Enjoying being a mum again

It’s fair to say the last week has been tough in the mum stakes.

Tantrums on top of tantrums – on top of more tantrums – haven’t mixed well with the sheer exhaustion that comes with being up at 3.45am every day for my new job. By the time tantrum number 3,479 has hit in the afternoon, I’ve regularly melted into a pool of (melodramatic) tears.

But today has been different.

I had nine hours sleep last night for starters. And, as I began the 45 minute commute from work to the childminder’s, I started to form a plan.

“What if I’m cheerful this afternoon?” I thought. “What if I don’t snap ‘NO’ at the slightest hint of cheekiness from my 18 month old?” “What if….” (and this was the big one) “…I attempt some form of messy play?”

So, on the journey home from the childminder’s, I enthusiastically sang along with my child’s CD of nursery rhymes and smiled encouragingly at her in the rear view mirror. I resisted the soft call of CBeebies and the sofa, choosing instead to let my daughter frolic in the garden with her walker. (Note: I say “frolic” in yet another attempt to divert from the fact she still isn’t walking.)

Frog was a bit suspicious at first. This new-found mother was not the same one who said goodnight to her last night. This mother was laughing, like the old one used to. This mother didn’t exasperatedly roll her eyes at the slightest quiver of the bottom lip.

But, as the paints and dried pasta and toilet rolls were brought forth from their dusty corner on the disused “craft shelf”, Frog’s eyes lit up.

Funny how being covered in blue paint can keep even the most persistent tantrums at bay…

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20 Comments

Filed under Baby stuff, Being a mum, Development, Play

20 responses to “Enjoying being a mum again

  1. We need to do more messy play. Think you have just inspired me x

  2. It looks like brilliant fun! What a difference sleep makes. At the very least, choosing to be cheerful would probably have better equipped you to deal with any tantrums, I’d imagine.

    I’m doing a choosing to be cheerful (fake it til I make it!) at the moment myself and it’s certainly helping me with the mother thing. Gotta run, my monster – I mean baby – is on the scream.

  3. Glad you had a better day – making a mess in the kitchen always makes me happy too x

  4. Ah really pleased you have had such a good day. Wowsers, 3.45am. You are amazing!! x

    • I just noticed that you use the word wowser too. Although I seem to spell it wow-Z-er. Hmm. Well however it’s spelt it’s a damn good word that is underused. 😉

  5. This is so true, I find my best days are when I roll up my sleeves, ignore the ironing pile/call of the computer/kitchen and get stuck in with play doh/painting/colouring etc. Before I know it time has flown and they’re happy as larry!

  6. Expat Mammy

    you’ve inspired some messy play at ours tomorrow

  7. You always inspire me to do more messy play! Well until I wake up the next morning and decide that it would be too messy so don’t bother! I’m glad you enjoying it again 🙂 x

  8. I actually physically moved away from my laptop screen as I read the words ‘messy play’! But you’re right, it’s a sure fire way to have fun – it’s remembering that and having the strength to do it that I struggle with. Must try harder. And a big *high five* for the early starts, wowzer.

  9. Ghislaine Forbes

    Not sure how her grandad feels about me starting to save “stuff” for little to “create” from but it’s a winner. Nanna used to save all her cardboard boxes for grandson number 2 who was renamed the “sellotape kid”. It kept him amused for hours.
    Well done you are doing BRILLIANTLY in every way, however of wikiipedia does go down for more than 24 hours I recommend people revert back to books! love ma

  10. Amazing hwo when we change our attitude they change their whole behaviour, well done, fab day!

    Love the fact that you use a big tray for the messy play.

    Mich x

  11. Had a tough day with my 20month old last Saturday. Everything was a battle. Tantrums galore. By the time five o’clock came around we were both very cranky and exhausted. So left the newborn with daddy and took her out for some one-to-one quality time. With the car into town for something to eat. Saved me cooking and she was delighted. And probably relieved that mama could be fun sometimes, rather than just being the one telling her off all the time. And it helped me reminding me why I love motherhood and spending time with my little girls. Even if it’s bloody hard work sometimes.

  12. This week I too notice that a change in how I perceived and dealt my sons tantrums really helped me to cope better. I think when we learn to manage our emotions better, we are best positioned to deal with most things our little ones ‘dish out’.

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