Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lesson 14: Your Child Will Behave Impeccably for Others

It’s one of life’s leading injustices.

Not that your child behaves nicely, because of course *forces smiles through gritted teeth* we welcome good behaviour. Rather the injustice lies in the fact that your child will appear to save all disruptive, angry and frankly INTOLERABLE behaviour just for you. Joyful.
I have to be honest here, at times I have concluded it MUST BE ME. As already outlined in Lesson 8 I am not a natural ‘Coper,’ in fact more often than not I think I am not coping at all. Perhaps my child knows this, and chooses to push my already weary buttons…

However, in the last month or two I have turned this conclusion on its head and I am now one hundred percent certain that parents simply get the worst of their bundles of joy.

We get the bundle, minus the joy.

Often a snotty, angry, clingy bundle who is seemingly on hunger strike and throws his cutlery across the table…maybe that’s just mine - he turns two this week, and quite frankly I am at my wits’ end with his general behaviour *reaches for wine.*
It doesn’t matter who else looks after him for the day (grandparents/child-minder/postman), he is invariably well behaved. Comments on collection/pick-up range from ‘he’s been good as gold’ to ‘isn’t he easy to look after?!’ The latter is nearly enough ammunition for me to claw both my eyes out in a frustrated rage. Said rage is also accompanied by marginal guilt that I am almost willing him to behave poorly for somebody else, so I can report back quite honestly ‘THIS IS MY WHOLE LIFE!’  

When I have him for a day on my own, I don’t successfully manage to do anything (he kicks off in every shop/at the doctors/in the library - purposefully collapsing face down on the floor is commonplace). When his grandparents take him shopping/to the library/out for lunch he is, by all accounts, helpful. Say what?

How my child behaves for others
His 'special' behaviour reserved for me

On Sunday, I had the luxury of a lie-in (sorry to mums who have not had one of these in a while, I won’t dwell on it). Anyhow, I surfaced at 10am and ventured downstairs with the promise of a nice family day stretching out before me. I had been downstairs for no longer than two minutes when Helpful Henry turned into Hurricane Henry, and yet another breakfast was eaten with him hanging off my leg and snivelling on my dressing gown.

Me: ‘What’s the matter?’
Henry: ‘I WANT BUZZ’
Me: ‘You want Buzz Lightyear?’ *fetches Buzz Lightyear*
Henry: ‘NO! Take it AWAY!!’
Me: ‘Okay, Buzz has gone away’
Henry: *screams* ‘BUZZ!!’
And so it begins.

Not an unusual turn of events, you might think, until my dear husband (obviously in my good books for facilitating my lie-in), stated:

'He was absolutely fine until you came down. Good as gold.’

I won’t repeat my reply.  

The Unmumsy Mum

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Lesson 13: Why It's Fine To Reminisce About BEFORE

We all do it.
Okay, some of us (ahem) look back at the Before Days marginally more often than others.
Regardless, I just want to put it out there that this is FINE.
Normal, natural, necessary.

Some mums, I have noticed, don’t partake in Before Remembrance.  This, I believe, is largely due to feeling guilty about thinking back to a time when we were not mums. As if it signifies regret for having joined The Motherhood. I feel no such guilt, and I’ll tell you for why.

The Before Days should be celebrated for all they represented.
Freedom, lie-ins, going to the cinema, having something to get ready for (baby gym class doesn’t count), climbing the career ladder (or not climbing it through choice), having time to browse, having money to buy, having dimple free thighs, uninterrupted sleep, Hangover Sundays, talking to your partner (not about kids), having a tantrum free dinner, going on holiday...

My word the list is endless!
Carefree Camping at V Festival
There is no shame in remembering these Glory Days.
Last week, when my toddler lay on the floor in Next screaming ‘HELP ME I’M STUCK! FIRE! CALL FIREMAN SAM!’ (he wasn’t stuck, there was no fire) I remembered with great fondness the days when I could actually look at clothes whilst out shopping. And try them on. Without getting red and sweaty and without swearing.

Do I miss life before motherhood? HELL YES. Is that not allowed?

I am by no means suggesting I would rather not have a child. The situation is different now. You are in no way being unfaithful to your bundles of joy by remembering life without them, nor are you wishing to wipe them out of the equation. Rather, you are remembering life before. A different time. A special time.

Having a tan. Being slim. Reading. This is my ultimate Before Remembrance indulgence
From now on, when people say ‘god I can’t imagine life without the kids, can you?’ I will stand tall and say 'YES I BLOODY CAN. It was beautiful.'

The Unmumsy Mum