Bookmark this page for all the times you look at the clock and think FML it’s only 2.30 and I will cry if I have to play trains for one more minute.
I couldn’t stop worrying about her hair. We were having some mummy-daughter photos taken, but her hair was a mess. She wouldn’t let me brush it and I didn’t want to have a fight in front of the photographer so I tried really hard to ignore it and hoped the photos turned out ok.
And then I saw the photos. Straight away I realised how stupid I’d been.
She looks incredible. She looks wild and happy. She looks like her. The little girl I want her to be. The little girl I love most of all.
Why would I care so much about her hair? What for? I was so annoyed that I’d even given it a second thought, like what her hair looked like was important at all.
I might be a feminist and I know all the things I’m supposed to say and do to raise my strong girl, but as it turns out, I still have 37 years of cliched expectation to undo in myself. It hurt my heart to think I might be responsible for making her think she needs to be flawless to be accepted.
So I wrote her a letter. To remind her AND myself what really matters.
One of the bonuses of parenting is being able to take credit for your child when they do something good.
“Oh yes, did you notice that? Isn’t he amazing?? I made him myself. Why thank you, yes I *am* an incredible mother.”
The trouble with Thud is… I think… maybe… I can’t take credit for him. Because he’s BETTER than me.
Let me tell you a story (and this is just one example of many).
Are you a good mum? What makes someone a good mum?
I was asked this question a few days ago and to be honest, all I could think about was what DOESN’T make a good mum. I have a whole list of things I know we DON’T need to do to prove ourselves… and then I saw this fucking ridiculous quote
and I knew I was right:
“YOU’RE AN UNINVOLVED MOTHER” you spat at me.
I’d asked you to make your son stop punching my daughter as they played before karate class and you made a comment about Pop’s inability to share. I said she wasn’t incapable of sharing but she was being hit so she was scared and frozen.
“YOU ARE FROZEN,” you hissed. “I watch you every week just sitting there on your phone, you’re an UNINVOLVED MOTHER.”
Do you remember what it was like to be a new mum? REALLY remember?
No really, stop and think. What was it like? And I’m not talking about the cuddles and the baby smell and the cute noises they make and patting nappy bums through terry towelling wondersuits which is officially the snuggliest feeling in the whole world and OMG all babies should be required to wear those things… 😍
I’ve been on a personal campaign against the phrase “cherish every moment” for a few years now. I hate it. LOATHE. Because:
It’s dismissive of a mother’s feelings – because even though she’s tearing her hair out over her kids, she’s apparently supposed to push that frustration all the way down until it pops out of her arsehole, leaving her fresh and unburdened with actual emotions like ‘not enjoying temper tantrums’ for example.
It’s judgemental – because mothers should always be grateful and never complain or WHY DID YOU EVEN HAVE KIDS?
It’s unrealistic. Who the fuck enjoys scooping spew out of their bra at 2am or full on sibling fist fights? You’re a sick puppy, Susan.
The second our kids close their eyes, we forget every dipshit thing they did that day and our brains start flashing their highlight reel at us. Suddenly, they are adorable and funny, and the three cumulative minutes of cute they produced in the previous twelve hours are the only minutes we can remember.
It’s like their Instagram stories flash before our eyes – not the reality shitshow they actually put on.
Mum and dad’s daily shitshow? Oh, we remember every second of that. We get a fun replay in technicolour glory as we kiss our sleeping babes goodnight.
Every scowl, every cross word, every impatient huff… we dwell on every part and our heart aches for how awful we were to those perfect little sleeping darlings.