One coke, a large fries and a side order of working mom guilt please.

Every day I wake up and start a challenging day of constant running around. I do the school run which is always hectic and sometimes downright traumatic in the form of feeling like my child is doing everything to sabotage me getting to work on time. Then I get to work and work a full 8hours, body separated but mind ever focused on my daughter. Mad rush home,then starts the second and third and even fourth shift. I have a side business,a husband,and a house that never seems to stay clean for very long. I’m convinced that while I am out,random people have access to my flat and just come over to fuck everything up. So I split my time between caring for a four year old, cleaning the house, working on my side business and remembering that before all this started I met a man that I loved and became a wife.

Sound busy enough?

Well ever so often I cross paths with a condescending stay at home mom and I’m reminded of what a shit person I am.

‘Oh I could never leave MY child she says’

‘Oh we made sacrifices so that I could homeschool’

‘I don’t know how YOU do it,I could never’

Don’t get me wrong,I have no issues with stay at home moms, even though I can’t quite decide if I hate them or envy them; but I honestly wish some of them knew how privileged they are.

My house is a two income household, and no amount of cutting down on luxuries will change that. As it stands now I struggle to see where my luxuries lie. We don’t have DSTV, we don’t drive expensive cars (we actually only have one), we don’t wear designer clothes. If your husband earns mega bucks which allows you to stay at home, or if you live in an area with a lower cost of living to allow you to take care of your kids, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that we all share the same financial circumstances.

I’m almost 5years into this motherhood thing and the guilt is real. Some days it stands in the corner, and other days it’s all up in my face and I cant breathe.

Working moms are spread thinner than the last knife point of peanut butter on a piece of toast. We have to conduct ourselves at work as if we have no kids. We sit in meetings keeping our eyes open with imaginary toothpicks because we got like two hours sleep last night. Some of us are pumping ourselves like cows in bathrooms or in our cars. We need to look professional even though we had 10mins to get dressed. We don’t dare take off sick because all our leave days go to cancelling when the baby is sick. We get home to realize that sadly, the magic cleaning fairies didn’t pop in while we were gone to organize everything. Besides the usual shit show that is domestic life and wifehood we also have to coordinate meetings, make sure our deadlines are met and that our clothes don’t look like we just fished them out of the clean laundry pile without ironing them first.

Me time.

The ever elusive me time.

After a long week a work we get home on weekends and feel completely tapped out. We have nothing left to give. We SHOULD have nothing left to give. But we’re working mothers, and our working day never ends. So we drag ourselves out of that self pity to attend parties on weekends and plaster on that fake smile over a glass of wine when actually we’re day dreaming about that one day we will get to paint our nails and actually have them DRY before having to attend to the next task. We dream of not feeling conflicted all the time while we’re at work. We dream of a world where taking off to look after our sick children doesn’t feel like we’re one step away from being dismissed.

You see, this is the thing… While we’re at work we’re not supposed to be mothers. We are on conduct ourselves as valuable contributing members of society as if our kids were on pause somewhere. We’re supposed to offer to work overtime while magical fairies pick our kids up from school. When we’re at home….  We’re expected to conduct ourselves with the ultimate grace of motherhood and arrive home and spend quality time with our children until they close their eyes, because you know, they’re only little for so long.

But alas, we have shit to do.

After the second day you realize those clothes ain’t gonna wash themselves. While watching an episode of Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig you realize that you’re the mom and dinner ain’t gonna cook itself.

I didn’t go back to work because I WANTED to. I’m not at work everyday because I love dropping my crying kid at school so I can sit in meetings and forget she exists. While there are women who enjoy their work and their contribution, and for those women I say well done for having a professional passion and a curious mind.

The point that I’m trying to make is, it’s not so black and white.

Many of us don’t choose to leave our children for 5 days a week. In a perfect world we could all work from home and provide for our families. But life in this country rarely ever offers the ordinary mother this option. I’m struggling enough as is bringing myself around to the idea of adding another child to my family, and should it come to that, I definitely cannot quit my full time job.

So while you’re sitting on your pedestal judging me for ‘abandoning’ my kid and ‘robbing them of their childhood’, take a second to consider the fact that I’m doing the best that I can. Take a second to consider the fact that no woman in her right mind would consider taking TWO full time jobs and not even get paid for one of them. Take a second to think about how we wept on that first day of school and for many days and weeks thereafter as we dropped off our precious bundles at school. Take a second before you make that comment to think of how heart wrenching it it is for us to miss out on the ‘firsts’ in our children’s lives while we work.

Working moms…you’re doing your best. Your child will not hate you or be traumatized because you had to work full time instead of being able to serve them every meal and change every diaper.

I see your struggle. I walk this road with you. I see you dragging yourself home after a long day at work, perking up as you pick up the kids and then jumping into your domestic duties as soon as you get home. I see you going to bed at 11pm every night just so you can watch one episode of your favourite show and enjoy a glass of wine while the kids are sleeping. I see you coordinating every at work while coordinating the lives of your family members and trying to remember when ‘dress up’ day is.

I see you. I am you.

You’re not alone. And you’re not a shit mother.

You’re doing the best you can and that’s enough.

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Why I no longer strive to be the perfect mother

We all know the story; boy meets girl, boy proposes, girl plans dream wedding, boy and girl love each other so much and decide to make a baby…

And that baby turns the girl’s entire life upside down.

Enter: Stress. Anxiety. Weight gain. Hair loss. Sleepless nights. Stretch marks. Criticism.

Exit: Sex life. Flaky friendships. Finances. Sexy clothing. High heels. Clean hair.

You see, society has led us to believe that women can have it all and do it all. And yes you can, but not all of the time, unless you want to have a nervous breakdown and end up seeing your family through glass at prison or the mental asylum.

We feel like failures.

If we can’t lose weight, or make our own homemade organic purees, and never give our kids sugar, or let them watch too much TV (how much is too much TV? *goes looking for scientific study*)

We see other moms at the school drop off, we see celeb moms ‘bouncing back’ 6weeks after giving birth, looking as glamourous as ever. And we feel like we’ve failed. More importantly, we wonder…’How does she do it?’ And, ‘If she can do it, then so should I.’

But the truth of the matter is, everyone has different circumstances. And I’m not just talking about your genetic capabilities to lose baby weight. What most mothers fail to realize is that everyone has varying levels of support and varying levels of finance.

*The slender mom standing in front of you at Woolworths may have more childcare in the form of willing grandparents, to facilitate her being able to go to gym once a day.

*The mom with the flawless make up may have a live in nanny or a retired grandparent living with them and so has more time to get ready in the morning.

*The mom who has her children on a strictly organic diet has the finances to purchase quality made food for her children.

*The mom with the perfectly highlighted hair has the extra time and money to go to the salon every week.

When you become a mom, it’s about time, and it’s about money. If you don’t have the time to do it, you can pay someone to do it for you. Some of us lack time, some of us lack money, and some of us lack both resources and so have to do everything ourselves.

But do we?

Enter: The husband.

Very often in the first year of marriage, the demise of the husband is plotted many a night by the wife. Husbands should really be more grateful for surviving the first year of parenting. If they only knew…

But besides delegating more tasks to your significant other, I feel that mothers need to let go of the elusive perfect mother noddy badge.

Our kids honestly don’t give a shit. And our husbands aren’t striving for the same level of perfection.

Your child doesn’t care where their veggies came from, they will spit them out all the same. Your child doesn’t care if their top matches their pants. Your child doesn’t care how many committees you are a part of or if you have read all the parenting books.

Your husband isn’t invested in much of this either. As long as the kid is fed and clean, your husband counts this as enough.

And so you run around all day, making mental notes of AAAAAAALL the things you have to do. And all the things you have to research, and make a second mental list of all the things you’ve failed at. But failed by whose standards? Only your own.

I used to be that mom. Having a cry in the bathroom because I had failed at yet another task. I used to be that silent mom that was always comparing myself to other moms.

And then one day…something dawned on me. None of this petty crap matters.

I remember this one particular day while taking my daughter for a walk to the shop (for ice cream). We got back home and I was exhausted. I planned to sit down and enjoy the ice cream with her and then get started on the cleaning.

And suddenly she reached over and give me the biggest bear hug ever.

‘What a nice adventure we had mommy.’ Those were her words.

A trip to the shop for milk, yoghurt, biscuits and ice cream was…an adventure.

When her father got home from work and asked her how her day was, she told him with such joy about our trip to the shops and how we picked flowers along the way and saw a bird.

As it turns out, I’m not a giant loser after all.

That day I learnt a valuable lesson.

I learnt what is important to children. And none of it was on my list.

I made a conscious decision that day to let go of perfection. And in its place I put HAPPINESS. Not only the happiness of my daughter, but my own happiness.

I’m not the perfect mother (I never was) but back then I was a mother consumed by anxiety and fatigue.

Does my child have a balanced diet? uhm..mostly. But do I also buy shut the fuck up snacks when I need peace? Yes I do. Because those five minutes make me a better mother.

Does my child watch too much TV? Probably. But has she learnt a lot from TV? Actually yes. And does the TV time give me time to do laundry and dishes and keep our house from turning into a cesspool for germs? Yes, yes it does.

When last have I read a parenting book? I honestly can’t remember. I do what feels right for me and my family, and my daughter’s personality. I don’t spank, I don’t do time out. I do explain her actions and the consequences, and occassionally withhold treats. Okay I bribe. Whatever.

Do I engage with my child every second of every day? No. Because for a long time I did and it was exhausting. And none of my housework was getting done. Contrary to my husband’s belief, there aren’t magical fairies who do the laundry. For a long time my daughter was clingy and couldn’t play on her own, so all the toys we bought were kinda useless. Gradually I took a step back, and while we are still in the same room, I’ve had to encourage her to entertain herself. Have a problem with this? Take a number and stand in line, coz I aint got the time.

I cannot hold myself to these impossible standards anymore. And I don’t see how it is healthy for a child to have a mother who is burning out on both ends to create a perfect world for said offspring when a perfect world doesn’t exist.

Since taking a step back I feel calmer. My house is a bit messier but my heart is lighter and everyone in getting along better in general.

I refuse to sweat the small stuff anymore. (Unless it involves my favourite chocolate being sold out or my eczema flaring up)

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The price I pay to see her smile

Sometimes when my daughter is happy a piece of my soul dies.

Every once in a while when she gets a new toy, book, or even a bowl of ice cream I find myself envious of the life she has in comparison to the childhood I never had.

No ice cream for me. No hugs for me. No words of encouragement.

Everything came with a price.

Every hug (when someone was watching of course), every gift (special occasions only) came with a price. It came with threats and accusations.

‘YOU BETTER CLEAN YOUR ROOM OR I’M TAKING IT AWAY.’

YOU UNGRATEFUL CHILD, YOU DON’T KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE.

For a long time I thought I was adopted. This is the way my mind tried to cope with the abuse from my mother.

Adopted. Not hers. Not hers to love and cherish.

Motherhood is challenging for those with abusive mothers. The fear.

The fear of becoming HER.

Kids are angels. And they are also demons, especially when you’re standing in a queue. They test your patience push your boundaries, trying to find their place in the world. But when you grow up in an abusive environment you question yourself when you enforce discipline. You question yourself on those normal mom days of wanting to run away.

The fear.

Am I becoming HER?

Its very overwhelming to be in charge of shaping a human soul and everything that goes along with that. There is no manual for parenthood and even more so when you come from a broken or dysfunctional home. Because you have no frame of reference. You are literally taking each day,each experience as it comes and deciding what kind of parent you want to be. But one thing is certain, you know exactly the type of parent you do NOT want to be.

As much as it pains me sometimes, I love planning little surprises for my daughter. Although I never received one single thoughtful gift from my ‘mother’ I am quite skilled in the art of gift giving. Even if I do say so myself. There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone open a gift that they love. That magical mix of surprise and thankfulness gets me every time. I am not so good at accepting gifts though.

Seeing my daughter interact with my husband, her father is something that can dig right into the depths of my soul asking ‘why couldn’t my father love me like that?’. It’s hard. It’s hard being a parent when you grew up with abuse at the hands of your own parents. You ask yourself HOW, and WHY? You finally realize that how you grew up was not normal. When you finally know what love is, your know that you never had it growing up.

As much as my childhood sucked,as much as adult life without a positive mother figure sucks,that legacy cannot become my daughter’s. I am dedicated to breaking the cycle. So while I cant go back and reclaim my childhood I can look forward and pave the way for my daughter to experience unconditional love and acceptance.

Being a mom without a mom

Being a mother without your mother is really hard. Every woman who has given birth to a human being without her mom by her side can relate. Wishing her mom was there for support, advice and simply just taking the baby for a cuddle.

But…here’s the spoiler alert: My ‘mother’ is still alive but not in my life.

I would hate to do any type of comparison or diminish someone else’s pain and grief but this situation somehow just feels more painful than when a good mother has passed on. A good mom in heaven can be thought of in a loving way, and missed on special occasions.

Mine is best avoided at all costs. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish things were different. But my mother is a covert narcissist, and no good can come of having her in my daughter’s life. I went ‘no contact’ a few years before I was pregnant and it would have been nice to reconcile ‘for the sake of the child’, I knew that my child would be nothing but a trophy to her.

‘Mom-ing’ without a mother, especially when yours has been toxic, is a confusing journey. You wish you had that maternal shoulder to lean on, especially in the early days when you have no fucking clue what to do. But you are also struck with a horrible realization. For many years, many of us in the struggle can and will find many ways to justify the behaviour. We justify the way we were treated in many ways. ‘Oh she had a hard life’, or ‘I’m sure there is a reason why she is this way’; and then you have your own child. And you’re scared.

You’re fucking scared shitless because you worry that you carry this evil in your DNA.

But then you look into your child’s eyes…and a horrible awakening overcomes you. And you ask yourself ‘How could my own mother have treated me that way?’.

I am not a perfect mother. I’m human. I get short tempered when I have had broken sleep. I get cranky after the 50th ‘why this, why that’ from my now ever curious four year old. But the love I have for my daughter is deep and real and like no other love I have ever known.

And I’m scared. I’m still scared. I’m scared I raise her with a whole different set of issues. I’m scared I spoil her too much. I’m scared I discipline too much or too little. I’m scared because I feel I have no idea what ‘normal’ motherhood is because I have no frame of reference. I’m scared of the day she asks me ‘Where is grandma?’ and doesn’t accept ‘far away’ as the answer. I’m scared of the day my ever psychotic mother tracks her down as a teen and fills her head with so much lies and manipulation about me. I’m scared.

Some days I live in the moment. I exist as the person I am. Wife, mother, coworker and friend. And other days I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t know how to do this. Am I capable of doing this on my own? Should I just give up now because I’m going to fail anyway?

The love I have for my daughter comes naturally. There is no switch for that. But all the years of manipulation are hard to switch off. I still hear her voice in my head. You’re not good enough. You will never amount to anything. You will never find someone to love you. You are overweight. 

And while for the most part I feel I have succeeded, my inner child keeps tripping me up.

There are moments of clarity I have as a mother. Those moments mean so much more to me than the average mom. When I get home from work and my daughter comes running to me with the biggest smile on her face. When she leans in for a cuddle and tells me ‘I love you so much mom’, when the house is full of friends and family and she chooses to sit by me. Small things that mean so much to someone who grew up in a house with no affection.

As women we all have a very skewed view of motherhood before we actually have children, and I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that the first week is a rude awakening. I haven’t lived up to the ‘ideal’ I had in my mind. I’m not 100% patient, my child doesn’t eat 100% organic (fuck I’m lucky if she eats an apple), I went back to work much earlier than my heart could handle, and the ‘love hate’ phase of toddlerhood really tests me at times.

But I am proud of the mother I am. My husband is proud of the mother that I am. My child loves me. And chooses me over everyone when she is hurt or ill or heartbroken. Even on my worst day, I am not my mother.

Many people look at my life and may find my parenting style weird. But I know why I do what I do. And having lived the life I have lived, I’m not going to explain myself to anyone who isn’t open to understanding that not everything is all sunshine and roses.

Motherhood is a different ball game for me. I do not deny it. I actually own it. And anyone who doesn’t respect my choices as a mother for my daughter can actually fuck right off. I waited for these moments, I earned my stripes, I have come out the other side much stronger than I ever thought I would. I am fucking proud of that and won’t allow anyone to take it from me.

The questions have started. (‘where is your mommy?’) And the questions will persist as she gets older. For now I am enjoying the untainted time I have with my innocent, beautiful, emotionally in tune child.

I’m not sure when the day will come, but it will. And we will sit down side by side, and I will have to tell her the tale of my childhood. The scars, the pain, the abuse, the blood, the tears.

Until then, love.

I’m looking forward with love.

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Spring Cleaning – House and Soul

So I find myself living between two extremes, wanting to reuse everything in order to recycle and save the environment, and the polar opposite being please dear God I can’t live in all this clutter!

Every 3months or so I ATTEMPT to declutter my house in order to make cleaning more efficient. Halfway through I kinda lose interest and shove everything back in the cupboard but nevertheless, 3months down the line I swear to get rid of everything. How is it that we accumulate so much junk every week? Receipts and tiny knick knacks, it never ends. To complicate matters even further I am a crafty person and a keen gift wrapper. So very often my little treasures are useful and then I am thankful I kept some of other random oddity. But I am in a transformation phase right now, so I guess my cupboards are in for a shock as I try to reinvent myself and the way I do things on a daily basis.

Everyone knows that the key to a good spring cleaning is a strategy. Start in one room, or even one corner of a room (depending on how much crap you have) and work your way from there.

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips:

  • Have three separate piles, one for trash, one for charity and one for storage
  • Find a place for everything
  • Be ruthless, if it hasn’t been used in the last 3months then chuck it
  • Clean as you go

And Separate Tips for People Who Procrastinate:

  • Stay focused on the task at hand
  • Only take a break when you’re done with one section
  • Don’t shove it all back into your cupboards after 3hours
  • Don’t justify keeping anything just because you paid for it

I must admit when I pull it off I feel pretty damn chuffed with myself. The house instantly looks neater and more inviting. And I always promise myself in that moment that I will maintain this beautiful clutter free existence. But little by little everyday, I get home after a long day at work and I don’t have energy to sort through my daily clutter and it just accumulates all over again. Oh well, better to have tried than never to have tried at all right?

Is spring cleaning your soul a thing? i think it is. And if it isn’t the I’m making it a thing right now. As you’ve read in previous posts I was stuck in a dead end job for many years, taking this new job was a HUGE change for me, like ENORMOUS but I find myself now wanting to change other things. namely my personal life and relationships with people and how I interact with them.

When you are generally unhappy it is hard to pinpoint when you are genuinely unhappy about something. Reason being that your life just sucks in general so you can’t really point fingers at the source. But when you have a huge shift towards a happier space, suddenly every negative vibe is a threat to your happiness.

I go to work every day so amped to get started (yes even on a Monday) and I find myself looking at certain negative things bringing me down and every day my resolve gets stronger. Like I don’t need this shit, I deserve better.

Whether people in my life know it or not, I have made a promise to myself to make next year and the future in general, a better one for myself. For years I’ve put the needs of others before me but I really feel like I need to be selfish and take care of me in order to stay sane.

So I’m cutting the dead weight. I’m cutting out people who drain me, people who don’t support who I am and where I’m going. As harsh as it sounds I feel it needs to be done. I don’t want to wake up one morning 20years from now with regrets. It’s corny as fuck but it’s true ; you only get one life, so live it well.

I have wasted far too many years already, and I don’t plan on wasting anymore. So whether we interact in 2017…is all up to you. Add to my life, don’t tear it down.

Now excuse me while I walk around the house aimlessly in order to avoid the pile of laundry, dishes and 4year old treasures that need to be packed way.

For the house I recommend this book: Ditch your glitch by Kate Emmerson

For the soul..I suggest having a look online at various self-help books that best suit you but one of my favourites is The life changing magic of not giving a fuck by Sarah Knight.

Happy Cleaning!

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The Biggest Decision of my Life

Reading the title of this post you probably assumed – marriage, kids, changing jobs or buying a house…these are all big decisions we make as adults and very often it feels like this huuuuge undertaking and then six months down the line you’re like okay I was being a bit dramatic. but no, I’m not talking about any of those. I’m talking about the fact that it has been roughly 8 years since I last spoke to my mother.

I say ‘roughly’ because I never set a date to do this. It kinda just happened. (yes,how does something like this just happen) well, after years of emotional and sometimes physical abuse I had to choose between me or her, and I chose me.

I packed my things with my heart racing in my chest. I stood in my room going back and forth between “this is a bad idea” to “I need to get the fuck out of here NOW“. Trying to pack your bags when you are running away from life as you know it is really hard. Mostly because you’re doing it in panic mode and you don’t have enough bags for all your crap.

Surprisingly I didn’t actually have much of value. Nothing in the house belonged to me or carried any good memories so I literally packed my clothes. (Years have gone by and I still have those weird moments where I look for a certain trinket or item of clothing like ‘damn why didn’t I pack that?’)

And then I left. And the world didn’t come crashing down and no she didn’t pull up and demand that I come home. This is a fact that not many people are unaware of. Just in case you missed it SHE DID NOT FORCE ME TO COME BACK HOME.

Her story for the record was that she respected me as an adult and so let me go be my own person. (insert sarcastic cackle here) but she and I know the truth. On my 18th birthday she literally told me “now you can move out”. She was happy to see me leave BUT she also had no idea that I would be gone for good. In her mind it would only be a matter of time before I’d had enough of the cruel world and come running back so she could say “I told you so”. The irony of it is that I had already suffered all the cruelty at home so the cruelty of the real world was not a factor for me.

I won’t lie though. It was hard. Giving up the financial benefits was hard. Living on 2min noodles, living in a commune with strangers and walking to work rain or shine was not easy. But I was free, so regardless of my living arrangements I had succeeded.

My ‘mother’ and I never had a true relationship beyond pretending with other people. So to answer the question that is bothering you right now; no I don’t miss her. I miss the feeling of what having a good mother feels like but I do not miss her one bit.

What’s to miss?

oh you mean besides the constant insults and belittling and lies and aggression?

Not for me, no thanks.

Years have gone by and even though I stand firm in my choice, it still stings.

I miss having a mom but I don’t miss her. There is nothing to miss, unless you consider abuse to be a fond memory of your childhood. No, I don’t expect you to understand, I don’t expect anything from anyone anymore. I have set the bar really low so that when someone ‘gets’ it I’m super chuffed and share my story in order to educate them.

Contrary to her belief, I don’t tell the truth in order to create a smear campaign. I tell the truth to lift the silence on this heavily guarded secret. If my story can save one person, just ONE from living the life that I had then I will feel relief. Society guards maternal abuse in a bank vaulted safe, away from reality. But the truth is that this is an everyday reality for many people. And as long as it stays hidden this abuse will continue for generations to come.

I think I speak for all my people when I say that the path to recovery and freedom is a lonely one. We meet in the shadows, on private closed groups on Facebook, we blog anonymously, for fear of the flying monkeys. And it really sucks but it’s okay, we have each other. Until society accepts this as a real issue, in the shadows we will stay. But I feel that soon this perception will change. We made some headway with the dead beat dad situation, so surely we will graduate to a point where mothers will be seen for who they are. (I live in eternal hope)

Being a mom without a mom has been challenging. And will continue to be challenging. I am relying on books and the internet and my gut instinct to guide me. because I do not have a responsible and nurturing maternal figure to guide me. I’m four years into my parenting journey and I don’t think I’ve done a bad job so far.

But doing this alone is truly a slice of heaven instead of heaven in comparison to what it would be with her being a part of it. Constant criticism, disappointment, gas lighting, lying and forced interaction.

So all in all I think it is a fair trade. Rather no mother than a narcissistic one.

Photo Credit: www.dekeldesigns.co.za

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Dear Dummy

DEAR DUMMY, I have a confession to make. Pre-mom me never liked you. Well you have quite the reputation and not such a good relationship with the teeth of certain kids, so don’t hate me. I bought a breast pump set and two of you came with, so I didn’t really choose to buy you. And yet I packed one of you into the hospital bag, first time mom jitters I guess. When the nurse at the hospital discovered you she was in such shock and disgust, I actually thought she had discovered drugs in my bag. Oh well.

At 6 weeks I introduced you to Lia in the hope you could soothe her. So much crying, what is up with the crying. Lia didn’t like you at all and screamed even louder. So back into the cupboard you went. At the tender age of 3months I had to send my precious angel to school, on the list of things to provide in her bag was guess what…a dummy. I explained that she wasn’t interested but they thought they knew better. After the longest 8hrs at work in my life I rushed to fetch Lia and discovered her peacefully sleeping with you in her mouth. You were her comfort when I wasn’t there. I didn’t know whether to cry or be grateful.

Lia turns 4 at the end of this month and for the past two years you have been her dirty little secret. She doesn’t use you in public and makes no mention of you when outside the house (sorry). She has picked up on the fact that society is not happy with kids her age having a dummy and has adapted accordingly, only using you for bedtime.
So many childless people make comments like ‘oh is she still on the dummy? So and so’s kid left the dummy at age 2 or 3 blah blah (insert eye roll here) Depending on who it is I react with a variety of responses like ‘yeah well so and so’s kid has a security blanket so shut up’ or ‘Lia is my kid and I do what suits me’.
Or the ‘perfect parents’, ‘oh my child never used a dummy, do you know how bad it is for their teeth, and you’re going to struggle SO much getting her off it’ (insert yet another eye roll) uhm lady, I haven’t berated you for breastfeeding past age 4, and I can see your 6yr old sucks his thumb so back off and leave me alone will you. Stay in your lane dumbass.

The truth is I changed my mind about you when I saw how you calmed my child. Although sometimes I wish you were never invented, like when Lia was 8mnths and waking me up because she was not capable of finding you on her own in the dark at 3am. Then I just went out and bought 6 of you and sprinkled you over the cot like Motherhood calming glitter.

Last night Lia went to bed without you…we couldn’t find you (we weren’t motivated enough to find you, quite frankly we are sick of you) After much tossing and turning she finally fell asleep and in the morning we praised her so much for being a big girl. We had given Lia the cut off of her birthday, a day when she would hand you over to a baby and let go of her babyhood. But we somehow speeded up the process.

I feel kinda sad, I feel like I’ve lost my baby. But I have also waited for this day. Thank you. Thank you for soothing my child. Thank you for giving me ten minutes of peace at times, dummy in = silence. hahaha

Goodbye dummy. The other dummy moms feel exactly the same (sorry again) but you make a difference in the lives of kids and that is all that matters. Not the opinions of other people.