THE BLOG

When Kids Behave Badly... An Antidote to Facebook Envy

05/29/2015 01:33 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2016

Have you ever carried a screaming toddler, over your shoulder, up the stairs and out of a birthday party with your eldest son being dragged along behind as you do? We have. This past Sunday actually.

Someone should have taken pictures and put them on Facebook. But there was no need really because the best, the absolute best, part was that this party was filled to the brim with ex-colleagues, university friends we hadn't seen in ages and strangers who had never met our usually beautifully behaved (really, I promise!) children... that's not my son in the picture -- ok, maybe it is...?

I'm not sure why, but we seem to be the family that is constantly living our lives out loud. We are the ones with the screaming kid, or the kid who turned a 1-year-old's ice cream cake into a watery science experiment, or the toddler who (mid potty training) took a dump on the beach... in front, once again, of ex-colleagues...

Why? Why us? Why are we the ones who always seem to be falling apart? Especially when, to be honest, our kids (most times) are absolutely delicious, happy little creatures... I promise you they are! Ask their teachers (they LOVE school!) or any of our friends that see us often when we are relaxed around the house. We are a happy, down to earth and well adjusted little family... except when we are out.

I think it has something to do with ego... my ego that is. You see, I am a self-professed, seeking counselling, trying-to-get-over-it-but-just-not-quite-managing A-Type. I am a perfectionist, an over achiever, etc. etc. Go ahead -- label me -- I can take it! Or can I?

It has been said that our children are our greatest teachers... that they are the ones who will help us learn more about ourselves than anyone else on this Earth. I believe it. There is nothing in this life more challenging than raising young children. Nothing. Go ahead and climb Mount Everest, walk 800 kilometers across a country in search of yourself, drive from Cape Town to Cairo on a motorbike -- heck, ride a bicycle if you choose to. It will not come close.

When you are sleep deprived and over-extended, never feeling good enough, trying to hold it all together, keeping some semblance of a career alive while also remembering every little note and library book and to-do that the various schools require, parents meetings, lunch boxes, flu injections, play-ball fees and birthday cake, all while trying to be the kind of person that is capable of molding another little life who is completely and utterly dependent on you, without their personalities even developed yet or any clue what the world holds for them... you break. Or you outsource. I am starting to think more and more of the latter...

So, my esteemed ex-colleagues and university alumni will definitely remember our meeting at a very special birthday party this weekend...

I hope they won't judge. I hope they will laugh and feel better about their own experiences with their kids... I love making other people feel better about their own lives!

I also hope they will see past the overextended exhausted little men they met that morning... because, you see, our boys are, really they are, incredibly special little men who just didn't do themselves any justice that morning.

I promise xx

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