I see all of these posts about people with new babies and remember the struggles… and my God those struggles were real weren’t they?! Were they really that long ago? They certainly seem to be seeing as my youngest has a place at Primary School in September.
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I look through my social media timelines and feel a little left out though... Why, or how, you might ask. Well, for all being tired constantly due sleep deprivation with a newborn or a child of any age, is quite frankly shit, and I mean really shit. When you were awake with the night feed, shitback or worst still, both, someone, another poor bugger who was trying to struggle through, liked a comment or a #knuckingfackered status. Now it seems, as I try to swim through the treacle of parenthood, I don’t find the time to tweet or post pics of anything of any interest. Although a recent Bunchems incident went down pretty well as did my 3 year old zombie smoothie pictures.
But when they were sleep depriving babies I felt there were more people to reach out to. There was a genuine feeling that when you were Up All Hours, you weren’t alone. There actually was an army of tired comrades living in my phone, of which all were trying to hold their shit together too.
Now, rather than sleep deprivation causing my tiredness, it’s just the mania of being a working parent of 4 kids, 2 hounds and a husband who works shifts. You know the score, you can clean, you can tidy, you can buy enough plug ins’ to fumigate a mansion but nothing in my home is ‘Mullen Proof’. They eat in, mess and trash each room of my home systematically. The boys seem to think that peeing in the general direction of the loo will suffice and the girls, seem to think I actually want to bathe, with each and every Barbie they own, watching. I often wonder if it really is my hair blocking the plug hole, probably more likely to be Barbie and co.
I remember when I used to long for my kids to sleep through, to get them out of nappies and then it was for them to be dry through the night (we’re still trying to perfect that to be honest, then to nursery followed by school… Well this shit isn’t getting any easier. And that shiny penny has just dropped. I’m not the only working parent of 4 kids. Some have more kids and even less time. Please don’t think I’m saying working parent's have it harder, we just have to juggle a different shit (sometimes literally). Parenting, whether you work or not, is hard work full stop. In fact, when the kids are little I think it’s probably better to have some kind of employment in order to keep you from shoving your head in the oven! Worked for me… Kinda
Please tell me I’m not alone in thinking life can be rather monotonous with kids? I swear Monday morning school runs are like fucking groundhog day! It takes me all weekend to sort the uniforms and homework and we’re back on it before I blink my eyes. And God Almighty, if I dare have a day where the washer doesn’t go on, or I deviate from my exciting rock and roll routine, my house looks like squatters have been in and had a dirty protest!
I was making the beds – I change the kids’ beds once a fortnight, unless we have any ‘accidents’. (Judge me if you like, it’s not going to shame me into changing them any sooner!) And as I tucked the fitted sheets and duvet beneath the mattress I noticed one of the delightful little darlings has been wiping their snots on the wall. Could they not have wiped it on the duvet cover or blanket? I mean, it’s not something I’d actively encourage, but hell, at least it would be easier to clean. Nowt a Detol wipe couldn’t fix though. The baked-on, residual snot, is still there in some form, but at least it’s a clean snot. Remember folks; choose your battles and try not to sweat the small stuff she says thinking about that snot and starting to rock gently
Like most folks I try and get the kids to take their shoes off at the front door. This translated with the Mullen Massive to, ‘Please kick your shoes off in the hall and throw your coats and school bags in the general direction on the stairs’. I suppose at least they’re geographically in the correct area. I turn around and in what seems like a nano second, my hallway resembles a shoe shop, with pairs and pairs of shoes lined up. I’m also convinced our coat rack will come tumbling down under the sheer weight of all the coats and hoodies on there.
And don’t get me started on Ikea’s plastic bowls and cups. We had a full on melt down about it. Like, I had to separate my kids in a mass slanging match. Punches were about to be thrown. And I know I’m not alone on this one. I posted something on the same line on Instagram and the amount of people who showed me support was quite comforting! Who knew plastic bowls could cause us such misery?!
I think what I’m trying to say, is, this online community still exists, the support is still there and the struggles of parenthood are no less, no matter what the age of our children.
Like this little blog I think sometime we need to take 5 and reflect, bump our gums to friends, be that online or on the end of a phone. We all struggle with the juggle. And it’s ok to be mad, sad and vocal about it.
Thank goodness it’s Friday.
Oh, wait, no... that’s right, I’m a parent!
Pass the wine......