The guilty (professional) Muma

guilty muma

As many of you already know: I am a stay at home Mum. I think that phrase is a bit naff, but it does what it says on the tin (although I am allowed out occasionally…). I used to have a career outside of our home. But now we have 2 little girls, my career is here, in the middle of my family. All day. Everyday.

It’s like any job really: it has its ups- mostly when the bosses are out. No, not at the quarterly finance meetings, but at school and nursery. And it has its downs, like when I miss my weekly washing targets. The hours are slightly longer than I was used to, I seem to be in my office by 6am. But the commute is a staircase and dressing gowns seem to be acceptable office attire. The slight stinger in the tail is that the pay is shit, well, non-existent actually. My bonuses are now paid in kind; lots of snotty cuddles, kisses and the odd punch in the face. Don’t get me wrong, those are priceless bonuses right there for the taking. But they aren’t exactly a lunch-hour-Warehouse-dress-spurge are they.

So this Mummying thing is my profession now. A professional Mummy in my mind creates innovative organic meals, has a home which may as well feature in House Beautiful – a place for everything and everything in its place. The children must attend a host of clubs and after school jollies – ferrying around is quite high up on the JD. Weekends can be nothing but activates and socialfests as all of the house work can be done during the week… surely.

But somewhere I seem to have taken a wrong turn. This isn’t how my approach to Professional Mummying is working out despite my very best efforts to be a real life super mum and nail this job.

Muma Guilt has reared its ugly head once again. And not just guilt that I should be doing a better job at home, but guilt that I DO have all day everyday, to get my shit together, while so many Mumas work long hours on top the full time Muma gig – and seem to be doing a better job!

If I were to have an appraisal tomorrow, I would be issued with a disciplinary. I stopped and glanced around at the chaos that seems to have tied itself around me: my car is always a wreck. From chewed sweets to fruitshoots, abandoned items of clothing and half of shoe zone seem to have a magnetic force to our foot wells. Darcie actually decided that the undetectable smell in our car was in fact, Bum. Great.

It shouldn’t be this way. My car should smell like freaking roses, using tips I picked up on pintrest, during research on ‘How to avoid your car smelling like bum’, because that’s the sort of thing I should have time for. But I don’t.

The wash bin is always overflowing (should I introduce naked Tuesdays?!) even though I am at home all the time. Doing washing. And folding. And putting away. We run out of bread and milk, nappies and formula on a weekly basis – but never coinciding with the weekly shop and at crucial shit-explosion moments, or the breakfast rush.

I dish up ready meals, Ready meals!! I’m at home all the time. This shit is my job and I dish up ready meals. We never seem to have enough time (or calm) to fit in reading the school book every night. I should be devising word games and *crazy* maths challenges to get those intellectual juices flowing through my 5 year olds head. Instead we get our interior design heads on with their Sylvanian world, and cut up Kinetic sand.

I am getting better at remembering own clothes days and those super fun random music shows that the school seem to enjoy springing on us. Clearly the parental form of SATs. So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps the first 5 years of being a professional parent is just your probationary period.

 

Any other stay at home mums feel this guilt?

The way of the world: according to my ToddlerMonster

  1. The louder you scream the more you shall achieve.
  2. The word Me should be included at the beginning and end of each sentence reinforcing ones importance.
  3. Eat with your hands: it’s quicker and you can lick them later for a little dinner reminder.
  4. Only Paw Patrol should be on the television. Anything else is simply an oversight by management.
  5. Pasta & grated cheese IS the ultimate dinner. Don’t be cute and mix it up: you cannot improve on perfection. I will only feed it to the dog. And smear it up the wall.
  6. Washing hair is an unnessesery torture occurring right in the middle of the most fun part of the day. Scream & then scream some more: Chase is surely on the case.
  7. The Park is the single most important destination goal of each day. Do not rest until you have been on the Weeeeeeeeengs.
  8. Closely followed by soft play: Nothing beats seeing management spat out by the foam rollers.
  9. Run, don’t ride. Why would you want to sit in a buggy when you could be running everywhere so much faster. Efficiency is key.
  10. Teeth are the most successful persuasion tool we have. especially on siblings.

Thank me later- I’m off to update the memo board on the back of my bedroom door – with management’s eyeliner.
DomesticatedMomster

DomesticatedMomster

The pressure to ‘MAKE THE MOST OF IT’.

“You better make the most of it, they grow up soooooooo fast”

Cue wistful glassy eyed look from ‘well wisher’ as I peel toddlermonster up from aisle 5 in Tescos. Are you fucking kidding me?

This is my least liked phrase as a Muma, and by far the one I hear the most.

I am TRYING to make the most of ‘it’. I am assuming ‘it’ is what these ‘well wishers’ are referring to as The Early Years. I haven’t quite worked out what the cut off age is for when we are supposedly meant to have made the most of it by. I’m assuming it is when we get to burn the car seats?

Here’s the thing, The Elders (by this I mean parents with older, more civilised children) don’t seem to realise that pure panic shoots through me when I am reminded to make the most of it.

I begin to ask silent questions. Do you not think I am making the most of it then? Are you trying to scare me into becoming SUPERMUM so that I can better squeeze every last inch of life out of my girls before they turn into pumpkins at midnight. What more can I possibly do…

As a Muma I have good days, when my invisible cape is flapping in the wind as I single handily plough through soft play complete with genuine smile, chasing 2 hysterical under 4’s. I do make mental snapshots of these moments and hope that my sieve like memory will somehow hang on to them.

But if I’m being honest I probably have more of the mundane days. Where a coffee / wine combo sees me through the trails of raising a ToddlerNinja and MiniMadam. Where feeding them, getting them dressed and then distributing them to school, or nursery, or some kind of happy clappy group is more the order of the day. Am I supposed to savour this too?

Other than the occasional God given weekend away I haven’t missed a beat. Not.a.beat. I’m sure that’s the same for the majority of Mumas, of course work commitments and hobbies are factored into life. But on the whole, Mumas are there day in day out. Surely we are all trying to make the most of it. We cannot make time stand still, so why do these ‘well wishers’ want us Mumas-of-the-youngest, to dread a certainty? Yes our children will grow up, (god willing) in the same way that you and I will grow older, saggier, and greyer. Do we really need to be reminded?!

Within a split second of those ‘Treasure it’ variety of words being uttered I do an emergency scan of our lives: do I play enough with them? Do I take them out enough? Do I read with Darcie enough? Maybe I should take them out to more exciting places? have we taken enough photos, enough video?  Have we celebrated birthdays / Christmases / Easters / Halloweens /sodding Pancake days enough? Have I squeezed enough out of everyday?! Probably not…

Make way for: Muma Guilt.

Jesus I hate this feeling. Do we play outside enough? Do they go to enough clubs and classes? Do I shout too much? Do I listen enough? Do I make them happy? AM I MAKING THE MOST OF THEM?!

As Darcie is getting older – the grand old age of 5 next month, I feel this pressure weighing down on me even more to MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Time is ticking. Every day she is getting older.

But, dare I ask, might that be such a bad thing?! Can’t I enjoy watching my children grow, leaving nappies and those bloody dummies as a safe distant memory?!

I usually conclude that short of stringing them around my neck and swinging them for ear to ear, I honestly don’t think I could savour them anymore than I am desperately trying too!

The last 5 years have not flown by for me. It doesn’t feel ‘fast’. I have felt everyday. I’m not saying I have disliked each of those days, I am just saying I have definitely lived them, in all of their vomiting, pooey, snotty, tamtruming glory. So far I have not questioned where those years have gone, or how quickly time has flown. You can see where they have gone in the many new lines surrounding my eyes, or the deeper grey that has set up residence underneath them.

Perhaps I am just a bit worn out after 5 years of The Under 5’s Movement.

I often wonder why I am reminded to savour a moment in my life where I am treated as a personal milking machine, am ignored for the majority of daylight hours, used as a human climbing frame, must second guess broken sign language, have an honorary degree in poop management and simply do not operate as fast as my two mini-masters would like. Oh and of course all the while being not quite as popular as Daddy.

No wonder that when I hear those Make The Most Of It words an irrational anger bubbles up inside of me. I try my best ‘oh yes, I’m trying’ face. I Force a smile.

In my mind I have handed over the tantruming two and wished you luck, my friend.

Make the most of that.

 

 

You and Me Time

Toddlermonster proudly handed me her poo, as casually as if she was passing me her flannel or toothbrush. This was bath time last Thursday. Ordinarily I would have been a bit pee’d off that not only had I been handed an actual poo, but I had to then fish about for the extra bits in amongst the bubbles. Haul both girls out of the pooey contaminated bath water, before beginning the Getting Ready for Bed ritual. However last Thursday was not your average Thursday. It was the night before Hubster and I were escaping to Berlin together. Just together. For an entire 48 hours.

The trip was my birthday present. A present which would take very careful planning to co-ordinate one ToddlerMonster, our 4 year old young lady, an excitable Chocolate eating Cavapoo, (who was still recovering from having his stomach pumped after devouring a box of Dark Lindt) and an incontinent old cat.

Thanks to having very understanding and kind parents and willing Neighbour the plans were all in place. The bags were packed, school and nursery pick ups organised with Nanny. Cat food left, dog food and dog dropped off.

Blimey whatever happened to spontaneity?!

It’s just you, and it’s just me.

I had been so busy with the preparations for the trip that I hadn’t stopped and contemplated the fact that Hubster and I were going to have time. Just for us. We both love being parents, But we were a couple first and I strongly believe that taking a bit of time out to remember the reasons we became parents together in the first place is so bloody important!

I have to admit that I was a bit concerned we may end up doing nothing but chat-child and stare into the distance. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. We talked, with no interruptions. We talked about trivial things, things that don’t really matter. Things that we wouldn’t usually have time to natter about. We people watched, always entertaining. We ate our breakfast first; Before having to feed the girls and the animals. I used a small handbag – wet wipes wouldn’t have fitted. We laughed, a lot. Mostly because we were acting like loved up teenagers. We rode bikes! What the…

We put ourselves first for 48 hours and it was pure bliss.

Sure, we missed our brood, but the break from responsibility was like breathing really really fresh air.

I’ve come home really refreshed and really ready to be a Muma again. Meanwhile, our girls had a seriously fun weekend with their Nanny Chickens and Big Papa spoiling them with time and attention. Being granddaughters is a pretty big deal.

I’m really hoping the Bath-Poo incident isn’t going to be a phase. There’s no Berlin tomorrow to cushion that delight later.

 

If you are thinking of heading to Berlin below is a little directory of or trip…

We stayed:

http://www.parkinn.com/hotel-berlin

Newly refurbishes, great cocktail bar, a spa and so central, surrounded by restaurants and bars.

http://www.visitberlin.de/en/spot/alexanderplatz

Tip: Ask for a room with a view. We stayed on the 33rd floor and had the whole of berlin sprawled out in front of us. Its an extra 15E a night but well worth it. From the airport you can catch a direct train to within 100 yards of the hotel for 3.50E each. Bargain!

We visited

Checkpoint Charlie. There is a museum there called The Wall. It gives you a real life Snapshot of what it was like when the Berlin Wall was up during the ‘80’s. Cleverly done, it brings the history to life (essential for me!)

Topography of Terror http://www.topographie.de/en/  located at remains of The Berlin Wall, just a block from Check Point Charlie.

DDR museum – http://www.ddr-museum.de/en pretty small interactive museum. Beautiful location right on the river and below a great coffee / Crepe shop.

The Reichstag Building   http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kuppel/kupp/245686 we didn’t actually go inside but it’s pretty impressive to look at.

Brandenburg Gate Its super touristy, complete with entertainers (who aren’t hugely entertaining) but nonetheless it’s a pretty epic gate!

We ate

Block House Steak House   http://www.block-house.de/block-house-restaurant-best-steaks-since-1968/?L=6 NOM NOM NOM! Gorgeous Steak! This place was packed with a queue out of the door by 8.30pm so maybe ask the hotel to book for you or get there nice and early.

There are lots of pizza and pasta places in the Alexander Platz area. We stayed clear of Schnitzels and Currywest! http://www.visitberlin.de/en/spot/alexanderplatz