The things I (sometimes) think as a Mum – but don’t say

I’m pretty sure this little lot don’t only apply to me…

Hopefully not anyway!

  1. On being handed a sticky, slightly dog-eared, ‘hand iced’ biscuit from nursery…

‘Oh goody, I could really do with another row with my daughter about her wanting to eat this in the car when she can have it in two minutes when we get home…

‘And no, I don’t feel lucky to be handed the second half to eat as a ‘special present’ after you’ve licked it!’

  1. On being handed Mini-me’s sixth ‘artistic masterpiece’ of the week from nursery…

‘Oh goody, another piece for the ‘very special art folder’ – otherwise known as the filing system before the recycling bin…’

  1. When telling Mini-me at bedtime that I’m just on my way up (again) with water/ to deal with miniscule and possibly imaginary insect/ to read third book of the evening…

‘Will you PLEASE just go to ******* sleep! I want to down a glass of wine and watch Teen Mom OG!’

 

  1. When debating with Mini-me the likelihood of her being given her third custard pot of the day…

‘Where the bloody hell does she put it all?!’

 

  1. When dropping off both my kids at nursery…

‘Hooray! Some actual time to myself to work/ read Grazia/ watch some crap on TV!’

 

  1. When dealing with yet another exploding nappy…

‘Brilliant – more sodding poo-stained laundry…’

 

  1. When promising to do yet another jigsaw with Mini-me…

‘Can’t I just sit here with my hot drink and watch MTV?! Please!!!’

 

  1. When trying to immerse myself in art projects and/or cooking with Mini-me…

‘Isn’t this what nursery is for?!’

 

  1. When trying to do my daughter’s hair…

‘If you don’t stand still for one minute while I try to make these bunches look semi decent I may have some kind of breakdown!’

 

  1. When greeting hubby and kids after a trip running errands…

‘How the **** can the house get this messy in just two hours?!’

 

  1. When negotiating with either/both the kids over teeth cleaning…

‘I haven’t got the energy. Are their teeth really going to drop out if I leave it just this once?!’

 

  1. When watching the other half dress one or both of the children…

‘I can’t go out in public with them looking like this!’

 

No doubt more to follow…

Smug Mums Incorporated

It’s been a rather stressful few weeks in the Neat Freak house.

A seemingly never-ending bout of illness finally culminated in a spell in hospital for blue-eyed boy, and although everything’s pretty much back to normal now it’s been a case of muddling along as best we can for a while.

My never-ending ‘to do’ list is now the length of a short novel and I’m actually getting genuinely scared of being eaten alive by the laundry pile.

Being a long-time convert to the philosophy that a tidy home equals a calmer, happier person, I think what I find hardest about being a parent – apart from the lack of personal space – is the lack of space in general.

The plethora of ‘toddler tat’ in our lounge often feels like my biggest bugbear, that and how my kids manage to leave their sticky fingerprints and footprints on everything. But hey, it goes with the territory.

What’s harder to admit is that sometimes I find it hard to remain serene in the face of mini-me emptying out every toy she owns. Or that I love the fact that she does cake making and potato printing at nursery so I don’t have to at home.

Personally I think the sanest thing you can do as a mum is to accept the fact that you’ll never be ‘perfect’, try not to feel guilty about the decisions you make and above all never forget to laugh at yourself – whether at home or in public.

After all being a good mum is many things, but it’s certainly not black and white.

So why do the smug mums brigade, Smug Mums Incorporated if you will, seem to feel it’s okay to look down their noses at the rest of us?

You know the type, the ones who wouldn’t know self-deprecation if it bit them on the arse and who recoil in horror at the thought of feeding their offspring anything that’s not locally sourced, organic and prepared from scratch.

Queen of the Smug Mums, or at least the celebrity face of the campaign, has to go to Gwyneth Paltrow, her of Goop, or as I prefer to call it Gloop fame.

You know that lifestyle website with ‘useful’ tips on the perfect capsule collection wardrobe, the importance of owning a black designer jumpsuit and hearty recipes. Chickpea soup anyone?

To be fair Gwyneth herself has waxed lyrical about how we mums don’t cut each other enough slack. But then she always goes and spoils it by dropping clangers such as how office jobs are easier if you’re a mum than being paid millions to make a film. Or how she only allows her children to watch TV if it’s in French or Spanish.

And while describing herself as a ‘working mom’ as she did recently at a political fundraiser – of course we all host these regularly where I’m from – might be technically correct, in reality she presumably has staff and nannies by the dozen on standby.

Oh Gwyneth if only instead of writing about the benefits of juice cleansing on Gloop you could recount that time when you broke wind in a baby sensory class and blamed your unfortunate offspring.

Or when you let your kids have cheese and a bag of maltesers for tea one night because you couldn’t get them to eat anything else.

Or when you stuck them upstairs for some ‘quiet time’ with the iPad so you could indulge in 30 minute’s uninterrupted trash TV.

We’d like you, and the other Smug Mums, so much more…

Property of a shopaholic…

So there I was t’other afternoon watching mini-me fighting with one of her best friends over a plastic car – or wait, was it a plastic monkey or a plastic penguin…

Whatever, it was the usual scenario. In a house rammed full to the gills of shiny toys and new-fangled toddler gadgets, mini-me and her much beloved companions will always, ALWAYS find one tiny piece of plastic tat to start a game of tug of war over.

There’s the: ‘Mummy, I had it first…’, the: ‘Mummy, XXX (fill in with name of one of mini-me’s many friends) isn’t sharing…’, and then invariably the whining starts. At which point my mum friend and I, usually a kindred spirit, will threaten to park them on the dreaded ‘time out step’ if they don’t shut up and stick Beebies and the kettle on, in that order.

Now you’re thinking, but what the hell does this have to do with shopping? Well forgive the illogical leap of thought, but all this got me thinking about my own propensity to covet the property of others.

Of course mine tends to be of the gorgeous coat, bag, cushion or framed print variety, rather than miniature Peppa Pig merchandise, but is toddler grappling over other children’s toys just the start of that very human trait of comparing yourself to others, and their ‘stuff’?

Don’t get me wrong I’ve never been one to count other people’s money, but I am certainly guilty of lusting after anything from coaster sets to cardies – and of course this now includes toys and clothes for the kids.

As hubby sighs, ‘Whenever you go to Shell’s house you come back with a shopping list as long as your arm.’ And he’s got a point.

You see the coveting also extends to other people’s houses. I’m a total sucker for seeing how someone has painted a room, where they bought their curtains from, asking how long it took to put up those shelves or that picture wall, and, ooh, where that lampshade is from.

Probably why I’m addicted to property shows like Location and rather a fan of Kirstie Allsopp (I actually think we’re destined to be great mates some day!).

I love spending an hour a week dissecting another couple’s house search with hubby, heckling at the telly that what they clearly need is some period features and not to buy that ugly house which has lots of space but is in a dodgy neighbourhood.

(By the way Kirstie if you’re reading this, please can you find us the ‘forever home’ – preferably with a walled garden?! I’ve just always wanted one.)

Anyway, getting back to mini-me and that plastic tat, I suddenly realised that perhaps I should be practising what I preach when it comes to our seasoned post-tug of war ‘chat’.

After all if I’m asking my three-year-old why she constantly wants what someone else is playing with, and can’t she be content with her own myriad of toys, perhaps I should be doing the same…

Hmm, still might ask Shell to come round and frame some pictures for me though.