Saving all my love for you


I read this article last week. Last August a study out of the University of Washington Department of Psychology has revealed that children are 800% worse when their mothers are in the room. If the children are under ten, the percentage doubles to 1,600%.

And don’t we know it?

Yesterday when I arrived home from an overnight stay in the city (well rested even!) I walked in the door and was greeted with the most delicious little smile from my friend Maggie. Then 34 seconds later? The whinging, it started. And then tears. And then crying. And just a general decline in overall happiness. Because I was home!

Rob pointed out that she hadn’t done that once while I was gone. Thanks.

And last week I escaped to the supermarket before our visitors arrived, I was able to go without Maggie to get everything done in half the time it would have taken me otherwise and as soon as I walked in the door? General sadness. And the old chestnut from her father that she had been an angel. OF COURSE SHE HAD BEEN.

I’ve seen it over the past 9 and a half years, over and over again. We know it. We’ve seen it. Doesn’t make it any less annoying/frustrating/soul destroying though does it?

WHY IS IT SO? (I mean I know why because they feel safe and comfortable around us blah blah blah)
How can we just smile and rise above it knowing that it’s just part of being a Mum?
And by we, I mean me, because it’s out of control at the moment and I am trying not to take it personally or let it get me down.


  1. Hi Beth, it is so bittersweet isn’t it. I have a 4yr old and she is just distraught when I leave her for my once a week Wednesday 7pm dance class. She stretches out form Daddy’s arms with tears rolling down her face begging me to stay (and I am tempted but I need the escape too). When I get home an hour or so later I ask my hubby if she’s OK and he says she was perfectly fine when you drove around the corner and she went to bed fine (mind you me putting her to bed consists of reading at least 5 books and then sitting on the floor next to her bed while she strokes my hair listening to Emma Wiggle singing about bows for the about 1000’d time in a row). I just have to remember she will be out of this phase soon (although she is 4!!!) and I’ll probably miss it (especially her stroking my hair). As the saying goes ‘this too will pass’.

  2. My hubby tells me this ALL THE TIME when I’m away… I suppose we should be grateful that they love us enough to tell us all the things. But yes it’s so freaking annoying!

  3. Visited dad last week while mum was away. The 9 million cats behaved perfectly while I was there, in stark contrast to the last time I visited, when they did every bad thing they could think of in front of mum. Dad did mention that the cats had been very quiet while mum wasn’t around!

  4. This is dead set the story of my life at the moment! Baby girl is 15 MO and has the LOVELIEST of times (apparently) when I’m not there and then BAM… As soon as I arrive back its whinge city! All happiness disappears! Rascal! I think she’s going to think her name is scamp soon as I say it so much when it happens (or scallyway/rascal/rascallywag)

  5. Oh Beth. This is so perfectly timed!
    I stayed in Brisbane while I had treatment. Then when I got home, the kids got sick and had to be quarantined.
    Last night was our first night together at home. I was so looking forward to being back to normal. The result, of course, was pande-bloody-monium! ugh!

  6. I have a 13 year old that is brilliant at school/out & a nightmare at home. She is old enough to actually tell me what is going on & her exact words were …. “home is the only place I can be myself” . So she holds it all together until she is in her safe place, I guess for little ones Mum is their safe place ……unfortunately no ideas on how to stop it driving you nuts 🙂

  7. Lisa Aherne says

    I had an comment from my dog’s Vet last week. They always act up worse if the owner is present. Oops. I had asked to be in the room to “comfort” the dog, the reverse happened.

  8. Me again Beth – just re-reading my previous comment and as well as saying it will pass (to some degree), also as hard as it may be just try and ’embrace’ it rather than be frustrated/annoyed by it. Some things are just going to be so I try to embrace & accept such things (including my 1980s pine country kitchen that I have to ’embrace’ as we haven’t had a budget to renovate it…). Anyway hang in there, embrace and always be grateful (as you are 🙂

  9. they are all the same beth!
    they feel that anything goes with the mother!
    good, bad and ugly!!! … soo tiresome!
    ignore? maybe good to try a few strategies!
    ofcourse you have three vying for attention too!
    do you still feel rested hun!
    love m:)X


  11. My 3yo twins spend every Monday with their Nana and are perfect little angels all day long. The second I walk through the door to pick them up they start whingeing and crying and the”I want… I want.. I want…” chanting starts up. My mum just laughs because apparently me & my siblings did the same thing to her. My 17 month old also plays very happily by himself when home with his dad, but will not if I am at home. Fun isn’t it??!!

  12. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Yes they make you pay for being away!!

  13. Each week I take my boy to speech therapy & up until 3 weeks ago I’d sit in there & watch him carry on like a porkchop, then the speechie suggested I sit outside the room & see what happens. And what do you know? He does the whole 30 minute session with no worries! But as soon as I come back in the room, PORKCHOP! So bloody ridiculous!

  14. The teachers at our school have a motto.
    “We get the best, you get the rest”
    Yes, they get the best behaviour and then we get the meltdowns at home.
    I don’t remember being like that as a child ??

  15. Yep! My miss 6 started school this year. As soon as I pick her up at 3- I can look for wailing, crying, moaning and general carry on until she settles at about 4. It’s selfish of me, because I know she’s just exhausted and needs to be safe with mum…. But some days I literally just don’t want to Pick her up, and act like a complete bitch when she carries on. All we can do is try huh?

  16. I am being driven crazy, by my 20 month old, at the moment, who just wonders around saying ‘Mama’ in a really whingy voice. Never says Dad like that.

  17. Argh! Binge reading in a blog catch up. This is my 18mo twins to a tee. So comforting to know it’s real. I am not well at the moment. I can hear them from my hideaway in the bedroom. So happy and playful until I emerge.

  18. You do realise the article is satire? The studies aren’t real.

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