Saturday found me doing my best impression of Natural Born Mummy, baking Halloween shaped cookies with Small Child. As a hangover from my career days I congratulated myself on my multi tasking approach to this scenario. Not only was I doing something that I find totally alien, i.e. letting Small Child make a mess in the kitchen but I was also embracing a festival (albeit an American one that seems to be sneaking it's way further into our culture year upon year), in a very Natural Born Mummy fashion indeed!
In my opinion, and others have disagreed with me on this matter which is kind of comforting, I think I am officially missing the NBM gene. I try my hardest to be a good mum and most of the time I do a good job but here's the thing... lean in cos I'm going to whisper it...... it doesn't come naturally to me. I'm whispering because being an NBM is to the noughties what being a yuppy was to eighties. Only, the red braces have been replaced with slings that hold your child steadfast to your bosom, stiletto's have been superseded by Crocks, pads have slipped from your shoulders into your bra because everyone HAS to breast feed and heaven forbid if you are not at least a member of one mother and baby activity group that involves teaching your little one to sign/play an instrument/swim under water aged 2 weeks/crochet pot holders!
The more I read lately, the more I see the whole "You can be a working mum and have it all" concept being shunned for the option to stay at home and be a "Have it all/make it all/do it all Super Mum"! Don't get me wrong - I think we should choose to do whatever is right for us as individuals and bugger what anyone else thinks. Having tried both I much prefer my current mix of less work, more Small Child time. It's just that, like my cookies, I just crumble under the pressure sometimes! I really try and be Laid Back Mummy but find myself trying to retain vestiges of control that really aren't appropriate when you have kids!
I hate it when Small Child makes a mess! Art/cooking/creative stuff always has to be done in a controlled, supervised environment and leaves me hopping about like Monica at a cocktail party without drinks coasters! I'm sure you would have laughed if you'd seen the look on my face as I let her spoon the icing sugar into the Magimix and watched in despair as little clouds fluttered to the floor, via the worktop/stool/apron/my feet!
I lose my patience far more than I should when we get into those debates that only come with a three and a half year old girl who wants to do dolly steps to the bathroom when you're itching to get downstairs for a glass of post bedtime wine, put on both tights and socks at the same time or wear a fleece when its ninety degrees outside!
I really do try and suppress my inner control freak and pick my battles but Oh My God do I ever find it hard!
I know I'm not the first mother to admit to reading Grazia over the top of my child's head as she sits on my lap watching pre bedtime television or opening a bottle of wine at 5.00pm on a Sunday because I really need to numb the pain of numerous return trips to the naughty corner, but sometimes it sure does feel like it! If I were at Good Mummy School, my report card would read "Must try harder" and "Could do better". So I'm working on it but I'll never make Head Girl!
Although.... I do admit to feeling somewhat smug as the smell of chocolate cookies permeated the air in our house for a brief period on Saturday; that was until I accidentally doctored one of the cat shaped cookies by shoving it into a container with too much force and breaking off it's tail!
And needless to say, it was the inner NBM gene that made me photograph the best three cookies from the batch!