I’m pretty sure 70% of the mothers of Cheltenham were at Cheltenham Literature Festival last night for The Knackered Mums’ Night Out. All the prosecco in the county was no doubt necked and many laughs were had alongside best selling authors Clemmie Hooper, Katie Kirby and Sarah Turner. It was a great night out though this knackered mum had to race home to her bed straight after – I’m sure there were some sore heads in town for some of you!
The girls covered loads of interesting and hilarious topics but I hadn’t expected to leave with any practical takeaways that I could actually apply to real life as a mother – how wrong I was! One of the titbits of advice the ladies gave out really resonated with me so I thought I’d share it with those of you who didn’t manage to bag a ticket.
When asked what makes them lose their shit the speakers all gave various answers but Clemmie and Cherry the interviewer actually described the way that they had considered what triggers made them fly off the mothering handle and put in place some practical solutions to make this trigger less likely to occur.
Bloody genius! Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make all the difference but you’re so busy trying to be superwoman you can’t see how very straightforward the problem is to solve.
So for Clemmie it was the mornings getting everyone out of the door. For more than half of us I guess we are most likely to lose our shit in the mornings trying to get out the door. Living in a house comprising three floors she has analysed what the triggers are for her catastrophic meltdowns and moments when she considers calling her kids arseholes. For her it was always that they hadn’t cleaned their teeth. So what was her simple solution? Toothbrushes in the kitchen on the ground floor right next to the door she so desperately needs to get everyone out of.
For Cherry; her kids would forever lose their shoes in the mornings. This caused her to do an Incredible Hulk style transformation into shouty, screamy, unhinged mummy so a quick analysis of problem solving techniques and ‘ta da’ she’s added finding two shoes for each child and putting them by the front door to her post bedtime routine – so simple but potentially an action that could rescue your day if it means you don’t start it out on the wrong (possible shoeless) foot, twenty minutes late for work.
So I’ve spent some time today analysing my triggers. As a busy working Mum of three I’m not ashamed to admit to having some help around the house but Thursday is the day my cleaner comes and it’s the day I’m most likely to have a meltdown of epic proportions pre 8am. In fact it should be added to the family diary it’s that predictable. The issue is I like to tidy for my cleaner so that she can actually clean and as we all know you have to ask an older child to do something 27 times before they actually do it meaning that I either end of doing and feeling extremely angry about that or they miss their bus which makes me even angrier. So today I bought my ‘please tidy your floors so the cleaners can clean’ requests forward by 24 hours. Right now ladies it’s 8pm on Wednesday, those floors are clear and my fingers are crossed that one of my main causes of Thursday morning anxiety has been eliminated (pending this evening’s mess obviously).
There are other triggers for sure and I’ll be analysing mine in detail over the coming weeks but sometimes you just need a nudge like that event or perhaps reading this blog to realise that actually the problems that cause you the most hassle and stress as a busy Mum are actually really easy to solve. So here’s your challenge for the day – identify the most likely scenario that will make you lose your shit and then think about what the trigger usually is. Eliminate the trigger and you can go about your day like an elegant swan rather than a stressed out squirrel.
Oh and feel free to share whatever you think of in the comments below – you never know your solution may save some other Maman’s day too!