I’m not yet a veteran Muma, not by any measure. But as our girls are growing up, dare I say life as a Muma is becoming distinctly easier. Note: I do not say EASY, just easier. This job is not by any means easy. But it’s all relative.
My whirlwinds are still only 4 and 2, we are still suspended in that sleep deprived, Peppa Pig, McClaren and car seat ether. However now they can both walk (albeit at a snail’s pace), eat solid food, and communicate (Ok, one of them only really says “MOOOOORE” but it’s a start).
Life is a world away from the struggles I was faced with just 18 months ago. For example, I no longer get told by complete strangers that I have baby sick down my back. This is a major step forward.
However, I am often overhearing or being told the following, “Being a Mum doesn’t get any easier as they grow up you know, it just changes.”
Usually this threat comes from the lips of those smug Mumas who are lounging on the sofas at soft play sipping their hot Lattes and actually getting to eat their own food, while their children charge on without need for Muma-Marsupial in tow. (Not in anyway jealous of said smug Muma… honestly)
Great, just what a Muma with a nocturnal baby and wired toddler wants to hear. This is not going to get any easier? Seriously? Bugger.
But they are WRONG! It does, already IS, getting easier. (Baby step easier, but definitely easier)
Here is a snap shot of my life just 18 months ago…
What a trip to the supermarket was like
We once went a whole day without any milk, bread or babywipes in the house because the thought of getting the baby and toddler out of the door to get those essentials was all too daunting. This is because past ‘popping’ to the shops trips had gone like this:
Think about it: To get these essentials it meant bundling up a wriggling unwilling baby into its snow suit (winter time), and into car seat, 3 year old into shoes and coat, both of them into the car. Unwilling. Strap into impossible car seats while you are getting pissed on.
Then the real fun begins:
→ Get them both out.
→ Get wheels of buggy out and attach baby car seat.
→ Persuade 3 yr old not to run off.
→ Hold a basket while pushing buggy, and keeping eye on 3 year old.
→ Intermittent pleas of “PUT THE SWEETS BACK” and “PUT THE MAGAZINE BACK – IT COSTS MORE THAN DINNER!” echo through the Tesco express. (yes uncanny similarity to an old fish wife, proud moment).
And finally …
→ Essentials located and picked up.
→ Baby crying now, she’s decided its feeding time. Or maybe nap time?
→ Toddler wants a kinder egg. NOW.
→ Purchase items.
→ Forgotten own bag. Shit.
→ Frown from check out girl.
→ Back to car.
→ Wrestle toddler back into the car, do up lethal seat belt that breaks what is left of my nails on a daily basis.
→ Click baby car seat back into car. (Silently thanking God for the Isofix invention)
→ Get pissed on again.
→ Collapse wheels of now soaking wet buggy and squeeze into boot.
→ Back home, unload toddler who has eaten kinder egg enroute and lost the bloody toy.
→ Now screaming for HER FAVOURITE PIECE OF PLASTIC.
→ Unload still screaming baby.
→ Take off the shoes and the coats.
→ Forgotten the wet wipes. Shit.
I’m sweaty just from the memory!
So you see I’m not saying that a Muma can sit pretty by the time The Whirlwinds can cut their own dinner up, but at least you get to do the job with a full night’s sleep under your belt. One day I will put ‘Continuous Survival Risk Assessment’ much further down the job spec and I will no longer shudder when I see a flight of stairs with no gate. Or God forbid a train platform. Or a curb, as a scooting 4 year old excitedly gains on the traffic ahead. A whole grape will one day not give me choking nightmares, a cup of squash will not make me shout “STAY IN THE KITCHEN” as I pass it over.
Once I am through the pain barrier of The ToddlerMonsterWorld, I too will have that promotion: I will be that Smug Muma on the sofa at soft play, eating my own food and sipping a HOT latte.
But probably trying to decipher their impossible maths homework.
– Every silver lining and all that…