Fuck You, Supermum
Following the birth of Jude in September, I spent the last few months of 2014 feeling frazzled. And short-tempered. In fact, I spent at least two-thirds of Autumn/Winter 2014 sat in my dressing-gown watching kids' TV eating bourbons.
I'm never one for New Year's Resolutions, but I woke up on January 1st this year and decided I would make a few changes to my parenting behaviours. Perhaps I was feeling virtuous due to the complete lack of hangover - though this was less out of choice and more out of an obligation not to intoxicate the breast milk with Prosecco. Whatever the inspiration, 2015 would not be a repeat of the bourbon-eating Nickelodeon marathons. With Spring around the corner and the end of maternity leave in sight, I would do SO much more with the kids. My parenting ambitions for 2015 were as follows:
The children would watch less TV.
I would spend less than 20 hours a day on my iPhone.
Biscuits would not be used as bribes. In fact, biscuits wouldn't really be needed at all because we would all be snacking on blueberries and hummus.
There would be long walks. And wellies.
There would be cake-baking.
There would be finger painting and puzzle solving and fucking den building.
2015 would be the year of the Supermum.
How's that working out for you? I hear you wonder. Well, February is here so I can now officially provide a progress report on those ambitions for the month of January. Here's how I'm getting on ...
The children do not watch less TV. Sometimes I fear we are watching even more.
I still check my phone an unacceptable amount of times throughout the day, though I have started leaving it at home if we go out for the day.
Biscuits are still used as bribes. Daily (hourly). Toddler bribes have also been upgraded to doughnuts and CBeebies magazines. I know, I know. Awful parenting tactic. But it works and I'm bloody knackered so it's staying.
There haven't been many long walks if truth be told. Okay there has been one. But we wore wellies! And explored a forest. And the toddler brought back some sticks from the forest which he pretended were hunting harpoons so he's practically Bear Grylls now.
There has been zero cake-baking because he can do that at the child-minder's and I don't want extra dishes.
I haven't even bought any paints yet, and puzzles are too bloody frustrating (half the Peppa Pig mega-puzzle is now up the hoover, plus Henry follows his 'own' picture rather than the one on the box, which I simply cannot tolerate).
So, I've failed, right? The Year of the Supermum fell flat in January?
Well yes, it did. But I am totally at peace with this and I'll tell you for why.
'Supermum' is an arse. An entirely fabricated patchwork of Cath Kidston dresses and superfood smoothies and 4x4 school-run vehicles and Mary Berry cookbooks. Supermum can be found on the Joules website. Supermum looks something like THIS:
I want to be her. Her skinny jeans, her casual gilet and styled-to-look-messy hair. SHE HAS A FUCKING CHICKEN.
Supermum never gets cross. She spends hours taking her kids on adventures. Her house smells of fruitcake. She has two kids (one of each, obviously) and they never watch telly unless it is a snow day when they drink hot chocolate under a tartan blanket because she is so much fucking fun.
Well, the reality for most of us is something altogether different. I'd love to take my kids on an adventure every day. And bake some gingerbread. And make Tracy Island out of washing up bottles. Truly I would. But on an average weekday the toddler charges around at 100mph shouting 'I AM BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!' and I have to battle with four loads of washing because some nappies do not do their job and the baby has been sick and the home insurance renewal needs posting and stuff needs sterilising and I need a shower because three days' worth of dry shampoo has created an unsightly white build up ... on these days I cannot be arsed to go on a sodding adventure or facilitate messy play in a house which already looks like Hurricane Rita has struck it.
So I whisk the kids to the park (again) for a quick blast of fresh air and then I come home and put the telly on. And give the toddler a biscuit. And check Facebook for an hour.
That's real life and that's the way I like it.
I bloody hate chickens anyway.