So, including the couple of weeks I did from home prior to venturing into the big, wide, often grubby but jam-packed with enough badass clothes and food shops to counteract any hygiene concerns, world of London, my one month trial as a full time worker is coming to an end. Yesterday, it was review time. Was my boss happy? Was I happy? Did I want to carry on?
Sorry. I don’t know why I did that. I’m just dicking with you. Of course I did. Of. Course. I. Bloody. Did. I’m having the time of my freaking life. And I’m really sorry because that might sound gloaty or showy-offy and I know, nobody likes a smart arse (yes, smug mum acquaintance who, after my request for hangover cures on Facebook, responded with ‘I’ve never had a hangover so I can’t help you on this one’ – THAT MEANS YOU) but if I tell you that, prior to coming back to work, I largely spent the previous two years crying, enduring 4am anxiety attacks and repeatedly berating myself for generally being shit at life, then hopefully me saying ‘actually, yeah, things are pretty good right now’ won’t make me seem like such a wanker.
So yeah, things really are pretty good right now. The job is ace, I work with a lovely, funny bunch of people – not one of whom has ever told me anything remotely passive aggressive about their kids and what they’re capable of – and as a result I am laughing a lot. Like, proper laughing where my face hurts, not manic laughing that has been instigated by my daughter rubbing yoghurt up the wall and, as a result of me being so exhausted, I can’t do what I want to do, which is cry, for fear of passing out (because obviously, me passing out = nobody to stop the kids getting those indelible ‘children’s’ paints out = another fucking wash to put on when I come round).
Where was I? Oh yes. So all good. Getting the work done, raising a lot of eyebrows (ok, raising BOTH eyebrows, that’s pretty much the maximum eyebrows any one person can raise) when anyone apologises for the heavy workload because seriously, compared to 6.30am-8pm of pure, unrelenting kids, a full-on day or writing and researching is genuinely a doddle in comparison, and feeling a whole lot better in myself and what I am capable of. Sure, I have guilt and there are still flashes of ‘my children, I have ABANDONED MY CHILDREN’ panic that run through my mind each day but I find I can usually stamp on these with a quick text to our lovely nanny to see how everyone’s getting on. Failing that, I just bob out to Urban Outfitters and look at pretty things until the worry dissipates (‘ooh, fake-vintage necklaces….Children? Eh? What?).
Anyway, chat with boss went well, I’ve signed up for another few months and hopefully many more will come after that. And, in celebration of this very news and of life generally picking up a bit, and in a kind of farewell to the stay-at-home mum in me, I thought what better way to remind me that I’m doing the right thing than with a little review of my SAHM cock-ups. The clangers. The bollocks I dropped. The opposite of highlights. Basically, the shit that happened when I was with my kids. I like to think of it as not totally dissimilar to the part in the Oscars where they show you a montage of who died and their work. Although obviously in this case nothing died. Except my soul, obviously, but I think I might have resuscitated that so dry your eyes and cancel the wreath. It was touch and go at one point, but soul hasn’t taken its last breath yet.
No. I’m not on drugs. Well, not illegal ones anyway. I’ll shut up now. Here are my motherly balls-ups:
After a particularly stressful day at home with the kids that had seen them throwing Whiskas around the kitchen, we had to then go to a bonfire party at the home of my husband’s boss. Through no fault of my own, and through every fault of the boss for having rosé wine when EVERYONE knows you should never EVER give a highly emotional woman with a screaming child on her hip rosé wine, I got drunk. About an hour into the party, I thought ‘sod this’ and, grabbing the nearest available stranger, handed them my baby, briefing them with the words “if her hands smell of fish, it’s because she’s been eating cat biscuits”. And off I fucked to get more wine.
Getting a serious, and somewhat inappropriate attack of the giggles at the local music class when, as part of ‘Africa Week’, the teacher encouraged the kids to join in with the words “come on kids! Dangle with me. We all like a big trunk don’t we?”
One Christmas, attempting to make my own mincemeat (don’t start), I had just bobbed in to Tesco Metro to buy a quarter bottle of whisky. Trying to channel my inner green goddess, I decided to say no to the plastic bag and just chucked the bottle in the nappy bag. Naturally, seeing as I apparently live in sitcom-world, who did I bump into just moments later, whiskey bottle sticking out of my nappy bag? That bitchfacesmuggysupermum who, just the day before, I’d been telling how fraught and desperate for a drink I was. ‘Hello alcoholic’ – that’s pretty much what her eyes said to me.
Scrambling around a church altar during a playgroup nativity service as my errant toddler, complete with bulging shitty nappy, took the opportunity of the diversion of every other child angelically singing Away In A Manger to leg it from me. There was a plus point to this, however – as we all filed out of the church, the hot vicar complimented me on my rugby tackle. Phwoarrrr, hot vicars totally dig a woman who knows how to floor a stinking 2 year old in a place of all that is holy. Get. IN.
Crying, in front of the kids, at Subo singing Both Sides Now on This Morning as they rubbed Sudocrem into my good coat. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? RIGHT?
The moment when, as I was loading one kid into the car, my son decided to lean on the horn one morning after a particularly stressful playgroup that had witnessed me breastfeed my daughter CONTINUOUSLY for THREE FUCKING HOURS. This would not have been so bad if we weren’t parked up outside a church. Which we were. Or if there had not been a funeral taking place. Which there was. Or, had he not taken the precise moment the coffin was pulled from the hearse to start his honkathon. Which he totally did. My son heckled a corpse. Is it any wonder I quit full-time motherhood?