You know that oft-spouted maxim that’s always banded about?….The one that assures you of a happy life, a happy marriage, a happy mummy…? The one that goes something along the lines of ‘not sweating the small stuff’? Yup I thought you might be familiar with that particular syrupy saying. Well, frankly, it gets right on my tits. Because actually there’s a bunch of stuff about being a mum that really bugs the hell out of me. And I don’t feel the need to keep schtum about it.
Just because I’m no longer the mistress of my own life (my two little rug rats put paid to that), it doesn’t mean I have to let things go completely to hell. So herewith is a bunch of the small stuff that I (thoroughly and satisfyingly) sweat… be warned, I’m likely to get all Victor Meldrew on you…
Feckin’ kids’ paint
I’m gonna completely let rip with this one…but the biggest bane of my life is trying to get God damn paint out of my kids’ clothes. I know, I know, I should just let them get on and enjoy life, gleefully splattering themselves in a rainbow of pantone colours in the name of creativity…if only they could keep their masterpieces on the flippin’ paper.
And so, I am in a perpetual skirmish with supposedly ‘water soluble’ paints. Water soluble my arse. The manufacturers lieth. There is no getting that frickin’ paint out for love nor money. I’ve Googled the bejesus out of ‘clever tricks for getting poster paint out of kids’ clothes’ but nothing doing. We’ve spent well over £100 on Little Lad’s school uniform this term and within three weeks it’s been reduced to tatters.
What can I say? It vexes me.
Uggghh I know I should embrace them ‘n’ all, and of course it is wonderful, imaginative play which allows their neural circuits to explode exponentially. But when they’re in the throws of full constructive creativity, with cushions, blankets and stuffing everywhere, it means I don’t get to bleeding sit down – do I?
Sainsbury’s sodding Lego cards
C’mon now, you know exactly what I mean. What is the point? You end up spending a small fortune in grocery shopping or else start a fully-fledged and slightly tense bartering system with your fellow school mums, because your little angels just HAVE TO finish their book, or all hell will breaketh loose. Then, within the week, said book is stuffed down the sofa and spare cards are littering your floor and now posing a potential slip hazard. Insanity. Enough said.
General mealtime f%*kwittery
This is something that I’ve tried real hard not to sweat about. Honest. But bloody hell, it just gets my hackles right up. And I don’t think I’m alone. I reckon most of us mums are in a continual power struggle at kids’ mealtimes, and the reason for this? Well, feeding our children is the cardinal duty of a mother, drilled into us way back when we had to get milk, somehow, someway, into their tiny, little bodies – cracked nipples or no. Basically, it’s hardwired into us.
So the whole trying-to-get-my-kids-to-eat shenanigans Drives. Me. Nuts. They’re either full when you’ve spent ours labouring over individual little Annabel Karmel dishes or starving when you haven’t got a snack to your name / it’s bedtime. Or, they refuse to eat the food you’ve given them, but will scream blue murder for the food that’s on your plate (which, incidentally, is EXACTLY the same thing as on their plate).
Honestly the financial and emotional investment that goes into trying to get sustenance into these little people is mind-boggling. From the weekly food shop, meal planning and food preparation to the precise platter selection (i.e. that chancy roulette game I like to call ‘which sodding plate will they only eat off today?’) – to then have the vast majority of it ending up on the floor, is utterly maddening. Grrrrrrr – that’s what it is. I’m sweating a whole heap of cobs over this one….
Party bag plastic crap. Hate it. Hate it!
Apart from the fact we’re just contributing to the whole destroying-the-planet thing with this constant consumption of useless, plastic tat, it also makes trying to keep the house remotely tidy a complete non-starter. There are spilled bubble bottles everywhere, annoying duck-billed whistles, smiley face (why do they have to have a smiley faces on, huh?) slinkies and what the heck is with those stretchy, rubbery little men that are supposed to stick to the window but don’t, and end up as screwed-up fur balls under the sofa? Agggghhhhhhh. Plastic, rubbishy tat begone!
Making my kids’ birthday cakes
Every year I vow this will be the year that I give up trying to be Mary Berry / Prue Leith (I have no allegiances to either the BBC or C4) and give in to purchasing a perfectly respectable Clyde the caterpillar cake from Asda for my kids’ birthdays (they’re £6 for crissakes – who can bake a cake for £6 these days?!).
And let me be clear, I’m no baker. But, thus far, every year, I manage to tie myself up in knots, sweat actual blood and nearly divorce my husband on every occasion in the name of ‘baking my own kids’ bloody birthday cakes’. I am not sure why I keep insisting on doing this, or when the insanity will stop, but somehow, it just matters to me that I do this for them.
On the other hand, stuff I should sweat but don’t….
Whether my bra’s on show or not…
…and if my Little One has her hands down my t-shirt in public and is gleefully fondling my bosom whilst she’s on my hip. After nearly seventeen months of breastfeeding, I feel like I’ve relinquished all ownership of my ‘girls’. They’re essentially the full property of my little lady and she has quite the habit of pulling up my shirt whenever it takes her fancy. I tell you, the postman, the milkman and the man behind the counter at Tesco Metro are getting quite an eyeful these days….
My son’s bathroom antics
Whether my son has ‘decorated’ the bathroom or, ahem, you could say, marked his territory around the toilet seat. He has recently, rather proudly, learned how to pee standing up (a byproduct of starting school – oh the things they learn…) so who am I to rain on his parade. See what I did there? LOL me. 😉
My kids cleaning their teeth more than once a day
To be fair this is something that I used to sweat, and then along the way, the kids just broke me. By bathtime I just have no more fight left in me. I figure if I feck it up completely and rot their first set of teeth, then there’s always a back up set that comes in at six years’ plus. Yup, I hear ya, bad mum award.
Keeping the house in a general state of cleanliness
I don’t even (ok, rarely) sweat the perpetual dried foodstuff on the kitchen floor these days. Frankly I waste so much energy on removing art materials from my son’s clothes, clearing the decks of Sainsbury’s Lego cards or stepping on tiny, plastic, rubbishy toys, that I am blinkered to the hovel we now abide in.
Ok, rant over. Time to take a chill pill.
pic by Kyle Johnston, https://www.flickr.com/photos/flow14/