Having It All: Faking It

Confessions of @A_WorkingMum

Weekend Part Two: A Sunny Saturday

6.30am

I hear someone crying. I close my eyes tightly .

6.45am

Long-suffering husband speaks. I am too tired to understand the words.

7 am

Someone is passing me a crying baby.

Aha.

I remember now.

It is the morning after my epic fail of a Big Friday Night Out (for the full story, see below).

http://havingitall.family/2017/weekend-part-one-the-big-friday-night-out/

I have been asleep for around three hours.

I attach Baby Girl to my nipple and sigh thinking of the day ahead.

Long Suffering Husband will be away helping his elderly parents, Being A Good Son.

I therefore cannot justify feeling annoyed about being left on my own.

How can I be annoyed with someone who is clearly Doing The Right Thing?

I find the inability to justify feeling annoyed is in itself very annoying.

7.10 am

Long-suffering husband thoughtfully brings me a cup of tea.

I am sure he is annoying me on purpose.

EVERYTHING is annoying when you are this tired.

7.15 am

Long-Suffering Husband brings 2 yo and 3 yo boys into our bed.

They are happy and chatty.

I mumble incoherent orders:

“Stop that. Don’t kick there. You’ll hurt your sister. Be careful, hot tea. I said be CAREFUL. You will burn yourself.”

No-one is listening.

I close my eyes.

7.30 am

Long Suffering Husband asks if there is anything he can do to help.

Clearly I should take advantage of this offer and get my day off to a good start by:

  • Showering in peace while he is still at home watching the children
  • Asking him to get the children dressed
  • Going downstairs to start breakfast early
  • Get the bags packed ready for the boys’ Rugby Tots lessons

I consider this sensible plan of action.

I close my eyes instead and pretend I can sleep through the chaos.

I am not a morning person.

8 am

I am still lying in bed with three children.

We are all in pyjamas.

I have achieved next to nothing in the last hour.

On the plus side, the caffeine from my cup of tea has kicked in and I am now able to communicate effectively with other human beings.

8.15 am

It is time for Long-Suffering Husband to leave.

I manage to thank him for the tea and wish him a safe journey.

8.30 am

I need to be at Rubgy Tots at 9.30 so I really need to get moving.

Instead I bribe the two boys to stay still with electronic devices and write a Facebook post about my Epic Fail of a Friday Night Out.

To cheer myself up I include a selfie of the moment I had makeup on.

8.40 am

My phone buzzes with a reply to my Facebook post.

It is Social Media Mum (she who was responsible for the birth of this blog – see the full story below).

http://havingitall.family/2017/killing-katy-the-birth-of-a-blog/

Her son Jude* is in 3 yo boy’s Rugby Tots class at 9.30 am.

“See you at rugby then ?! 😉”

I reply to her:

“Absolutely. Right on it. Very motivated and have got the kids all ready.”

I attach a photo of the four of us lying in bed in pyjamas, complete with 3 yo fully absorbed in the bribery electronic device.

8.45 am

Phone buzzes with another reply.

“Ha ha! It’s going to be a busy 45 minutes.”

She makes a good point.

I finally get up.

9.30 am

Predictably the last 45 minutes have passed in a blur of:

  • Shouting at the boys to stop fighting while I am in the shower
  • Getting out of the shower and dripping water all over the floor to physically separate them
  • Bribing both boys with stickers on charts to get dressed/sit on the potty/ sit on the toilet/ hurry up
  • Feeling guilty when Baby Girl cries as I don’t have enough arms to pick her up
  • Repeating myself endlessly in the daily recitations:
    • Less talking, more eating
    • No pouring
    • Put that down
    • That is not a toy
    • Stop doing that
    • Drink some more
    • Open your mouth
    • Show me your teeth
    • Put your shoes on
    • Stay still
    • Come here
    • Go there
  • A last minute poo from someone requiring a clothes change
  • Removing them from the house one by one and transferring them to the car

Thankfully they are all now in the car.

There is something so satisfying about knowing that they are safely imprisoned in their respective car seats, unable to harm themselves or each other.

I return to the house to sit down and finish a cup of tea in soothing silence.

I LOVE the rare luxury of being alone in my own house.

(I know it is just an illusion of being alone because there are three children sitting moments away from me in my car parked on the driveway, but that doesn’t matter, it is close enough)

I savour the silence and remind myself that I love my three incredible children and that I am lucky to have the day ahead with them to look forward to.

Leaving them abandoned in the car for five minutes has made me a better, saner parent already.

9.35 am

We arrive at the Rugby Tots car park.

I walk 3yo to the door and tell him to go and join in the lesson.

I enter the building two minutes later with Baby Girl in one arm and 2yo Boy in the other.

9.40 am

I am surprised to find 3yo boy lurking in the hallway peering through the door.

“We missed it Mummy. I can see the baby lesson in there now. Mine is all finished.”

  • How is that possible?
  • Have I got the time wrong?
  • Am I really an entire hour late instead of five minutes?

I walk into the room and the mystery is solved.

2 yo’s friend from the younger 10.30 am class (age 2 – 3.5 years) is now exactly 3.5 years old and has moved up to the older class today.

Hmmm.

3 yo boy does not like change.

One wrong move on my part and this could result in tears and tantrums.

I tread carefully.

(Luckily I have plenty of patience and sanity left over from my solo cup of tea)

I explain calmly that this is not the baby class, but that his younger friend is now a bigger boy because he is three-and-a-half years old and has moved up to join the big boys’ class.

He smiles, understanding my explanation, gives me a hug, says “I love you Mummy” and goes off happily to join in.

I sit down triumphantly and congratulate myself on my parenting skills.

Moments such as this are as rare as hen’s teeth.

They are to be treasured.

9.45 am

Two people say Good Morning to me and tell me how great I look.

I am initially surprised and then remember that I did not bother to remove any eye makeup at 3am and have had so little sleep that my hair remains styled from the night before.

I do look quite glamorous for a Saturday morning, courtesy of my epic failure of a night out and my laziness in the makeup removal department.

A silver lining of sorts.

Life is good.

9.50 am

“Good morning!”

says Enthusiastic Helpful Dad.

I smile back until realisation strikes.

Oh Crap.

Usually I rely on Social Media Mum to help me with the first Rugby Tots Class, and Enthusiastic Helpful Dad to help me with the second class.

Enthusiastic Helpful Dad leaps up at the merest mention of parental participation and whisks at least one (if not both) of my boys away and entertains them along with his own son, throwing and catching simultaneously to all three whilst I breathe a sigh of relief and feed Baby Girl peacefully at the side of the room.

It had suddenly dawned on me that Enthusiastic Helpful Dad was now HERE, at the earlier class, as his son had moved up.

Both of my trusty helpers were now here at the same class.

This meant no helpers for the 10.30 class with just-turned-2 yo boy, he-who-chooses-not-to-follow-instructions.

Oh dear.

I may have to  control my own children, alone.

On the plus side, I had a lovely chat and catch up with Social Media Mum by largely ignoring 3 yo boy who was busy playing with Enthusiastic Helpful Dad.

10.30 am

We wave good bye to enthusiastic helpful Dad and son.

I install 3 yo at the side of the room with a bribery electronic device and take Baby Girl along with me to sit cross-legged on the floor for 2 yo boy’s warm up.

Full parental participation achieved.

Social Media Mum looks pityingly at me.

She offers to stay to help me but her son Jude* is not on board with that plan and wants to leave.

We agree to meet later on at the free Fun Day being hosted by a local Church.

10.50 am

The lesson is going much better than I expected.

2yo is happy with my participation and Baby Girl is quite enjoying being carried around with me.

11 am

Enthusiastic Helpful Dad returns briefly bearing a bag from the village bakery. His son delivers Gingerbread Men for my two boys.

This really is an amazing village full of amazing people.

The Gingerbread Men work effectively as bribery tools for completing the class with minimum complaining all round.

11.15 am

We arrive at the Fun Day.

A lovely person gives me their unused parking ticket.

It is pouring with rain so the event has been moved indoors – I tell the boys that there is a bouncy castle and all is well.

I spy Social Media Mum waving at me across the room and envisage a nice hour or two of sitting down while the boys run off some energy.

11.20 am

A woman comes to talk to me as I attempt to manoeuvre the pram through the tables.

(I do this with all the finesse of someone who is driving a pram for the very first time, rather than continuously for the last four years)

“Hello! Did you enjoy the acting? Was is good?”

I look at her blankly.

I am trying to make sense of her words whilst quietly hissing orders:

  • Take your shoes off before you go on the bouncy castle.
  • Don’t stop there, you are in everyone’s way.
  • Move this way.
  • No THIS way.
  • No don’t leave your shoes there, people will trip over them.
  • Just give the shoes to me. TO ME.
  • Now remember, no fighting, be kind, no pushing…

The woman is ignoring my attempts to control the boys and is still smiling expectantly me, awaiting an answer to her bizarre acting question.

I am exceptionally bad at remembering both names and faces but I am certain I do not know her.

“Acting?”

She looks disappointed.

“Oh no…did you miss the play? Don’t worry, it will be on again this afternoon!”

I am very confused and have given up trying to control the boys. They run off in the direction of the bouncy castle. They have found Jude* and are busy roaring and chasing each other like maniacs.

Social Media Mum arrives and saves me.

“Oh the play was wonderful. Thank you very much.”

She steers me away from the woman to one of the tables and helps with the pram.

“What perfect timing. You have just missed the play.”

I look around the room.

I see a standard fun day.

Bouncy castle, face-painting, craft tables with colouring in.

What play?

“It was very …  intense. There were costumes, long robes, and loud shouting about killing all the firstborn babies, followed by ladies with babies dropping down. It was all a little bit … much.”

A play about killing first-born babies in the middle of a Fun Day, albeit one run by a Church?

“And the worst bit was that they turned the bouncy castle off to make sure everyone was watching. Deflated it completely. The children were all going mad.”

I shuddered.

Turning off the bouncy castle to ensure the small children paid attention to a serious spot of religious acting featuring the baby-slaughter Bible story?

I could only imagine the level of the tantrums relating to the flattened bouncy castle and the questions that would follow:

  • So is it alright to kill babies then?
  • What happens to the babies when they are dead?
  • Why do we kill babies?
  • Can we try killing babies?
  • Can we play a game about killing babies?

I know my limitations.

That scenario is way beyond my level of parenting expertise.

I would need to ensure that we were NOT still in this room at the time of the repeat performance.

Behind me I overhear a woman muttering to a friend quietly:

“It’s a bloody good job my husband wasn’t here. He thinks this place is cult-like enough already, and that was BEFORE the play about slaughtering the firstborns…”

11.30 am

I do one of those routine parental auto-pilot scans of the room to identify what the children are up to.

Baby Girl: Previously asleep in pram. Now starting to wake up. Moving but not yet crying.

Plan: Leave alone.

2yo Boy: Still bouncing on bouncy castle. Not currently involved in any altercations or overtly dangerous activity.

Plan: Leave alone.

3 yo Boy: Previously on bouncy castle. No longer there. Currently…currently WHAT? Standing by a table waiting patiently in a line for face-painting. ALARM BELLS – he does not usually want his face painted and does not do patiently waiting. Something suspicious is going on.

Plan: Intervene immediately.

“What are you doing?”

He looked insulted that I needed to ask.

“Waiting to have my face painted. I want a tiger just like Jude.*”

Oh but of course.

If Jude* has a face painted like a tiger, he must have one too, even if we have been avoiding face painters for a year.

(A year ago we joined a queue at a birthday party for a face painter. As a very excited two year old he waited in my arms for the best part of an hour, watching all the other children get their faces painted and when we arrived at the front of the line, the face-painter smiled at me and explained that her time was now up and she would not be painting any more faces. I narrowly avoided murdering her, he sobbed uncontrollably for 30 minutes or so, and I have avoided face-painters ever since.)

I eyeball this face painter.

She seems young and pleasant.

I check with her that she is not planning to finish any time soon and she confirms that she is not.

All appears well.

I leave my newly-patient 3yo boy in the queue and go to get Baby Girl who is crying.

12pm

Uncontrollable sobbing is occurring at the face-painting table.

My previous scans of the room had revealed 3yo boy patiently waiting with no sign of trouble.

I speed over to see what has changed.

Apparently the face painter finished a face and then three different children all assumed they were next.

The face painter cheerfully informs us all that she has not been looking at the queue and has no idea whose turn it is.

3yo boy is distraught:

“Mummy,” sob, sob, “it is my turn next and that boy tried to push in.”

I look at the offending children.

One is a nice-looking young boy whose father identifies that he is the younger sibling of the girl who has just finished. He would like to get both children done at the same time.

This seems reasonable.

One is an entitled-looking toddler boy who is standing next to his Pushy Mother.

He was not there when 3yo boy began waiting.

Pushy Mother is busy telling everyone how she is sure that her son is next and how he does not deal well with disappointment, or some other such crap.

I sigh.

Those three hours of sleep last night seem a lifetime ago.

I dig deep, searching for some reserves of patience, and then say to the group:

“My son will be fine with any order as long as he knows what to expect. So, how about that younger brother next, then you (to my son), then your son?” (directed at Pushy Mother)

No-one disagrees with my plan.

3yo boy calms down slightly, still sniffling at the injustice of it all, and I try to continue breastfeeding Baby Girl.

This is tricky, given that 3 yo boy wants hugs so I am squatting down next to him and balancing her on one knee.

12.15 pm

The World’s Slowest Face Painter has finally finished her work of art on the younger sibling’s face.

The boy gets off the stool and predictably, Pushy Mother shoves her child into the chair.

Even if I wanted to engage in a war of who can push their child into the chair first, it would not have been physically possible without throwing Baby Girl to the ground as an incidental casualty of the battle.

I enquire academically to Pushy Mother:

“I thought we had agreed that my son was next?”

She approximates some form of eye contact.

“Oh, do you mind? It’s just that he won’t manage to wait much longer…”

Quite clearly I DO mind and she knows that, so I ignore her utterly pointless question.

I turn my back on her and reassure my child that I am very proud of him for waiting so well.

He amazes me by not crying.

I give myself a quick reminder:

  • There are hundreds of genuinely lovely people I have come across in this bizarre sleep-deprived alternative universe of those caring for young children
  • Most of these people are much better people than I am and cannot do enough to help
  • I survive with three children largely due to support from these wonderful strangers
  • Statistically, it is therefore inevitable that I will also come across one or two people I want to punch in the face
  • I do not know this woman but rationally or irrationally, at present I DETEST her
  • Even though the feeling MAY be related to sleep deprivation, it is still okay to feel that way

I feel much better after my pep talk.

I make sure I am exuding obvious waves of cold, calculated hatred in the direction of Pushy Mother.

This cheers me up no end.

12.30 pm

Another Mona Lisa of a face later, it is finally 3 yo boy’s turn to get his face painted.

He is thrilled.

He sits still for 15 minutes and is delighted with the final result.

I have a cheerful chat with the face-painter, with a selection of other parents and remind myself that I am a big fan of 99% of the people in the room.

Life is good again.

12.45

Social Media Mum’s Tall Helpful Husband wanders into the room with their elder son. He comes over to me.

“Let me give you a hand to move the pram and we can all go for lunch in the café next door.”

I am confused.

Had we made a plan to leave?

Admittedly the children must be getting hungry and I hadn’t really made a lunch plan.

He leaned closer and whispered conspiratorially:

“She mentioned something about a play that you really should avoid…”

Oh yes, the second showing of the baby-murdering play was about to start.

I gave him the pram and we ran for it.

12.50 pm

My boys are happily playing with Jude* and I am waiting to order food.

There is only one person in front of me.

I am surprised at how well the children are all behaving in the toy corner.

1pm

I am still waiting in the line to give my food order at the counter. I am confused as to how it can possibly take this long. Social Media Mum holds Baby Girl so I have free hands to look through the menu.

Miraculously the children are still playing nicely.

1.05 pm

I finally order food.

I choose the easiest things I can find on the menu:

  • Two lunchboxes for the boys
  • A baked potato for Baby Girl (she has just started weaning onto solids and is a big fan of mashed potato)
  • A full fat milkshake for me.

I get a strange look as they ask if I want whipped cream and marshmallows on my milkshake.

I patiently explain that I want EVERYTHING.

This day appears to be lasting for an eternity.

I am going to require as many calories as humanly possible to make it through.

1.10 pm

I finish ordering food and turn around to see Pushy Mum chasing her obnoxious son around. I am surprised to see that his face-painting has already been wiped off.

“That’s her,”

I hiss to Social Media Mum.

“The Pushy Mum.”

Social Media Mum smiles at Pushy Mum and calls out cheerfully:

“Hello there! Oh, that face painting didn’t last long did it? What a shame, after he was so desperate to have it done!”

Social Media Mum’s wide eyes are twinkling and she seems to be enjoying herself.

“Oh yes, he hated it, and I had to wipe it off. A bit of a waste.”

Pushy Mum sees me and has the decency to look apologetic.

“Oh….was your son okay with the waiting in the end?”

I smile politely.

“Yes thank you, he was fine.”

I am unimpressed.

“You know her? Friend of yours?”

I glare at Social Media Mum.

Traitor.

“Oh yes, from some playgroup or another years ago.”

I glare at her.

“More of an acquaintance.”

She is now definitely enjoying herself.

I take a mental step back and imagine how this looks to a sane person.

I am a sleep-deprived wreck, consumed with hatred towards someone I don’t even know, on the grounds of us both having emotionally labile toddlers who desperately wanted their faces painted.

It is not difficult to see why Social Media Mum’s eyes are laughing at me.

She has the decency to compose her face into a sympathetic expression but the eyes remain a dead giveaway.

1.15 pm

I get my things together to leave the counter and the woman taking food orders has a final message for me.

She calls out:

“Just to let you know…..”

She has the facial expression of a woman about to Break Bad News.

“The food is going to be a very, VERY, long time.”

Silence.

“Okay then.”

I walk away and sit down.

I ponder the mystery of the “long, long time” comment.

The café is not full.

I have ordered lunch boxes which are pre-prepared sandwiches and fruit with a packet of crisps and a carton drink.

What could possibly take such a long time?

I remind myself that this is a Church café run by volunteers for the good of the community.

I try to stop being so critical.

Given that I have a table, the children are playing, and it is too late to go anywhere else, I have very little other choice than to wait.

1.30 pm

The miracle of the three energetic and hungry boys playing nicely in the corner of a crowded room has finally (and unsurprisingly) come to an end.

They begin roaming the café, looking for entertainment.

Their roaming progresses to chasing.

Out of the corner of my eye I am aware of people tutting at them.

I scan their behaviour – no-one killing each other. Annoying nuissances – yes; overt danger –  no.

I ignore them and try to soothe Baby Girl who is tired and hungry.

The background complaining about the unruly children gets louder.

I decide to join in.

“Honestly, some people should really learn to control their children,”

I lament loudly and disapprovingly.

I sigh, tut, roll my eyes and shake my head in the direction of our three boys.

Social Media Mum joins in enthusiastically.

It works.

A few people look openly surprised as they had assumed the badly-behaved children must belong to us.

They realise the error of their ways and the disapproving looks stop landing at our table.

Perfect.

We continue to ignore our children in peace.

1.45 pm.

Aaaargh.

Social Media Mum’s food arrives but mine does not. Jude* sits down to eat.

My boys are now tired, starving, and fast becoming feral.

2 yo starts a new game of trying to escape the front door of the café. 3 yo joins in.

An Evil Cow Café Woman masquerading as an older volunteer waitress appears out of nowhere and shouts at them.

“For Goodness’ Sake, how many times do I have to tell you two? STOP opening that door.”

I am surprised.

Most people stick to a certain code when telling off other people’s children, and by most people’s standards, that is pretty harsh.

Unless lives or limbs are threatened you generally keep things as mild-mannered as possible.

Christian volunteer or not, this woman has now declared war.

I walk towards my children, fixing Evil Cow Café Woman with an icy stare.

She sees me approach and looks away swiftly.

Clearly annoyed, she mumbles,

“Do you think you could make your children sit down.”

Do I think I can make my children sit down???

She is working/volunteering in a child-friendly café, complete with toy corner, and it is an hour since I ordered sandwiches for two hungry small people.

Surely this is not a surprising or unusual scenario, them having had enough?

I stare at her accusingly.

“They are extremely hungry and bored. They have been waiting a VERY. LONG. TIME for their food.”

She looks vaguely apologetic.

“Well, yes….”

“I will see what I can do.”

I return them to the table and bribe them with colouring and the promise of treats if they sit still.

1.50 pm

One of the women from the serving counter is hovering behind my shoulder.

She is foodless.

“Yes?”

She looks nervous.

“Well….the kitchen have decided that they are not going to be able to make your milkshake.”

I wait for her to tell me that they have run out of some essential ingredient.

“They say that because the café is just too busy today, they are not going to have time to make it.”

I look around the room incredulously.

It is a small café, and there are empty tables.

The café is TOO BUSY for them to make a milkshake? And it took them an HOUR to realise this?

Social Media Mum is watching me intently and I notice that she is shaking with silent laughter.

I tell the woman that this is fine, I won’t have a drink after all.

She looks relieved and departs hastily.

“Perhaps I should have offered to go into the kitchen and make the milkshake and lunch boxes for them,”

I mutter darkly.

Social Media Mum Smiled.

She keeps saying sympathetic things and helping me control my children, whilst finding the saga enormously entertaining.

Her son has finished his lunch.

1.55 pm

A cheerful woman from the Fun Day next door pops her head into the café.

“Do come along next door everyone, we are about to start a play!”

Silence ensues around the café.

No-one moves.

Social Media Mum to the rescue.

“Oh what a shame…we would have loved to come and watch but we are still waiting for our food.”

Phew.

2 pm

The world’s most eagerly awaited lunch boxes arrive.

I take out the sandwiches to hand them to my children.

I cannot quite believe my eyes.

I sigh and look at Social Media Mum.

“I DO know that this café is run by volunteers and that it is attached to the Church and that it is a very worthy cause…”

I begin, cautiously.

“But even given that …. would you consider THIS to be an acceptable standard of sandwich to pay money for?”

I hold the sandwich out to her, genuinely interested in her opinion.

The “sandwiches” look as though they were made two days ago, rolled up in a ball, placed in a sauna to make them sweat, and then squashed between someone’s grubby fingers to make sure that every morsel of bread was a soggy as possible.

They were limp, lifeless, and unappetising, even by my undiscriminating standards.

Social Media Mum leant in to inspect them.

“Quick,”

she said.

“Take a photograph.”

A photograph?

What on earth for?

Surely she was not going to suggest that I begin a Social Media Campaign naming and shaming the Café for its poor service and terrible sandwiches?

Admittedly the service today had left a LOT to be desired and the sandwiches were terrible BUT… that seemed a little harsh for a well-intentioned Church café run by volunteers. After all, they were all working there in an attempt to Do Good Deeds for the local community, not to win awards for food or service.

Plus the food was usually very good.

Surely such a campaign would see me sent straight to Hell.

“Why?”

I finally enquired.

“For your blog post about this weekend.

Quick.”

I obediently took a photograph and considered this suggestion.

Write a blog post about this most mundane of weekends?

Who on earth would want to read such a thing?

Me, being tired, grumpy, and annoyed with the world? With my chronic inability to be concise?

My description of this weekend in written word would be less of a blog post and more of an endless, soul-destroying novel.

On second thoughts, I looked at how happy Social Media Mum was.

Watching me struggle through the day seemed to be reminding her with some relief that she had passed this challenging stage of parenthood.

She was positively glowing with the joy of no longer dealing with toddlers.

Perhaps she was onto something.

Maybe sharing my weekend would provide boundless joys for those who recall such events from their recent past and allow them chortle happily to themselves that they are now safely out of the other side of toddlerhood.

2.30 pm

The baked potato for Baby Girl arrives.

(One and a half hours after I ordered it, but who was counting?)

She tries to seize it and I narrowly avert the burning of her hand given that it was the hottest potato I have ever seen. Steam billowed upwards towards the ceiling.

Social Media Mum assists me in trying to cut it into many tiny pieces and blow on it whilst Baby Girl screams in hunger.

2.45 pm.

Officially. Had. Enough.

My children are all behaving badly and I am too tired to care or work out how to manage them effectively.

I need to leave immediately.

I attempt to pay.

I cannot pay because the till is not working. Something to do with the receipt roll having run out.

Social Media Mum is laughing.

“I am worried about you,”

she said.

“Why?”

Did she think I was headed for a breakdown because I could not pay for my lunch?

“I really hope that when you get home… you have alcohol waiting for you. I think you are going to need it.”

I’m not sure that I know what she means.

Surely this is just a standard three-young-children day?

I must look worse than I thought I did.

2.50 pm

“I need to pay and leave now because there is a supermarket delivery of food arriving at my house in 5 minutes.”

This truthful strategy works.

We pay and head for the door.

On the way out of the door I spy Evil Cow Café Woman.

I whisper into 3 yo boy’s ear, instructing him what to say (along with a quietly hissed threat that if he does not say it, he will never be allowed back to this cafe again).

He approaches Evil Cow Café Woman and gives her an angelic look.

“Thank you very much for my food. It was yummy. I am very sorry for being naughty.”

She is genuinely shocked.

“Oh.. you’re welcome.”

I leave, entertained by at her open disbelief that my feral monster can be polite.

3pm.

I arrive home and the supermarket delivery driver is already parked outside the house waiting for me.

I leave the children in the car and unload the shopping.

The delivery contains chocolate and cider.

3.10 pm

Miracle of miracles.

The holy grail of parenting.

All three children are in bed asleep for an afternoon nap.

As far as they are concerned, the day has been an enormous success.

Rugby, bouncy castles, face painting, lunch out, playing with friends… they have had a fantastic time and are all exhausted.

The rain has stopped and the sun is shining.

3.30 pm

I have hung the laundry out to dry, tidied the kitchen and I have taken a bottle of cider and a cheap bar of chocolate out into the garden.

I immediately eat the entire bar of chocolate and then photograph the evidence to send to Social Media Mum to reassure her that I do indeed have alcohol.

I drink my cider in serene sunshiny silence.

My sanity creeps back.

I reflect upon how this is the beauty of days like these.

The moments when the camera comes out are when the sun is shining, when the kids are thrilled with their face-painting, and when we are all happy.

Despite the fact that it has been raining all morning I will look back at the photos and remember a lovely Sunny Saturday.

The moments I choose to record are those that allow me to look back and reflect that:

  • I adore my children
  • Every second is precious
  • I have totally got this
  • I am doing a great job as a parent

Because who in their right mind would ever intentionally make a record of all the other shit that comes in between?

Those who blog, that’s who.

 

*Names changed

18 Comments

  1. You sound like one busy mum! I know what its like, seven children under the age of 13.

  2. No sleep is the worst!! I have a feeling I will be feeling similar tomorrow as it is almost 1:00am and I can’t fall asleep!! No baby waking me up…just can’t shut off my mind. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • workingmum

      9th April 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you. Not being able to sleep for no reason is the most annoying…hope you had a better night the next day!

  3. This was such a good read! My son is only 5 months old so I’m still waiting to get to this phase (especially since I want to have more kids). I will have to try and remember to record/write down these types of days so other parents can have a laugh or two at my expense. And I love that you ended it on such a positive note =)

    • workingmum

      9th April 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you! Five months is fun, where you can make them laugh and giggle with you. Yes write the days down and you will be laughing at yourself in no time 🙂

  4. Those who blog 😉 It’s reassuring to know that we’re not alone on this journey. Guess that’s why parenting movies and shows do so well – lots of people can relate to the roller coaster, beauty and chaos of “the ride”.

    • workingmum

      10th April 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Very true! I like the description with the beauty and the chaos, it is a beautiful roller coaster, isn’t it?

  5. I still don’t get to sleep much-such is mom life!

  6. loved how your story played out drama like this can only happen in real life
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  7. I love your style of writing! Parenting is such a roller coaster!

  8. I’m not a morning person as well. And like you, sometimes I pretend I’m sleeping through all the chaos. Lol

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  9. Such an exciting day. You are livin it up ey!! 😂😂😂😂

  10. Hahahaha this was a fun read! I love how you wrote it. It almost plays like a show in my head. What a day! And people wonder what moms do all day 😒🙈👊.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  11. This was hilarious. Congrats on surviving a solo day with all the kids. Always a feat!!

  12. Great blog, absolutely loved it – really love the sound of social media mum too, she sounds awesome. You should turn this into a book!

  13. I really love how you have written this, it sounds like a tough day when you are slightly hungover 😉 Those sandwiches were awful, no one should have to pay for that, you were good not to return them.

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