This is dedicated to all those who have forgotten what it is like to be a parent, hasn't got there quite yet or is just plain old judgemental because their kids are so perfect!
I am a mum. I haven't slept properly in seven years. I am always starving and want to eat anything that contains chocolate or is high in carbs. My life depends of caffeine and if I could have it constantly getting ingested into my system then I would be a much calmer person. I spend most of the day tidying, driving, cleaning, cooking, mediating, soothing, shouting, sshhing, washing, you name it, I do it and on repeat. Am I complaining.... absolutely not..... but!
I chose to be a mum. I wanted to be a mum. I fact, I LOVE being a mum. My kids are the joy in my soul and the light of my life. They teach me something new everyday and are a constant challenge to me growing as a person. I am better because of them.... but!
Do I love when they sneeze in my face? No. Do I enjoy sharing the food on my plate that is exactly the same as the food on their plate, which they refuse to eat? No. Do I love sleeping four hours every night listening to screaming or filling up water bottles or staring at the ceiling while they talk and jump and giggle because they aren't tired? No. Do I love when they bolt down the shopping aisle, nowhere to be seen to find them eating a packet of biscuits they have opened? No. Do I love how the word 'no' suddenly turns them into a wild animal and I have to stand there bribing them to stop whilst threatening to throw out every single toy as they hurl themselves around the middle of a shopping centre mall and screaming 'I hate you and stop hurting me?' No...... but!
Do I love when they randomly run up and wrap their little arms round me? Yes. Do I melt when they say 'I love you mummy?' Yes. Do I feel pride when they come home from school with full marks on a spelling test or get an award in assembly for being a good friend? Yes. Do I spend most of my kid free time talking about my kids? Yes. Do I post pictures daily of how adorable the face are that I made and just want to kiss and squeeze all day? Yes. Do I check them every night and smile as I watch them looking so peaceful and innocent, that I fall in love with them all over again and the chaos of the day is erased? Yes. Do I know that even though I may yell and scream, that there is nothing I wouldn't do for them and love them unconditionally? Yes.
So to you oh judgemental one while you stop and stare at the screaming, tantruming child that yes I admit looks currently like a wild beast but in fact is two years old and learning the consequences of bad behaviour or how to deal with emotions when they don't get something they want. Put yourselves in the shoes of the mum. Do you think she is enjoying herself right now? If she said yes to taking home the Peppa Pig shopping centre ride, what would you think then as she wheeled it off for fear of saying 'no' to her child? Would you judge because she said yes? While you throw daggers her way because the noise is hurting your ears, why not smile or politely nod an 'it's ok' or 'hope you are ok' or just keep walking and look the other way. Do you realise you are making things worse while their child sees you staring in horror and plays on the fact that if they got a few more onlookers, their request might me granted? As you turn around and shake your head in disapproval, did you know that mum is currently planning how to get the hell out of there as quickly and as subtly as possible, even if it means leaving the shopping behind? Did you know that mum may have never made it to bed that night and had no time for breakfast so is currently running on nothing? Did you think that mum may be going through a really difficult time personally and is holding on by a thread? So what would it take to get you to understand? To empathise? To even help?
Here is your chance to redeem yourself and it's really easy. Just stop. Ever heard of the word encouragement? I'm sure you have had times where you have really needed it. Well now you can pay it forward. Smile, encourage, help, pay for their coffee, walk them to their car, abuse the other judgemental onlookers, do whatever would make you feel less embarrassed or insecure or stressed in that moment.
So beautiful mumma. Don't ever apologise for being a mum. Don't ever feel embarrassed when your child hides behind you instead of talking to the strange giant and you think they are being rude. Remember when you told them not to talk to strangers? Don't worry about others judging you because you know you are doing the best you can and actually you are a pretty awesome mum. Don't feel like a failure because you are having a bad day or week. I'm pretty confident you have more good days. Don't be angry at yourself for giving in. Every mum does it and if they say they don't, they are lying. Don't feel bad for disliking your child for a moment. You are human and in five minutes time you will find that spark again and fall in love with them once more.
Don't be sorry for being strong, for being kind, for sacrificing your sleep, for putting your kids first always, for giving treats to your kids and not yourself, for putting your dreams on hold to prioritise your kids or for never stopping so you can pursue your dream and run around for your kids at the same time! Don't ever be sorry for putting up for feet and turning on the TV, you may not get that chance again for a few days. Don't ever be sorry for wanting a little time out and going out by yourself or with friends, you are still your own person.
Don't ever be sorry for being a mum because mums are a special kind of amazing.
© The Realistic Mum
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If you love children’s books then I have written a lovely little rhyming book on clouds changing into different shapes that you can find on Amazon and iTunes. Look for the title Look At The Clouds, What Can You See? It's less than $3.00