Parenting has recently gone instaglam. Parents all trying to make it look like having children is a breeze, like walking on a cloud with their tidy houses and calm, perfectly presented children children wonderfully behaved. Beautiful pictures fill my news feed daily and it’s hard not to think this is real life. Artfully arranged ethical eco friendly toys (no flashing lights allowed) with serene babies happily cooing away in baskets…you get the picture. I’m guilty of it too, an outward need to keep up with the Jones’ but as Christmas demonstrated 45 minutes, several tears, husband storming off upstairs and 241 pictures later and I still didn’t have a perfect Christmas shot it’s not always real.
What these pictures don’t show though is ghe chaos of parenting. Snot, sick, poo, wee, boogies, bums, farts and poonamis feature daily from one child or other, along with me doing a fairly good screaming banshee impression when for the third time in a row we’re leaving the house twenty minutes after we’re supposed to have left. There’s no pain like standing on a forgotten plastic crap toy in the middle of the night because every toy is everywhere. The carefully planned outfit is sicked all over as you’re going out the door (or worse, when you’re out without a spare so your new perfume is Eau d’sick du Bebe). My house is a shrine to a laundry room- every available surface is drying something at most points of the day. Fresh, home cooked meals adorn my feed; tea tonight was tortillas sandwiched together with tomato purée, topped with more, sweet corn, ham and onion. Voila- pizza because I forgot to get anything else in.
Real parenting isn’t glam and calm. It’s chaos. It’s ‘mummy, why are you doing a poo?’ shouted by the two year old in the very busy public toilets. It’s not doing up your coffee cup lid as you’re rushing out the door and drenching everything your change bag. It’s persuading an independent young lady that sparkly glitter ballet pumps are not suitable outdoor wear for snow (yes these have all happened to me).
My house isn’t beautiful, it’s just loved and lived in. Toys everywhere -check. Can’t be bothered to change out of your baby sick top, it’s easier to turn your head right and just not smell it than find another clean top-check. Toddler screaming because you passed her milk cup and not daddy, despite daddy not being there? Check. Walking round a furniture showroom breastfeeding because apparently the hour long feed wasn’t that tasty and was vomited all back up and over your clean top (see above re: no spare) -check. Realising the wet patch on your leg is getting bigger because the toddler peed on you rather than take themselves to the toilet – check.
I could dream of a clean and immaculate house, of being the perfectly presented mum with neat clean children and a news feed full of beautiful picture, but that wouldn’t be real. I secretly love the chaos. It’s family life.