I think it’s safe to say that for the majority of us, what happened this week in Manchester shocked us all. Not in the least because it was yet another horrific attack, but perhaps mostly because it’s fairly clear that the perpetrator specifically targeted the event because there would be young people and children there. I’m sure we all hugged our babies a little tighter that night after watching the news and thought about how we can keep them safe. Terrorism has been part of this world for a long, long time. It’s nothing new. Just sadly now it’s a lot more present. All the events that take place are incredibly shocking, all of them, but what do we do about them, should we stop living our lives because of them?
I’m into week two of the Easter Holidays and boy, am I finding it a little on the difficult side. See, the kids nursery stops for the holidays so that’s me out of my lovely day and a half that I have to myself and I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve found it really tough. That day and a half is when I ‘get shit done’. I write, I edit, I surf the net, I waste time on social media (obvs) I do admin, house-min and most importantly get the chance to sit in a coffee shop uninterrupted. It’s much needed time away from my sidekick, as much as I love her. She’s full speed my daughter, a bruiser in a princess dress, a Duracell bunny, she’s all go and no, I wouldn’t have her any other way, but as we sidled into week two of the break, because she’s with me with 24/7, I’ve been reminded how incredibly moany, whiney, and three year old-esque she is. My patience has worn thin. I’ve uttered more empty threats in the last few days than I have in the last year. The only thing that has been giving me comfort is the amount of other parents I’ve seen muttering and shouting at their own children to, ‘WILL YOU JUST LISTEN!’. Thank god it’s not just me.
When you have a child, you get told so much. Oh my, so much information is thrown at you, either by yourself from reading books and online, or by professionals, friends, family and strangers. Everyone wants to reveal their tips and tricks to you. You get told how amazing it is, how exhausting you will find it, how babies are hard work, how times flies and how much they change. You get warned about the body changes, the sagging boobs and the slight potential change to the, erm, downstairs department and you get told about the stretch marks, but does anyone ever tell you about, ‘the fear?’ Let me just explain what I mean (sidenote: there’s no dramatic music when saying the words, the fear, although you can create if you want) I’m talking about that overactive imagination that kicks into gear as you’re trying to sleep at night, creating horrible scenarios from harmless activities or days out. Scenes are replayed in your head with alternative, horror endings. It’s all just tricks of the mind of course, but this parental fear wasn’t something I was prepared for when I became a mum.
Mothers Day is fast approaching and I’ve been thinking about the fact that as my years creep ever closer to forty (I mean, really?!) that I’m slowly but surely turning into my mother. Actually scrub that, I don’t notice it so much, it’s my husband who tells me I am. It’s inevitable really isn’t it what with the DNA and all, it’s something that can’t be helped or stopped, no matter what your relationship. I love my mum dearly, she’s done so much for me over the years, the one I look to for advice but it hasn’t always been this way. We had a rough ride when I was younger. I was a typical teenager and I caused her a lot of heartache and grief, for which I carry a lot of guilt for (it’s okay, I’ll be punished via my own daughter, karma and all that) I used to hate it when people told me I looked like my her but now I love it, I’m her daughter, that’s our eternal link and bond. Now that I have a daughter myself I understand that link that will always be there. Plus I know that I can’t fight it, it’s happening whether I like it or not. I’ve had a bit of a think and here are a few signs that I’m turning into my mother.
Toddlers, the mini tyrants of this world. They are the Kim Jong-un of the small persons world. We love them but toddlers are hard work, fact. Anyone saying otherwise is delusional, lying, or has help. And despite being so little, they contain a huge amount of energy that springs into action from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. I’ve yet to find an off switch. Especially when mummy has a hangover. When I think back to those early hazy days with a new-born, they’re like the holy grail. Okay, okay so there are some sleep issues and you’re running on empty, but when you finally venture out of the house, leaky boobs strapped down and downstairs bits not aching anymore, you can generally sit (or do the manic rocking holding the baby) and drink coffee and actually talk to friends. And I mean, actually have a proper five minute conversation uninterrupted. You’re not having to physically grapple muffins you haven’t paid for from a small child, and you’re not having to chase after your child whose legged it with the next tables pastries. As I attempted some menial tasks recently which the kid was making rather difficult, I started thinking about all of the easy, simple things we should be able to do that are made impossible or certainly a tad more stressful because of little people. Obviously this list could go on for ever, but here are a few things that sprang to mind.