The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 32

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 32

by Emma Hargan
article from Monday 28, January, 2019

IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK? All I want to do is go to the bathroom in peace and quiet. Preferably without an audience. This week I have been questioning things. Why is it that in every other area of our lives, we can have an ‘off’ day and it’s ok? Now that I’m a Mummy and I have an off day, I give myself such a hard time about it and feel guilty. Is it just me?

When I was working full time in the office before I had the kids, it was part of my monthly routine to have an ‘off’ day or a couple of off days in fact. When I say an off day, what I mean is, the day after a few wines and I ran into the shop to buy a couple of things, and then jump into the wrong car. Or the time I wrote an email about my work colleague, Kevin the tosser and then emailed it to Kevin the tosser. Days like that. I made excuses and told myself that I’m entitled to an off day, I work bloody hard.

As a mummy though, I’m a lot harder on myself. The days when I’m so exhausted after Lily has been up half the night and I take Jamie into creche, still in my pyjamas with a pair of jeans and a hoodie over the top, looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. I run into the creche with my son feeling the eyes of judgement on me. You know – the good parents. The ones who bake, put make-up on, get their hair done so they don’t look like a skunk. Other days, and I haven’t got the energy to even glance at my Facebook news feed, never mind boil up fresh fruit and veggies to puree them for Lily, so she ends up having another pouch of Ella’s Kitchen food. I feel guilty. 

Am I alone in this? When I chat to James about it, he tells me I’m doing a fantastic job and to stop feeling guilty. The kids are happy, safe and loved and that’s all that matters. Aww, lovely right? Of course, in the same breath, he goes and spoils it by then saying, “If you want something to feel guilty about, then feel guilty about smoking! You have no will power.”

“What?!” I roared.

Okay, I need to clarify this. I have stopped smoking since having the kids, however, I have had the odd one or two on a Friday evening after a wee glass of wine. I haven’t actually had a single puff since before Christmas so I thought I was actually doing well. So then it happened, I decided to hit James with a few things that women find annoying about men.

1.     Whinging about our ‘crap’ TV shows. Yes, I enjoy watching celebrities running around a jungle whilst covered with bugs because it makes our lives look more normal. As if watching another episode of those tubes on Top Geartrying to make a raft out of a Land Rover is far more intellectual!

2.     Expecting an award for doing the dishes. Whoopdy-do. We can do the dishes, while making dinner, watching the babies and folding the washing – all at the same time!

3.    You come home from shopping and he says, “Haven’t you already got a top like that?” Yes I do, and the reason I do is because that style suits me. I don’t say anything when you have a wardrobe full of t-shirts that all look exactly the same.

4.     Googling everything on the bloody iPad. We’ll just be sat down to watch a film and he says, “That’s that guy out of that film we saw five years ago, remember? Aw hang on a minute, I’ll Google him.” For f***s sake.

5.    And the piece de resistance?“I just used some of that cream in the bathroom for my foot and it worked a treat!” The cream he would be referring to is the face moisturiser you bought after 10 years of careful research looking for the exact match to your skin type. The one that was 50 quid a bottle and you were using it only every now and again to save it. That’s the cream he now has smeared across his manky feet.

I could have gone on but I think James was sorry he spoke.

So, this week I decided I wouldn’t have any ‘guilty’ mummy moments. On our days at home, I would make sure that Lily’s food for the following day was prepared and ready. The days that Jamie was at creche, I would get up a half hour earlier and get showered, dressed and put on a bit of tinted moisturiser so I didn’t look like a female version of Gordon Ramsey. No problem. The key is in the organisation or so I thought. What I didn’t factor into my plans, was when the unexpected happened. 

On our days at home, I was so busy during the day with the kids, cleaning the house, washing clothes and trying to get some work done, that I didn’t have time to prepare Lily’s food until the evening time. Boiling tatties and carrots is exactly what not to be doing at 11.00pm.

The days that Jamie was at creche, we were already getting up at 6.30am to drop off James first, so my plan would mean getting up at 6.00am instead to get ready. This would be fine, if I got a night’s sleep beforehand and not be going to bed at midnight, Lily then waking-up at 1.00am, 3.30am and 5.00am! Refreshed? Not.

By the time Friday night came around, I was so exhausted. All I wanted to do was light my candles (so as to avoid showing up the dust in the living room) and watch my “crap” TV shows in my pyjamas wearing what was left of my expensive face cream in the hope that it contained an ingredient that melted my face from dead mummy to Charlize Theron. It was then I realised that the ‘off’ days are the days to be most commended. Those are the days that even when you’re running on empty, you still make sure the kids are safe, happy and loved. I didn’t feel guilty about that, not one bit!

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