I was like you once….

As I wrestle my toddler into a trolley and yell “come over here NOW” at my daughter I glance up and I see that look on your face, a mixture of pity and disdain.
I know how you see me. A fraught, overweight, middle aged woman who’s let herself go and could probably dress herself better*.

I know how you see me because I was like you once.

OK, I was never THAT slim.
Or beautiful.
But I was like you, looking over at the harassed, yelling like a fishwife mother thinking something like
“poor thing, clearly can’t cope, getting wound up over nothing”.

What you’re seeing, this over reaction on my part, is merely a snapshot into our lives, as fleeting as that look on your face.
You didn’t see the tantrum because I turned Bob the Train off.
You didn’t see me kicked in the throat because I wanted to change a nappy.
You didn’t see me spend 20 minutes trying to shoe a toddler and leave the house.
You didn’t see me tripped over by an over enthusiastic foot.
You didn’t see begging, pleading and attempting to carry my boy as he refused to walk.
You didn’t see him lay down in mud.
You didn’t see me panic as I was going to be late to pick up my daughter.
You didn’t see me frantically calling other mums in case I didn’t make it in time.
You didn’t see me get an earful for taking the wrong snack.

Rather – you saw me lose my shit over something and nothing.
You assessed us, ME, on that and gave me that look.

I was like you once – I get it, I really do but I don’t need your pity.
I don’t need you to look at me and feel bad.

That fleeting look on your face stings for a second then I remind myself
You don’t see the hugs.
You don’t see the laughter.
You don’t see the games we play and the songs we sing.
You don’t see the snuggles on the couch.
You don’t see the picture she made me.
You don’t see him say ‘I love you Mummy’.
You don’t see the all encompassing love in our lives.
You only see a snapshot.

I was like you once.
But one day, if you’re REALLY lucky, you’ll be like me.

You’ll choose comfort over style because why waste good shoes on the school run?
You’ll do your hair and face every day to show you’re coping.
You’ll get exasperated at how much longer everything takes with children.
You’ll get sick of hearing your own voice repeat the same warning time and time again.
You’ll pick up your child when they land face first after ignoring your repeated warnings.
You’ll feel what seems like a thousand eyes on you when your child refuses to walk or has a tantrum.
You’ll drink wine on a regular basis because you deserve a reward for surviving the day.
You’ll lose your shit in public over the tiniest thing because you kept your shit over the 20 other misdemeanors and you’ll glance and you’ll see that fleeting look on some sprightly teens face and you’ll think to yourself

“I was like you once, but I’m glad I’m like me now”.

*FYI I’m not middle aged yet and I didn’t let myself go, I’ve always been rough as a bag of spanners thankyouverymuch 😉




  • Jayne Brown

    I confess I have been both sides here. However when I had children and they grew (one in particular was harder) when these occasions arose I tried to remember that ‘those people’ didn’t know why these things were happening, they did know me and nobody should ‘assume’ things about us by our looks, behaviour or things we do or do not do. Unfortunately this happens in all things ‘those people’ think they have a right to judge everyone except themselves who are obviously just positively perfect in every way. Yes it is hard when our little people won’t cooperate but like you said those hugs, cuddles and other things that other people don’t see are wonderful. Some days/weeks feel harder than others but your little people are building their personalities along with learning what/ when things are acceptthee/right. So you Mummy’s and Daddy’s out there getting those looks from ‘those people’ just ignore them and carry on you are doing a brilliant job, give yourself a pat on the back or a glass of wine at the end of the day and congratulate yourself on surviving the day xx

  • Mummy Times Two

    I love this post so much. You are so right, we only ever see a snapshot of the lives of others. We all have both good times and bad in day, and as much as they drive us crazy we wouldn’t swap them for the world. #PostsFromTheHeart

  • Astrid

    As a childless woman, I cannot relate to life as a mother, so thanks for this. It must be hard, but it must also be rewarding. #PostsFromTheHeart

  • OddHogg

    Love this! Piglet was “easy” has a baby, but now we’re reaching the toddler stage I can feel a lot of those kicking in #postsfromtheheart

    • Anna

      You kind of grow a thick skin. I just think “wait until you’re 13. Mummy’s going to show you how to REALLY cause a scene” ? Thanks for reading ☺

    • Anna

      It’s so easy to do though isn’t it? Even just briefly, I’ve caught myself being a judgey pants before! I try really hard not to though.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    I LOVE this!!! I am so conscious of the glares when out in public. luckily Ben is quite good but he’s only just turning one so we’re not at the 2’s and 3’s yet! #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Anna

      Mine are 6 & 3, I try so hard to rise above it but some folk have perfected their glares so it’s hard to do. I think they forget they were young once. Good luck with the toddler times 🙂

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