When mummy reaches Exorcist point…

Despicable behaviour, all around.

Despicable behaviour, all around.

After a slow and insidious build over the last month, this morning I stopped coping, my head started spinning and I started to yell.

It’s ages since I shouted at the kids and for weeks I’ve resisted, instead using all the positive parenting tools in the book. But I have been feeling increasingly as though I am getting nowhere with them. Finally it all got too much, I cracked the shits, did a bit of screaming and actually got their attention.

Do you ever have those moments where parenting is just too hard and you are totally sick of it?

And what has been the growing problem? It’s all been over the kid’s refusal to take their school responsibilities seriously. There’s a long and tedious list of tasks they’ve not done or done poorly and without any effort. My philosophy with schoolwork is that I’ll be informed about what they’re supposed to be doing at home and offer lots of support, but I won’t do any of it myself. I’d rather they hand in an absolutely rubbish assignment of their own doing rather than a bit of my handiwork.

But it’s frustrating, watching them be so half-hearted. This morning once I calmed down, we walked to school and discussed the serious nature of responsibility and I asked for their reasoning and thoughts on how we could make improvements.

Mr M&P declared that he prefers not to do schoolwork, because it is simply too boring.

Miss F decided that she’d cooperate much better if instead of earning stars (for our star chart), she just earned money. For instance, 20 cents for putting on her school uniform each morning.

In the spirit of respect I listened attentively and thanked them for their contributions. I explained calmly to Mr M&P that sometimes life is boring and he should get fucking used to it and develop a better attitude. Then to Miss F, I calmly explained that she didn’t have a hope it hell getting paid to getting dressed really is just an expected fact of life.

Sigh. Parenting. It’s hard yakka, isn’t it?

In the spirit of trying to make things easier, here’s our latest slow cooker favourite.

Saucy! Great for dipping into with bread.

Saucy! Great for dipping into with bread.

Slow cooker lamb chop casserole

1 tbsp olive oil
1kg lamb chops – I use forequarter or loin chops (chump chops need to have the fatty tail removed). For a bone free version, cube a 1kg mini lamb roast
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp plain flour
1½ cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
800g diced tomatoes
1 tsp sumac (don’t leave this out – it’s the essential ingredient)
1 fresh bayleaf (or 2 dried)
1 large turnip, peeled, diced
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced
1 cup peas

Heat the oil in a large stovetop to oven dish. Brown the chops on either side for 3 minutes or so. Remove and place into your cooker.

Reheat the pan and add the onions and celery, stirring often until softened (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic for a minute until fragrant, then sprinkle over the flour. Cook it out, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. After a minute it will start to smell sweeter and you can slowly add in the warm stock, Worcestshire sauce and tomatoes. Stir well, season with pepper. Add the sumac and the bay leaf. Tip this into the slow cooker, then toss in the vegies (except the peas). Mix well.

Cover and set to low for 6 hours. (Or on high for 3 hours should work too, although I’ve not tested this method).

Remove, check that the meat is cooked and the vegies are tender. Mix in the peas, re-cover and leave to sit for 15 minutes more.

Serve with bread or over pasta or mash.

Serves 2 adults and 4 kids.

If you love slow cooking, you'll love my latest e-book!

If you love slow cooking, you’ll love my latest e-book!

32 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Katie said,

    Mmmm recipe looks delicious. Will give it a go before the end of winter. As with the kiddie thing it is nice to know we are not alone and face the same issues with our kids. It is also good to know that after we have our meltdowns with them that we get a second chance every second 🙂

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      Yep. I’ve been open before about the fact that I ocasionally lose it with my kids. Parenting is the hardest things I’ve ever done. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t.

  2. 3

    Anna makin said,

    I love this. Made me laugh for the first time today. Feeling the same but with a feisty pair of girls (4 and 1) who just love saying no!

  3. 4

    Barbara Good said,

    How refreshing to hear this. I too lost it at my elder daughter, and my reasoning wasn’t nearly as good as yours. She was supposed to go to the footy with Mr Good and Miss Two giving me the only child free time I would have had all week and for several weeks to come. She refused. I was determined to do the small sewing project I’d been waiting for a quiet solitary moment to do. She was determined to touch, fiddle, move and play with all the things I had on the table to the point where I couldn’t concentrate on my sewing machine and just lost it at her. I felt especially bad when she confessed that she didn’t want to go to the footy because she would miss me too much. But actually I was really mad and I don’t think it’s bad to show that sometimes.

    Btw, thanks for another slow cooker meal, I’ve done both your chucked satay and beef goulash recently and loved them. This will go on the plan for this week too.

    • 5

      wendyblume said,

      Oh my! That scenario would have had me squawking in a split second!

      I think it’s possible to be a saintly mother, but I strongly suspect that 98% of us aren’t.

      We all know how much each other loves our kids. 😉

  4. 6

    Hi Wendy, honey you are not alone! Here is another option…screen time. I love positive parenting, but this WORKS! I have never known any other kids to pick up dog shit! But it happens in our house!

    Readers can get it here…

    Click on Screen time

  5. 7

    Teresa said,

    Omg I could of written that myself. It seems Miss 13 and Miss 7 are driving me completely crazy. I keep trying to picture a calm blue ocean but it never seems to work.

    Good luck with them.

  6. 8

    Love it! I can totally relate to the ongoing requirement of parenting to ‘show’ our children how to be responsible and grow into the best versions of themselves but sometimes the monotony of it all gets too much – lots of requests and tactics from exhausted mums over a period of time WILL be followed with a meltdown! and yes, this will involve yelling and most definitely some sarcasm that falls on deaf ears. After this, they do pick their game up, only to fall by the wayside again at some future date! My favourite saying to hubby when he comes home from work and asks how my day was – same shit, different day!

  7. 9

    Kirsten Goddard said,

    I loved ready this! I lose my s##t every morning with my three , we do the same thing EVERY morning to get ready for school…..and yet we have the same issues EVERY morning….. Your writings brought a smile to my face 😉

  8. 11

    Michelle Collar said,

    Great post – very relatable!! x

    Sent from my iPad

  9. 12

    Nicole said,

    Sometimes you just need to go batshit crazy to get a response. My cycle is about 4-6 weeks. I’m not a patient woman.

  10. 14

    I had to laugh, the same thing happened this side of the Tasman this morning… Perhaps there is some funky planetary alignment making all the kids a little sh**ty and their normally fabulous Mummy’s just screaming blue murder with frustration of the relentlessness of positive parenting!

    • 15

      wendyblume said,

      Ha! I never thought about the relentlessness of positive parenting, but you’re right. I don’t always feel so positive after oodles of it. Felt quite good after a vent today. 😉

  11. 16

    Michelle said,

    The boys have seen me blow up enough times now to see the warnings I give them; talking very quietly through gritted teeth is the calm before the apeshit hits the fan. I don’t think letting them see some of how we feel can be a bad thing, we’re not robots and they also learn about actions and reactions. Also it improves their reflexes and sprinting skills 😉

  12. 18

    Kerri Smith said,

    Thank you for the laugh Wendy, and the reminder that it is not just my kids that behave in such a way. I enjoyed your edited responses – as I am sure that my kids think that I cannot complete an entire sentence without out minor pauses. They just don’t realise that they are receiving the filtered version of what I really want to say. And thank you for your recipes (I have the books) as it is with joy that I watch the kids (and their unsuspecting Dad) eat more vegetable.

  13. 20

    Donna Taylor O'Connor said,

    Ahhh Wendy, that is so me. I also ‘cracked the shits’ this morning after trying so hard for so long! Best post ever – really made me laugh and feel better. Thank you for your honest, supportive words and delicious recipes x

  14. 22

    Deb said,

    Oh my, maybe its the full moon, or the weather, because my son has lost computer and ipod rights until sunday, and this morning I totally lost my shit at my kids! I feel so much less guilty now, and feel a little ‘normal’! Thank you. Oh, and the casserole looks delish!

  15. 23

    Natural New Age Mum said,

    Ha you make me laugh Wendy and yep, we have all been there! Oh just you wait till the teenage years hit!

  16. 26

    […] made this slow cooker lamb chop casserole a little while ago, but I only had about 600g of lamb chops.  I upped the veggie content a bit […]

  17. 27

    Jane said,

    I love your posts, i love your food ideas, and i love to hear that someone else loses it, and can admit it! I’ve also had a week of it, and am rolling back into positive mode, cause too much yelling ends in it coming back at me. It is hard, it is joyous, and tedious and the most rewarding job ever. Keep up the great work.

    • 28

      wendyblume said,

      Thanks jane! I’d love to pretend that I’m one of those perfect mums who always gets it right. But I’m not. And I don’t mind admitting it. We all just do our best.

      • 29

        Jane said,

        I think if you fess up to the bad bits, make sure you also give yourself a pat on the back for the good ones. Evens it out!

  18. 30

    Kate Manton said,

    Great post, and really yummy recipe, thanks.

  19. 31

    katie Davis said,

    Hi, i cant find sumac in the supermarket in australia? Is it a health food shop type ingredient? Thanks, katie

    • 32

      wendyblume said,

      katie – try a good greengrocer who has their own stand of herbs. Or Herbies has an online store. Lemon zest can be used instead, although it doesn’t have quite the same flavour profile.

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