(I apologise in advance for the swearing, when I get stressed, I almost can’t help it.)

Go on then, f*cking argue over who gets to watch what on the TV.  Hit the other person around the head because they won’t make room for you to sit down on the sofa.  Cry and throw cushions on the floor, I dare you.  Demand a drink of milk and then change your mind once I’ve poured it.  Not milk now – orange juice, and it’s too weak, and it’s in the wrong cup.

You never even said ‘please’ in the first place, you just ordered it as if I’m a skivvy whose only purpose is to serve.

Throw all the coats on the floor by the door, because you were looking for a jumper.  Don’t pick them up though, that’s mum’s job.  She likes it really.

P*ss on the bathroom floor and all over the loo seat, don’t bother to wipe it up.  Use half a toilet roll every loo trip and drop  the whole thing in the loo every couple of weeks.  Block the toilet regularly.

Treat your room with disrespect, draw on the walls and then claim your sibling did it.

You’ll learn soon enough that pushing each other on the stairs is a bad idea, broken leg anyone?  Because that’s what will happen.  And who will have to deal with the blood, the crying and the trip to A & E? Us.  Always us, here to pick up the f*cking mess you leave behind.

Oh and remember to taunt each other mercilessly, until you make the other one punch you.  Then laugh inwardly when they lose bedtime stories; because I know that’s what you’re doing.  Getting one over on your brother or sister is great isn’t it.  Make them miserable, just for your own bl**dy entertainment.

Cry when they nudge you slightly, rise to a howling crescendo and hold that arm like it’s dislocated.  Smirk when you think I’m not looking.

Oh, and when mum sounds hysterical and wants/needs to get out of the house…hide your f*cking shoes behind the sofa so we can’t go.

Cry, yell and wrap yourself around my ankles when I turn the TV off.  Sulk, slam doors, throw toys on the floor or at other people in an aggressive fashion. Nice.

Sing loudly and stand in front of the TV every time I want to watch something for a change.   When the TV is off, actively try to p*ss me off so badly I get desperate and let you watch TV for three hours at a time, just to avoid having to deal with you.

Raid the fridge, pour yourself a lovely glass of milk and use it all up so there’s none left for anyone else. make sure most of it spills all over the sides and under the microwave, leaving it to drip off onto the floor.  ‘Clean it up’, which means you get a tea towel, wipe the floor with it and then wipe the now filthy rag on the sides.

Use all my craft equipment, spread it all over the house, lose the tops off all my pens, take over my designated stationary drawers, use all my coloured paper, knacker my scissors.   Oh and don’t forget, drop my treasured android tablet so that you smash a bit off the bottom of it, and then cry and moan when I say you can’t use it anymore.  Surely it should be me crying and getting upset?

Wake me up every single solitary night, by wetting beds, having (imaginary?) tummy aches, worms, nightmares,  monsters under the bed, vomiting, spilling drinks on pillows or maybe even just for fun.  Make me into a nervous wreck.  Insomnia and exhaustion all bundled up into one Codeine, Kalms and Citralopram addict, because that’s the only way I can survive and sleep sometimes.  Complain when I don’t crawl downstairs to get you a glass of water at 3am, even though you’re quite capable of getting your own.

Scream at me when I get the words wrong whilst singing your bed-time songs, argue and shout at me because half way through your bedtime story you’re bored of it and want a different one.  Do this every night, without fail.  Or make up alternate reasons for the same behaviour, for example….. because at 10.30am in the morning I forgot to let you have an orange.

Yell at me because you’ve lost your bedtime songs because you were spitting at your sister, and then lie and say you didn’t do it in the first place.

Rip wallpaper off the bathroom walls, eat the toothpaste and smear it on the cupboards, shove toothbrushes down the plughole where it’s black and there’s manky bits of hair.  Yes I did see you doing that.

Because I’m a mum, because it’s my job, because I love you – I live with this and tolerate this behaviour almost every day.

Just after I had my second child I had a dream.  From a distance I saw myself naked and half submerged in the sea, far from the beach.  I held one of my babies in my arms, I’m not sure which child it was and I don’t think it mattered.  I tenderly held and breastfed my baby and as it nuzzled and fed, the baby bloomed.  Their cheeks became rosy and the skin became a light rose pink, chubby little arms and legs wrapped around me.  As the baby fed I saw myself slowly withering and ageing.  My skin gradually turned grey and I knew at that very instant that I was dying, that my life was leaving me and through my milk, my life was slowly filtering away.

You might think this was some sort of nightmare, but it wasn’t.  The most vivid thing I remember about this dream was an all-pervading feeling of calm and contentment.  I didn’t mind losing my youth and my life this way, I was happy, this was right, there was no other place I’d rather be.

I write this while the kids run around a playground.  Driven half mad with frustration, I dragged them out about half an hour ago.  I have been, and am still, burning with rage at them.  So sick of the endless arguments.

Every now and then one or the other of them shouts that they’re ‘the king of the castle’ and that I’m ‘the dirty rascal!’ as they balance atop a climbing frame. Talk about adding insult to injury!  Or they fall an inch to the ground and cry hysterically to get my attention, eventually giving up when for once I don’t immediately jump to their attention like I usually do.  Right now, this minute, I need my space.

The sun beats down for a minute or two, and then the world goes grey and cloudy again.  I rest my head on my hand, leaning my elbow on the bright blue metal playground bench; my other hand writing frantically with a crappy blue biro labelled ‘Iberostar, Hotels and Restaurants.’  I dont’ know why, I’ve never been to one.

The kids are sitting next to me, all I can hear is ‘Can I have it?’ and ‘No!’ and ‘That’s not fair!’  They are bickering over a leaflet for gods sake.

A dog yaps, Darlek sits beside me sniffing, cars rumble past.  I’m trying to finish this.  Trying to pull the loose ends together, but it’s all fraying, like my nerves.

I guess you could say, when all observations are made, when withering dreams are analysed, when silliness is curbed and reality is as harsh as a small Jack Russel barking none-stop three feet away from your ear………..this is just parenthood in the raw.  It drives us mad.  But because we care, because this is how we are built, the way we are, we give everything to our kids, deal with all the hardship and thank them for the privilege, and mean it.


9 responses to “Thanks

  1. Why does no one tell you this stuff before you have kids? I almost feel that people who were mums before me must have sniggered at me in the street when I proudly displayed my baby bump “tee hee, there goes another sucker!”. I know kids are (can be) very rewarding but today, so far, I’ve had ronseal on my freshly painted bathroom walls, my toothbrush is residing in the bottom of the toilet bowl, I have pineapple jelly stuck to my sock and my £16 lipstick has been snapped in two! My son is currently mixing up a concoction of banana milkshake with scampi Nik Naks and asking me if I would like some. Of course I love my son, and of course I wouldn’t change him for the world, but some days, well some days I’d love nothing more than to change my name from “Mum” and run away and to join a convent for the peace and quiet!
    Thanks for the very honest post. 🙂

  2. Helen O'Keeffe

    As I was reading this I was hiding in the front room while thee kids ate dinner.Girl was telling Boy that she had fed his favourite bear to next doors dog. He was weeping. She laughing. Baby A just chucked sweet potato at me and there is food flung to all four corners of the kitchen.

    Mine are driving me insane too.

    Best time of the day is when I check them before I go to bed…they are lovely then.

  3. I love my girls. They are my world. And I could quite happily lock the pair of them in the garage full of spiders just for a day of peace! Writing this hiding in my bedroom ignoring the whinging 😉 xx

  4. Oh Kaye! 😦
    I am too sick of the constant bickering, the hitting, punching, kicking, screaming, meltdowns, arguing, answering back, ……

    We all deserve a bloody medal! Or a Mums holiday!!

  5. So true. After going through so much with my eldest, I completely relate to this post. It does get easier in lots of ways as they grow. Such a shame though that kids only learn to appreciate their parents when they leave home. Hold on to that ladies, it got me through some very dark days!

  6. Fantastic blog post. This is absolutely how I’m feeling at the moment. Thank you for sharing with such honesty.

  7. I related to this post sooo much!

  8. I relate to this post so much – they wind me (and each other) to breaking point on a daily basis. The older ones deliberately antagonise the little ones and then complain when they start fighting back. I wish they came with a mute switch!

  9. Kay you sum motherhood up very nicely. Cant live with them, wouldn’t be without them.
    Mel who are you kidding???? They get worse, the arguments get more serious, the fighting gets harder, the petty bickering takes on more devious underhandedness, and the retaliation becomes a worrying prospect,,,, but then time they reach mid 20’s onwards they are usually more civilised to each other. Its all part of the growing up and learning to survive in this world….may I just add 4 or more is easier than 2.

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