Usually, I would write more about travelling or expat life on my blog, but this is my take on parenting and striving to be ‘the perfect mother’. On another hand, I’m not straying too far away from my usual topics – parenting our kids is a big part of our expat life in the end.
So, let me ask you, would you honestly say that you’re a ‘picture-perfect-pinterest-ideal-mother’? Or do you sometimes feel like you’ve got JUST enough strength left to keep it all together without falling apart before kids go to bed at night? I’m in no way the former. And, although, I’m trying hard at accepting that ‘nobody’s perfect’ and that ‘kids seem happy and well fed’, I do have moments of doubt, whether I shouldn’t try harder/do things better/plan more efficiently etc etc etc.
And here’s an explanation for the second part of my title – my proclamation of love towards Helen Fielding. author of Bridget Jones books. I always enjoyed Bridget Jones stories, English humour, relevant matters of dating and hanging out with friends, that was all funny and familiar. But those were the first two books. Time passed, I got married and had two kids and then recently I bought the third B.J. book and, coincidentally, she also got married and had two kids! And that’s when I discovered why Helen Fielding is my hero – the way she describes Bridget’s everyday parenting struggles could only be written by a mother, who experienced such struggles herself! And, moreover, I salute her for showing it all to the world – you see, it’s ok, there’re other not-perfect mothers out there! And their kids are fine and happy in the end. The mothers are not perfect, but they are normal mothers and that’s all right!
I thought, I’d share with you a couple of quotes, so even if you haven’t read that book (yet), you would know what I’m talking about:
11:30 a.m. Entire morning has been totally lovely. Started day with all three of us in my bed cuddling. Then had breakfast. Then played hide-and-seek. […] You see! It’s easy! All you have to do is devote yourself completely to your children and have a cadre, and, and
11:31 a.m. Billy: ‘Mummy, will you play football?’
11:32 a.m. Mabel: ‘Noo! Mummy, will you pick me up and thwing me round?’
11:40 a.m. Had just escaped to toilet when both cried ‘Mummy’ simultaneously.
11:45 a.m. Went back into the toilet, bit my hand really quite hard hissing, ‘Everything is completely intolerable, I hate myself, I’m a rubbish mother’. […] Smoothed myself down and stepped out again, smiling brightly.
Anyone? Recognising the experience? All happening within 15 minutes and (quite often) several times a day? Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes a break in a toilet is needed not only for your bodily functions, but for your sanity. Even harder, when your kids are shouting that they really need to join you in there – regaining sanity under pressure.
Or you know, when sometimes you employ tactics with your kids, which you should never share as an advise on your blog or Pinterest?
‘Chocolate buttons!’ I said, dancing about with the buttons in an attempt to mimic a fairy-themed party entertainer. ‘Follow the trail of buttons to see where it leads! Two trails,’ I added, to ward off conflict, laying a careful line of exactly matching chocolate buttons up the stairs and towards the front door, ignoring the fact that tradesmen may previously have trailed dog-poo traces into the carpet.
The two of them obediently trotted up the stairs after me, stifling the no-doubt-dog-poo-smeared buttons into their mouths.
Ok, such tactics are not desirable, but I cannot blame a mother in a conflict situation for coming up with at times bizarre, but non the less effective, ways of solving it.
And here’s my favourite quote, describing pretty much how I feel myself most of the time, trying to navigate my kids from point A to B on our daily schedule:
… pretending [I] was soldier in a war combined with the Dalai Lama.
That’s just it. Hold it together. Follow your plan. Project zen attitude towards you children. Hold it together (I know, I already said that, it’s not a typo. I actually have to repeat it several times to myself as well).
So if you are one of those mothers, who has moments of doubt just how well she is doing her job – you’re not the only one out there. Just look at Bridget Jones. (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself).