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"Dear Cranky Mummy. You aren’t invited this Christmas."

 There is one guest who is not welcome this year.

Dear Cranky Mummy,

It’s been a long year, a hard year and as we limp towards the end, that slow creep towards the holidays, that last surge of endless activities and needs to be met before Christmas I am here to say good-bye.

You’ve had your time to shine this year.

You’ve had numerous bouts of put-your-shoes-on-now and that’s-what-I-made-and-you-WILL eat it.

"A year of waking every few hours at night and coping for weeks with back-to-back sickness has fuelled you. But I’m sorry, it’s over."

You’ve raised your eyebrows at a three-year old insistent on wearing that same dress every day no matter where she is going, even if navy fairy wings aren’t appropriate for the park. You’ve shaken your head and found yourself saying, “You aren’t seriously wearing that out of the house are you?”

You’ve had your moment to crow when yet another child played that I’m hiding behind the post-box and you can’t see me when you really, really need to get the others to school. You had your moment to snap “come on we’re late!”.

You’ve been able to sigh very loudly at streams of crumbs across a freshly swept floor, and to huff and mutter at the sound of a box of Lego being tipped up in a just-tidied toy room.

You’ve had lost soccer boots and upended plates of spaghetti. Siblings bickering and back seat brawling.

Cranky Mummy you were in your element when you found fuchsia nail polish splashed across the carpet and danced a cranky dance when that nappy somehow came off and the contents were somehow streaked across the cot.

You laughed that evil laugh when a nappy made its way into the wash and you left me to deal with the globby remnants for hours.

Remember the great tantrum in the toy aisle just last month? The tantrum over the dropped ice-cream at the beach and the beauty in the school playground at pick up time the other day.

Dear cranky mum: "You’ve had lost soccer boots and upended plates of spaghetti. Siblings bickering and back seat brawling."

You’ve had your mantras.

“I’ll play with you in a minute.”

“Yes I will watch in a second.”

“I said NOW.”

“We are in a hurry.”

“Give that back to your brother now.”

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But you’ve had your moment cranky-mum.

A year of waking every few hours at night and coping for weeks with back-to-back sickness has fuelled you.

But I’m sorry, it’s over.

I’m here to break up with you cranky-mum and send you on your way.

You see it's Christmas soon. It’s the great unwind to summer holidays. It’s the season of cricket murmuring in the background on the radio and bikes strewn in the front yard. It’s thrown-together dinners and after-bath swims.

It’s wearing your boardies all day long and losing a thong at a neighbour's house.

It’s that endless scratch from mozzie bites after playing under the sprinkler as the sun goes down and the sibling bonding over a sneaky search for Christmas pressies that just have to be hidden in this house somewhere. (But don’t tell Mum.)

It’s summer, Cranky Mum, and it’s time for you to go.

It’s time for my kids to remember who this mum can be. To be reminded that mums can be fun too. To seek me out, to just chat to knowing I will respond to them, not look at my watch and to know that I will be there and yes I-did-see-that-jump on the trampoline.

It is time to dance with my children and swing them around even knowing they will demand more-more-more Mama.

It is time to give them more.

I know that next year you might make a return visit. That once homework-time and the afternoon rush returns you might poke your cranky head back into our lives.

But until then I’m sending you on your way. Farewell cranky mum. May your Christmas be filled with crumbs and tears and lost ballet shoes just the way you like it.

What cranky mum stories do you have from this last year?

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