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.
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 😉