I don’t know how I had imagined my maternity leave… Well that’s a lie but it’s so far from the reality that I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. I pictured myself scrawling regular blog posts about the joys of parenting, playing with my little man, meeting my new mum friends for lunch and baby play dates, finally having time to stay on top of the house work, cooking for the hubby and baking lots of sweet treats. To give you the headlines.
Some days I find myself in a ridiculous situation and current me laughs at the naivety of past, pregnant me. I had one of these relevations this morning while carrying a screaming baby around the back garden in my (sick covered) dressing gown trying to herd a difficult dog back into the house in the rain.
Our house is now run by a tiny dictator who will allow me to write a blog on the condition that I cradle him while I type. Who will let me shower if he can sit in the bathroom while I do. Who will play with me and make my heart swell with his perfect little gummy grins, until he’s fed up of me and will then proceed to scream until I work out a new way to entertain him, feed him or rock him to sleep. All of this doesn’t leave much time for ticking off my maternity fantasy to do lists.
To some this might sound like a complaint but actually, this tiny dictator has stolen a big chunk of my heart so as it happens, I’ll do pretty much anything for him and it just makes me blissfully happy that he’ll let me.
That doesn’t mean to say motherhood hasn’t come with a few complaints. How I have managed to bite my tongue with all the unsolicited advice I do not know. I half expected it from some of our more opinionated family members so can easily shrug it off from them but strangers commenting on how weather appropriately dressed my child is or whether my pram raincover may cause suffocation, well, these helpful little inputs I could do without. Sure, you’ve admired my baby for a whole ten seconds and had a little coo at him. That most definitely does not entitle you to an opinion on how I raise him. Who the hell ever made you think otherwise? The worst part is that most of this unsolicited advice comes from women. Some of them have been mums and must know how infuriating it is, yet proceed to tell me what’s best regardless. I will kill the next person that tells me he sleeps too much when they only see him for an hour or two of the day (come visit at 3am and tell me he sleeps too much!) But I’ve put up with this “helpful input” through pregnancy as well so it’s not really a new moan…
Aside from the advice my other biggest bug bear is parent and child parking. The number of times someone without a child has pulled in front of us and into the last parent and child parking space would shock you. I’m surprised my husband hasn’t punched one of them. Though he came close in a Tesco car park when a male culprit in a brand new Audi did it. He seemed to think he was justified in doing so when an 11 year old strode out of the back seat. But this child in no way justifies a wider parking space. No more than I would if I went out shopping with my mum. Perhaps the worst example of this parking problem was a mum I caught at Aldi. I’d had to park in a “normal” space and do my usual car seat/avoid bumping the car next to me dance and I saw her strolling back to her car (stickered up with “baby on board” to justify using the parent and child space) sans baby. This irritates me more as she clearly knows how frustrating it is but did it anyway. Yes, it is convenient that they are close to the store but I’d use them if they were miles away to save my car and anyone else’s who dares park next to me and to make life easier. For anyone who commits this heinous crime against mums with baby seats, I sincerely hope karma is coming for you and your precious car which you deem worthy of depriving someone actually in need of a larger space for.
When ranting to my other half about this terrible injustice his solution was to hand over a pack of novelty parking fine tickets that he got as a silly Christmas gift. They look real enough at first sight to mistake them for an actual ticket but say hilarious things on the reverse about being a terrible driver/parker etc. They’re sat in my glove box waiting for an occasion to be used. Part of me looks forward to being able to hand one out. Maybe I was really destined to be a parking enforcement officer…
Anyway, I can sense “the boss” (who is sleeping over my shoulder as I type) stirring so that’s it from me for now!