This is dedicated to full time mums/single mums/mums who have partners doing FIFO/mums with no family support/mums who are partnered with arse holes and all other mum-style caregivers, directed at anyone who underestimates the duties of the above.
You think that because I spend time with my child, the days are easy and wonderful, and in every sense of the word wonderful, they really are. I am grateful that I get these extended moments, but I am acutely aware that they are punctuated with the woes of daily life. Such as:
Getting the dirty washing on at the right time so that it’s ready to hang before the day gets away, stacking the dishwasher and unpacking it before the baby is asleep as the clang of plates is sure to wake him, cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning the floors, bringing in the washing, folded, making sure there is fresh food in the house for that day and more for later, making absolutely sure that our child’s breakfast is a nutritious, brain boosting meal that will not be refused, spoon tossed aside.
Cleaning up the food he throws, the clothes he dirties and his hands and face whilst also being on high alert to give comfort at any moment and dropping what I’m doing when he holds up his little hand to take, whilst also basically following him around with a wet cloth and the vacuum so that our home does not turn into a hovel and also wiping his forever running nose with tissues that are soft enough not to graze it, and playing with him when he so requests whilst also making sure he has enough time playing independently.
Cleaning dog poo from the garden whilst hanging out the washing and making sure he isn’t picking up said poo with a peg whilst also ensuring he doesn’t give the dogs internal bleeding with his foot and trying to teach him loving kindness for all animals at the same time, making sure he gets exactly the right amount of sunlight so that his melatonin production is on point and he can sleep well at night, being sensitive to long periods of sitting in a pram or trolley which lead to escapades around the supermarket which then prolong the trip to the shops by 30 minutes as he explores and restocks the shelves, trying to make sure dinner is ready at an early enough time that the family can eat together and the bedtime routine is not disrupted or delayed and the dinner is yet another original, delicious and healthy meal shared and loved by all, followed by bathing or showering him in water that is exactly the right temperature whilst also having remembered to boil the kettle so that the water is cooled and ready to make a bottle with for bedtime, whilst not even turning my head whilst he’s in the bath and too bad if you forgot the soap. The dirt under his fingernails from the pot plant he emptied earlier will stay another day.
Ensuring the kitchen is clean for the 17th time in a day and the baby is in bed with no tears because if there are tears then what kind of day has he had to get him so upset? And then using up any “spare time” by tidying up incomplete remnants from the day and then showering and trying to remember if I had any goals of my own that need attention, because, personal growth.
This is not in any way a complaint, nor is it in any way directed at my amazing husband. But, like most women in history I believe the duties of a mother are absolutely under appreciated and undervalued. This is a tiny snippet of a day, really, and it’s only with one toddler. It is time to honour mothers for every bit of work they do, and give them a break for sporting activewear. We need the Lycra to be able to move fast, to catch a child falling from a height, okay.
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."