Dear MIMsters: With A Son Like Mine, Why I Feel Like I Have Failed As a Mum

I once read somewhere that a child comes into the world like a clean slate and as parents, we have the first five years of the child’s life to write whatever we desire on his slate.

I have two sons. The elder one is 10 years old while the younger is 8 years old. My husband is a hands-on daddy who is very much available in the running of the home with me. We unanimously agreed to no house-help because the only one we have ever had showed us P-E-P-P-E-R. LOL!

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Hubby helps around the house like I stated earlier and somewhere along the line, we did not remember to inculcate all we do into our older son. Our sons are good kids; respectful and obedient. They do not go against laid down rules and hubby and I agree every time we have to discipline either of them. They have never seen us quarrel; we have our ways of hiding behind closed doors to settle our differences. We do not have extended family members who breathe down our necks. Though hubby comes from a large family, most of them are outside Nigeria and his parents will not even agree to leave the village for Lagos. I am an orphan, and my only sister also stays outside the country.

I am certain that someone is wondering why I think I have failed as a mother.

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Here it is!

My 10 year old cannot do his own laundry, he cannot do dishes, he cannot tidy his room, he cannot make his bed, he most times, never uses his initiative to get things done. For instance, when it is raining, he would not think it necessary to close the windows. At the end of every school session, his report card would always read something like this, “Excellent result. ….. is intelligent but too playful and rough.”

My 8 year old on his own is hands-on like his dad. He is the one who tidies the room they both stay in. He helps me when I am in the kitchen. He is eager to help around the house and he just wants to jump into every body’s businesses but he has health challenges so there is just ‘so much’ we can allow him handle around the house.

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I think along the line, I forgot that I needed to inculcate my older son into being useful in the house. Now, that I have realised my errors, he is un-bendable. When forced to do chores around the house, he would frown and do a shoddy job. Sometimes, I would ask him to go back and re-do the task but I always end up doing it myself because he would never do it well.

He is also very untidy with his school books. His school bag is always rough unlike his younger brother’s who is meticulous with many things.

Considering the quotes I started with, I feel like it is too late for me to fix him.


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