I have learnt so much since becoming a mum. SO many skills that I never needed in my previous life as a person with only myself to think about.
I’m now some weird kind of patient , educator , negotiator , chef , chief medical organiser and supernanny hybrid! Most of the time anyway. Sometimes I eat three twirls one after another , hidden in the laundry room where the noise of the tumble dryer will cancel out wrapper rattling. Sometimes I lock the bathroom door and have a weep.Sometimes I pour a glass of wine an hour before bedtime as an incentive to get through the witching hours (6-8pm).
Mostly though I’ve learnt. I’ve learnt to make costumes , I’ve learnt to bake and cook. I’ve learnt how to loom band and the ins and outs of formula 1.Picked up things I never would have had I never had children.
It does work the other way too though. For every Gingerbread man costume I have lovingly crafted , there’s a skill I’ve lost. I kind of hope it’s not just me…so I thought I’d share.
Things I can no longer do :
Cross the road.
There I stand in the middle of Manchester , kids are at school and I’m stood waiting to cross the road. People look at me funny as they edge me out of the way to dash by me. I’m a bit confused , why are people looking at me like I’m nuts??I have a look at the road , sure there is no traffic…but I’m waiting for the bloody green man!! You people are dicing with death running across the road in such a manner. You should ALWAYS wait for the green man!!.The day I realised that I , as a 39 year old woman, was unable to cross a road without a lollypop lady I did vow to relearn this essential skill. I will one day!
Serve a normal dinner
I made bolognaise last week . It’s a favourite and usually can be found on our table once a week. I’ve been cooking and serving this dish since the kids were toddlers…last week there in the kitchen though , I had a sudden realisation. I was taking the kitchen scissors to the kids spaghetti and chopping it into easy spoonable sizes the way I did when they were 3,2 and one. They are 15 , 16 and 18.What the hell is wrong with me???…..actually what is wrong with them for not picking me up on it before now?? My friend came over for dinner one time and I served pie with their initial on cut out in pastry , only when they commented that it was ‘cute’ did I realise I’d done it. I make all food kid-friendly.I’m going to have a dinner party just to prove I can. No chocolate sauce smiley faces with dessert , no chopping vegetables into novelty shapes. I can do it.I’m sure of it.
Make a journey without a running commentary
You know when you’re out and a plane flies overhead so you turn to the toddler and say “oooo look at the aeroplane ” then remember you don’t have the child with you??You have done that haven’t you? Oh my , I hope that’s not just me. It comes from years and years of walks with the little ones (often motivated by a need to get out of the bloody house and check that people over the age of 3 do still exist). Chatting non-stop along the way because the baby books say you must stimulate or else they’ll not learn to talk until they are 27!!! Every journey becomes like an open top bus tour for fools “oo a doggy! What noise does a doggy make? Look ? we’re at the shop what colour is this? (There is a possibility Sainsburys is still referred to as the ‘orange shop’ in our house!)
A skill I have acquired as a mum of four is the ability to (half) listen to four conversations at once. It’s the half that is the key.That zoning out out thing only to be alerted back to the conversation by the line “so can I then mum? “. Shit! I was meant to have been listening. Now what do I do? Confess I wasn’t listening properly or take a gamble on a no. Obviously a yes in this scenario would be idiotic.
Thing is, I’ve started to do it with other people too. I can have a full conversation on the phone and then put the phone down to realise I’ve daydreamed through the while conversation.
So you see, being a mum is great, the hugest learning curve ever.Some life skills have just gotten lost along the way.
Not just the drink gallons of wine, dance all night then get up for work bright as a button on 2 hours sleep life skills…. Ah the halcyon days….