Thursday 16 December 2010

Thank F**K For Father Christmas

I hate to admit it, but the children have been really good so far this week. Which is a bit rubbish because I don't get much blog material. Unfortunately it's not down to my fantastic parenting skills but rather because I went onto Portable North Pole and sent them a message from Father Christmas. The beauty of this website is that you can input if your children have been a bit naughty and the areas where they need to improve. And it works! My kids have been mesmerised and have taken on board everything that Father Christmas told them. They are trying really hard to please and ten days respite is mind-blowing for this tired mother.
But my question is this - what happens when Christmas is over and they have had all the presents that they wished for? (Except in my house they'll get about half the presents - The Husband hates spending his millions on bits of plastic and The Tomboy has asked for really weird stuff like a bleeding Dracula bag). Can I expect the same mind control from the Easter Bunny?
Father Christmas was definitely invented by a parent because he's such a fantastic way to brainwash your kids into behaving. I've scared the living daylights out of mine by saying that Father Christmas is watching their every move and I'm loving the results. However the Inventor must have had pretty well behaved children if he thought that Father Christmas was enough. After the Easter Bunny, I'm a bit short on ideas. And what's gonna happen when the kids wise up in a couple of years, how will I keep control then?
Suggestions please, on a Christmas card. x

Tuesday 14 December 2010

The Fear

Recently I have been suffering from The Fear. Actually, not recently I just realised, but ever since I gave birth to The Tweenager.

It started like this:
  • Fear of becoming a mum and being tied down for 18 years
  • Fear that I might kill the baby or someone might steal it
  • Fear that my breasts would never be the same again
  • Fear The Husband might want special love
By the time The Tomboy was born, I was an expert at being a mum and was almost a success in my own business, so The Fear subsided for a while. It was still there (it never goes away completely) but had developed into a Fear of not being late, Fear of the sandwich shop not being open and Fear of my days off from the shop when I had to have my children. The Fear was manageable.

After The Toddler it really grew. Before I accepted that this is my time to 'stand still', The Fear almost brought me down. Thank God for anti depressants. The Fear is very very strong. The Fear tried to take over me like this:
  • Fear that I had lost my identity and was just a moaning mum
  • Fear that my life is very small
  • Fear of being tired
  • Fear I was very boring and had no funny stories to tell
  • Fear that changing a nappy was the highlight of my day
Recently The Fear has been very clever. The Fear has metamorphosed again. Just when you think you are beating it, The Fear comes back bigger and stronger and in ways that you did not expect.
After almost two years of being miserable that I don't live in the town and that I don't have a job, those two wishes are the things that now frighten me the most. The Husband has recently been offered a promotion and with the pay rise he has suggested that we move into town. Since isn't this what I've been banging on about for two years. Yet the very thought of it frightens the life out of me. What's all that about? And the other day I was practically offered a job managing the children's section in my local bookstore and I ran out the exit faster than the gingerbread man.

The Fear wins almost every time. But it will never ever stop me from having coffee with my mates or watching Desperate Housewives or walking The Dog. You see the only thing to really fear is The Fear itself. And once you realise this, you can carry on being lazy and wasting the days whilst getting by with minimal parental responsibility. The Fear will never get to that.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Ostrich Parenting

Further to my previous blog, I would now like to post a photograph of what I normally look like at the end of the day:This is on a good day

Examining myself last night I have come up with the term "Ostrich Parenting" which is basically how I am bringing up my children. It involves a great deal of craziness from them and lots of burying head in the sand behaviour from me:
This is also on a good day
As The Tomboy & The Tweenager continue their passion for wrestling each other, I have decided to stop trying to referee in the hope that we don't end up in A&E. Instead I am now hiding in the other room. I don't want to be a witness to their bloodbath.
It's pretty much the way I am in general, recently. God forbid I ever go to a toddler group, but the way The Toddler is into hitting and freaking out, I can guarantee that I would spend the whole time hidden behind the soft blocks. I'm going down the line of
"If I didn't see it, then it didn't happen"
The Husband hasn't cottoned on yet but in his own way he is also a practitioner of Ostrich Parenting. Every day he burys his head in his work load in an attempt to avoid the children and every evening he burys his head in Braveheart or Gladiator in an attempt to avoid me.
Ostrich Parenting comes in handy especially when you are asked awkward questions like "Why couldn't you get milk when you are home all day?" and "Do you think the washing up can do itself?" and "Mummy, will you play horses?".
The children are loving my new parenting style. It basically means that they can run riot and cause havoc and they think I will never know who started it. But they forget that although the Ostrich may not be able to fly, it can run very very fast indeed, especially in their direction.

Out With The Old, In With The New

I recently saw a picture of myself that was a really good photo. Good in the way that it didn't look like the real me. It was taken at a wedding where I had been spray tanned, make-up'd and styled within an inch of my life even though I didn't know until five minutes before the ceremony what I was wearing. I was too preoccupied with making sure that The Tomboy didn't wear a football kit. It's a very flattering photo and I don't honestly look like this, especially not at 8.45am when I am trying to get three children out of the door. Okay, so here it is:

Me as I would like to be

This photo made me feel sad for a number of reasons. Mainly because I wish I was that person - the girl in that photo looks so carefree and happy with her lot and not like the moany bag that I have turned in to. In fact that girl looks like the old me.

It's not the only time recently that I have glimpsed the old me. I went for an eye test on Sunday after deciding that I am in desperate need of new glasses. Confirmed by every mum in the playground when I wore my dog-chewed, toddler-twisted, wonky-eyed, current spectacles the other week. The optician, surprisingly, was very sweet and funny so we had a laugh. He had recently become a father and had very cute clothes. Since I had no children with me and was wearing my Ugg hat, I was on top form. I was flirting and being hilarious and overall good fun - just like I used to be.

Then things took a turn. My friend's husband came over to fix a pipe for us and we got chatting about children. He has five. I was about to launch into my "isn't having children rubbish" stand-up comedian routine when he stopped me dead in my (kind of funny) tracks. He actually made a very good case for the other side of the coin. He put a fantastically positive view on life as a family unit. He made me feel like an idiot. Basically, his philosophy was that everything before was shallow and what did I honestly want to do, go out and get pissed every night? As we chatted, I thought YES I am so very very lucky and isn't my life fantastically great. It is true to say that it was one of those moments in life where your eyes are opened.

This lasted about ten minutes. I went back inside the house and looked at the photo then looked in the mirror. It was an easy game of Spot The Difference. The Tomboy & The Tweenager were playing their new game of wrestling which involves a great deal of hitting and crying. I said: "If you hurt each other I am going to kill you", and once again things were back to normal in the Smith household.

I have decided, as a compromise to myself, to put the photo away and not look at it again until I am sixty. That way hopefully the children will be all moved out and I will be back to my real self, head held high and happy.