Mammy wars, where mammies pick holes in what others are doing, is not something I get involved in thankfully. To be honest I’m too busy getting my own children through each day to be concerned what other mothers are doing with their offspring.
However, before I had children I was well able to judge those who had. I was full of opinions what friends and family should be doing, and more importantly, should not be doing with their kids. In my head I knew it all. What a gobs*ite I was!
I remember being on a family outing to the Guinness Storehouse; there was myself and Daddy Chambers (AKA as Mike at the time!), my childless brother-in-law and his wife and my sister-in-law, her husband and her baby Tom, who is now school-going five-year-old.
After our tour I suggested going to a little Italian restaurant in town and everyone was up for it bar my sister-in-law and being the control freak that I am I was quite put out by this. She told me it wasn’t suitable for baby Tom and in my head I labelled her awkward for awkwards sake and dismissed her concerns immediately. We went to the restaurant and she didn’t. Her loss, I said at the time.
Now though, with the benefit of hindsight, the little Italian place, was down in a basement and inside it was tiny. The tables were as good as stuck together and it was packed. There no chance in hell I’d ever attempt to bring a child in there, let alone a buggy but sure didn’t I know it all at the time!
I also used to feel quite aggrieved when the same sister-in-law used to ‘ssssh’ me to keep quiet in her house when one of her babies were napping. ‘Sure, they have to get used to noise,’ I said. Again, I labelled her over the top.
But fast forward to now and God love anybody who as much a creaks a floorboard when one of mine are sleeping! Sometimes it could take me an hour to get Sarah down for a nap and if someone wakes her I will rip their heads off! A couple of hours creeping round the house in silence is worth it for a bit of a break!
I stood back and judged other parents who let their kids watch television. I told myself that when I had kids that there’s no way they would be watching TV; they would be outside playing, doing arts and crafts and baking all the time with me. If I could insert that crying laughing emoji here then I would! Again, what a gobsh*te I was. I’d never get a tap done around the house if television didn’t exist but sure didn’t I know it all at the time!
I baulked at the notion as to why anyone would put a child in a car and drive around to get them to sleep. Now I’ve only done it a couple of times but when you have a screaming child who won’t go to sleep under any circumstances, believe me, there comes a time when you will try anything. Well, I would anyway!
I told myself my children would never, yes never, eat rubbish. I looked down my nose at parents who allowed their kids to enjoy the odd bar of chocolate. I did manage to keep Aidan away from rubbish for almost two years, but you try and bring a child to a birthday party and keep them away from the sweet stuff!
I could never understand why friends with children would never answer their phones to me during the day. Sure weren’t they only at home doing nothing all day with the kids! Again that aforementioned emoji would come in real handy now!
These days I rarely answer my phone between the hours of 6am and 8pm and there’s also a huge chance I’ll never respond to a message or return a call. When the kids go to bed I don’t want to talk to anyone; I just want to sit in silence and savour the peace!
So to the other mothers I used to judge, I’m sorry! I was a silly fool. An opinioned know it all who knew absolutely nothing at all!