To the point
The gentle lapping of balmy waters, the chirp of an occasional tropical bird and the harmonious humming of exotic fauna… Then a burst of mewling from the urchin and Mama was back in the room.
Nope, I wasn’t in Thailand post-Full Moon party, but drifting off in a maternal fug to the ‘tropical’ setting on Mae’s sleep sheep. I was delirious, I was not OK and I was dreaming of another world/life didn’t include massive knickers and a droopy eyelid.
But it was that moment when I realised a little bit of papering over the cracks could go a long way. Sure I might not be able to jet off to Club Tropicana clutching a Mills & Boon novel, but the next day I booked in for a Vitamin C facial and handed Mae over to my husband for all of 64 minutes. I then went and bought myself a necklace with ‘Mama’ on it (because even though I wasn’t feeling like a very good one, branding is everything) and headed back to the ranch.
It was enough. Shallow? Indulgent? Who cares, I came back a much nicer person – which was as good for me as it was my poor family who had been subjected to me ricocheting from beaming to crying every 30 seconds.
It was then that I decided there was more fun to be had with parenthood. It didn’t need to be heavy forums filled with abbreviations like AIBU (Am I Being Unreasonable) or YANBU (You Are Not Being Unreasonable). I felt the one common denominator through parenting is laughter. Whether you’re boob or bottle, Ella’s Kitchen or Annabel Karmel, mumboss or mum-don’t-give-a-toss, it was my mama mates and their perilous tales of parenting that made everything OK. It was stories of ‘I found a packet of raisins in my kid’s baby gro’ or ‘does anyone else’s nipple look like a Jaffa cake’ that made me see the lighter side and start to realise I wasn’t the only one making it up as I go along.
When the going gets tough and it’s tears and tantrums a go-go, I whack some 90s hip hop on and dance with the clan in the kitchen. It doesn’t always work but hey sometimes it does, so we keep going.
My parental method isn’t textbook (if there even is one?), it’s more ‘have a go’. Like my style isn’t thought-out, it’s more ‘stuff that’s not in the wash’. But I realised that it’s not about what everyone else is doing, it’s about what we, as parents, can do together and for me that’s always been snort-tea-through-nose laughing through the madness. Oh, and fondly remembering our previous lives waking up hungover on a beach in Koh Pan Ngang – and realising that motherhood is, in fact, a much happier place.
Chuffed to pieces to be writing about my parenting trials and tribulations for Notonthehighstreet.com. Their Mother’s Day campaign is all about the ‘maverick mum’ – she who parents to the beat of her own drum. It’s not about comparisons, it’s just about doing it your way and realising that there’s always room for a bit of fun. Whether you’re a cupcake maker, Instagram stalker, leopard-print lover or just going off the walls, there’s room at the inn (and plenty of cool stuff to buy) for all. On that note, I am in love with this Exhausted tee (with twinning baby gro). Always wear your heart on your boobs. Share your own #MaverickMum stories on Instagram.
Written by: Anna Whitehouse.