As a Mother
As a Mother of 2 biological children and a wonderful step-child too, I am fully aware of the pitfalls and panics of having a family.
Growing up, I often felt very 'hard done by'. Not for material things like designer clothes or the latest games consoles, (We had to wait for things, but we NEVER went without. Thanks Mum, you're a ledge!) i'm talking more in the way of Punishment...
When I was 'naughty' (I was an utter shit!) I didn't get a slap on the wrist and sent to my room with no dinner. Oh no! Instant grounding, Tea duty for months on end and if you were stupid enough to ask for a time frame, it would only be doubled until you learnt to shut your mouth.
Games, Tv's. Phones (I am just about young enough, I swear!) would all be taken. School would be your only contact with the outside world, it was harsh, but it worked!
I seemed to have magically forgotten all of these charming little tit bits of my life growing up... that was until I started experiencing the true TRAUMA of parenting for myself.
When I was 'doing the deed' nowhere in the back of mind was I thinking... ahhh we could have a baby in 9 months. I'm not gonna lie, I thought I was fully protected. The Dr failed to mention when your on anti-biotics it interferes with your pill. Thinking about it, the condom that had been in his wallet since High School probably didn't help matters either. 9 months and around 8 minutes later (including foreplay) my first bundle of joy arrives, at least she was to everyone else... allow me to explain,
I'd had a crappy pregnancy, to put it bluntly. In and out of Hospital for 9 months, far too many offensive renditions of “you're going to ruin your life” and “God help that child” from the mother in law, and having to sue my work for unfair dismissal, I'd hardly been looking forward to it.
Being the first of my 'friends' to get pregnant, I was surplus to requirements now. Pregnancy wasn't fun for them. I was only 20, the general 'party' on a weekend was a lot less appealing with your pregnant pal... the invitations just stopped coming.
After my Little Lady was born, I learnt to adjust to my new life. I still worked and my partner was still very much around but, it was so hard. The judgments that came with every sentence. Constantly had me questioning my own ability to be a Mum.
“Shouldn't use that cream, it's bad for them”
“Don't store the milk like that, you'll make her sick”
“A dummy, she'll have bad teeth”
“You didn't Breastfeed! Oh, how could you not!?”
My daughter was labelled a Mistake by my peers and family but to me she was a little miracle.
Charming! I know.
I came to realise over the years that I wasn't the only one to suffer this fate, it seems that everyone always has something to say and it's usually to make them feel better about themselves. So, for all you Mums that think you're 'fucking shocking' with some of the things that you have said and done... grab yourself a coffee, pull up a pew and allow me to share with you, the tales of Trina and her Tribe,
The youngest picking everything up in the shop “Can I have, Can I have?” She isn't normally like this, she's just in one of those moods. After a full 10 mins I say through gritted teeth.. “Will you please just stop being a Dick!” I know it's bad, she was 11, it is not the way to talk to your pre-teen but in my defence, she was being one.
She looks at me a little startled at first and then I see the cogs whirring, her revenge is being formed as she tries to stifle her giggles. What fresh hell is she about to unleash?
She waits until we're in the queue, fair play to her because she has managed to contain it until right this second. As loud as you like, for all the world to hear “Why did you call me a Penis, Mum?” I flush scarlet in the face. There's a distinct intake of breath from the other customers... the whole time she has the biggest most defiant grin on her face, I could've died right then and then. BUT... I draw myself up and with a rather 'Mary Poppins' like tone I reply, because as you're Mother, it's my duty to tell you these things dear!
Child – 1
Mother - 0
The child I inherited can drive me to insanity the quickest. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows he isn't really mine so will push those boundaries. He's a funny little sod though and that angelic little face of his, covers up for a lot of misdemeanours.
I don't know if it's cos he's a boy, but the complete lack of hygiene and sometimes common sense, literally astounds me.
“Have you stepped in shit again?” it's a question asked daily in this house. It's like he's a human magnet for it. If there is a steaming turd on the pavement, his clod hopping size sevens will inevitably slide straight through it.
He will grumble and strop and clean the offending shit from his shoes, all the while waxing lyrically about the inconsideration of dog owners. As this logical rant progresses, I tap him on the shoulder and point into our very own garden.
MOUNT CRAPMORE is staring us both in the face,,, what were you saying son?
Mother – 1
Child – Nil
that brings me to the eldest.
I am in FULL support of her education, she wants to be a baker and even if I do say so myself, she's bloody good. Over the half term she was set a task to list 6 dishes, research them and then bake at school.
“mum can I have some money for ingredients please” comes her sweet fluttery voice (only because she wants something)
“yeah, get my Purse and make sure I have change, please” I hand over £20 and off she goes.
An hour later, 2 panicked phone calls and and a rather lengthy argument over Filo Fucking Pastry, she hands me 4 measley pounds change.
“Erm.. that can't be right. Twenty quid for cooking class, what the bloody hell are you making, gold dusted snowflakes?”
We both laugh, she know's i'm not serious.
“It's not that bad Mum, I mean YOU could be cooking it”
Mother – I'll get you back for that!
Child – Still laughing now!
See the thanks I get?
The point i'm trying to make here is, I wanna throttle my kids on an hourly basis. I talk about sex and drugs and the times I got caught bunking off of school. I have an open question policy in my house and I try my best to answer them all, no matter how tricky.
I have a wonderful support network now. I have friends that aren't afraid to tell me when i'm being a Nob. They'll also share what nightmares they have had with their own kids and life doesn't seem quite so bad.
Next time you want to judge a parent for a choice they've made just THINK! What makes your way the right way? As long as they grow up to be good people and you know you did all you could then... that's enough!
Has there been a time when you have said or done something that you wished perhaps you hadn't?
Have you been judged for something and made to feel isolated because of somebody's opinion?#Let us know in the comments. It's good to share and realise that other people are going through something similar too!