First of all, let me introduce myself. I recently turned 30 and have two gorgeous, erratically wonderful boys. When I was 25, I had fertility treatment to get my first wonderful child. Life was sweet and I jumped into my role as a neat, tidy mother with an immaculate, well turned out child and ‘shiny pin’ home and car. When said child was 6 months old, I found I was miraculously expecting again. No planning, no fertility treatment.
Once the shock wore off, and I dragged my husband back from the hills, I settled into preparing to be the perfect mother of two. Now my sons are 3 and 2, my hair is greyer, my house constantly smells of poo (potty training a deux) and the once perfect house, although still lovely, now resembles a graveyard for odd socks, chewed jigsaw pieces and mashed banana.
Here is my wisdom: to pass onto frazzled mothers who have a second baby, especially with less than a two year gap, something to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you have two toddlers and you don’t recognise yourself in any of the following, then first, congratulations, second – seriously?
And thirdly – can I please have your number? I always need good sitters!
1. Your once immaculate wardrobe, filled with beautiful, sexy clothes will disappear into a small pile of saggy sweatpants, trusty jeans, vest tops, baggy jumpers and oodles and oodles of bad pyjamas featuring woodland animals. All of the above will be crusted in toddler snot, Weetabix and the pockets filled at all times with dummies, baby wipes (again crusted with snot) and raisins.
2. To match the snazzy outfits, your hair will be greying, with inch long roots, and you will learn to scrape it back out of your face with whatever lies close by, hair bobbles, elastic bands, tatty old thongs. Sometimes the lack of hair washing will require you to wear the beanie hat you keep for just such emergencies.
3. Leisurely baths, complete with chilled wine, the latest paperback, and scented shimmering candles are a thing of the past, besides birthdays and Mother’s Day. These will be replaced by frantic showers whilst your youngest empties out your expensive, never used bubble bath down the toilet and your eldest stares at you, horrified, saying ‘mummy, where has your widgy gone?’
4. Your DVD rack will now be filled with Numberjacks, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Shrek. Tamara Drewe, Sex and the City and Bridget Jones’ Diary will be hidden away at the bottom of your wardrobe.
5. Your car CD player will now contain The Rescuers audio books, Nursery Rhymes and Wheels on the Bus. Nina Symone, Pink and Lady Ga Ga will sit sulking in the wardrobe with Bridget.
6. Your washing and ironing piles will always be at gargantuan proportions, despite the fact your groaning dryer and whinging washing machine get through 4 loads a day.
7. Your child will consider your oversized handbag to be his private treasure trove, filling it with half eaten grape crackers, lumps of discarded cheese, and Flumpy, their moth eaten elephant. To make room for their things, they will pull out yours, normally waving your tampons in the bank and trying to write with them. Or stick them up their nose.
8. You will talk to your bed lovingly, like a long lost lover, caressing the bed sheets, stroking the pillows, whispering sweet nothings about being together again. When you finally crawl into said bed, you will realise you have laid on a squashed grape, which is now smushed in your hair. Jerking away under the covers, you ram your bare foot into Buzz Lightyear who screams ‘To Infinity, and Beyond! Dog barks, house is awake. Bugger.
9. Your coveted pile of books that you keep buying languish on your dusty bookshelves, begging to be read. Meanwhile, you could recite every one of Julia Donaldson’s books. In your sleep. And do the illustrations.
10. You will never be so stressed, tired, hyper organised but still swimming in chaos. Or so happy and joyful that you catch yourself thinking, ‘wow, are these kids really mine?
Hope these made you laugh and did not depress you too much!
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