When I became a mum I thought I was going to be so much better at it than my own mum. I was certainly going to be a lot better than the women I see screaming at their kids in the supermarket or crying in the car at the school kiss and ride. But I’m not. There’s a pretty big gap between the picture of the mum I post on Insta and the mum I actually am.
It feels like no-one ever tells the real story. At mother’s group all I ever heard was mums whose babies slept through the night. How their kids all ate broccoli. None of them used screens to scab a 10-minute sleep-in.
You know what? As a mother of five, I don’t believe them.
At some point, when no-one is looking , our perfect mum facade falls and clonks our poor sweet baby on the head. With a phone.
A bit like Charlize Theron’s character does in the trailer for her new movie Tully. I’ve done this, by the way:
I’m the dumb mum who’s dropped my smartphone on my sleeping baby’s head as I struggled to take a call while breastfeeding. Try explaining that bruise to the early childhood nurse.
So, in the spirit of mum realness and oversharing, here are the 10 worst things I’ve done as a mum and never told anyone.
1. One morning I had such a bad hangover, I told the kids they were sick and couldn’t go to school. I made them bring me cold packs and massage my feet. Then I made the eldest child ring up the woman who I was supposed to do canteen duty with and tell her we were all really really sick. (In reality I was. I was really really sick of canteen.)
Reality. via GIPHY
2. Once my daughter Zoe put a battery in her mouth. I told her to take it out because it was toxic and she asked “will I die?” I said “Probably”. I weirdly enjoyed watching her freak out. She’s got a neurosis about touching batteries now. I did that.
3. When I was travelling overseas with my baby, I ran out of money for nappies so I had to use my t-shirts. I told fellow travellers I had given up disposables for eco alternatives, but in reality I was broke and I was running out of t-shirts.
4. I realised the night before my daughter’s fourth birthday that I forgot to buy her a card. So I took one of her older sister’s cards and whited out her name and wrote ‘Sophia’. I didn’t bother changing the message. Same same. I have another daughter who’s also been given that card. See, I am eco.