Mother Knows Best.
My own mother (as much as I love her) is always forthcoming in sharing her opinions, especially when it comes to babies, kids and parenting. But you know what, why shouldn’t she be!? By the time she was my age she had 4 children. FOUR. There’s only six years between me (the eldest) and my little brother. Jeez that’s some serious mama-ing. AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN DRINK! (Well, apart from the occasional wine when watching Poldark, as you do…)
And on top of that she’s a childminder. She’s done all the classes and the courses, she’s been OFSTED’d – with shining results – too many times to remember (Oh if only we didn’t live 120 miles away from her, she would have the pleasure of my two little monkey’s company probably a lot more than her sanity and beloved cream Laura Ashley sofas could handle…)
However, as much as this should all probably mean she is my parenting guru, I am finding more and more these days Mother Knows Best is taking on a whole new meaning.
Sometimes I have to remind her (gently) that I am a mother now too! And although my eldest is only two and a half, I feel have actually experienced quite a lot. And I’m now going through lots of things second time round and feel a little less like I’m heading into it all completely blind – sleep deprivation, teething, never being able to wear a nice necklace because i’m just going to get garroted as its yanked into a dribbly mouth…
So sometimes I find myself rolling my eyes at yet another pearl of parenting wisdom from mum, exasperatedly commenting to my hubby “I’d like to think I know what’s best for my child, I wish she’d just let me get on with it and trust my own instincts…”
And then I see my husband looking down like he’s far too fixated on the raisin swished in between the floorboards by his feet (which has been there for at least a couple of days and I keep walking past hoping that someone else might magically remove it, or at least my toddler might eat it…)
And then I understand, that without even realising it I have become JUST like my mother – the all singing, all dancing on a mountain top ORACLE of what’s best and what’s right for my kids. And I’m not willing to let anyone else have a say…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Mr S would like to have a go at this parenting malarkey sometimes, but unfortunately he’s got me, Mama Bear, watching his every move ready to attack if the baby’s food is heated up just longer than exactly 20 seconds, or if toddlers sausages aren’t cut into 1.5cm slices and no bigger…
Now it’s not like I’m trying to be mean, I’m actually trying to do him a favour, save a bit of his time, so he can get on with more important things in life like checking the Twitter feed of his favorite East London kebab shop (@Mangal2…. if you’re interested.)
He could mix it up and try giving toddler his dinner before his night time cup of milk (if he wants to start World War Three…)
He could try making the decision to not take the double buggy out and make toddler walk around the supermarket (if he wants to find out exactly how much all those Paw Patrol toys we own are…)
He could try letting the baby have a nap at 5.20pm (as long as he’s not planning on having him in bed on time later so he can watch Star Trek at 7…)
He could try not putting the white noise machine on in the nursery (if he is also going to gaffer tape the toddlers mouth to keep him from shouting “MOANA, MAKE WAY, MAKE WAAAAY” at the top of his voice…)
He could try not sticking both kids in front of the TV (Moana again) whilst he sorts out the baby bag and snacks for the day ahead (if he wants to take another four hours to actually get out the house…)
I don’t particularly get a lot of smug satisfaction from playing the ‘I told you so’ game (ok well, maybe just a little…) but the fact is, being around our boys pretty much 24/7, I do have a teensy bit of an idea of what needs to be done to try and get us through the day until bedtime / winetime.
So if I make a gentle suggestion (or more likely yell “FFS DON’T DO THAT YOU MORON!”) it’s probably because I’ve been there before! And learned from my mistake!
Oh and don’t get me started on Mummy Radar (maybe Mum-Dar, is that actually a thing??) You know, a mama’s ability to see the DANGER everywhere, and a dad’s ability to be completely oblivious to it…
Sometimes I swear our kids would be running around with plastic carrier bags for hats, waving knives and scissors or using the ironing board to toboggan down the stairs if I wasn’t watching (actually that does kinda sound like fun, and let’s be honest – what other kind of action does my ironing board ever see these days …?)
SO ok, ok, enough of the dad-bashing, I just wanted to have a bit of a rant and then say actually I do sometimes recognise that it might do me good to heed someone else’s advice, or let someone try something a different way.
I might even actually act on my musings one of these days…
But I also recognise that my husband is absolutely amazing and a bloody great dad to our two little monkeys. And as we’re approaching our fourth wedding anniversary I’m reminded that he’s actually had to put up with me for over ten years. A DECADE OF ME. So I really need to give him some props, that’s no mean feat. Love you Mr S.
And my mum well, she’s got four kids, seven grand kids, looks after kids for a living, has just over twenty years on me yet she looks like my twin but with LESS wrinkles (and a killer fringe!) No kidding. She MUST be doing something right. Maybe I really do need to listen to her a little bit more…