When I woke up this morning, I intended to use naptime productively to start drafting a post about toddler play activities. I guess this intention went hand in hand with the intention of coming up with exciting play opportunities for Baby Lighty, which went the same way that the original post went – down the pan.Yes, today was one of those days when I just don’t want to ‘Mummy’. That sounds completely awful when written down in black and white, particularly as for what felt like the longest time, all I wanted to do was be a Mummy.
But like it or not, I have these days every now and again. Invariably, they always seem to coincide with those days when I’m not seeing any of the members of my Mummy Tribe, or when I’m tired – that permanently exhausted, oh so tired feeling.
On these days I don’t have the patience for everything being pulled from the shelves, a certain someone throwing a tantrum upon being put back into the pushchair after a trip to the park, or Baby Lighty’s entire lunch being thrown on the floor, and then, whilst trying to clear up the mess, having more food thrown at my head.It’s on these days when I feel like I’m not the mummy I want to be. The mummy I want to be is patient and gentle, gives cuddles and kisses and soothes those toddler frustrations. And I like to think that most of the time, I am just that. But sometimes – sometimes – this is too much. It’s not easy being patient when you’re having food thrown at you. Food which you lovingly prepared and bought with a thought to it being nutritious and filling for your child. Food which you worked hard to earn the money to provide, food which you can ill afford to have thrown on the floor.
And it’s all of these little aspects combined that make me – I’m ashamed to admit it – not as patient as I’d like to be. In fact, it’s these aspects that sometimes make me a shouty mummy, a shouty mummy that cries in front of Baby Lighty. That puts him down for a nap and then sinks onto the sofa into the world of blogging and daytime television, with a cuppa and some chocolate to try to rejuvenate herself but the whole time actually wallowing in guilt.
I am pretty sure that I’m not alone in this. I’m pretty sure that most mothers do, at some point or other, feel this way. It’s not to say that we don’t love our little ones – of course we do – but sometimes it’s hard to like the way they’re behaving.
With this in mind, why has this blog post been so hard to write, if that’s the case? I’ve had it sitting in my drafts for months, and in my mind for months prior to that. And I think the answer is that often we don’t like to admit this. We don’t like to admit that motherhood is hard, and that we all need a break. We don’t like to admit that we aren’t always as patient as we like, and that sometimes our well-planned, excellent intentions don’t come to fruition. Sometimes our little ones just don’t want to eat, and sometimes they don’t want to play nicely, they just want to rampage instead.
Social media can be a bolthole when we’re feeling like this, as we can reach out to like minded Mamas for support, but it can also be a hindrance. Look at any parenting Pinterest or Instagram account, and you’ll see wonderfully thought out toddler meals and activities. And yet some of us are just trying to get through the day without half of the toys getting broken and just some of the food we’ve prepared being eaten.
And so I’m writing this with the intention of being honest: today I don’t want to Mummy. I definitely want to be a mummy, but on days like today I’d much rather enjoy cuddles on the sofa with Baby Lighty please than trying to be Pinterest perfect, or indeed, anything perfect. I’d rather just enjoy those cuddles to make up for the shouting I may have done as my less patient self earlier. I’d like a hot cup of tea, to retreat under a blanket on the sofa with some rubbish daytime telly and to reach out for some adult conversation with some of my Mummy Tribe.I may not get all of that – let’s face it, as mothers, there’s very little feeling sorry for ourselves – but I can enjoy a bit of naptime R&R and send an honest text or two to some of the members of my Awesome Mums’ Club to tell them that today hasn’t been great.
Oh and those cuddles: later I’ll enjoy some cuddles with Baby Lighty and apologise for being a grouchy Mummy today. I’ll be better tomorrow, I promise.
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