The Changing Rooms
I took Zachary to his swimming lesson. Normally they are chaotic as I have all four boys with me, and well… that should be enough of an explanation. Anyway, today was a little different as I only had Zachary and Ezra, and Ezra was in his pushchair happily eating a danish pastry. I was there with my gorgeous big boy Zachary who was behaving impeccably and my 19 month old who was just well… utter perfection (minus the danish).
I was thinking to myself this is easy, I could get used to this. When I heard the all to familiar words of “Sit down”, “Hold it properly”, “Don’t put your clean clothes on the floor”. I was awoken from my daydream of how easy life would be to just have two children. To see and hear a Mum on the bench opposite struggling with her two children.
She was getting flustered, trying to get them changed, but after a long day they were tired, hungry and slow to co operate. There was a bit inside of me that felt for her. That was me nearly every week and I knew she would have been judging herself, harshly.
We made eye contact and smiled at each other. Whilst waiting for the lessons to begin. I felt brave and when I heard her making another all too familiar comment of “Don’t run, it’s dangerous”. I said I feel like you have been saying line for line what I say every week”.
I gave her another smile and we spoke for a moment and we agreed that sometimes you have to let the children do certain things, just to keep the peace. In her case it was letting her children sit under the stairs, mine was the Danish pastry.
I Have A Runner
After the swimming lessons where finished. We were both getting our children changed. In a split second her young son, who had been happily playing on her mobile phone was gone. Neither of us had really noticed the little shadowy figure that walked past us belonged to him.
It was her daughter that drew attention to the fact he was no longer sat on the bench. She found him just about to walk out the main doors of the building. When she came back she was firm with him, she didn’t scream at him. She asked him questions about where he was going and why he did it. She was explaining why it was so dangerous. She kept her cool, but I knew inside she was a mess.
I sat quietly whilst she dealt with the situation and as I left I told her. I have a runner. I told her about Darwin and some of the experiences we have had with him. I told her she handled the situation really well. I told her how many times Darwin had run away from me and how scary it felt. She seemed relieved. I told her she was doing a good job, then I left.
It’s Not Just You
It got me thinking about all the moments in my parenting journey. That it would have been amazing to have someone say. It’s not just you. You are not alone. You are doing your best and you are doing fine. I decided to share some of those moments on here. Hopefully you will either read it and think, I am glad it’s not just me or think well I haven’t ever had that happen maybe I’m not so bad at this parenting gig. Here it goes.
To The Mum Who…
To the Mum whose kid has…
- Eaten a bowl of soup with their hands
- Smeared himself with his own poop
- Broken a bone when you were right there
- Vomited on a long haul car journey, requiring a full new set of clothes
- Jumped in a fountain in the middle of town
- Puked down your back
- Covered themselves in sudocrem
- Flooded the bathroom
- Gone to school in their pjs *not on a non uniform day
- Gone missing for 5 whole minutes in a crowded park
To the Mum who has…
- Forgot to pack a lunch for a school trip
- Forgot it was dress up day
- Shouted before 7am
- Locked themselves in the bathroom for a break
- Accidentally swore out loud in front of the kid
- Told your child Soft-play was closed. Because you didn’t want to go.
- Played inappropriate music around the kid, because they were too young to understand.
- Let the kid stay up till they fell asleep as you couldn’t deal with another tantrum.
- Given in for demands for chocolate for breakfast
- Questioned why they had kids and if they were really cut out for Motherhood.
To the Mum who feels, exhausted, over whelmed and generally a bit sh-itty. We’ve all been there. The best thing to do is learn when to laugh and remember you are human. Learn when to have a good cry and draw a line under that part of the day and start again. Find your tribe and call out for stories and support to show you are just like everyone else.
I really hope this post puts a smile on someone’s face. Please feel free to share if you think it might cheer someone up. Also feel free to share you stories in the comments. I would love to know what things you have done that you can now laugh about.
Much love and many thanks