I'm not the mum I thought I was going to be

Before Peyton was born, and even before I got pregnant, I always imagined the kind of mum that I would be.

I thought I'd be this patient, calm parent who spent her weekends baking, doing arts and crafts, and snuggling on the sofa reading nicely.

In reality, I probably couldn't be further away from that.

My patience is as thin as my postpartum hair and any moments of calm are quickly disturbed by Peyton trying to climb on the kitchen table/pull the cat's tail off/opening the oven door/turning the washing machine on/throwing her plastic toys at the TV screen. I shout way more than I thought I ever would and lose my temper quicker than she loses her socks.

I don't think I've baked anything since she was born. I fondly remember, when I was overdue, baking cookies one afternoon (and eating them all to myself, but that's neither here nor there) and thinking how lovely it would be to do that with Peyton once she was here.

But nope, I barely have time to make us a proper meal some days let alone spend hours baking (and then cleaning up the subsequent mess afterwards).

I always said that I wouldn't let her watch TV while eating or things on our phones while we were out. I swore I'd never let her eat snacks while she was in her pushchair, and definitely wouldn't let her eat things out of the shopping on the way around the supermarket. Oh, how naive I was.

I don't think a meal time goes by at home where she's not sat craning her neck in the highchair in the kitchen trying to see the TV in the lounge. I think she thinks that the TV is broken when it isn't turned on, because it's literally on all. the. time.

And when we're out, especially if it involves her sitting still at a meal, we always resort to the good ol' CBeebies app and plenty of episodes of Bing, Teletubbies, and anything with Justin pissin' Fletcher. It's the only thing that stops her climbing out of the highchair/trying to run amok/kicking off; and even then it only buys us half an hour.

It's all well and good having all these 'ideals' in your head before coming a parent, and all the things you would and wouldn't do, but in reality it's all so much different.

In reality, I'm often chasing myself around so much that I catch myself coming back. Between working full-time, making sure there's food in the fridge/cupboards, keeping the house clean and tidy, keeping on top of the ever-growing washing pile, organising childcare and making sure Peyton's always looked after, and looking after Tom (that's a full-time job in itself!), I sometimes have to resort to leaving Peyton to watch CBeebies just so I can get anything done.

I saw an article recently about someone who'd been on This Morning saying kids under a certain age (I want to say three, but I can't be certain) shouldn't have any screen time as it's bad for their health/development/something else that sounded important.

It riled me. Not least because I wish I lived in the perfect world that she must, to not have to resort to Justin Fletcher parenting your child for 20 minutes so you can have a poo in peace, or quickly put a load of washing on and empty the dishwasher; and to be able to take your child out for a meal and not have to stick the iPad in front of them just so you can wolf down your food before the inevitable kick-off because they want to run around the place causing havoc.  Imagine.

The comments on it were, surprisingly, all in favour of this woman and her screen time rules. I thought more people would be of my viewpoint given the fact that, you know, they were watching This Morning and taking time out of their day to comment on a social media post...!

Despite my reliance on CBeebies to get me through day-to-day life, and my inability to throw a Saturday afternoon baking activity into the mix, I don't think I've strayed too far away from my pre-parenting parenting ideas.

I am totally that mum who waits for the given opportunity when I can get my phone out and show off the most recent photos and videos of Peyton, I talk about her all the time, I think about her all the time when I'm not with her, I constantly worry about her, I love her so much that I genuinely can't imagine ever loving another child the same, and I'm totally and utterly obsessed with her. I love when she comes over to me for a cuddle and a kiss, I love when she walks down the street and reaches up to hold my hand, and I love the way she stands at the end of her cot waiting for me to go in and get her on a morning.

Yeah, she can be an arsehole sometimes and already, at not even 18 months old, knows what exact buttons to press with me (and the TV remote!), but she's such a funny, clever, little character and my world wouldn't be the same without her.

Ok, maybe it would be less expensive, less tiring, less busy and way less chaotic, but how boring would that be?!

So even though I'm nothing like the mum I thought I was going to be, I still think I'm doing a pretty good job.


  1. This is just so true! As a fellow working mum with a monkey of a 20 month old, I get it all (apart from the Justin bit - he is banned in my house because i would rather listen to a screaming toddler than his voice!) The cuddles make every minute of madness, chaos and rushing around like a lunatic worth it.

  2. It is as if you entered my mind !! Everything you have written is exactly how I feel. I would not have survived the early days without Little Baby Bum and can now tell you the exact order of programmes on Cbeebies. I just push aside what others say,we all parent differently and our girls are happy and healthy (and very mischievous). I wouldn't change it for the world xx