Yesterday I took my youngest son to the park. This for me is an achievement in itself. The fact that we were both washed, dressed and actually out of the house with the three dimensional people – I felt pretty pleased with myself. The sun was shining and I suspected it was the last day of sun in 2016 so I had no choice but to throw us both out of the door and face the world.
I wear gym gear now – everywhere. If you live in gym gear no one wonders why you’ve no make up on and your hair looks like shit – little mum tip for you there. We went to the park, did the swings routine and then went to the outdoor cafe for a snack.
The park cafe; That’s where I saw her. The mum I will never be. She looked groomed, calm and collected. The first thing that struck me was that after she put her young daughter into the highchair she took out a special top for her to wear (like a towel texture top with no back but long sleeves – like a very elaborate bib). THEN she took out a second bib. The plastic type that catches food in the bottom. She basically had two forms of defence for the daughter’s lunch. Already I was in awe.
THEN the food she had ordered appeared and the daughter had A SALAD and a sandwich. I saw the gorgeous girl feeding herself peppers, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, fist fulls of sweetcorn and bloody carrot. I think my jaw was hanging open at this point.
Meanwhile over at team Siviter we had a chubby lad straddling a highchair with no bib at all. Not one. He was stuffing a grated cheese sandwich into his face with both fists in between eating ready salted Walkers crisps (wonderfully nutritious for a one year old). Grated cheese was in his ears, in his hair. There were crisps strewn around the floor area where he sat. I looked at him to her, then from me to the mum.
I will never ever be that mum. That mum who just looked like she was winning at mothering. Like she was born to be a mum. Her long curly hair flowing in the wind. Her massive breast feeding breasts swaying there, unsupported, her clean child sitting in the sun with a cute bonnet on eating God damn vine tomatoes.
I will never ever be that mum. I felt a bit sorry for my children in that moment. Sitting in the shade of the perfect mummy near me knowing that I certainly was not made to be a mum. That I just about get through each day and that’s all I can manage. A trip to the park and a cheese sandwich probably being the highlight of my poor sod’s week.
Then a wasp appeared. It swarmed around my baby a few times and I hoped it would leave as I’m absolutely terrified of them. I watched it intently and it landed on my boy’s face right next to his ear – I knew it was a matter of seconds before he reached for it to see what was on his face and he might get stung. I leapt up from my seat and swatted that bastard wasp away with one aggressive swipe with my bare mother fucking hand.
Which is when it struck me that we are all different in how we parent – how we get through this thing we call ‘mothering’. We might be born to do it and we might just be getting through each day as well as we can but one thing is for sure – however we parent – we would all swat away a twat wasp with our bare hand to protect our babies.
And respect to that mum. I’ll never be you but you are killing it; This mothering thing.
We then had to leave because I am pretty sure she thought I jumped up and slapped my child’s face for no reason.