Some days, being a Mum is just unexplainably hard. Period.
(I would’ve used a more appropriate word there, but will try to remain professional, and Christian!)
As much as I’d like to leave it there, the writer in me has more words that need to be said.
Countless days I scroll through social media posts of idyllic squeaky clean houses, Mums hair and makeup- perfection, kids stylishly dressed without a stain in sight. Then there’s the cute could just eat you photo with the whole family looking in the right direction with a kiss on Mums cheek for good measure! Or what about the image of a child playing sweetly with their sibling, when what you’re actually amazed at is the disgustingly clean house canvas behind them!
It drives me crazy! And these images on social media, places an unnecessary pressure on us mums who just can’t do all that. We don’t have the sweetness photos, instead, we have reality- blurry photographs with real mess in the background. And often the cute moments are ones where your camera isn’t within reach, kids are still in pj’s with encrusted cereal remnants from breakfast, and hair which covers their eyes due to refusal of either a hair cut or bobble being used! Often any photos I have on social media, have took at least ten attempts to take, with lots of pleading to please smile for Mamma!
My 2-year-old was photographed more than I ever imagined in her first year. I was that Mum. It’s highly likely, I was the Mum I now marvel at and wonder how she does it! Nap times and evenings were a pleasurable experience, as I scrolled through the many milestones I’d captured during the day. The majority of which, had her encapsulating blue eyes glaring back at me. Sometimes I would even give her a quick clothe change before the photography commenced – laughable! With the house relatively tidy and all jobs pretty much up to date, nap times would consist of either a date with a book, or film- even endless mental capacity to write! Cooking tea was an enjoyable experience shared between Ava and I as she played drums with the pans while I cooked- aah, sweet moments!
Since having a second child, reality has become my friend, and a rather slap in the face! Gone are the serene moments of capturing a new milestone. My two-year-old neither wants to be photographed nor smile at the camera, and the baby (who is now mobile) moves way too fast for me to capture a remotely recognisable photo.
Reality has also revealed to me, that you neither have the time, nor the energy to have your phone within reach. Countless conversations with my husband start with ‘you never answer your phone!’ to which my reply resounds something to the effect of ‘I don’t have my phone on me all the time you know!’
Often I’ll be feeding the baby in the lounge, and hear the distinct vibrations of my phone on the kitchen table (classically for me, on silent.)
Or, it’ll be flat (also classic for me) due to having had the Jungle Books ‘Bear neccesities’ on repeat for the past hour!
The sweetest moments I wish were captured on film, rarely are. Then when you want to recreate the moment, naturally, the kids don’t want to fake it by doing what they just did out of spontaneity!
Reality has proved, that I can still manage to get showered and dressed, but as for making furtherance effort, it’s just not going to happen!
There are days I’m filled with exuberance and energy overspills, but on the whole- I’m knackered!
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve assembled and collapsed my buggy this week, let alone in the past year. My husband uses the car for work, so walking has become our mantra.
On a stunningly beautiful day, where the sun reminds you it still exists and you finally find a purpose for your shades (hidden where you actually can’t remember it’s been so long!) On those days, walking is glorious!
But in the winter, and even just on a drizzly grey morning- walking is not fun, nor does it motivate you to step outside the front door! Lets not even discuss getting waterproofs, wellies on and off. And yes I know, walking with kids in the rain can be fun! Excitedly splashing in the puddles and singing in the rain- which we do on occasions. My girls certainly aren’t shy of the rain. But with an 8month old and 2-year-old (who now refuses to sit in the pram because shed rather walk) juggling a double buggy and all its contents, sweating with all the layers you piled on because it’s cold out there, while you’re on your way to somewhere you actually have to be…then, it’s not all fun and games!
Reality has shown me that having a tidy house, is only partly doable once children are down for the evening- that is, if you have any energy left! Repetition has become my bodies natural reflex. I scoop up the same toys I just tripped over, pile up the same books and fluff up the same cushions on my sofa. The same dishes are washed and bottles sterilised. I look around half the time, and wonder if there is any point in tidying up- tomorrow will be the same!
And with that in mind, reality has taught me to not just accept, but allow ‘mess’ to sit right with me. Exhaustion most days, is my bodies reflex, and leaves no prisoners for ‘tidying up.’ I have learned to be ok with the mess. It means my children are happy and playing. It also means they still have a lot to learn about what it means to put things away. But they roam with free access to toys at their disposal.
My mum once bought a sign for her home which said something along the lines of ‘excuse the mess, my children are busy making memories.’
And I love that. So often, in all my tidying, I’ve missed pivotal moments- those you wish you’d caught on camera.
So, as a rant from one Mum to another- parenting is hard work. Exhausting, exhilarating, excruciating, and any others E’s you can think of- not those E’s!
It’s hard yet rewarding, which is the cycle I often find myself on.
There are moments you wonder how you’re ever going to get through the next 5 minutes let alone the day ahead. Likewise, there are moments you wish would last forever, and appreciate just how blessed you are to be a parent!