As soon as you become a parent, the everyday things that took you around ten minutes to complete will now take you at least two hours. You plan to leave the house at 10 and find you now need to start getting ready at 6. But you still only leave the house around 11:30. You wonder how it has just taken five hours? It just does. There is no use trying to fight it, believe me, I have tried to understand the physics of such things to no avail.
On the rare days when we accomplish such tasks we find ourselves doing our happy dances and wondering where our thunderous applause, roses and our medal is at!? Here are such things that make me feel like I am winning at parenting.
- Brushing my hair before we leave the house, etc: Usually it’s such a commotion getting Ivy dressed and all of the paraphernalia that has to come with us. By the time we have to get out of the door I manage a quick glimpse of myself in the landing mirror, shrug and accept that this is how I look now (side note: remove mirror from landing as I’d much rather like to walk around with a false sense of confidence, oblivious to the baked bean stains and sticky-up hair). So in the rare moments that I get to actually take some pride in my appearance, it generally just means running a brush through my hair and actually colour coordinating my outfit (if the fresh pile of washed clothes allows such a thing. (Actually if there is even a fresh pile of clothes)).
- Being up to date with the laundry: Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
- Being on time: Before I was hardly ever a late person. If I was ever late it was usually someone else or circumstance that led me to be. I liked being ready sometimes hours before I had to be there. Now? If I get there anywhere between 15-60 minutes late I don’t consider it late anymore, I consider it a victory! Not sure everyone else does though.
- Consuming at least five cups of coffee in the morning: I NEED COFFEE. Everybody will know it if I don’t get my coffee in the morning. EVERYONE. (Substitute coffee for wine in the evenings and sometimes afternoons).
- Meal planning: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
- Talking to other mums who feel the same way: I say it all the time but I love this online community of mums. They tend to be a lot less judgemental and so much more supportive. I have my lovely friends who are so supportive and I would be lost without them. But also it’s so lovely to just sit down/chat online with someone (AND A HUGE MUG OF COFFEE/GLASS OF WINE), who are going through the exact same thing because then you can bitch away to your hearts content knowing you’re not alone without the mum guilt (well it gets buried deep) taking over too much.
- Showering for longer than five minutes, heck even managing a bath: I have forgotten what a bath feels like. Never mind being able to stand under a hot stream of lush running water. Usually I hop from one leg to the other with my hand under the freezing cold water till it becomes remotely warm enough to jump under and get me bits washed in record time. And I always find some shampoo is still clinging to my hair afterwards. Conditioner? On it’s own? No time for that! *Grabs the 2-1* I think this should actually become an Olympic sport. I would beat the world record hands down. Challenge accepted mums?
- Not forgetting a vital item my toddler needs on trips out: My memory was bad before I was a parent. And then baby brain came along (it exists people, it exists). Now I can hardly remember my shoes (I have accidentally gone out in my slippers on numerous occasions, I might now be known as “that mother who’s always in her slippers”). But it’s okay forgetting something for yourself; you’ve learnt to just get on with life. Toddlers? For them, if you have forgotten their favourite toy, dummy or even the tiniest piece of fluff they found on the floor as you were coming out the door, then their life is ending. World War III is about to break out if you don’t go back and get it.
- Alcohol: I think I could possibly be classed as an alcoholic now…
- Napping: Chance would be a fine thing. Actually a solid 5-6 hours of sleep a night would be a luxury. I would definitely wake up feeling like a new woman.