Right obviously the ‘who has it tougher’ argument is largely academic because lets face it 1. It doesn’t really matter and 2. Its not a competition BUT in my current state of frazzled mind this is what I would say to the newborn mothers….
The ‘Little Baby Mummies’ have it easy.
Woah…. Calm down, I mean that it the nicest way possible! You are admittedly working out the pretty counter intuitive breast feeding process, you are knackered, you are probably a bit confused by it all, you are not quite as clean as you like… I do get it!
But compared to the ‘Toddler Mummy’…. Yeah I am sorry to break it to you…your sticking a boob into a little mouth and having a cuddle in front of Millionaire Matchmaker is nothing compared to the splat of beetroot against the cream wall, or the roar of ‘moooooorrrre (m)eat’ when you have run out of the entire packet …let’s face it…you thought an 8 rasher packet would suffice for say…THE ENTIRE FAMILY.
At least the newborn baby has the good grace to get deliciously, joyously, sleepily drunk on your bodies offerings… rather than delcare your 3 hrs in the kitchen producing slow cooked, salt free, sugar free, oragnic whatever as ‘yukky’ before throwing it on the floor.
You’re knackered because you have had no sleep. I have a little more, but the pay off for that is days filled with demand to acknowledge mundane house hold items …EVERYTHING…
‘Door? Door? Door? Door?’
‘Yes Honey it is a door.’
180degree head swivel a la the Exorcist and the tiny dictators eyes alight on the oven…
‘Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot?… pausing for breath…hope…
Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot ‘
Yes honey its hot.
Hit’s brother with furry fork found under fridge… backdrop of wailing…
(N)aughy? (N)aughy? (N)aughy? (N)aughy? (N)aughy?
You see the pattern.
The thirst for confirming the things of the world he walks away … peace… breath…relax… oh no he is on shelve 4 of 8 on the bookcase at the top of the stairs… other twin is reading…oh no he is rubbing Sudocreme into his books… a small but vital difference…especially on those ‘textured’ numbers!
Coffee is the solution for both of us and while I can see you still breast feeding could deny you that, you can at least sit down without incessant questions of if your coffee is hot, frenzied lack of co-ordination in the vicinity of the coffee or the attempted feeding of afore mentioned hot coffee to the cat.
And that, that, my mother of swaddled lumps under the play mobile is if you haven’t been stupid enough to go out for coffee. Here you find yourself lock in the immortal struggle of mother against simultaneously floppy and ridged baby in the war of ‘Getting Into The Carseat’.
And you are not so clean… it let you into a secret… neither am I.
So while I am a woman who is generally more a fan of toddlers over babies (… I know, I know but its ok to be a Mummy and not a complete ’baby’ person) I am also someone who thinks they are easier. Here are my top reasons why:
1. The Judgement is more. New Baby Mummies can do no wrong. Mothers of Toddlers screaming in supermarket aisles… well that is obviously the fault of parenting! People judge more. They judge more harshly. They forget that you are still overwhelmed, tired, in need of a pep talk and don’t know what the heck your child wants!
2.You need to get dressed. At some indeterminate time between having new baby and having a toddler you are expected to get dressed. Have make up on. Return to matching underwear. Seriously with the amount of poo, paint, beetroot, mud, slugs and talcum powder that go down the range at my house there is less point now of putting on proper clothes that there was when I had visitors arriving everyday saying how wonderful I was… which incidentally…stops.
3. Tantrums. Now I do not like a crying child at any age. It’s sad and it makes me sweat, but unbridled rage, fear, anger and disgust crossing the unblemished – barr a bruise from falling over their own feet – face is something else. I am utterly overwhelmed by the range and depth of emotion my sons feel … and when it is because you won’t feed him exclusively purple food or put the toys away in the bottom draw when he wanted the middle draw… it’s a largely unavoidable pit of confusion… and sweating! Bring back the cat like meows of the newborn!
4. Your understanding of world politic destroys your hope. Having seen playground politics I can only deduce conflict over resources is at the very base of our being as people.
5. You want more. The baby phase has gone; your horizons have once again broadened. You start having great ideas beyond what you accepted as limitations when they were little. A posh girlie plus littlies holiday in Nice, wild camping with the husband. What the fuck. You want your adventure and fun back… sit down… you are not ready for it. You are ready for centre parks and the nursery open day. Holiday when they are littlies otherwise they get a legitimate vote for Pepper Bloody Pig world and cost you an inordinate amount in restaurants serving food they later decided after ordering, they don’t like!
So ‘Tiny Baby Mummies’… cut loose, live it up!
Get out, enjoy, show off your beautiful babies.
Do not say ‘No’ where you can say ‘Yes’…these are glory days, have your cake and eat it…. No one expects you to be skinny for at least 9 months anyway…. Try claiming ‘baby weight’ when they are two and a half!
To those of you currently enduring the daily strain of the toddler years… gin, tonic and remembering that these are still the formative years and you cant swear at anyone are my only adages for survival… but il take your suggestions on the following: whinging, tantrums, nutrition, biting, discipline, entertainment, movement from cots to bed, potty training, nursery, speech development, development, social interaction, developing their own identities… arrrrghghgh…
Honestly I love my crazy, knowledge hungry, toddle-bobs but I also thought it would get easier. Turns out you have different ideas… I love you anyway but maybe…that third baby….