It’s when you’re negotiating with your two-year-old to wear clothes using the power of rich tea fingers and threats of a time out you don’t have time for, watching the minutes tick down to an appointment you can’t miss, that you realise a sense of humour is required.
In fact, if there was a job description of parenthood then up there at the top of the required skills list would be the ability to laugh at yourself. You will do things and say things you previously eye-rolled other parents for. You will humiliate yourself in public to raise a smile from your offspring’s face. You will have less personal space than you thought physically possible. And yes, there are days when I have sobbed into a cup of tea that’s so cold it’s got skin, drying my eyes with a handy muslin before making a fresh brew in optimistic hope this one will touch my lips. But all this has resulted in the conclusion that you might as well lock in a smile and ride it out with some cheer.
I feel this way because two years into this journey the biggest thing parenthood is teaching me is to be more childlike. My career was a rather serious affair with abundant professionalism, so for years it had been a game face, rather than a silly face that had been the mainstay. To put it bluntly I was pretty serious. Then along came little people who find you hilarious without much effort and it’s an addictive state of play. I won’t say caring what people think has completely departed my being but the shackles are certainly loosening. And it’s just as well, as I think back to that time I forgot my son’s name when questioned (he was 3 months), deflecting it fairly successfully before shouting ‘JOSHUA’ much later, too loud and now with no context whatsoever. The forgotten underwear after a swimming lesson where new mum friends perhaps wondered if commando was my go-to style. And, when asked if that’s your son, a question that frankly we all want to say no to as it can only be bad, was found armpits deep in the only mud patch for miles, happy as a lark and not an outfit change in sight. They have all been cringe inducing moments and there will, without doubt, be worse to come but what better remedy is there than laughing at your own misfortune. From observation, life can get serious pretty quickly for our little ones and so I am determined to make these early years as silly as possible, knowing that before too long I will have firmly earned my place as an embarrassing mum and participation on their part might be lacking.
So, here’s to parenting like nobody’s watching, slapping on a grin and to always packing underwear – in actual fact I’m not sure you can go wrong in life if you follow these principles.
You’re welcome x
A Guest Blog from Kate Wears
Kate is a stay at home mum from Kent where her two boys Lewis (2) and Joshua (7 months) keep her busy. In a previous life Sports Marketing was her thing and a love of writing, well that’s always been a mainstay and one day hopes to publish her own book. Follow Kate on Instagram @the_kentish_mother and see her latest blogs at Quite Frankly Kate.