I am ‘So here’s the thing’ Mum…

“You will , you know!”

Everyone is the perfect parent…until they have children.”

Who said this first? I have no idea.

Who says it now? Me. Every single day!

I am the proud and enthusiastic Mama bear of a 5-year-old Drama Queen and a 21 month old Dictator. I spend my days winging it through EVERYTHING… breakfast, school runs, work, homework, dinner, bedtime, marriage.

Some days, I feel like I NEARLY have my shit together. Most days, I want to stomp my foot, throw and tantrum and call for my own Mammy! To many, I seem like I hold things together.

Those closest to me, know I’m a fraud.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t deal with everything in a calm and mature fashion.

I don’t adore my children every single second of every single day.

I don’t always have the schedule sorted.

I don’t always remember everything I’m supposed to.

I don’t always know what’s wrong with the baby, just by her cry.

I don’t always have a sparkly clean house. (Actually, I don’t EVER. Who does?)

I don’t always remember to wash the uniforms.

I don’t always want to get my No Diggity on in the bedroom.

I don’t always feed them homemade meals.

I don’t always give the right answer.

I don’t always say the right thing.

I don’t switch off my brain, even when it’s His turn to get up with them.

I can’t.

Because I “Mammy” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes, I yell.

Sometimes, I bribe.

Sometimes the fridge is empty.

Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I let them eat breakfast cereal for dinner.

Sometimes, I pretend I don’t hear the monitor and carefully kick Daddy so he’ll have to get up instead.

Sometimes, I let them watch TV…a lot.

Sometimes, I swear.

Sometimes, I wish it were bedtime at 3pm.

Sometimes, I cry so hard that my Husband doesn’t know what to say.

Sometimes, I like being at work because I get to finish a coffee in peace…and I don’t feel guilty. Sometimes, I get a babysitter and go out for dinner.

Sometimes, I hand the baby to Himself as he comes through the door and go for a run, or a pee. Sometimes, I feel like I’m so utterly useless that someone, somewhere will certainly report me to an authority of some kind.

But ALWAYS, I love. I am NOT a Stepford Mammy. I will never get it ALL right. No one can, because a perfect Mammy doesn’t exist, and as long as I love my girls fiercely, I’m already doing it right.

The moment that a Mammy realises that there is no such thing as “The right way” or “the proper way” of parenting, is light bulb moment. When you recognise that YOUR choices for your family are NO ONE’s business, a giant weight will be lifted off your tired shoulders.

You don’t have to justify your parenting. You don’t have to explain why you breastfeed, or don’t; why you chose this school instead of that one; why you put the baby in their own room at 3 months, or why they still sleep in your room 2 years on.

You don’t have to justify your parenting to ANYONE.

The ONLY people who matter in your home, are YOUR FAMILY. And nothing or nobody outside of that matters. If you are expecting your first Baby and reading this, with your jaw on the floor, thinking “I will NEVER do those things!”, You will you know!?

You will bribe.

You will eat leftovers.

You will survive on 2 hours of broken sleep.

You will use Babywipes for EVERYTHING.

You will hate your partner for sleeping. (Sometimes, you will hate them for breathing! 🙂 )

You will enjoy watching kids’ TV.

You will have a favourite CBeebies presenter.

You will spend your money on the best you can afford for your kids, while wearing a 15-year-old t-shirt yourself.

You will be so excited at the offer of a babysitter, that you cry. Oh, and you will cry; tears of frustration, tears of worry, tears of laughter and tears of pure, unconditional LOVE.

Because being a Mammy is sometimes crap, but it is ALWAYS wonderful.

And if you are wondering if you’ll be a good Mum?

You will, you know. x

I am Silly-Serious-Worries Mum

So today, I did it!

Even the thought of it has been freaking me out for the past 7 weeks.  I’ve actually had nightmares about it.  I hardly slept last night, knowing that it was ahead of me this morning…but I did it.

I did the playschool run.
ALL BY MYSELF!
With the toddler AND a newborn.
And I survived.

Sound silly? 
Maybe, but I’m guessing that the majority of parents reading this can empathise.

So how does something as trivial as doing a school run become such an issue?
Because although it’s a Silly worry, it’s still a worry.
It’s my worry and it grows as much as I let it. 

It’s a little seed that was planted in my brain one morning pre-Princess, and over the past 9 weeks, it has blossomed into quite the little weed.

I was dropping Mini-me off as usual.   The staircase to her classroom is narrow and an unspoken one-way system exists among the parents who navigate it each day.
I waited (impatiently) for her to manouvre her skinny bum up the steps; painfully aware of the not-very-well disguised frustration of the other Mummy who was forced to wait at the top for Mini-me (and her 64 month pregnant mother) to get out of her way. 

We finally reached the summit and Other Mother responded to my apologies with an overly-zealous and high-pitched “Don’t be silly!! It’s not easy, is it?”

“No it isn’t!” I laughed, thinking to myself how I couldn’t wait to not have to carry this bump up the steps every morning.

And then it hit me.

In place of the bump, will be a baby…in a car seat.
And that was the actual second that the silly-serious worries began.

How the hell am I going to do this with a new baby?
How will I get Mini-me to school, on time, 5 mornings a week…with a new baby?
How will we get out the door if Baby needs a feed…or poops…or is crying…or is sick?
What if I can’t get parked near the door?
What if it’s raining?
I can’t leave the Baby in the car can I?  Of course not!
How will I manage to get up and down those stairs with a car seat and a futtering toddler? 
What if I fall?
What if Mini-me falls and I can’t lift her?
What if someone sneeezes on the baby?
What if…

I could go on.

I’m usually quite in control of my worries.  I don’t tend to overthink things or waste energy on worrying about the hypothetical.  My Dad always told me “99% of the things you worry about, never happen.”
It took me approximately 25 years to realise this.
Life instantly became easier.

I’m quite a confident person.  I stand in front of hundreds of teenagers each day and teach them Shakespeare for crying out loud!  So how is it that getting my toddler to pre-school could become such a bloody issue?

Because I’m still hormonal after recent birth?
Because I’m losing my mind?
Because I’m having a confidence crisis?

No.
It’s because I’m a parent.

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What no one tells you before you enter this wonderful time in your life, is that all of your rational reasoning and good sense go on holiday when Baby arrives… and I’m not sure they ever return.

Every parent has ridiculous, irrational fears.  Over the past few days, with both kiddies being sick, I’ve realised that these fears are EXTRA vivid at 4am.

The headcold is pneumonia.
The heat rash is something tropical.
The sound outside is obviously a burglar.
The first trip to playschool tomorrow morning is going to be a disaster.

And then, it’s not.

We got up.  We got dressed.  I fed both of them.  (I even fed the dog!) I drank a cup of coffee.  I got Newborn into the carseat.  I strapped Mini-me into hers.  I remembered to lock the house.  I remembered how to drive the car.  (Six weeks sans Steering wheel is not fun!)  I remembered how to get to the school.  I got parked at the door of the school.  It wasn’t raining!

I got to the foot of the dreaded staircase.

And do you know what I did then?
I put one foot in front of the other, and I climbed it.  (Granted I still had to encourage Skinny-bum to hurry along, but climb it we did.)
And when I got to the top, I deposited said Skinny-bum into the arms of her lovely teacher; I turned around and I returned to my car.
I survived.

And then I went shopping! (because having only one kid with me didn’t feature as a problem.  It’s only the situations where I have to do things with two for the first time that are causing me these Silly-Serious worries.  See how logical I am?!!)

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This morning was the silliest thing in the world to be worried about, but to me, it was a serious worry. 
And that’s the key.
If it was worrying me, it was valid.  Silly or not, it was a worry. 

And the reason that parents worry about such seemingly silly things, is to allow us to be prepared.  Worrying and over-thinking things allows us to envisage all eventualities…and then, because we’ve already dealt with the outcomes, (even the worst possible ones!), we can handle whatever is thrown at us.

Every silly worry is serious.
Every worry is a staircase.
The longer we stand looking at the stairs, the more challenging they become.
But if you take each step as it comes, the top isn’t as far away as you thought.

Next, I have to figure out how to do the grocery shopping with both of the them with me.
I’m just going to look at that particulay staircase a little while longer.
I’m not quite there yet!

I am Silly-Serious-Worries Mum.

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