A day in the Life of a Parent (Losing the Plot)

I had planned to write an in-depth piece on World Maternal Mental Health Day (last Wednesday) for this week’s Sunday Read, and about how us modern parents are supposedly losing the plot (according to celebrity maternity nurse Rachel Waddilove anyway).  But yesterday was such a shocker I thought I would share it with you instead (I know you love a giggle at my expense, plus I NEED to drink wine and can’t write coherently pissed).

The day went a little like this…

The whole house wakes up to Coco shouting for Daddy (standard) and five minutes later she starts crying because she doesn’t want to go to ballet.

Fast forward two hours…she’s still crying because she doesn’t want to go to ballet.  I pull all the tricks out the book (knowing she is tired) and finally fall back on the most effective tool in my locker…bribery.

We pick Coco up from ballet and go to collect her reward – a Chupa Chups lolly (classy!)  Heaven forbid Raf should also miss out so I relent and let him have a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, resulting in this…

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WHAT THE F*CK WAS I THINKING!?

Scrub child and car seat, accidentally removing whole Iso-fix from car (because I am basically incompetent.)

Quickly make lunch and put Raf down for a nap before Coco’s friend’s party this afternoon. Come downstairs to find Coco has caked crap all over the toilet seat, on her hands, and in her knickers.  Scrub second child.

Rush to clean house, wrap present and shovel down sandwich.

Drive to party 20 minutes late.  Raf insists on carrying present, destroys said present and screams upon arrival.  Happy birthday!

All runs smoothly until Raf spills Coco’s ice cream.  Coco consequently loses her sh*t and, despite a stern word from me and some kind words from a friend, continues to sob, refusing point-blank to stop.

Leave party early carrying screaming child who is now wailing like a wild animal in front of the WHOLE party, dragging the ice cream culprit behind me.

Builders have a chuckle as Coco gives me a good whack and declares, “YOU’RE NOT MY MUMMY ANYMORE!” (My personal highlight)

The evening runs relatively better (post wine!), all aside from a fake finger biting incident (from the rabbit, not me) and Coco peeing ALL over the bathroom floor.

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Coco unsurprisingly falls asleep in seconds.  Raf takes 45 minutes to drift off as he shouts out the names of animals and random numbers, whilst I lie next to him swearing silently (totally out loud), day dreaming about the Made in Chelsea ep I will watch if HE’LL JUST GO TO SLEEP!

They’re asleep!  *POURS another LARGE GLASS OF WINE!*

The reason I’m relaying all this?  To reiterate what we already know…being a parent, even at the best of times, is BLOODY HARD, and if I had faced a day like this last summer I would have found it impossible.

My immediate family has a history of mental health issues and for the first time last summer I honestly felt like I was sinking.  I became anxious and I felt alone, that I was failing as a mother, and like I was simply unable to cope.  I saw my doctor who advised I sought help professionally and luckily I was able to put provisions in place to help me feel better.

Thankfully I am now able to laugh at days like this, although it still doesn’t stop me from having a good old sob occasionally (and reaching for the wine!)

But if you too feel like you’re sinking, PLEASE seek help from your doctor.  As parents we ALL feel like we’re failing at times and I can assure you, you are NOT alone in this craziness business that is parenthood.

After all, just look at that photo of Raffy…

Gemma x

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