. It might be in the future. He might just need some time. Or he may never like it. And that’s fine too. He’ll still learn and thrive. And something I often remind myself with my eldest is that I need to remember that I was probably that child, and I need to remember how that feels, and help him from that point of view.

    Good luck with it all. Please know that you’re doing great, and it’s not your fault! Be proud! #PostsFromTheHeart

  • I think you are an incredible mummy. Someone once told me that if you worry about whether you are doing a good job, then you are probably a very good one. My eldest is very much a watcher, and yet she is one of the bravest people I know. She may say little, but when something matters to her she’ll fight for it. I’ve learnt over the years, alongside much worrying, that sometimes the people with the most to say aren’t the ones who say it most often. Sending love and hopes for a better Friday. Thank you so much for sharing your worries with us at #PostsFromTheHeart

  • ohh You’re far from rubbish and it’s not your fault.
    All our little ones have their own personality and, as you say, maybe F likes to sit back and watch. Suss everyone and everything out. One day he may join in, or maybe not, that’s OK. If he’s sitting and watching then he’s obviously content and happy being there and doing that.
    You’re doing a fab job.

  • Oh you are not rubbish at all but I do understand. My boy has always been a watcher. He likes to sit back and suss everything out before he is comfortable with it. I’m sure you are doing wonderfully #PostsFromTheHeart xx

  • I know it is easier said than done as we are all so critical of ourselves as mothers… but try not to be so hard on yourself. You have what sounds like a happy little boy who just prefers to observe than participate. That may be how he is or just for the time being, they evolve all the time don’t they? Take the pressure off of yourself (and him too I suppose) and be comfortable observing. The point is, you have made the effort to go to the class and be interactive. As someone who herself could do with getting out to more mum and baby things, I think just the fact you go every friday despite your worries is amazing! Be proud of that. Xxx

  • Such an honest post. I know how you feel. I started taking Lily to a dance class when she was 18 months old. It would be ok until a certain section when the child on their own “gallops” around the room. Every other child does it, except Lily. Every week I would feel all the eyes in the room on me and Lily when it came to her turn and how she would sit there not budging. It honestly took about a year for her to do it and now she is finally getting up on her own (admittedly more a shy run around the room than a confident gallop but hey) at 2 and a half! You are absolutely not rubbish, he will get there in his own time. #postsfromtheheart

  • I think you’re being too hard on yourself – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to kids and maybe this class just isn’t for him. My advice would be to try something else! #postsfromtheheart

  • I have a friend whose little boy was like this. My daughter was running around at 8 months, and she got really excited when he sat up on his own at 13 months. Today he’s a super intelligent, confident (when he knows you), experimental, deep thinking little boy. We are who we are. You’re giving him a solid foundation in love and acceptance. You don’t need to do any more 🙂 #pfth

  • I totally feel your frustration, we’ve all been there, you are not alone! I know all kids are different but if it helps, my eldest has been through this stage and out the other side! As long as he is doing these things at home as you say then there is absolutely nothing to worry about, some kids are just more introverted than others, you’re doing a fab job encouraging him! xx #postsfromtheheart

  • It’s great that you are getting out of the house and trying out classes. Just from being with others and observing we can learn so much. #PostsFromTheHeart

  • Every Friday? So you are not so bad because I feel like that almost every day. You are not the only one we are with you honey

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