Five years ago life was a lot simpler for me, basic tasks could be performed with ease and I sailed through life on a cloud of productivity, it was bliss. Now my ability to complete even basic mundane tasks has been hampered under a cloud of confusion and failure. So what happened to turn me from a reasonably functioning human being to a scatter brain mess of my former self? I had children.
As soon as I discovered I was pregnant my life changed and I would no longer be able to do any simple task without it been complicated by my darling little minions. Here is a low down of some of the tasks I find the most hardest now I have children.
I was never a good driver even before I had kids I didn’t pass my test till I was 30 years old as I had something of a Driving phobia maybe it was due to the really bad experiences I had when I was 18 and have the worst driving instructor imaginable. Driving with a child in the car certainly tests every skill that you have and is a lot harder.
The first thing you cannot do is concentrate fully, you have a child in the back that is announcing that he doesn’t like the music, or it is too loud, or it is his favourite, you also cannot hear him properly over the music so you have to mute it, only to be told to put it back on or turn it down. You also must not break the cardinal rule of driving with a child in the car, you cannot sing or your child will go into certain meltdown, or is that just mine?
Another thing you cannot do while driving with a child in the car is have a mild case of road rage; obviously full on road rage is not an option anyway as I am truly a brit when it comes to these things and retain my stiff, upper lip. If I say anything negative about the traffic or indeed the numerous incompetent drivers that grace the roads, I get told off by my son or corrected.
Once at a set of traffic lights I said ‘flipping traffic lights only letting three cars through’ and I was sternly scolded ‘Mummy, they are not flipping traffic lights, they are just traffic lights. Flipping is not a nice word and you should not say that ever again!’. I found myself justifying my behaviour to a four year old saying if the traffic lights were more cooperative, then I would not have to call them ‘flipping traffic lights’ plus I wasn’t even swearing.
I am also banned from calling other drivers ‘idiots’; this is not acceptable according to my son and I am not allowed to say it as they are just drivers. This one really frustrates me as I know full well that the car that just dangerously cut me up of pulled out on me is very much worthy or a stronger title than idiot.
Have you ever tried to put your makeup on successfully with younger children around? I would ascertain that it is a task matched only in difficulty to trying to shake the hand of an octopus with ADHD. This is the reason that I wake up super early to put my makeup on and get ready, without the children around so I do not double the time it takes because my son is trying to smell my lipsticks and my daughter is trying to eat them.
My sons obsession with smelling cosmetics is a monster of my own creating as I am a bit of a candle/wax melt addict and am forever smelling things, especially if they smell nice. When I first became addicted to makeup I was a little obsessed with Mac lipsticks and their signature vanilla scent, my son would say they smelt like cakes. My son now has to smell any lipstick I produce to see if it is suitable.
My daughter is one year old and I cannot put makeup on around her as it ends up being stolen out of my hand and then she attempts to smother it all over her face; this is cute when it is my beauty blender but it is not so cute when she eats my lipsticks. I cannot have an eyeshadow palette open around her as she will try to put her grubby little fingers into the pans and get it everywhere, I just feel like makeup is a task that should not be done around children through fear of disaster.
Food is often the bane of my life when it comes to having kids; I have a son that does not like eating and will take a century to eat some sausage and mash and a daughter who will literally eat everything off her plate, steal a load from our plates before trying to get into the biscuit packet for dessert and still have room for more.
I once cried because my son refused to eat some peaches, after nearly two hours of getting him to eat his tea in various ways he flatly refused to try the peaches put in front of him, I cracked and sobbed because I felt like a failure as a mother all because of some peaches. There have been times when mealtimes have become a battleground and I have often lost both my patience and my sanity all because this week, his lordship doesn’t like beans anymore, even though he did last week.
Having a fussy eater also impacts on cooking as well, sometimes we have to make two separate meals just because my son will not eat anything remotely spicy. Another nightmare is when they want to help with the cooking; you end up with food everywhere and often, even though he has made it, he will later refuse to eat it, I can never win where food is concerned.
Now that we have children, going out is a military operation with plenty of planning involved, however, it very rarely goes to plan and often I find myself asking ‘why did I bother?’ Even a simple trip to the supermarket has to be done with the skills of a spy; constantly multitasking between the items needed, where your child is, what your child is doing, possible meltdown status of child, dodging the toy/biscuit section and getting out without the obligatory ‘tantrum in the aisles’.
When it comes to holidays in the Mrs T household there is a definite rule at present, no going abroad. This is to avoid a ton of hassle with airports, passports, flying and indeed the adaptation to the different countries climate/food/surroundings. Going on abroad on holiday before I had children was stressful enough without throwing crying, screaming minions in the mix, I will give it a miss and just stick to our holidays in sunny Colchester instead.
Even holidays in this country can be a challenge; the packing, travelling, finding activities to keep the kids occupied and enjoying themselves, eating out or self catering; holidays are a minefield of potential stressful situations and arguments and that is just from Mummy and Daddy never mind throwing a one and four year old into the mixture.
Getting some peace and quiet
I feel like this is almost impossible to achieve now that I have two children. When we only had my son it was quite easy to get a bit of peace and quiet as there was nap times or one of us could take him while the other had a bit of quiet time but now with the little lady added to the mix it is almost impossible to get quiet anywhere in the house.
Any parent will know of the sigh of relief at bedtime when you can finally relax but it rarely is relaxing; if you have bad sleepers you will never get a moment’s peace and if you are like me you end up falling asleep soon after out of sheer exhaustion.
Me and Mr T try to alternate bath times so while one has the kids, the other has some peace but I am always getting interrupted, my son will use any excuse to come and distract us.
Using the bathroom
This is such a nightmare when kids are young; firstly when they are babies you have to find somewhere to change them and haul the pram and your ‘baby bag’ that has everything but the kitchen sink in it, then you have got to try and contain them on the fold out table which your baby hates with a passion.
It does not get any better when they are toilet trained; having to constantly check if they need to go to the toilet and having your child need one at the most inconvenient moments like in the middle of the supermarket shop or in the middle of a car journey. Then there is actually taking them the toilet, both of you cramming into a cubical only to have your child shout at the top of their voice ‘I need a poo mummy’ or asking you ‘Are you having a wee mummy?’
I had a really embarrassing incident happen in public toilets when visiting Skipton Castle, my son wanted me to take him the toilet, he shouted ‘I need a poo mummy’ and proceeded to do his business but then shouted ‘I need a wee as well’, I didn’t think anything of it until the spray was hitting my shoes and dress, I was hysterical at that point and quickly tried to clean up what I could and use water and the hand dryer to sort my dress out. I walked out of the toilet, four year old son in hand and he proceeded to tell my hubby who thought the situation was hilarious.
I totally love both my kids but they don’t half make simple tasks hard work, what tasks have you found has become harder with having kids, I would love to know about your experiences in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx