Today I had a couple of conversations that have stuck with me. The first someone saying something along the lines of “I don’t know how you manage” or, “how do you juggle it all”. (Something that I hear a lot when I share that I have 4 kids...) And the second was another mama saying to me “we’re surviving”.
You know what, I’m not always holding it together, or managing to cope and juggle, but I’m surviving. Some days better than others but today wasnt so great.
Today I was the mum who was woken up stupidly early by her 1 year old. Who ate biscuits for breakfast and let the 1 year old drown malted milks in her tea because it kept her occupied for 3.5 seconds and it made the biggest two laugh.
I’m the mum who forgot to buy apple juice for the biggest child’s break-time snack. The mum who has only just ordered new jumpers for kid number 2 after he put holes in them 2 weeks ago.
I’m the mum who was so incredibly relieved that her 1 year old fell asleep on the school run in the wrap and prayed that she could manage a successful nap transfer so she could...clean the house. I’m the mum who needs another mum (organised mum method is amazing though) to tell her the schedule for cleaning her house because I can’t keep on top of it. (I can’t have anyone around unannounced)
I’m the mum who ate porridge for lunch because there wasn’t anything else for lunch. I can’t keep on top of the food shopping. Im pretty certain we’ve run out of ham for lunches tomorrow and it’s only Tuesday ffs.
I’m the mum who turned up to a breastfeeding group and allowed her 1 year old to eat someone else’s food (oh the shame) and then the 1 year old bit another child. I’m that mum. The mum who leaves early because she feels like a worse parent than normal.
I’m the mum who felt so incredibly terrible that someone else’s child was in pain because of my child and then felt crushing sadness that others may think my child is bad.
I’m the mum who hurriedly left. Wrapping up my child in our woven which felt like a cloak of protection.
I’m the mum who guilt purchased things for her oldest child because mum guilt is real, and I just want her to smile at me and be happy.
I’m that mum sitting on a train wondering if I’ll make it home in time before school run to be able to take the dogs out first because taking the kids and the dogs out on my own feels like a mountain I can’t climb today. Because I’m the mum who has boys who fight. And try and kick each other. I’m the fur mum who’s dogs choose not to listen when I need them too.
I’m the mum who is wondering which child is going to complain about dinner tonight and wondering if it’s acceptable just to give them ice cream?
I’m the mum who has only just signed middle child up for karate lessons because I’m worried that he doesn’t get enough positive affirmation and praise and we need something *just for him*.
I’m the mum who feels overwhelming anxiety about everything.
I’m the mum who babywears because I’m terrified of how quickly my babies have grown up and I need the cuddles.
I am the mum who babywears because I was about 5 months late in sewing on the brownie badges to my biggest child’s sash and they only way to get it done was to have the crazy feral toddler strapped to me!
I’m the mum surviving. And I know I have it good. I know there are people in the world who are really suffering. But to those of you who think “how does she cope?” I survive. Just like others. And I think I’m going to have a cry and try at cut myself some slack. And so should you. Use whatever tools you have to survive. Babywearing and cake and gin and pulling up the drawbridge of my family is what helps me.