I’ve been a full time stay at home Mum now for 3 whole months. A full 12 weeks of fun and frolics. Sonny and Bessie are now settled into preschool and school, and at Gaa Gaa Land HQ we are now finding the rhythm in our new routine.
Or so I thought. It appears that along with a questionable attitude to hygiene, my wee man has picked up some attitude over his first term at school. The other night when politely asked to go upstairs for bathtime he protested with a firm ‘No’ followed by “Mummy, why are you always spoiling my fun?”
What’s that now? Spoiling his fun? SPOILING HIS FUN! I don’t spoil the fun, I bring the bloody fun! I’m the fun Mum! The Fummy if you will (OK that doesn’t work). I’m the one who just last week, made a space rocket from a large cardboard box, with twin side booster engines and everything. At one point, it was just me playing with it. I zoom zoom zoomed the shit out of that bad boy.
So where did this come from? The day before the damning spoilsport revelation, I spent an hour crafting a sodding Go Jetters ‘click on’ backpack thingy complete with an extendable pipe cleaner scissor feature. It was quite the sight to behold. I often get involved with roleplay and rock the shit out of the coveted role of ‘poorly doggie’ or ‘crying baby.’ I’ve even found myself in a large bath towel nappy and drinking milk I didn’t want, just to give this game my all.
Clearly, this rocked me a bit. Apparently, I’m ALWAYS spoiling his fun. Incidentally, I wasn’t asking him to how to calculate the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle. I was asking him to do something we’ve done for the past 4.5 years – to have a bath before bedtime. Which is essentially a nightly exercise in watching Sonny and Bessie recreate the Trevi fountain, with water flying everywhere and loads of shit chucked in the water. Sometimes literally. Ugh. Nothing turns my stomach more than nugget infested waters. No one enjoys a code brown.
I shouldn’t be so upset. I knew this day was coming. The day of reckoning. I don’t take criticism well, especially from the two littles that I love most in this world. I’ve watched enough Topsy and Tim to know that at some point, every child will tell their parents that they ‘hate’ them. I just wasn’t ready for us to hit this stage yet.
OK, so it might sound like an insignificant and throwaway comment to some, probably those not shrouded in anxiety and self-doubt, but it made me pause and reflect. Am I fun? Or do I have fun dysmorphia? After spoilsport gate, I protested about my obvious fun-ness by pointing at the cardboard rocket and then stomping out of the room is a huge mood. And realised that maybe Sonny has a point.
Sometimes I can be a bit of a cowbag. Especially once a month when I’m surfing the crimson wave and chocolate can’t be easily located. Possibly after the millionth repetition of ‘stop putting that in your mouth.’ Or when I’m tired and just want to watch Bake Off with a brew but instead have to watch another episode of Paw Bastarding Patrol. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time for me to do a bit of a fun audit.
I decided to look to Bessie for comfort. My little angel. After being told that she had cried “all morning” as I wasn’t at preschool with her (she’s prone to exaggerating, apparently it was 1 minute of crying), I thought I was on safe enough ground to ask the question. “Sweetheart, do you think Mummy is fun?” After some contemplation, consisting of eating a bogey, pulling off a sock and farting, she told me that she loves me, even though sometimes I am a bit shouty. Shit. I’m shouty too. A shouty arse fun sponge. My heart sank. I then spontaneously started my period and subsequently cleared the local Co-Op out of Dairy Milk.
Being a Mum is SUCH a balance, and I am constantly worrying I don’t have it right. I want to be fun – but I’m in charge. I set the boundaries. It’s up to me to lay a foundation to enable my little critters to develop into kind, happy and confident humans. When you step back and think of it like that, what a head fuck. No wonder we are living in a society laden with Mum Guilt. It’s an epidemic, starting with guilt around how you deliver your baby, onto feeding, weaning, sleeping, and on and on… and seemingly it continues well into kidulthood.
I decided to try my hand once more. A few days later, I asked Sonny what he would tell people if they asked him what kind of Mummy I am. He stopped forcing a snap cube into a Playmobil baby buggy and thought for a minute. “I’d say you’re the best Mummy in the world,” he said lightly, “And Daddy poos when he sneezes.” I should clarify here that he’s referring to a snart, but even so, I pissed myself laughing.
And once the laughing stopped, like The Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day. Maybe I am doing a pretty good job. The laughing always outweighs the crying. The crafting outweighs the necessary bathing and other mundane tasks. I need to shake off that Mum Guilt, and remember the happy moments the next time I’m told I ALWAYS spoil his fun. It’s not always. Just sometimes.