Yes…the wonderful, endless, painful, exceptional, school holidays are soon coming to an end.
Nearly 1000000 weeks off school (although, to be fair, those Teachers must need it)…looong. My trio. The mini me entourage? Damn…. they’ve been busy, washing, cleaning and losing socks at home is beyond crazy, and yet….still…I get the same old question…EVERY 10 MINUTES:-
MUMMMMMMMMMMM???!! WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY!? NOW? RIGHT NOW?! MUUUUUUUMMMMM!!??”
These kids of mine, are very lucky, and fortunate, erm….”people” (I didn’t want to be harsh with my own crew).
I am beyond stunned, that they are “BORED” from ONE (ONNNNNNEEEEE!!!!!!!!) day inside the padded cell known as our non permanent “rental home”.
Now, I have spent WEEEEEEEKS, yes, WEEEEEKS, alone, with my trio keeping them busy, travelling, going out, spending an absolute fortune, to keep these little meanies “busy”. BUSY ON A LEVEL LIKE BANKERS FEEL “BUSY” TAKING THEIR CLIENTS TO STRIP CLUBS”…. that’s how “BUSY” these under 7’s have kept me. And before you all forget…. IM FUCKING ALONE!!! Single Mum. To be fair. It’s much easier when it’s just me…”Iron fist, velvet glove” Mum that I am.
This is normal for the mini entourage and I ….however… if even ONE day is spent being a 1980’s Mum ie. “For fucks sake, entertain yourself and leave the adults alone!? Why are you even asking me for a bloody sandwich? Do I look like I work for you??’!!”
I’m ridden with “this 2017 judgemental parenting” guilt. Instilled by the media, NW Hampstead joggers you throw your fags at while doing the school run (they are normally rosey cheeked raahs , being all “healthy”), Lycra/legging/shirt in winter wearing “sporty” Mums at school (you know the ones…they’re all cliquey….speak to everyone (except you, the antichrist antimum outsider) and yet…their hair and nails are still (STILL) immaculate, and the ex husband who feels I should be tap dancing daily for the children to ensure I’m doing a good job to earn my monthly maintenance.
Seriously? For those of us who grew up in the “real” world…especially the 1980’s generation…I don’t recall THIS level of “parental” involvement and play date hell with some boring 7yr old who bullies my child (but hey, it’s a play date, so they’re “mentally growing”). This is BULLSHIT.
This is “adult mummy parental peer pressure”. Ive been “shunned” from some Mummy groups, towards the end of last year, because I blatantly rejected (politely) certain (hugely pointless and unnecessary coffee mornings/emails), constant messages for money to give “spa gifts” for the school staff (at an expensive private school), or to once again fill the mummy money kitty for yet another school fair.
Shunned why? I asked questions. OH….and I may have cracked a few unPC (possibly anti-marriage) jokes. Yes, I’m a “wrong ‘un.”
Damn my big gob. Ie. My daughter had no girls attend her birthday (despite attending all theirs) last year. She was devastated. I emailed the Mummy “WhatsApp bullshit hypocrite group” and literally said “why are NONE of your girls attending my child’s birthday?” Response. Nothing. Blanked. I’ve never been blanked. I’m the cool one at school. So what did I do. I created a new group. One called “I fucking hate affected Mummy dicks” (yes, childish…but still…we were cool). So far there are, erm, 4 of us. 2 are currently on probation for a DUI. Great girls though and our nights in Camden are legendary 😉
*That said. adult bullying is actually something I will write about next…as I can’t believe what I’ve witnessed daily with school “cliques” amoung Mums. It’s sooo blatant. Rude. Spiteful. Boring as you don’t ACTUALLY WANT to hang around these people (but ego wants you to be involved) but I will never ever bother with these vulgar socially inadequate people again. Anyway… Today is about the return to hell/heaven after the longest school holidays known to man kind.
My mini entourage have spent weeks on holiday ( weeks!!), at expensive tennis summer camps, with friends, family, outings that cost a minimum of £200 a day….basically “busy” as hell. Busy busy busy. Educating and broadening their minds…
BUT….today, they spent 6 hours IN DOORS (YES, IN DOORS, as in “inside the house”, WHILE IT RAINED) and complained that I wasn’t “entertaining” them. 🙂
Entertaining “them”…? Entertaining them….?
Erm…. Are you for fucking real?
What happened to us parents owning our own lives and households? Everyone I know complains about this shit but we all still torture ourselves and our kids, forcing too much social and physical activity to prove to those around us that we are “doing a great job”. Nb. If a parent isn’t happy, or is tired…do you not think this may potentially rub off on their children? Outside peer pressure for adults, who are full time parents (apparently this is not a “job” but more a joyous “lifestyle choice”….) we too, at times, need to call the shots in our own home. We can gauge what our children need.
And my worry when they (my mini trio) complained they were “bored?”… my concern, aside from “oh for fucks sake…!” Was…”What will people think?”
What the HELL have we done as a generation that I HAVE TO STOP HOUSEWORK…. TO SING …..AND DANCE …..AND GOOGLE ……ENTERTAINMENT?!! This makes me a good parent. This makes me a good parent? Not the Mother who runs around like a dog daily for her children, sleeps on floors (sometimes without even a blanket or glass of vino) when one is ill, drives 12 hours a days to collect/drop off/take to play dates…) nope.
I’m a shit mum if my children are bored for one single minute. We’ve ruined this generation. We have taught them nothing about morals, respect, manners, character…its them who apparently run the show. But….No…nope. No way. Not happening. I’m done with this polite “adorable, organic, support their desires” display. It’s not for the kids, this bullshit show…the one of exhausted Master Mummy…it’s to show off to other parents. It’s about displaying your abilities. You’re all bored. I’m not. I’ve got a life. I’m busy. I’m normal.
Children, should be able to cope, as us adults do, with time at home. And “time” doesn’t mean “jail time”….but in the old days, there were no “play areas” in my Parents flat. There were no friggin “playdates with Jane” from across the road. This is how the 1980’s worked in my era….
“Mum, can Jane come over today?”
Mum: “Yes fine. Stay in your room. Have fun.”
End of conversation. Jane and I would ring numerous restaurants for prank calls, watch TV, listen to the “Radio” (yes, “Radio”” and keep the fuck out of my parents way….WHY? BECAUSE IT WAS THEIR HOUSE!!!!
“Listen Mum Beeeeyatch! Dad said you need to fucking entertain our arses. Jane and her crew are coming over (theyre 7 yrs old btw), and if we ask you for Organic treats, youre not only going to hand them over, but take photos of our wonderous time together and post it via Whatssapp to demonstrate what a great NEW AGE DICK YOU ARE”
ME Internally….”Benadryl laced pasta lunch then, you manipulative wankers?!”
WHY are we doing this stupid crap??
My generation grew up in a time when serious shit happened. Yet, we all happiliy got on with stuff and I never ever recall my parents going “ooohhh, she has a playdate….we cant make that important event today!”
My Parents were, great, and also…very normal. ” You live here kid. You eat when we do. This is your 5ft by 5ft play zone in your OWN bedroom. Crack on and don’t answer back”. Simple.
This is how things roll in this day and stupid boring, miserable age:-
Me..: “We have to leave the house immediately to get to your 8.30am, (on a Saturday) playdate. Where are your Pink Fairy wings and gift for your friend “RainbowJuliabellscarlett?”
All one name FYI. Because the parents are affected twats. Who live in a posh area but are very “down to earth”.
On arriving at some lush palace in Nottinghill, the host, AKA “Posh Mummy” states:
“Oh she (referring to my Super cute, totally unaware & NORMAL CHILD, who was wearing her older brothers Batman costume with My Little Pony trainers & neon orange leggings from “Mummy’s 80’s fancy dress box”) needs a “magic costume from this years Sundance kids Film Festival in our cellar”. This? Errrr….to attend a tea party at 8.30am on a Saturday morning… and then this lycra, thin haired, thin bodied, Sloaney pony, states her “E-invite” was very clear that you “please dont arrive with Nuts, sugar, happiness or a rainbow….” as her baby, little Jim, is allergic to all and we don’t encourage Happiness in our home”. My child, one of my three favourites, handed me her bag of honey coated bits, candy floss, medium sized rainbow, and smile, over to me at the door. When I hugged her “goodbye”, she whispered “please come get me in 1O….minutes. I’ll pretend I have a bad tummy ache”. My daughter is FIVE YEARS old. I literally walked to my car, parked 12 streets away in NOTTINGHILL as no one can park outside their house in London, and sure enough….I had a phone call from Lycra Mum stating “your daughter has just said she did the biggest shit in my 4th bathroom and needs to i home immediately before she Explodes in my Persian rug”. To be honest…I couldn’t have been prouder. She would have been beyond bored for those 3 hours. 2 nannies, 4 children, a overly medicated “rahhh” Mum….it was too much. She told me when I collected her, after giving me a little wink “Mum…let’s go to E&O…I need to tell you what those crazies were like. They even had “Nannies”….
FUCK OFF!!! You encourage the idiot to wear a fairy costume though?! At 8.30am while you open the door wearing gym clothes to demonstrate how miserably healthy you are while your “friend”, a 20 year old exhausted Aupair…
called Tania …
frm Switzerland,is running around after 4 posh, irritating kids dressed as total wankers for a wierd playdate. Wow. What an amazing parent you are. Let me take notes.
The new term is about to start in Septmeber. I am more, now than ever, determined…to NOT do this bullshit. DETERMINED. I WILL NOT GIVE IN TO THIS CRAZY SHIT.
I run a home.
I love my kids.
I want them to be normal and happy.
I AM NOT doing this bullshit playdate, “do what the kids want” crap anymore.
I’m divorced. I live by my own moral codes and conduct. I’m free. THANK FK.
You want a playdate at mine?
Get ready to be an actual kid.
That involves actually hanging out with your mates, not bothering adults and no personal staff to assist you when you want a glass of water. Otherwise, youre a freak and I don’t want my children around you. You are NOT NORMAL. My trio ARE. Yes, now IM judging. Back off cracky lycra wearing NW Hampstead Mummies. I’m appalled at your elitism, lack of manners, zero personality, and ability to be YOU. Yes…..I AM JUDGING NOW. IVE BEEN LOCKED INTO THIS AREA AGAINST MY WILL…. NOW….I BEG YOU TO PICK A FIGHT OR STUPID MINDLESS PLAYDATE. I don’t WANT frivolous conversation. I don’t want coffee mornings. I HAVE friends and a life. We all do. This DOES NOT MAKE US BETTER PARENTS.
WHY IS NO ONE ACKNOWLEDING THIS ??
As for the parents…..ughhhh…..Im dreading the new term already.
ALAS……IT HAS BEGUN.
POSH SCHOOLS HAVE STARTED THEIR NEW TERM (finally!!!)
After what, may I just say, was the loooooongest summer holiday EVER. Those lovable, relentless, cheeky, sweet, rude, thankless, cuddly, adorable, tug-at-your heart, mean, hideous, gorgeous creatures we created (I was THAT desperate I had IVF for FFS!) returned to a daily day care, known as a wonderful Institution I thoroughly hated, and was kicked out of TWICE, called “School”.
Just hearing those words now makes me feel sooo incredibly elated/ill/nauseous/thankful. I sometimes need to restrain myself from hugging their Teachers when I see them after a school break. How Teachers do their jobs, day in day out, without becoming seriously mentally ill, is beyond me. I know, these are children they eventually hand back to us at the end of the day (probably a reassuring thought, unless one taught at Boarding school), yet…HOW DO THEY KEEP THEIR SHIT TOGETHER when dealing with not one, two or even three kids, but 20-25!? HOW??? How are they staying grounded? Seriously, some MUST be on some form of medication, or at least “Rescue Remedy” by the gallon. I mean, I AM A PARENT. THREE HUMANS CAME OUT OF MY BODY. YET….I’m more than willing to hand those “beings” over to an adult I know zero personal info about, daily….why/ BECAUSE I NEED A FUCKING BREAK OK!!!?? I NEED TO SHOWER WITHOUT INTERRUPTION!!! I NEED TO SIT DOWN WITHOUT BEING “BECKOND” TO SOMEO^ OR $ YEAR OLDS NEEDS. I NEED TIME ALONE. ON PURPOSE. Yes, say it. IM A SELFISH WOMAN/MOTHER.
Do you know, I get soooo selfish now about my own personal time, that I literally turn all avenues of communication off when I know the children are safe. That may be for 1 hour, or 24….but MY GOD…how liberating was life before email and friggin mobile fucking phones. Both of which have caused more damage than good ie. how many marriages/relationships/careers, have been busted over social media leaks!? Keep Big Brother out your life, and you would actually be FREE of all the “why didn’t you respond to my wassap?!!” bullshit.
Anyway….back to what is my present happiest/saddest moment this past week…..yes, I just shared a rare “vulnerable” insight. Get over it. It wont happen for another fucking year if I can help it….unless I win the lottery.
So….Schools are now open. Parents are now able to eat without indigestion. Life has resumed, as us stay at home parents know it.
What happens when the kids return to school (aside from reducing your dose of Vodka/Xanax/”quiet moment in the loo”)?
Here are some of the emotions a parent will feel when the kids return to school after any holiday/break/Parent-home-jail:-
- Initially, ELATION. You’re thinking, “Brilliant. Once I drop those monkies off, I can get back to doing what actually needs to be done!!” Now….”what needs to be done”, in your mind, will probably involve things like: a) having a cup of tea, without someone screaming “MUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMM, SHES ANNOYING ME AGAIN WITH HER BALLOON/GERBIL/FOOT/FACE!!!!!” b) eating a slice of toast and actually reading the newspaper to find out how normal people are living their lives…c) dealing with dreaded admin (endless emails that needed “URGENT” attention 1 week ago.
- The second thing you think you’ll do is get the house sorted finally. Have a proper tidy up, get rid of old school work/endless pictures of Princesses or stickers being removed from walls or floors/get organised and give to charity old clothes (millions). You are convinced, no matter what, that you will NOT MISS THEM.
- You will have time to make calls and organise diaries, meet Mummys from the school for “Coffee Mornings”, return to your beloved Pilates classes with a vengeance, eat uninterrupted, maybe even smile…
- You think you will clean out your fridge, organise the shelves, sort all the shoes maiming people as they trip up when walking in at your front door. You think you will be able to GET SORTED.
- REST – AKA “Really earned sitting time”… as in, not being called to do something the minute you think you can have a gulp of water and sit down to eat the left over scraps (because you cant be arsed to cook for yourself anymore).
ALL OF THE ABOVE WONT HAPPEN.
The sad, shameless, harsh, reality is this.
You will drop the kids off, do a food shop, wash a million clothes, rush home to tidy up after the morning rush getting out the front door, was dishes, bleach and disinfect everything, read emails, pay bills…. You will make a zillion calls on behalf of the kids, you, your life, your home sale (I’m trying to sell up and move ASAP. Living in my old “Marital home” is hell on earth), you Mum will ring and want an hour long chat about what you “need to do to make things easier” (yet never once saying, “Go travelling and ask their Dad to do this horrendous monotonous, sleepless, daily routine, without going absolutely insane”.
Single parents, what can I say to you!?
Before I became one, I had NO IDEA, how stressful and incredibly challenging, this role can be. You are both good cop and bad cop, you are Mum AND Dad, you are friend then foe…you are, to your children, their everything in daily life. You matter. You have huge responsibilities. You are forever, and ever, on your own with the daily parenting routine. Mornings are busy getting ready for school, rush hour/school clubs/playdates/endless birthday parties, collections and drop offs, Doctors/dentists/therapy appointments, bath times and bed times, happy/sad moments….all being done by one (exceptionally strong) person.
When I collapse into bed at night, and think “hmmm….maybe Ill read my book” you know what happens? One of my three children WILL wake (I think they sense my mind/body relaxing) and ask for water, the loo, a cuddle, to kiss their pet Rabbit “Jimmy”, to stroke their hair, to sleep with me… If I’m lucky to have a full nights sleep, I still wake to check on them…
This non-paying, (apparently not really “hard”) “job”, its not easy. People who comment, judge, claim you do “nothing all day but drop the kids off & (ALLEGEDLY) “SLEEP“…they have NO IDEA what is mentally, physically, emotionally, involved. What level of responsibility is on your shoulders, and yours…. alone. I used to be a lawyer. I thought that was a hard, thankless, underpaid, job. It is NOTHING compared to what I have been doing alone for the last 2 years. Stupid, mindless snipes/comments and judgements, from the side-lines, that used to infuriate me, now, make me judge AND comment back. For those wonderful strong, sometimes exhausted single parents, remember, those stone throwers in your glass house can FUCK OFF. YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE & KNOW.
As tired as I have been, juggling this daily human rearing/emotionally challenging daily role, I still would never ever ever again, have a nanny or Au pair in my home. My past experience with Filippino nannies in Hong Kong have left a horrible taste in my mouth/heart. People you trusted who turn on you, or worse yet, your child.
Plus, my personal space and freedom means too much now. I like not having someone pottering around my house. Unless you’re blood…get the fuck out! I didn’t grow up being raised by someone else. Only family members were allowed to babysit us. Never an outsider. I now understand why my Mum was so strict on this. My Mum has never had a cleaner in her her house let alone another woman to help out with her children. Mum would often tell me, “A woman, in my house? Why? What for!? Never. I AM THE ONLY LADY OF THIS HOUSE”. She never liked the Hong Kong “Maid” culture and hated the Helpers being there when she came to stay. She felt them constantly watching and judging and didn’t trust my home situation at all. “Get rid of them and have someone come for a few hours during the day” she would often say. “Never have another woman living in your home”.
Anyhow….back to the kids and school.
So, on the first day back…
I suddenly had that horrible “Ground Hog Day”moment. I’d forgotten how HORRIBLE the school run is. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE SCHOOL BUSES LIKE THE AMERICANS?!! It cuts traffic and makes stressful situations with the kids, just that little bit easier.
Doing that 25-50 minute journey, sometimes up to 1.2 hours, in traffic/road closures/car breakdowns (not mine)/accidents/life being a bastard, with 3 kids questioning you constantly about “why the sun has clouds” that particular day, or “can’t we get there faster Mummy? Cant you tell everyone we have school??”, “can penguins live in Space?”, “did you remember to pack my Dinosaur?” or “he’s/shes staring at me again Mummy. Its freaking me out!!!”.…I felt incredibly claustrophobic on day one. Trapped in my Ambulance sized 7 seater vehicle, with 3 mini Me’s, who were apprehensive about a new term, tired due to all the Balvanie 12 year Whisky from the night before, and irritated by the “school shoes that are not comfortable like flipflops”.
The main reason for my discomfort, considering I have done this journey over a zillion times?
My youngest, who has a rare Chromosome Disorder started school, alongside her siblings, for the first time. And I felt ill at the thought of being parted from her. Tearful and ill.
As it transpries, we arrived, I dropped the twins off in their buiding first, then walked to my youngests first day, in uniform (which she soooo loves) in the building a road away. On arriving at her new school, fully uniformed up, she walked in, picked her name off the desk and dropped it into a little pretend post box (I kept praying “Please pick your name…please pick your name!!!”) and she then sat down at a desk. Once sat, my youngest child/best friend/shadow for the last 4 years, who I am overly protective of, looked at me and said “I’m ok Mummy, bye“. My 4 year old daughter, who has a rare Chromosome disorder, gave ME perimission to leave, because she could tell, I was broken hearted knowing my youngest baby was no longer “a baby” anymore. She let ME go. I held back tears (I was in a classroom FFS!), told the Ex-Captain (who was there) I “had to leave” and walked out to breathe fresh air and gather my shit. I felt proud, broken, proud, worried for her, and elated she had been strong enough to not cry when I left, was keen to settle in, and appeared confident & independent. I had done my job. Too well.
I’m a Mum. I’m a parent. The biggest most understated job in the world, yet the most important. Surely?
Bloody hell…..its only the first week…..I’m fucked.
Letting go of them (“your heart walking around outside your body”)….is harder than I ever imagined.
Yes, I know…I’ve said it now. I ADORE THEM . Shoot me.
You still cant make me go to some shitty playdate…..I love them but theres a fine line & I’m not quite ready for the dark side of bullshit peer pressure, fake “in your face” paenting where I have to attend a French “Art & Crafts” playdate, just to prove Im a good parent.
I know I fucking am. I hate how this generation of parents (and probably the last?!) feel the need to keep their children constantly busy with clubs, playdates, classes, after school/club extra classes, music, dance, art, pottery, karate, etc etc etc. If you do ALLLLL this crap, apparently, youre a good parent.
Dont tell me my number of playdates equates to who I am as a Mother!?
Im there for every minute of their lives. They understand that sitting down for a moment, spending time as a family, laughing (we laugh A LOT & dance!), being relaxed and comfortable, as a person, is just as important as being surrounded by numerous strangers/people, that dont justify your existence. You can be surrounded by dozens of people and yet, feel lonely. OR surrounded by love, and feel safe, confident, appreciated. I agree, in life, we need/must have good, solid friends. I have had a crew of friends for 30 plus years. We are so solid, that our conversations are similar to an imaginary (rock solid) “vault”.
I know I’m blessed to have such a good group of friends I have known since school. A group sooo close to being my sisters, that we do, pretty much, anything for each other. We all turn 40 this/early part of next year (together – same school year). I appreciate good friendships.
However, I also respect and feel independent alone, without them. No one justifies my existence but me. Of course, having my amazing crew of friends with me is brilliant (& sometimes dangerous!). But children also need to learn to be comfortable within their own skin. To understand who they are WITHOUT peer pressure. To be solid and stand alone means you can do whatever you want in life with confidence. You can also make the right choices (hopefully, but not always) in friends, in relationships, in life. Your friends and family are there to support you, laugh with you, love you. But you need to learn to do that for yourself, to appreciate yourself, before you share your wonderfulness with everyone else.
Kids need to go back to “Old School values” and appreciate that sometimes, “playing in your room” without a thousand posh playmates, is OK. Youre being normal. You’re being relaxed, and youre being, most importantly, independent and confident.
My parenting, with the children I adore and love, I am going to do, my way. And in my opinion, a solid way. “OLD SCHOOL“.
Let them understand, and appreciate, who they are as people.
You can be at numerous playdates weekly, sipping coffe and talking shit to some random parent, bored out of our mind, t pretending you give a shit. Yet, not notice your child is having zero connection with anyone in that playdate, or worse yet, being passively bullied (past experience with my daughter who dreaded one particular forced upon us both, playdate.
Everything in life should be in balance? That works better.
Independence, appreciation of who you are, and an understanding that “you count” (I tell my kids nightly how “important and valued” they are). Lead them down the path of freedom to be themselves, and hopefully, satisfaction, confidence and a knack for being kind to everyone. Their future respect, freedom to be themselves and happiness, lies in that. Knowing, no mater what you do, or achieve, you are “important”.
Playdates? What fucking difference is that going to make in the long run?! They play all day at school together. And they’re only 6 and 4 years old. Everyone needs to get a grip, call their parents and recall how we lived in the ’80’s.
Now the 80’s….those were some bloody brilliant fucking days (not that many parents slept with all the coke flying around in £50 notes)….:)