Well the good news is, the laptop can probably be fixed. Luckily for me, Daddio’s best friend is something of a computer whizz and he’s whisked it off to do whatever computer whizzes do. I also had a wonderful morning with the Milk Monster and his Nannie (my mother, not the paid help kind) watching Bridget Jones’s Baby at the cinema. It was my first experience of the “babies in arms” showing and it was brilliant. There was a great relaxed environment and a quiet acknowledgement that we were all in this together. When I had to get up and do the “teething baby dance”, nobody batted an eyelid. And when the baby change facilities were in use after the film, the other mummies similarly turned a blind eye time my changing His Lordship on the bathroom windowsill. That’s just the kind of people I like around.
After a quick bite I was then back to the chiropractic clinic for some more poking and prodding then suddenly it was time for the school run and home again. It was at that point that things took a turn for the mundane. Back to rocking the Teether to sleep. Back to the washing. Back to the clutter. Back to the Sky Planner, couch, bills, shopping lists and cooking. Back to feeling just a teensy bit fed up.
Now…I know no one is supposed to say it out loud. And I realise that everything that goes on social media is supposed to suggest that we all live in beautifully clean, neat and tidy houses. And that we all find parenting to be the most wonderful and rewarding of pass times in existence. But I’m going to put some honesty into action here. I’m going to speak the unspeakable. Mumming can be dull. It can also be incredibly shit. It’s not even the remotest reflection on how you feel about your kids. Nor is it anything to do with your ability to do it. It’s quite simply one of the most difficult and repetitive jobs in existence.
And as for the incredibly clean and tidy houses in the Facebook world?? Well…nobody takes photos of the mess. Of the dishes in the sink. Of the washing basket. Of the dusty shelves. Of the stain on the carpet. We crop out the pile of magazines and newspapers in the background. We pose in front of the least messy area of the house. And we do so wearing our most flattering clothes and a full face of make up, while holding the camera at the best possible angle. Because heaven forbid anyone saw the reality.
Well, the reality is, my house is like a dishevelled caravan. One that has been involved in several emergency stops when nothing was secured. There is stuff absolutely everywhere. Yesterday I spilled my coffee (Which dear daddio had brought me in bed) all over the duvet and mattress. I obviously attempted to clean it up immediately. But in all honesty, efficiently cleaning a mattress is not mine, or Daddio’s speciality. So even with a fresh set of sheets on, there’s more than a faint scent of coffee at bedtime.
Then there was the cup of tea that the eldest knocked over onto the sitting room carpet (mine again. I’m just destined never to drink a warm beverage). It has now become a way of testing out a variety of different cleaning products. So far, none of which have sufficed to remove the awful stench it’s created.
Then there’s the clothes. The ones that are too big, or too small or destined for the charity shop. And the now clean, dry and folded washing that hasn’t quite made its way into the cupboards yet. Everywhere I look there is some sort of garment abandoned. I swear half of them just go round and round in the washing cycles without ever reaching their full potential of being worn. Much like the odd socks that I now just return to the washing pile in the hope that they will find their life partner at some point in the washing cycle, without needing my intervention.
And I simply cannot be alone in the disdain for the monotony. Surely some of the “I’ve been up since 5am because baby won’t sleep so I’ve tidied the whole house, hung all the washing on the line, baked both cake and bread and I’m not having a freshly brewed coffee while baby naps and it’s only 7am! #supermum” must be talking complete and utter #bullshit? I mean, if I’m up at 5am you can be entirely confident that I will be far too busy spilling things, tripping over thin air and swearing at day light to even think of baking anything. And my child certainly won’t be napping under those circumstances, he has a unique ability to wake up as soon as coffee hits cup. Be it freshly brewed or Mellow Birds.
And dads…don’t believe the hype. Those Facebook group starting, Instagram following twasacks who claim to be out jogging in between daddy play dates and DIY? Who grow facial hair in Movember and Stay Sober for October? The ones who have the best jobs that are criminally well paid but allow them enough time to teach their (non snotty) kids to ride their bikes? They’re just as #knackeredandscratchingtheirballs on a Sunday morning as you. It’s just they neglect to mention the other 300 days a year that they aren’t being charitable. Or the 6 years of nagging they’ve endured before the shelf went up.
You see, I’m beginning to suspect we are all just muddling through. There are no super parents or perfect partners. In fact, I say we start a revolution! No more bullshit on social media. Let’s do a new style meme. I vote for honesty! Let’s post a photo of our washing baskets. Of the abandoned garments. Of the soap scum on the bath. The dishes in the sink. The toothpaste on the basin. Let’s #andinreality. Let’s show ourselves at our worst. Because if we really are, as I suspect, as shit as each other; if we stopped hiding it it wouldn’t actually be shit anymore. It would be normal. And we could all be a bit nicer to ourselves.