dad · ex-pat · fatherhood · mums · parenting · tipping point

The mother of all tipping points

‘Luckiest’ man alive

There is a time of day, spoken about amongst many mothers, where within a matter of seconds your world can switch from ‘just about under control’ to complete and utter carnage. It’s really quite astonishing how quickly the change can take place and no matter how hard you try to keep a firm grip on the sane and happy being you have been all day, more often than not this person becomes a distant memory that no-one (least of all hubbie) will ever believe existed.

The day can be filled with moments of sheer joy and pride as you sit back and look at your kids playing with cheesy yet overwhelming thoughts  of ‘ah, I am the luckiest woman alive.’ As the day goes on and you move from picking food out from everywhere and everyone to treading on the 17th piece of Lego (it is a pain like no other)  your feeling of being perhaps THE luckiest woman alive starts to dwindle and perhaps you are ranking somewhere amongst the 36th/37th, if we are being generous.

I recently encountered such a day and it began, as many do, with the brightest of moods and determination to welcome hubbie home with a smile on my face and the sound of birds tweeting at the window. Hmmm, mid-morning and the day is already beginning to take its toll as luxuries such as eating and toilet breaks for moi are slipping way down on the priority list. The only way a meal is consumed is with the assistance of the almighty Baby Bjorn. Whilst this slightly unconventional way of dining allows me to refuel, the downside is discovering remains of mama’s lunch in bubba’s hair (normally from a pot noodle as they are my go to food of choice), but I believe this is a small price for the little one to pay for the luxury of being carried around all day while I develop an unsightly hunchback.

Pot noodle consumed and we’ve made it to mid-afternoon. I’ve even managed the unthinkable – both kids are asleep – still holding on to my good vibes all remains well with the world. Even after one of them wakes up 5 minutes later and I have to sacrifice my fifth cup of tea of the day, my good mood cannot be swayed and I plough on with keeping the 1950s dream alive by preparing a hearty home cooked meal for the family, despite that inkling in the back of my mind telling me it would be so much easier to call upon the good folks of Just-Eat. No, against all odds home cooking will prevail.

By evening things are starting to unravel as the kids are entering that dangerous mix of hungry and tired. But, once again determined not to let my mood waver I sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm (favourite of the day) at the top of my voice attempting to convince the kids and myself that the power of music can solve everything. Alas, no. As much as I would love to think my singing can soothe any situation, it really cannot.

It’s ok, it may be the end of the day, but any minute now hubbie will arrive home with open arms ready for me to fling one of the kids his way and calm will once again be restored. 6.30pm and we are moments away from dinner turning from well-cooked to burnt to cinders and a joint kid meltdown. It’s ok hubbie is due any second now to ease the load. 6.35pm and one of the kids is now on the floor kicking and screaming with his dinner covering him like a piece of clothing. It’s still ok, we’re only moments away from my saviour walking through that door. Walk through that door dammit! 6.40pm and kid number two has decided he’s had enough of playing happy families and it’s time to join his brother and give him a run for his money on this crying business. 6.42pm and my mood is fast turning from beaming mother to slightly aggravated woman. 6.43pm and smoke is emanating from the kitchen as I tend to the screeching twosome – good mood is dying fast. 6.44pm – both kids are in full meltdown, dinner is ruined and my mood is now close to a woman scorned and yes hell really hath no fury like one…

Of course, through no fault of his own (let’s face it, when has that ever been a factor) hubbie arrives late and when he does finally emerge through the front door it is fair to say his ‘welcome’ is nothing close to a 1950’s dream. I’m guessing he’s feeling more like he’s made it onto the world’s unluckiest man list – well, top 50 anyway…


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