I am a Mum. A wife. A really decent human being most of the time. Things I am not? I am not a maid, I am not a chef, nor am I a slave.
Anything to do with parenting these days leads us to believe we are always doing something wrong. The societal pressures surrounding parenting are beyond normal. I struggle with the ideas of what I believe a great parent is. ‘Great’ parents have the washing done, the house clean and take their kids to school themselves every single day. They play with the kids all day and take them on outings during the week with the dog and even have a delish-healthy packed lunch with kale chips and sugar free yogurt that the kids just love…..or throw in the bin.
This is not me.
The truth is, my dining room table hasn’t been sat at for days because the washing pile is so high on top of it that we wouldn’t be able to sit at it and see each others faces. I’m going to have to start wearing my period undies for fun soon. Then outside; my dog has pulled random wet soggy socks off of the clothes line and a pair of my sons shoes have been chewed up, I haven’t picked them up yet and I probably won’t for another week. The washing that’s on the line has been there for weeks as it is, and I’ve walked past the same Duplo block, pencil and clean nappy in the hallway for a week now. Not once have I, or anyone else stopped to pick it up, we have become friends and I just pop the floor dwellers a nod, promising to return them to their rightful homes some day.
Did you child watch more than 1 hour of TV today? Well most days my son watches TV from 7 till 10, maybe 11 and sometimes its 1pm before i’ve realised it’s even been on all day long .His obsession with Pirate Jake and David Attenborough Doco’s have become more like a staple part of his diet or addiction.
Do you children ask you to sit with them and play all day long? My daughter does, in fact she asked me just now, but I’m drinking a coffee and being an ass-hat mother and writing this instead. I very rarely play with my children, I enjoy it about as much as getting out of bed every morning. Remember those days where you would entertain yourself for hours on end because your parents read the paper or watched T.V or did adult things? Yeah we did that…. So can ours.
Do your children hate dinner some/most days? Do the pressures of feeding your kids wholesome preservative free meals make you feel like a terrible mother because everything is laced with poison? I do, last night they had white bread with butter and cake for tea. White bread and cake. Oh and a chocolate bar at their brothers BMX training at 7pm. What of it??
Do the pressures of having your child in 101 after school activities hurt your soul? My soul hurts, and my 10 year old son only does one. Sometimes we tell him it was cancelled because we just don’t want to go, ‘insert any appropriate parent excuse here’; my bum hurts, I have my period, it’s cold. My favourite is ‘I don’t want to volunteer at the club tonight because I have intense social anxiety’ and cried like a loon in the car at the mere thought of helping out.
Is your friend on Facebook doing crafts with her kid again? Don’t you worry I’m not, have you ever cleaned up that glitter and paint properly? It doesn’t happen…. Pencils and pens, pencils and pens kids, thats your creativity limit unless I’m feeling so happy and generous and the house is spotless which would mean that I’m no longer me.
Do the pressures of having matching socks on all 3 of your kids seem a bit much? Right now, my daughter has one of my socks on and one of her brothers, she’s 2.
Do you children talk to you? Mine do, just smile and wave, just smile and wave.
Do your children scream in the shops and the pressure of how you’ll discipline them in front of that woman giving you the awkward intense stink eye in the store all become too much? Mine DO, smile and wave guys Smile and wave.
Do you really have to try to watch your language around your kids because they’re fucking parrots? The other day my daughter called our dog a Fuck Head. High five me later for my great parenting later on.
The truth is, none of these things make me a bad parent. What this means to me is, I’m comfortable with my parenting, I’m comfortable with the idea that sometimes these spawn of satan will have to learn independence or something. That sometimes it’s ok to eat naughty foods, and TV can be helpful all day long if you are sad, depressed or just fed up. The washing isn’t done because I’m doing other things with and for the kids, mainly though it’s because I’m sitting and drinking coffee and I just hate doing the washing with a real ‘I hate the washing’ passion . My kids swear sometimes, because sometimes people swear.
We are human, we are human first, mother comes in a good second, and we are still learning about this weird ass role until the day we are dead, d-e-a-d, we are learning and it’s never going to be right the first time, second time or third time, not ever.
We read our kids stories each night with an eskimo kiss and a bag full of microwaved wheat. We treat them, and laugh with them and usually at them, we adore and cherish them when we remember we can. We give them all we can at our worst and our best. They will love us forever regardless of the amount of TV they watch, or chocolate and white bread and cake they eat, their love for us is not reliant on whether their socks matched for their entire childhood.
Our kids will remember how much we loved them, how hard we tried, how much we wanted to be better for them.
I am a mum, but first I am human. I make mistakes, I yell, I cry but most of all; I try and I love.