First time mum/referee/ sleeve snot wiper to a wild toddler. Designated household bum changer. Blogging about this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest and unfiltered perspective.

I'm a Mum, Get Me Out Of Hereee!

Staying at home with my newborn in the beginning appeared the seemingly safer, less stressful option. I was too overcome with anxiety to even assess that I was, perhaps, overreacting. That not everything in the outside world was a danger to my precious baby. The fresh air would actually benefit and not contaminate him. Other peoples company would be good for me, not make us all incurably sick. It was perfectly okay if he cried in public because, you know, babies do that (like, a lot!) I didn't have to stay confined to four walls to save a stranger earache. 

Having a toddler, the best option is to always get out when possible. Although I had overcome my 'paranoia', going outside seemed like more hassle than it would be worth.
Staying home promised no witnesses to the meltdowns, screaming, my poor inability to thoroughly discipline instead of using bribing tactics as an easy, quick fix solution and not having to pack two weeks worth of items for a two hour outing.
I could settle Arthur with wotsits when all pitiful attempts to take control of the situation failed and resort to the win of begging he please be quiet for a snack without the peering glare of tutting shoppers. I could also, escape to the solitude of the bathroom for a scroll through Facebook and a seat, knowing Hey Duggee would be there to aid my plead for five minutes of alone time.

I find there's a forming jigsaw when it comes to the days I'm feeling short fused, deflated, and just generally off. Subsequently, I've come to the realisation that most of my 'off days', the 'I can't fucking do this again', my just total shitty mum days seem to coincide with days we're confined to the house. I'm sure a lot of parents may reach the same conclusion when they consider this (just maybe, I'm not alone?) 

Staying home with a tiny person for the entire duration they're awake is a terrible idea. Every bloody time. It involves a lot of repetition (i.e me saying something a million times that seems to fall on deaf ears), challenges, testing boundaries (and succeeding), crying, shouting and more tantrums.
Sometimes (and only sometimes), the scenario of a lazy day provides a sense of appeal. A day spent in cosy PJs, abandoning all housework, a tapas of snacks and a cosy blanket followed by the longest hours of Netflix binging and even some arts and crafts with fusili pasta shells and glitter and rainbow paint because I'm such a fun fucking mum.

This scenario doesn't play out as it's lived in my head. Firstly, there is no relaxing with a turbo toddler who refuses to park his wriggly little bum for any longer than 3.5 seconds. 
Secondly, its near impossible to get through 22 minutes of any form of cartoon without Arthur wrestling me, face diving off the couch, putting toy cars in my freshly brewed coffee, not to mention the choice of options for kids TV is absolutely insufferable.
Lastly, I will, sadly, never be the cool artsy fartsy mum that always keeps her cool and helps her kid make mini masterpieces for show and tell at Nursery. I'm lacking in the basics of being able to draw a simple straight line. Doodling is a stressful art, paint is messy, I would be washing glitter out of my hair for a following three weeks and my OCD would flare through the roof should anyone colour over the line. 

Most of the time, lazy days are far fetched, and days stuck in (what feels like lock down) are utterly, total bollocks. It becomes a bit of an inane routine I don't want to stick too.
The whining (they do that a lot, don't they?), the tantrums over everything; not changing their nappy within 1.2 seconds of them dropping a shit bomb, changing their nappy, wiping their face, not understanding why they're pointing at the floor triggering a full scale meltdown, going for a pee without their company present, you know, anything that involves anything.

I've normally lost my shit by lunchtime. I often find myself gawking at the clock in disbelief that it's not ticking forward faster and question the conspiracy of it not actually passing at all.
There are some days I can barely muster the patience nor sanity to endure another episode of Go Jetters that I blankly sat through the day before, and the day previous to that and before then too and... well picture painted. When I have no more tolerance left for talking onions, Mr. Tumble and overly enthusiastic singing tiny people and scrape bath time forward as early as is acceptable. Others, where I hide in the kitchen blanketed by the comfort of a warm, drinkable cup of tea and the baby gate which keeps my toddlers grasping fingers out of clinging range.

Feeling sad, frustrated and fed up, wishing some days away, feeling bored (because toddlers, for the most part, can be rather boring. Or rather the lack of two way conversation and limited activities to do) then feeling swamped with mum guilt for feeling so fed up and bored when I'm expected to be cherishing every ephemeral little moment.

When I weigh up the Home Vs Outdoor days, my days venturing into the big, bad world of other adults and fresh air are, ultimately, far more successful, pleasant and sanity saving.
It breaks up the day into more manageable blocks. It gets us out and about, tires Arthur out for a promising full nights rest and possibly even teasing a sleep in past 7am, and lifts the stress of a day boxed in a cramped room of cars, toys that have no off switch and Cbeebies re runs.
I find the days are more enjoyable, whether it's a day at the swimming pool or just something as simple (and free) as a walk to the park, it feels like a more productive way to spend it.

It is true that these days, as cliche and repeated as it is, are fleeting. I feel so much more content knowing that our trips to the beach, the pool, the zoo, are fun filled days of splashing and exploring and laughter. I feel happier knowing I'm making the most of it and in the knowledge that Arthur is getting to experience as many different things available. Instead of being couped up indoors (we have the very long nights of winter for that patience killer).

Taking them outdoors can be a risky gamble and the apprehension alone can be enough to abandon the idea altogether. The wrestling to get them into the pram when they perform the stiff plank move as you try to buckle them in so you can settle them for the looming nap and 30 minutes of sweet silence and a window shop stroll in peace. The dramatic no tear, throat screech tantrum, thudding to the floor performance in the middle of Aldi because you didn't allow them to launch the glass jars off the shelf. The scrutinizing and disapproving glares from sour faced Susan and dismal Deirdre whose kids never misbehaved or acted out.

The stuffy long journey to the beach when they don't want to behave and the cars too hot and there's no emergency exit on a motorway from your screaming kid and who forgot the essential bribery snacks to pacify the round-the-clock whining (I did, that's who! Rookie mistake!)
Their imperfect timing of shitting when a public toilet is out of reach, or your stuck in a swarm of traffic in the car, the nappy is not doing its designed purpose, the stench from the fumes are intoxicating the car and you didn't bring enough wipes or change of trousers for the aftermath.

The selected possible scenarios of an outdoor trip can make it seem not even worth the stress, a bit too daunting. But, for the one tantrum I've experienced outdoors has been quickly forgotten when occupied making sandcastles or splashing in the pool compared to the three showdowns at home where I'm too exasperated or all out of fight to get the situation under control. It lifts everyone's mood and makes the harder days, just that little bit more endurable.
And who doesn't want to escape the mindless re runs of Heyyyyy Duggeeee for just a few hours?!

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig