And I’m not talking about the obvious crappy nappies or lack of sleep – I’m one of those mums whose super powers include an immunity to the smell of poo and the ability to survive on just a few hours sleep (disclaimer: as long as there is good coffee!) I’m talking about the little parenting jobs that really grind my gears and at times, bore me to tears! Jobs I really didn’t give much thought to in my naive rose-tinted pregnancy phase.
Now I’m no mummy veteran, my kids are just 18 months and almost 4 years old, so it’s still early days in my parenting career. I know there is much more to come in terms of tough parenting tasks… like dealing with homework, exams, boyfriends, girlfriends, curfews, dress codes etc. Like any job, the more experienced you get, the more crap gets thrown your way and the more complex the problems you face become. So this is just my starting list of little parenting jobs that I wish I had a pass card for. The list will remain open for additions. Indefinitely. After all, there is no retirement in this job!
Bath Time – My kids don’t hate bath time, they love it. That’s not the problem. It’s me. Even with all the bath toys thrown in, I find it the most tedious, boring job, which is why I pushed it to every other night when I was working. Now I don’t have that excuse. Maybe it’s because I normally leave it right until the end of the day when all parties are just frazzled? Or maybe it’s because of the endless splashing. The tantrums when you first put them in. And then again when you dare to take them out. The tears over what towel you should be using…she wanted Sofia not Minnie Mouse silly! Deep breaths mummy.
Brushing Hair – I use the Johnson’s No More Tangles shampoo, the No More Tangles conditioning spray and the tangle teaser, so you’d expect no dramas right? Wrong. I could be brushing their hair with feathers and they would still both roar and pull away. Cue blood curdling screams and probable calls to social services by the neighbours. So now, most of the time I just let them walk around like mini Russell Brands. Over it.
Reading – I adore reading with my kids. I really do. It’s a special time for all of us. But some nights I feel like I will go INSANE if I have to read Sleeping Beauty just one more time. I’ve already read it eight times this week. ‘Let’s read something else tonight’ I say as I tuck them both in to the bed. ‘Ok’ she says, still pulling out good old Aurora from under the pillow and looking at me with those big blue eyes. Sigh. ‘Long ago, a King and Queen lived in a magical castle…’
Getting Them Dressed – Quite simply because it’s like trying to put trousers on a wriggling pineapple. And then when you do finally get the clothes on you realise they are back to front. Oh well, who’ll notice anyway. Just leave it. It will only stay clean for another 37 seconds anyway.
Washing Bottles: You always pray to find one more clean bottle in the sterliser before a feed. There never is. I think my husband and I have argued the most over this mundane task. And how hot are those damn microwaveable sterlisers. I have war wounds from those bad boys.
Mr Tumble: ‘Take your finger, touch your nose……and then just shove it somewhere else Justin!’ We’ve watched more than our fair share of Mr Tumble. Yes, I know, it is a really positive contribution to children’s television. But it’s also incredibly irritating, if not painful, to sit through on a regular basis. However, it is bitter-sweet as whatever child witchcraft he uses, he does buy you some quiet time, so might I suggest ear plugs whilst you sit down on the sofa for that recharge?
Cutting Nails: Because when you get it wrong, you feel like the WORST PERSON on the planet! There is so much blood from tiny little fingers when clipped. I’d rather tackle a Triathlon in high heels than cut a small baby’s nail again. It’s terrifying trying to get the angle right. And even when they are older, it’s bloody near impossible to get them to sit still!
Cliche alert: Whilst this parenting job has crappy hours, crappy pay and lots of…well, crap to deal with, I genuinely wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll take the job – warts and all. After all, I have the cutest employees. For every frustration and mundane task, there are a hundred priceless moments. And one day I know I’ll be wishing there was one more bottle to clean or one more chance to read Sleeping Beauty again. One day I’ll crave the crappy little jobs!