The washing up is never done, the laundry pile unshrinkable, you’ve no idea what song/tv show/ viral video everyone else is talking about. People your own age don’t particularly enjoy talking about potty training and trying to take a selfie is impossible thanks to tiny human photo-bombers ( see above) . You’ve never been happier, but you’ve also never been more tired- even when you used to stay up all night by choice! Sound familiar? I’d like to share a day in the life of me, a twenty-something mum, for anyone who can relate.
The alarm goes off at 6.a.m. And by alarm I mean my son, Samuel, wakes up and starts crying to be let out of the cot. It’s still dark outside, so I foolishly believe I might be able to trick him into going back to sleep if I’m bring him into my bed. He wriggles into every position under the sun, trying each one out to see which is the most comfy and nearly pushing me onto the floor into the process. He then decides that he doesn’t, in fact, want to go back to sleep and begins demanding to go downstairs in his own special toddler language. This happens every morning without fail, yet I still cling to the tiny ray of hope that each day might be the day I finally get a lie in.
We go down for breakfast, which involves some tears if Samuel’s favourite cereal of the week isn’t presented to him. Which particular cereal that is is anyone’s guess, and so we find ourselves playing a game of roulette, with me producing a bowl at random and placing the odds on whether Samuel will eat it or not.
On this particular day, I’m in a productive mood – an occurrence I accredit to a combination of nesting instinct and wanting “cosy autumn” house vibes. I decide to head upstairs and have a good, proper sort out. My little companion follows me up, deciding to play a round of “let’s see how hard I can make household chores for mummy”, his current favourite game of choice.
The clear-out starts off well. I fold all the clean washing into organised piles to make it easier for me to put them away later. I grab a bin bag and throw away all the clutter and rubbish that seems to magically accumulate in hordes every day and even manage to sift through Samuel’s bath toys, binning all the ones that have succumb to the horrible, gunky illness that only bath toys contract. Leaving the bag on the landing, I grab a pile of baby clothes and head downstairs to put them through the wash, feeling very pleased with myself and the certainty that I will have everything tidy and organised in no time. It’s at this point that I realise I have no idea what Samuel is doing. The house is suspiciously quiet, a clear warning sign that mischief is being carried out somewhere.
Back up the stairs, I find that my organised piles of washing have been turned into disarray, Samuel having upturned them in order to find the best and most shiny label to hold for comfort ( which for some reason always seems to be the labels on embarrassingly large pairs of knickers). While I’m sorting the clothes out for the second time, Samuel runs into his bedroom and shuts the door- his new favourite trick. Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite mastered opening the door yet, meaning I have to drop whatever I’m doing and rescue him from being trapped somewhere on a regular basis. Once he is freed, he turns his attention to the bin bag on the landing, sifting through the rubbish in a hunt for buried treasure. He manages to discover all of the bath toys I tried to get rid of without him noticing and rescues them, smuggling them back into the bathroom so they can continue in their mouldy existence. After stopping him from clambering onto my dresser and playing with my lipstick ( which for some reason he thoroughly enjoys the taste of), I successfully persuade him to go and find his toys and play with them nicely. He obliges promptly, collecting his plastic diggers, trucks and tractors and engaging in an innocent game with them. I’m relieved and feeling extremely smug with myself, until I discover that his chosen setting for said game is none other than the lid of the toilet.
After several more battles and a confusing tantrum over me opening his curtains, we finally make it downstairs, both of us dressed, washed and ready for the day. To reward myself for this achievement, I sneak into the kitchen and attempt to stealthily eat a chocolate biscuit without being caught by a jealous toddler. I might have got away with it as well, had something not dropped through the letterbox causing me to forget myself and wonder absentmindedly into the hallway. As soon as I’m within Samuel’s line of sight I’m busted. He runs over to me and starts begging, forcing me to choose between giving up a piece of my treasured prize or risk facing another tantrum. These are the small dilemmas I face as a mother everyday… The daily ‘is it worth it?’ question. Do I stick to my principles or give-in for an easier life? On this occasion, after having had a morning filled with countless struggles already, Samuel ended up with a piece of chocolate biscuit. ( There’ll be a nice helping of mum-guilt for that one later).
The day continues as a cycle of being pushed to my absolute limit and then forgiving Samuel immediately as soon as he gives me a cuddle or a cute smile. The only breaks and moments of peace I ever have occur when Samuel (rarely) decides to have a nap or when my boyfriend comes home from work in the evening, providing me with the relief of adult conversation and somebody else to say “no” so that I don’t have to. My job is tiring, more so than I think others understand, but it comes with more rewards than I would have space to write on here.
At the end of the day, Samuel and I read stories together, with him in the placid just-before-bed mood that means he’ll actually sit nicely with me and have cuddles. Once he’s asleep and I go downstairs, child-free for the first time in over twelve hours, I finally have the chance to enjoy peace and freedom. I can do whatever I want now- watch any TV show, eat any snack, sit by myself without the interruption of little hands pestering me for attention. The world is now my oyster, the opportunities endless. So what do I do with my precious free-time, you may ask… More often than not the answer is sit there, missing Samuel and wondering how long it will be until he wakes up and the madness can start all over again! Because even when I feel like I’m going insane or that I literally can’t take anymore, a simple look at him reminds me that becoming a twenty-something mum is the best thing that’s ever happened to me- and always will be.
Thank you so much for reading my blog! I’ve received such an overwhelming response since starting out . If you enjoy my writing, please take a moment to have a little look at my book, exclusive to Amazon! :