With Mother’s Day looming around the corner and I decided it was time for some reflection as a first time mum of a 10 month old pint-sized humanoid. Over the last year I have been making a lot of promises and have been breaking all of them, one by one. Here are my personal seven deadly sins of motherhood:
- The broken promise of “I swear I will never …” – When I was pregnant I promised myself and everyone else that I would never in million years indulge in any chats about poo. Ever since Peanut was born I have been happily living in self denial weaving My Baby’s Poo is the Most Fascinating Phenomenon in the Whole Wide World and Beyond into long tales that have been driving my childless friends up the wall and beyond. I talk about the colour. The consistency. I even invented a game which consists of blindfolding BlueBeretDad and making him sniff out What Peanut Had For Tea. A warning – this game is for baby poo connoisseurs only (for the last 10 months chicken korma has been off the menu in the BlueBeret household!).
- The sin of 10 seconds rule – the rule applies to Peanut and his food, spoons and bowls. I get it I get it – the germs, the high chair table manners and I cared a lot for the first 2,376,987 times I was picking up the veg sticks, the spoons, the bowl to wash them, give them back to Peanut only to pick them up off the floor 5 seconds later to my mini tyrant’s grunts and orders. Now I am a firm believer in boosting my offspring’s immune system and saving the water.
- Even when I was still breastfeeding I had this beautiful image in my hormone possessed mind: I swoon around the kitchen on cloud nine in an immaculate Cath Kidston apron peeling, chopping, cooking up a storm of super healthy, super organic baby food while Peanut hovers above the ground in his designer high chair and makes appreciative noises eating his soufflé and munching of organic carrots dipped in organic hummus. The floor sparkles. The groceries are delivered by unicorns every morning. Then the cloud dissolves underneath me and I swear under my breath as my foot is glued to last morning’s porridge (why is baby cereal made of glue by the way?), my stained apron is hanging on me in tatters and Peanut has been catapulting his readymade tomato sauce on the wall behind him for the last 15 minutes. What happened to the lovely reality you may ask my reader. Life happened.
- Thou shall not use disposable nappies – in my serious life I care about the environment, I get very upset about BlueBeretDad being in the shower for longer than 30 seconds and I have memorised the Dos and Don’ts for my recycling boxes. I was very determined to use the real nappies. I even had nightmares about our planet pointing its angry smog covered finger at me before letting go of its last breath. Then I had second thoughts. I thought about my mum washing real “real” nappies every day (sometimes twice a day if me and then my younger brother had more than just chicken korma in our pants), then boiling them, hanging them out and then starting again. I thought about having the washing machine on pretty much non – stop. And I thought about the exhaustion I would be fighting every day, barely managing to brush my teeth, let alone worrying about leaking nappies. I know times have moved on and it shouldn’t be difficult to use the eco nappies but I let the guilt wash over me as I cut down the adult shower time to 3 minutes and 3 seconds (if you are using a hair conditioner, otherwise 2 minutes and 1 second are enough).
- Thou shall not let you child watch TV or use the laptop or your smart phone EVER – “I am sorry, so sorry, Peanut. I am turning your brain into a mush full of nonsense” I say as I turn on the CBeebies and let Peanut work hard on covering the screen of my phone with his snot. “I am sorry but mummy needs 9 minutes and 29 seconds to put on her makeup “. I have timed it – I live my life in time slots, especially in the mornings. “Mummy has to cover up the last year of no sleep with some concealer, powder and blush and a bit more concealer. Just a bit more. That’s better”.
- Thou shall not have sugar EVER – “Sugar is heroin “ I explained to BlueBeret grandma as she sheepishly suggested Peanut may want to try chocolate before he reaches the retirement age. No wonder I am the person I am since we were always eating cakes. In fact, I spent the first few years of my life consuming mainly bread with honey and cake. So one day a child at the nursery turned one and the parents brought the cake in. Then, horror oh horror, Peanut was allowed to try a bit. When I found out I was mortified. What have they done to my boy? And then I calmed down – that evil tiny weenie bit of cake he had with all the other kids did not turn him into a juvenile baby junkie rummaging our cupboards at night to get his fix. Nothing has changed. And Peanut had great time stuffing his face with everyone else’s pieces of cake. So I might review that rule in 16 years from now.
- Thou shall be the perfect mother – no I won’t. I grin to myself as I commit this sin deliberately. I don’t believe in perfect anything, let alone motherhood. Sorry Peanut, I refuse to be the perfect mother for you but I promise to be the best I can be even if it means committing additional seven sins of motherhood. And as you laugh out loud each morning when you wake up and see me and BleuBeretDad staring into your face I can’t help but think that I must be doing something right.
What are your seven deadly sins of motherhood? Happy Mother’s Day everyone!