In a totally unprovoked attack my two-year-old whacked me in the face with her sippy cup.
And then she laughed.
So I called her an arsehole and necked a bottle of gin.
I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT DO THAT.
I did get hit in the face by my toddler but I did not follow it up with swearing and hard liquor.
But admittedly, neither did I calmly explain to her the error of her ways and encourage her to talk about why she hit mummy.
What actually happened was something like this:
I yelled, ‘OOOW!! FOR FUUUU…GOODNESS SAKE!! YOU DO NOT HIT PEOPLE WITH YOUR CUP!’
To which my toddler replied, “How about with your cup?’
And I responded with, ‘NO! It is naughty to hit people with any cup. Or any thing. Or hit people at all. NOW JUST LEAVE MUMMY ALONE!’ And then I threw the Tommee Tippee across the room before storming out of the room and bursting into tears.
I am not proud of myself. I know that she was frustrated or ‘testing boundaries’ and all that stuff it says the parenting books. I know having a ‘mumtrum’ is probably not the response the experts would advise.
But I was sleep-deprived and stressed. I had endured three toddler tantrums, cleaned up two puddles of wee and my coffee had gone cold again. I had been trying to finish some work and pay the electricity bill while wrangling two young children. The house was a mess, I needed to get in the shower, make a doctor’s appointment and the kids would not leave me the hell alone for five minutes. I was at the end of my tether – so I snapped.
When we give birth we do not suddenly gain the ability NOT to get annoyed by a surprise smack in the chops.
We may be parents but we are still human and humans do not like being hit in the face. FACT.
Having children is amazing but it can also be exhausting as we often find ourselves with too many balls to juggle. So isn’t it inevitable that once in a while, we will lose it?
But instead of swearing AT our beloved offspring when they scream in our faces for using the WRONG bowl or pull our hair, we sometimes need to swear about them. Be it on social media, over a drink with your partner, in a text to a friend or by writing it about it in a blog!
We need to hear that our kids are not the only arseholes. We want to know that we are not the only ones who lose our rag occasionally. We want to be reassured that we are normal. We need to laugh instead of cry.
So we let off steam, we moan, we swear, we laugh and it gets us through the bad days.
Over the past few years there has been a backlash against the reluctance to admit that motherhood is NOT one big fluffy bubble of joy.
The idea of Perfect Mum, sold to us by big brand advertisers, parenting books and glossy magazines is finally being challenged. The conspiracy of silence is broken. Mums are speaking up and sharing their experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly.
The parenting online community, once dominated by Yummy Mummies, baby experts and arts and craft ideas – is becoming increasingly populated by brutally honest blogs, humorous websites and forums that delve into darker side of motherhood.
At last the cracks are beginning to show in Perfect Mum’s smiling face.
While you can still read about the pretty parts of parenthood, finally there is diversity. We are now getting the full picture rather than a filtered version of family life and us Human Mums could not be happier.
Perfect Mum was killing our confidence, our maternal instincts and damaging our mental health.
When I was diagnosed with Postnatal Depression, shortly after I had my first baby it was Perfect Mum who made me feel ashamed and hide it from family and friends.
But Human Mum is good for Postnatally Depressed Mum. Perfect Mum had been undermining her at every turn and making her feel like a failure.
Human Mum also makes life easier for New Mum. She no longer feels bad for not ‘cherishing every moment’ or for not getting dressed until tea time.
Human Mum is a welcome comrade to Sleep-Deprived Mum on Google at 4am, feeling low because she feels too tired to be perfect and puts a smile back on the face of Juggling Too Many Balls Mum who beats herself up for occasionally fantasising about running away to a desert island.
Every now and then Perfect Mum makes a re-appearance. She points a judgey, manicured finger at Human Mum and tries to convince her she is Terrible Mum.
Perfect Mum needs to chill the hell out.
Human Mum is not terrible. She is exhausted but she is getting up, getting dressed and getting on with it, in the only way she knows how.
She often gets it wrong but she sometimes gets it right. She makes mistakes but she always says sorry. She is happy, sad, annoyed, grateful, elated, stressed, joyful, overwhelmed, tired but she is not perfect. She is human.
But here’s the thing Perfect Mum, you can’t take us down. The truth is out there now. So either pull up a sticky chair and join us for a glass of wine – or leave us the hell alone.
PS. I would like to thank all the Human Mums and Dads who follow this page via email or social media – you all inadvertently help me through the bad days by sharing your stories. I just wish I had found you all back when I was New Mum.