** Was going to entitle this ‘Signs Your Mum’s Staying’ but it sounded like a year nine ‘your mum’ joke and I didn’t want to offend anyone. And now I’ve gone and offended year nines. #minefield **
Being a parent to young children is a bit shit a lot of the time. I would rate the following things as the two worst bits of having children:
1) having to be the adult
2) all the time…it’s relentless
Which is why it’s so bloody lovely to have mums come and stay because they are never-ending mothers to us therefore henceforth et voila they then have to be the grown up and we get to opt out!
Think about it/take my word for it, they are your parent and a parent’s job lot is to care for their child and mop up their literal and metaphorical mess. My children are my mess! Literal and metaphorical!
I like to hand over the reins the moment I clap eyes on mama White. Sometimes I even send the kids up ahead to get things going early: ‘Ooh, look children, isn’t that granny in the distance’
‘You mean the one warily and slowly making her way towards us emanating reluctance and a long lists of things she’d rather be getting on with?’
‘Yes darling! See you on Sunday!’
Having the grandparents visit means there is finally someone loco parentis and so that’s when I check out. I ruthlessly and shamelessly exploit my parents’ presence.
Here is a typical conversation:
Me: ‘Fancy a cup of tea mum?’
Put Upon Mother(PUM): ‘Lovely’
Wait long enough. Wait for it.
Me: ‘Oh, mum! I would’ve done that!’
Aren’t I the pits?!
But cups of tea aren’t the only sign that a grandparent is in da house. My mum leaves a trail of marvellousness behind her- sometimes, days after she’s left, I will realise she’s emptied our bins or changed bed sheets or distributed spare loo rolls or some other such helpful and thoughtful legacy from her visit.
In order to celebrate having such a spiffing mother and to celebrate all her kindness and to in some small way thank her and make amends for my quickness to shun my children and head for the hills whenever she visits, I have compiled a list of signs that mother has visited. Recognise any of them?
Everything is tidier and nicer
The washing that has been sitting the drum of the machine for three days is now out and drying. The wellies and smelly gym shoes are even called to order. It’s all tweaked and civilised.
There’s food everywhere
Thinking about what everyone is going to eat and then sourcing and making it and then fielding complaints and rejections is prob no.3 on my most hated list. But when mum’s around, so is food. Heaven.
The washing is neatly folded
Yes, you’re right, it is sorted in to orderly piles to ease the process of putting it away. Well spotted.
The kids becoming way less annoying
This may have something to do with the fact that the parent/child ratio is now 4:2. It helps immensely to have two more bods to help meet the children’s irrational, specific and ever changing demands.
No wonder we all adore her.
Although I harbour a good deal of resentment and envy towards people who have parents living nearby and on hand to step in, I know I am lucky to have a spectacular and endlessly patient kind and thoughtful non-judgemental mum to sweep in and be mum so I don’t have to. I think this is going to be the first time I use this without it being deeply sarcastic but I am ready to say I am, in all sincerity, #blessed.
I just hope my kids aren’t as entitled, lazy, needy and irritating as me when they have children. I’m wrapping up my parental duties the moment Kid2 hits 18. We can’t be too involved in grand parenting, the wig wearer and I have got retirement to be getting on with. I suppose I can always text the great-grandparents from my sun lounger.