Good lord above, what did I do? In my former life I mean. Did I shoplift? Did I live a life of giving zero fucks about the environment by not recycling? I ask because … come on!
Look, he’s even giving me side-eye because I am daring to ask if it’s time to tidy up!
Don’t get me wrong fellow bloggers. I adore the fact that our house is a messy, lived-in family home. I’m not saying I’d change it, of course I wouldn’t. If you’ve read any of my other posts (or if you know us personally) you’ll know what we’ve been through to get here. But, every time I step on a slightly angled plastic knife, or a discarded piece of fruit (I would say plastic fruit but it’s not always the case), I cry a little inside.
You know what I think it is? The fact that we’re in that lull period. That limbo land. What day is it? What time is it? It MUST be bedti… oh it’s 3:00pm. The tree is still up but my festive cheer dwindles more with every day as we creep towards January. I think, once we’re all back at work and childcare, the decorations are down and the house is back to some kind of normal, things may improve.
I honestly think this falls down to my anxiety around everything needing to remain perfect because it’s December, it’s the festive season, everything needs to be magical all the time. We’re getting quality family time which I know is a true blessing that many may not get. I just have this irrational feeling that Noah’s toys should stay perfect because people have been so kind and generous in buying him these things but then I kinda give myself a reality check; he’s 20 months old. He finds sneezing and gargling the funniest things ever. He doesn’t understand that these are gifts that he should set back up perfectly at the end of every day.
Yes, I’m fully aware that it is our job to teach him, which we are doing. Bit by bit. But this won’t happen overnight. He won’t suddenly morph in to a child who understands and displays the actions of a much older child.I am very guilty of trying to rush him along and again, I’m very aware of this. Tom reminds me of this all the time and I think it stems from the start of my career working in childcare. I worked more often than not with the older children; those beginning their transition period from nursery to school. I’ll be honest, when it comes to babies and toddlers…I’m kind of a dunce. I think at times, I expect too much of him as a child, and of Tom and myself as parents.
Parenthood ain’t easy. In fact, it’s really bloody hard. All these expectations on parents just get worse around Christmas. We didn’t put a plate out for Santa and Rudolph, we didn’t sprinkle reindeer dust outside the front door. “Why ever not?” I hear the perfect parent brigade cry from the back of the room. Well PPB’s, because a) we forgot until about midnight (by which point we wanted to kill the other after an evening of role-play kitchen building .. that’s a whole different blog post) and b) because he couldn’t care less. Noah is 20 months old. He doesn’t have the level of understanding for all that yet so why stress ourselves out trying to get the perfect photo when he has no desire at all to stand and smile. He would just grab for the mince pie resulting in knocking the whole thing over before then taking one bite and spitting it out.
However, what we did do and what we will continue to do for as long as he will let us, is read “The Night Before Christmas”. My Dad read it to me and my sister every single year as far as I can remember and Noah adores books and we read to him most nights anyway. Fellow parents/carers/guardians, let’s take our foot off the gas for just a sec, slow down and take it all in. We will never get any of these days, weeks or moments back. Sure, when we come to having a second child, we’ll have all their firsts, just like we’ve had Noah’s. But we will never have our ‘first Christmas as parents’ again. That’s been and gone. Everything we have experienced as a family of 3 so far, in the future, they will be experienced as a family of 4 (or 5, let’s see how 4 goes first).
The point I am trying to make is this. Be kinder to yourself. You’re doing your best and that’s amazing. That’s all anyone can ask of you.
Please don’t ever struggle on trying to keep up with the “Instagram mom’s” or the PPB’s (I like that; I’m keeping it). That’s what they want you to see. Not what you want to see. I don’t know about you, but I wanna see other parents contemplating a G&T at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I want to see other parents keeping it real and being honest about parenthood. Those are my kinda people.
Now go on, off you go. The Gin is calling my friends.
No judgement here, just a fellow manic mama.