I had to write this down. Before I forget. Before another five years go by and I forget. Just. How. Insane it sometimes is, being a parent of young kids (of all kids come to that). We manage SO much yet convince ourselves we’re managing nothing at all.
A perfect day.
It hasn’t been a particularly difficult day. But I am EXHAUSTED.
Mondays and Tuesdays are my ‘sanctuary’ days where everyone goes to school and nursery and I do constructive things that I can’t do at any other time, without being interrupted and eventually giving up altogether.
So, naturally, Wednesday is a HUGE shock to the system.
A pint of Prosecco.
I know this. Because on a Monday and Tuesday evening, I don’t want a drink. (Oh. Except for last Monday when I had a glass of wine AND 14 brie bites. It was still Christmas. Sort of.)
But come 5.00 PM on a Wednesday, despite my intention to wait until at least Thursday before cracking open a bottle, I am reaching for anything with an alcoholic content. I’m not saying this to try and be outwardly cool, whilst secretly having a water. I need a drink.
In a ‘I’m a mum of three, not a raging alcoholic’, kind of way.
I don’t help myself, I know.
In the mornings, I get up too late. I don’t get dressed before the kids are up. Or get stuff ready the night before. I stay up late. Writing. Watching Luther. NOT looking at Facebook (haha). Because I desperately need time to be me.
And it’s so blissfully quiet in the evenings when all the kids are in bed.
How can I not take advantage of that?
Playing catch up.
So, our mornings are frantic.
I have around 40 minutes to get me and three kids up, fed and dressed. We are always on the cusp of being late but rarely ‘officially’ late. So it’s almost like I have no incentive to do better. We’re winging it. Just about.
But every morning, when the adrenaline is pumping, my heart is racing and I’m shouting at the kids, I think, ‘Why don’t I just get up earlier? Go to bed earlier? Be more organised?’
I used to be a PA. I’m not lacking in organisational skills.
Except that, these days, I totally am.
Three kids and a dentist.
This evening, we went to the dentist. At 5.30 PM.
Don’t ask me why, but EVERY time we go, they ask me to fill out six forms. SIX FORMS. All with the same details bar my kids’ names and dates of birth. It makes me want to cry and scream at the receptionist, ‘WHY AREN’T YOU COMPUTERISING STUFF LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD?’
Today, all the form filling made us late for our actual appointment.
‘Could you possibly fill those forms out in the treatment room?’ the nurse asked.
I motioned towards my 18 month old, four year old and six year old who were busy destroying the play area and implied that might be a bit tricky. Seeing as they frown upon kids touching all the equipment and stuff and how I would probably (definitely) need to restrain two whilst the other one is being examined.
Did I mention the SIX FORMS?
And so it goes on.
After Beaver had told the dentist we don’t clean our teeth in the morning (traitor) and that I eat loads of chocolate, we drove home.
Someone bickered. Someone cried. I turned up the radio and thought about the open bottle of Prosecco in the fridge.
When we got in, I realised it was hair wash night. I can’t miss hair wash night, sadly, because nits ADORE my kids and they seem to be constantly rife in our school.
So I washed and combed all three kids. Someone poohed in the bath. Someone spilt their milk. Someone refused to do what I asked.
And I poured myself a pint of Prosecco.
And didn’t give a s*** that it’s only Wednesday.
Anyway, my point is this.
Us parents are flipping heroes. I’m sorry to blow our own trumpets but we blooming well are. And I think we need to remember this. We are under such extreme, constant, unpredictable pressure and we hardly ever tell ourselves we’re doing a good job.
We only criticise ourselves. For shouting at our kids. For not being more patient. For drinking too much. For not eating the right stuff. For not spending enough quality time with our kids (even though our kids were being a bit vile). For being on our phones. BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.
Well, do you know what? The guilt? The ‘I should do better‘ mantra? It ends HERE.
Because actually? We’re not Superheroes at all.
We’re just human beings. With flaws and needs.
And an awful lot on our plates.