To the mum who gave in and fed her kids chicken nuggets and chips for the third time this week, because she couldn’t be arsed with the battle of trying to get them to eat anything else. Don’t panic. Are they fed? Yep. Are they happy? Double yep. So well done to you. There probably are a very small percentage of adults who ONLY eat nuggets and chips for every meal, but these people are really weird and probably don’t go out much. The chances are your kids will grow up with a much more varied diet than they are partial to now, so who gives a damn?
To the heavily pregnant mum at toddler group desperately trying to keep her 2 year old happy because she’s so worried about what having a new brother or sister will do to him. I’m not going to lie it probably won’t be how you pictured it when the baby does eventually arrive, and he may very obviously show his disdain towards her. But then one day you will walk into the living room and find him giving the baby a cuddle as they lie on the play mat together and everything will seem a little bit better (until he knocks her over the head with a rattle. By accident of course).
To the mum who has just screamed at her kids and is sat sobbing on the stairs, we’ve all been there. Sometimes daily. Sometimes more than daily. We aren’t cyborgs, and we can’t be expected to have our shit together every damn second. They probably won’t remember you screaming at them by teatime (they may even have found it amusing), but you will no doubt feel like a shitty mother for the rest of the day. Don’t. You got a lot of stress out of your system by doing it which is good! Go to the kitchen, make yourself a cuppa (or a g&t as long as it’s after midday and you don’t have to drive anywhere), whack their favourite film on, hand the biscuits around and forget it happened, just like they probably have.
To the mum looking like she wants to cry whilst quietly trying to console a child mid tantrum in the supermarket. Ignore the judgmental twats giving you the look we all know well… you know the one; ‘she’s clearly a dreadful mother who probably feeds her child sugar and sticks him in front of the TV all day’. Well f*ck them. F*ck all the judgy twats. So what if they are right about the sugar and tv… You’re doing an amazing job. Your kid is safe, has a full tummy and is happy (when the world isn’t ending because you won’t let them have the bottle of febreeze they seem to have grown a fond attachment to). And you got out of the house today so that deserves an award in itself!
To the mum feeling guilty for giving up breastfeeding. Formula isn’t devil’s food like some people make it out to be. Hats off the mums who have got breastfeeding nailed. But if you aren’t one of these mums, it really doesn’t matter. Your baby is fed, that’s all that matters. I breast fed one of my children and formula fed the other so I’m totally impartial on the matter (let’s not start another breast/bottle debate.. it’s getting a tad tedious now). Happy mum, happy baby, and all that jazz.
To the mum who desperately yearns for the little people to stop invading her bed every night. Do what works for you. Don’t feel ashamed for co sleeping with your 2 year old because it’s not what society expects of you. If you aren’t comfortable with leaving them to cry, then don’t. If you do let them cry, fair play. I did, it was shit, but it worked (for now). If you end up sleeping on a roll out mattress on their floor every night, then go with it. One way or another, you WILL get your personal space back. And karma will bite those little turds on the bum when they’re teenagers and you get the Dyson out at 8am on a Sunday whilst they are sleeping. (Gosh that floor right outside their room looks dreadfully dusty doesn’t it..)?
To the mum who judges all the other mums and looks down her nose at everyone else because her children are perfect. F*ck off and burn. That is all.
To the woman who wants to be a mum, and wants to scream/cry/throw herself off a bridge every time she hears another of her friends is pregnant. It’s shit. It really is. You feel like a terrible person for struggling to feel happy for someone whose had such fantastic news. I am keeping everything crossed for you that your time will come. In the meantime make the most of the alcohol, sleep, soft cheese and medium rare beef whilst you can.
To the mum who decides to stay home rather than go to a group or a play date, because she just can’t face going out and is now mentally beating herself up for depriving her child of such a rich opportunity to socialise. Don’t worry, it probably would have been shit anyway and your child is probably happier at home where the biscuits are. The groups will be there next week, and the week after. And there’s plenty more opportunity for play dates.
To the mum striving for perfection. If you can achieve this and be happy whilst doing it then good on you. But as soon as your happiness is compromised and you start becoming a stressful maniac, that’s when I recommend taking a step back and asking yourself if you’re really happy… and if the answer is no then I suggest saying to yourself ‘f*ck the dishes, they can’t fire me for not cleaning them, I’m my own boss now’ (apart from when your toddler is telling you what to do). It takes a long time to learn not to notice the housework, but believe me once you get there it’s rather lovely (until your husband comes home and comments on the mess and dirt, then you have my permission to throw his Xbox in the bin when he’s at work the next day and leave a dust pan and brush in its place. W*nker).
To the mum slapping a smile on her face as she has a steady stream of visitors to meet her new baby; but inside she’s feeling alone, terrified and very, very sad. A huge amount of us have been there. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. Chances are if you speak to another mum, they will have felt the same emotions at some point. Things will get better, sometimes you will need more help than a few chats with a friend, but good on you for being honest with yourself.
To the mum feeling guilty about being on her phone instead of playing with the kids. Well how else are you meant to catch up on what’s going on with the rest of the world? It’s not exactly like you’re allowed to watch what you want on the television (obviously if you had the choice you would opt for Sky News, not Geordie Shore.. ahem). When you are stuck in the same room, with the same kids and the same shite on tv day in and day out, that cellular device is the key to what sanity you have left. It’s good for them to play on their own sometimes. They learn problem solving and other shit like that, or so I’ve heard.
I’ve been all these mums at one point or another (even the judgy mum. I know, eww). There’s always going to be something to feel guilty, stressed or generally shit about. That’s motherhood. Reading this back I wish I could take my own advice more but it’s not always that easy when you are right in the middle of a day from hell.
Today I was the mum who saw her toddler in the car rearview mirror eating the mouldy bread meant for the ducks. I told him not to. He ignored me. Obviously. We got out of the car and I tried to make him give what was left to the ducks but he started having a tantrum so I let him crack on with the bread (don’t worry, I picked off the green bits) and turned a blind eye because it would save me the job of getting him a snack later. Now that’s what I call a win.
To all the mums out there, whether you’re a working mum, stay at home mum, messy mum, tidy mum, tired mum or crazy mum, give yourselves a break. It’s not easy doing what we do, but someone’s got to bloody do it.
On a brighter note, it’s Friday which can only mean one thing… Dominoooooooooes! Boom, get in me.