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19 reasons being a mum is the hardest job we'll ever do

Being a parent is a gift, but it's also a whole lot more

Being a mum is a blessing. It’s a privilege and a gift, like experiencing a rainbow-hued sunset or inhaling the delicate scent of a fragrant rose petal, or…okay...let’s just be real. Being a mum is all those things, yes, but it’s also a whole lot more. And it’s not always pretty or fancy.

We love our little mini mes with a desperate wolf-like intensity, so how come there are moments during our mum life that we’d happily take a long walk on a short pier? The hardest job you’ll ever love is fraught with complex emotions. Here are a few reasons why we mums may silently yell “Check, please!” to ourselves on a daily basis.

1. The bath time tantrum arrives like clockwork. Just when your reserves are low and you’re looking forward to a little "me time" after the kids are asleep. Well don’t check that DVR or fluff those couch cushions just yet. Your little one has other plans for you, and they involve a bathroom flooded with soapy water—and tears.

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2. You get slapped, or punched or kicked – hard – by your tiny tot. Yes they are cute and small, but they pack a wallop when they’re mad! Look at the bright side – waiting for the sting to pass gives you the opportunity to model a few calm down methods for them, like quietly counting to ten or breathing it out.

3. Your diamond engagement ring, or earrings or necklace is at the bottom of the toilet bowl, swimming in fresh poop. ‘Nuff said.

4. You’re sick as a dog but you can’t call out sick on your kid. Children still need to be dressed, played with, cared for, or sent off to school, homework still needs to get done, dinner still needs to get cooked. And if your little one is under the weather as well? Well that just gives new meaning to the words "unpleasant situation."

5. Why do siblings fight constantly? To see you pull your hair out in response! Or not. Either way, it’s a never-ending battle until they've grown up and become best friends.

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6. Dinner time, aka battle royal time, is a regular occurrence in most homes. Your child refuses to eat the food you lovingly prepared while still wearing your coat (and listening to endless banter about why little Billy wouldn’t share his crayons at school today).

7. Ok, that used to be your favourite black sequined cocktail dress, which you probably never wear, but still, you had high hopes for a night out in the distant future. That is, until you opened your closet and found half the sequins missing. Now you realize exactly where your little one procured sequins for their art project last month.

8. 'I don’t want to go to school!' Oh if only we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard that one before. Changing the mind of any small person who’s ever uttered these words is a feat of gargantuan proportions, which almost always ends in bribery…and a headache.

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9. What’s that you say? You need two dozen cupcakes for school…this morning?! And you couldn’t have clued me in at any point during this three-day weekend we’ve just enjoyed? Nope, I guess not.

10. One of the most interesting habits of our little ones is their talent for pretending not hear you. Every age group is fluent in the language of Ignore, and the more you call your child or try and get their attention, the more invisible you become...unless snacks are involved.

11. Growing up, I don’t recall my mother ever having anything to do with my homework. It was all on me. Why on earth is homework now a required joint event, with mums deeply involved in the process? Just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in!

12. My kids want a pet. I don’t want a pet. I’ve cleaned up enough of their poo, and now that I don’t have to clean up any more human poo, they want me to start shoveling pet poo? No thank you.

13. Children are notoriously strong willed and opinionated, but are they our bosses at home? You bet! Tiny tyrants are in charge, and we’re just here to do their bidding.

14. Sex? What’s that? I can’t recall the last time that happened, because every time the spouse and I start to get cuddly, the little people want water, or a story, or a hug, or a flippin’ pony!

15. Only children are a special breed, because oftentimes they can’t see what a sweet deal they’ve got. So they beg for a brother or sister, and they plead and pester, until we have to either give in, or host an endless slew of harrowing playdates to sate their appetite for a constant playmate.

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16. Kids feel like they’re missing something when they go to bed, almost like some magical wish-giving genie will appear in the kitchen with chocolate bars, puppies and dollhouses the moment their eyes are closed. So they do everything they can to negotiate a later bedtime. Resistance is painfully futile.

17. Whoever created toy commercials is an evil genius! Now, my child wants every single plaything, trinket and novelty that visually bombards them as they watch their favourite show. As a half attempt at a solution, I’ve started running into the living room to mute the TV during commercials.

18. As mums, we look forward to a quiet evening, to get a little downtime, a moment to release the stresses of the day. Only we can’t enjoy, because even after our kids are finally off to dream land, we are left to clean up the explosion we used to call a living room. Good times.

19. Massive mood swings are to be expected when raising a child, but honestly, the ‘tween from the Exorcist was tame compared to the demonic meltdown/happiness medley a toddler can wield, crying and thrashing about wildly on the floor, only to pick up their heads mid shriek and cheerily answer ‘Yes!’ to the almighty magic question, ‘Want a cookie?’

By Yvette Berland
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