Before you go calling the men in white coats on me - well actually, hang on, I'll find the number for you..........
But seriously, I haven't lost the plot totally. I just have what I refer to as The Parent in My Head. Because, well, she is always there, and also because today is Monday, her favourite day tojump all over my self esteem with her hobnail boots.
You will note I say 'she'. That is because TPIMH is a cruel, crude caricature of my mother, and her mother with a goodly dose of Nanna thrown in. She is a mean, evil, controlling bitch, who wants me to know how badly I have failed, and will continue to fail, at everything.
I love my mother. She had a tough time growing up, and as a wife and mother. Her own mother was super-critical (I loved my Nan, but as an adult I can see her flaws), and Nanna was not a fan. The fact that my mother breathed the same air as everyone else was an abomination to Nanna, and it was Mum's fault; she should have had her own air, rather than steal everyone else's. Rather like she stole Nanna's baby boy. But that's a story for another day.
So yes, TPIMH is a twisted, sadistic, rather pathetic version of my mum. She knows where and when to strike, and she's good at it. Dad doesn't really feature in TPIMH, because he was always rather distant, in terms of disapproving. He applied the theory that we would get wherever we were going, eventually.
There is an adage that goes to the effect that we are destined to repeat the mistakes of our parents. I have tried so very hard not to do that - my kids' best has always been good enough, even if I think they didn't give it all, I praise them anyway. I encourage them to dream, and to aim for the stars. Someone puts them down, I build them back up. I am not afraid to tell them if their behaviour lets me down, if they try their best, that is enough. And if they say "I should have done A, but did B, and A was the right answer." I usually tell them they are a goose, suggest they go the other way next time and remind them that our failures teach us as much, if not more, than our successes.