Becoming a mother changes your life in so many ways. You find your boobs become a 24 hour milkshake shop, your stomach resembles ripped crepe paper and you suddenly become an expert on eating the half eaten ends of a fish finger and a tescos value fromage frais whilst catching your toddlers poo that it’s decided to do on the kitchen floor, in your hand , whilst having better negotiation skills than a UN peacekeeper when the 4 year old bites the head of the 3 years olds Barbie and the 3 yr old threatens to wee on the 4 year olds face as pay back. All taking place as you buy your husbands mother a bunch of 50 quid flowers from him to her as he barely even remembers he has a mother.
However, this week, it REALLY hit me that my life has truly changed because of the responsibility of owning a real life kid. A real life kid at school that is. Mine is 7 and I lost the plot and not in a metaphorical way when he came out of the sunroof all those years ago. The overwhelming of him being here forever hit me in the face with a vomit ridden muslin and I ended up with postpartum psychosis and had a lovely stay in a psychiatric unit to help me over the pretty catastrophic bump in the road of life.
I recovered, decided I did love my baby and wanted him to stay forever and then looked ahead and realized it was okay to also want the glorious days of going back to work again eventually and drinking diet coke at my desk whilst laughing at Dave in accounts for wearing a Xmas jumper in November. And then thought , when my sweet child goes to school, life will calm down a tad. I won’t be changing 11 nappies of chicken korma poo a day, the school will cook him a lunch instead of me so I can just give him some dairylea and crackers for dinner and I can spend my 37 hours a week at work being me , Eve, and then come home and watch my boy delightfully play while I merrily spread said crackers with cheese and have him in bed for 7pm as the poor boy will be ever so tired from his long school day.
THIS IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED.
My daily life, like lots of mothers, is like a melting pile of angel delight left out too long. I adore my child – he is my reason for being and he is like my little shadow. Where I go , he goes. Even work sometimes if school is closed and childcare has a balls up. But I also love using the bit of my brain that worked before I had him and relish going into work. I just don’t think I realized how much life can feel like a food processor on the highest setting whizzing around. All the bits globbing together and there being bits stuck in a corner that need hammering down with a rolling pin.
My day looks like this usually. I do find time to drink a gin whilst doing a poo sometimes and did manage to do the washing up last week but it’s a bit whacko really…..
– After putting in a clothes wash at 1am, I find the child’s school jumper in bath wet. Wring water out and sniff it to see if it reeks of wee (child has been known to position his aim in the air to see if it hits ceiling and wee in his own face and all over jumper) and when find it doesn’t, goes to put on radiator ready for morning. Only to look and see that the front of it is covered in stamped in Spag Bol and rice pudding. After shouting fuck 87 times whilst staring at the washing machine going round and round, I perform home surgery with make up wipes and a toothbrush to get jumper to passable clean stage and hope that teacher doesn’t think my kid is being brought up by feral dogs instead of responsible parents.
– Wake up at 1.40 after feeling warm breath in face. Open eyes to find my child standing at side of bed staring at me like the exorcist and let out blood curdling scream – ” Why are you standing there ? How long have you been there ? ” .Child advises he has been there for 97 years and he needs a poo and can I scratch his bum for him. Said child has been out of nappies for 5 years and manages to shit in the day without ever telling me. I then spend 20 minutes asking child why he has woken me up repeatedly whilst searching for loo roll. Child then stops picking nose on loo to say tell me he used all the loo roll earlier to wrap his Tracy Island model up as it had been attacked by an evil marshmallow mans vomit so “it all gone mummy – my poo finished though”. It’s now 2:15 and there is a meter long poo in toilet that won’t flush and kid is poking it with his sword to break it into chunks whilst naked with poo hanging from his bum.
– I attempt to find emergency make up wipes to clean him but and remember I used them to clean school jumper and have a Blue Peter moment and think ,I will use a sock. Perfect. Explain to 7 year old that it would be good if I could wipe his bum with a sock as it’s likely to go everywhere and a meltdown of epic proportions begins as he bellows he is a big boy and hasn’t had me wipe his bum since he was 3 and why can’t he do it with his hand ? I inform him he used that said hand to spread butter on his bread at Harvester the day before in place of a knife and that shit down fingernails is looked down upon in society. Child bends over whilst I hold nose and use one of husbands expensive socks to wipe poo.
– Get back to bed and child promptly gets in my space and cuddles into daddy. I mention his bed to him and he stretches his legs out further in mine and says I miss cuddles . I get in. Or at least my foot does.
– Wake up at 6am to find husband star fished in bed and child star fished on top of me , making me unable to breathe. Turn shower on to find no hot water so wash self with what is essentially ice and stumble back to bedroom. Look in mirror to see greasy hair stuck to head like an oil slick whilst also remembering that I have the most important meeting of my entire career at 8.45. Shout fuck another 6 times whilst looking for the apocalyptic stash of dry shampoo I bought a few months ago only to find all canisters are empty.
– Get on tube at 6.45am and apply 4 false nails to cover the gaps whilst attempting to contour face. End up looking like a tiger with stripes across my cheeks and see the man opposite me looking at me like I am on day release as I search through my work bag for my lipstick – taking out the two lap tops, the work phone , my phone , the four different chargers , my heeled boots to change into outside the office, my kids football kit, a half eaten flapjack, a Batman figure, an incontinence pad,a sewing kit, 4 packets of nail glue, 2 umbrellas , a piece of tinsel, a tape measure and a partridge in a pear tree.
Get into work at 8am and check diary to see I had written “meet that person then”. How helpful is that to myself eh? I write a facewash status asking people if they has any clue who I was meeting and why. And no one has a clue . Spend majority of day opening and closing calendar and hitting refresh in attempt to work out who on earth I am meeting.
– My kid has been at school for nearly four years. What I have discovered in this time and particularly now it’s Christmas , is that , to the school, my husband is a figment of my imagination. I appear to be the point of all contact at all times and find myself sitting in work writing a 4 page submission for a very senior or person to read , whilst answering my 10,000 emails only for my phone to buzz 5 times in the space of one minute. And then it rings when I’m in a meeting about data security.
After mumbling apologies and thinking it must be the neighbors to say I left my hair straighteners plugged in and the house is on fire or the awful news that a family member has died, I leap out of meeting and call the number back. And then read the text messages …
” A jumper has been found on the ground of the infants playground. Please inform the office if it’s yours”
” Wednesday is dress up as a piece of nature day. Please consider making your child’s outfit to support creativity. Donation of £2 and grateful for as many parents as possible to attend at 2pm to help set up”.
What the ?? My kid is in juniors, I could give a flying jockstrap if a jumper is in the infants playground as does my boss whom I have just walked out on. Phone then proceeds to buzz another 8 times.
“Dear parents , your child’s dinner money owed up to end of this week is £46.85. Please contact the school office”
“Dear parents , you owe £7 for after school club. Please pay the office”
” Dear parents, all payments owed to school must be paid by Friday”
” Dear parents , it’s Christmas jumper day tomorrow . £1 donation”
” Dear parents , school Christmas fayre in main hall after school . Food and drinks to buy”
“Dear parents, a visa/debit card was found in the sports hall. Please let reception know if it’s yours”
” Dear parents , an oyster card was found in the hall. Please collect from the office if it is yours”
“Dear parents , if your child is ill on last day of school, you will need to supply medical evidence or you will be fined”.
– After digesting all them , I phone husband to moan that my phone is so hot with all this activity , I think it’s going to go on fire and ask if he has responded to any of them . Only for him to say ” I don’t get any texts from the school”. He doesn’t get any texts. He collected our kid from after school club and takes him to school every ,lining but I am the one told to pay all the money. DO I HAVE A CUSTOMER SERVICES SIGN SWINGING ABOVE MY HEAD ?????
– When I finish work, I zig zag across London to collect my kid from school, going to the late room first as that’s where my poor kid always is, drawing a pile of cash from the cash point on the way to pay my educational debts , only to get to the school office and be told I was sent another text to say all the money actually needed to be paid by this morning and they can’t take it now. I feel like collapsing in a heap whilst waving my 8767 texts in front of the receptionist in a somewhat manic fashion as I don’t seem to have this highly informative text. I attempt to make a point by charging out of the building only to accidently head butt the door and then having to re-enter the building as my kid now apparently needs a poo.
– I then have to take him to football whilst he eats his bacon sandwich on the bus and knocks 97 year old Mavis in her head with his football boot as the bus swings around the corner. I spend my 2 hours at football on my laptop while counting the goals my kid scores before getting back on the bus to go to the shopping centre to buy the bloody Xmas jumper for him to wear at school tomorrow. Poor child is trekking through a million Xmas shoppers in football studs while I seriously contemplate sewing baubles from the Xmas tree to his jumper and sellotaping tinsel around his head as it becomes apparent that even though it’s Christmas , no shops do Xmas jumpers except John Lewis . And I refuse to buy a jumper that is the same price as our mortgage. Eventually find one in H and M using detective skills and nabbed it from someone else when she put it down to remove her kids coat to try it in him. I snuck up and grabbed it and ran to the checkout like I was on the run from a bounty hunter.
– I then get home and cook dinner, at 8pm (while all the other kids in the land are in bed) in my coat with leg weights strapped on as I have no time to get thin. Potato waffles cook in the toaster on number 5, pushed down three times, ready cooked chicken tikka means I am almost serving restaurant food and baked beans count as vegetables with school dinners so I adhere to that principle at home. The dairylea and crackers scenario that had previously been in my head is now in the bin with any sense of self I had as child is human dustbin and eats approx every 20 seconds. I think the words “I’m humbrie” are etched in my ears forever.
– I stop to have a poo break at 9.15 and kid decides I can’t possibly do this in peace and he must come in and sit on floor to ask if my poo is hard or soft and if there is sweet corn in it. I then get rendition of “My daddy was a bank robber” whilst he asks about Russian politics , tells me about the blitz and presents me with a precious picture of someone with their lungs hanging outside of their body. Spend 2 minutes wondering if this is normal or this is the first sign of my child turning into a psychopath and ask my sister who has had 900 children. She says her son spent a year in an assassin stage and the attention to detail he has shown is quite remarkable. I decide he is normal and then beg and plead for him to go to bed.
Husband has loo break the length of an England match and was undisturbed for the entirety. I dream about throwing things at him.
– At 9.30 child goes to bed and I sit outside bedroom for 40 mins in the dark and do an online shop. Child asks me for bran flakes three times, needs a wee, requires water and then announces he needs to make a habitat for a snow leopard to bring to school tomorrow. I contemplate banging head into a plunger and check the helpful school texts and find I haven’t been told of said habitat homework but the piece of crumpled up paper in his book bag shows me it is indeed true.
– At 10.15, I tell husband to look up snow leopard habitats whilst wondering if an empty cereal packet can transform into one whilst swearing several hundred times. Husband cuts out a shape similar to a mountain and then realize I will need to wake my non sleeping child up at 5.45 to stick some fake snow on the top of the mountain.
Child wakes up at 5am announcing it to the entire neighborhood. I tell him he needs to find some cotton wool for snow and wander into living room to find 25 sanitary towels being ripped up by him and stuck on to the empty bran flakes packet. Have stand off with child advising that I don’t know if mummy’s period nappies are the ideal to be stuck on something that will be on display in school hall. Child outsmarts me and says , they aren’t used though are they mummy and I have to admit to defeat and let the gluing continue.
– Find myself in garden in bra and pajamas to find tiny stones to stick on the bloody habitat to make it realistic. Because I bet all snow leopards sleep in a sanitary towel covered in a bran flakes packet.
– Off I toddle to the shower and I look in the mirror and see my hair is two different colours – my roots are now halfway down my head and I resemble a Jeremy Kyle guest. I just need to lose a few more teeth and I would be perfect for it.
– Get on tube at 6.45 and begin re sticking the nails that fell yesterday an hour after putting them on ……….
I wouldn’t have it any other way I don’t think. Would I? Would you? It’s nuts and wild and I feel like I have been dragged through a blender most hours , minutes and seconds of the day but it’s ok as he will be 18 before I know it and hate me and refuse to acknowledge my existence. I guess it’s the fact that there isn’t an off switch. Ever – even when I am on my period , I have an audience when I am on the loo, explaining to him that the sperm didn’t break through the womb so I have my period again this month. He then spends an hour laughing hysterically whilst announcing he is hungry 27 times . And then he saves some of his dinner to give to the homeless man in the subway and my heart melts as throughout the wildness of it all, I am raising a beautiful child.
It’s constant this mothering lark innit?