The M Word

by | Oct 25, 2012 | Little Soapbox, MOTHERHOOD | 20 comments

The M Word

We hauled the baby activity centre out of the shed, hoping to dust off the cobwebs and bring it inside for the little lady. In the end, Bren got the Kenwood out and steam-cleaned the sucker. The plastic came up a treat. The colours were vibrant and alive!

But, Bren warned me, you should know the fabric seat had some mould on it. He knew it would bother me. He knew the idea that Harlow could put her mouth on a place where mould had once proliferated would turn my garden variety germ intolerance into hysterical OCD. He did his best, willing the power of steam to be enough but alas, the stain remained.

I told him maybe I could save it. I agreed with him the mould had probably been killed by the steam but the unsightliness of those dark shadows weighed heavily on us both.

Or maybe that was just me.

And as I googled "mould stain removal", it did occur to me that my life had become a series of mundane little fires to put out. Day to day, the minutiae eats into precious time that could be better spent laughing with my kids, watching stupid tv with Bren or writing a long-overdue letter to my sponsor child.

Sometimes I am embarrassed at how much of a mum I have become. 

The piss-ant-edness of my day to day concerns; did I get a load of washing on AND get it dried AND put it away or will it sit in a basket for the next two weeks until I run out of clothes to wear and I start rummaging around in the dark trying to find a fucking nursing bra without waking up the baby who came into my bed in the middle of the night because I was too tired to get up and feed her in the rocking chair.

Or, let's return to the laundry, did I have to rewash it because it smelled like death after staying forgotten and wet in the machine overnight? Or did I run a load filled with all the oxi-action, stain removal, extra powerful, softening, germ killing detergents but without clothes. Again?

Don't worry, I bore myself to death, too.

But fuck it, unless you have the funds to employ people to deal with the minutiae, then hello, this is life on the domestic front. I'm living it and it might not seem important but then again, whenever I am removed from the equation of how this  household runs (because on a selfish whim I have, for instance, decided to vomit into a bucket for 24 hours), it becomes apparent to everyone just what it is I do around here.

My partner is exceptionally good at acknowledging the importance of what I do. If Bren did not value my role in the home, that would be incredibly difficult. But outside of these four walls, these "home duties" that constitute my current occupation score very badly in the "important roles people play in society" survey. Being a Mummy holds no caché.

It's become a kind of cliché to say that motherhood is undervalued. No-one really takes that seriously (except maybe other mothers). Because women have been having babies for thousands of years and it was much harder in the day and we don't know how easy we've got it and I washed my clothes by hand and tilled the fucking soil or some such.

Well, that sure does sound hard and so I think you might have really appreciated, after a day of soil tilling, being able to turn on your laptop and connect with women who had the EXACT SAME DAY AS YOU. The exact same mind-numbing, butt-crack of a day as you.

I am a mummy and a mummy blogger and sometimes neither of those things sits well with me. It feels something like a cultural cringe. The culture of the mummy is decidedly uncool.

Other times, I embrace it. Because it is who I am, who I have chosen to be. Obviously caché had zero to do with my choice to become a mother, and I guess I knew that despite the hard work Kate Moss and Snooki have done to make having a kid on the hip look good, at some point, child-rearing and house-keeping would blow. But it IS an important job. And how I feel about it matters. My words are important,  the words we use to evoke the colour and shape of our stay-at-home days are meaningful and we deserve to be heard, and since the powers that be don't really want to hear our opinions unless they can somehow squeeze a sale or a vote out of it, we will listen to one another.

You think we like having conversations about potties and dummies, toddler naps and milk-engorged baps? You think we don't hear ourselves? What we sound like?

You think I don't wonder whether I could have been snorting coke off Ryan Gosling's perfect fucking tits?

But someone has to toilet train the leaders of tomorrow. 

I don't even know what machine I rage against. Is it the media? Society and its entrenched beliefs? Whoever you are, you with your disdain for my space and my identity, you are invited to read something else. But don't fucking patronise me. Us.

Maybe some of us want to connect and relate and not feel so god-damned lonely.

 

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I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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20 Comments

  1. Amethyst

    Preach.

    Reply
  2. Ggollymissholly

    Fucking. Oath.

    Especially to snorting coke off Ryan Gosling’s perfect tits!

    x

    Reply
  3. Naiomi

    Your posts make me feel human again!
    Thank you <3

    Reply
  4. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    You are most definitely human, Naiomi. Apparently, you are also a bit of a boring whinger but that’s okay, because apparently I am, too! 😉

    Thank you so much for reading. xx

    Reply
  5. Karen T

    Ah sexy lady… Mummy is a dirty word, but it can also be the most beautiful sounding word too, when it’s from the mouths of our babes. Ok, granted, NOT when it’s whined for the 3542nd time in the day 😉
    It’s a tough gig. I had no fucking idea it would be this tough. And washing…. Shite. Just shite.
    If you think about how many readers you have I reckon there’s a good chance that for many hours of the day at least one of us is thinking of you… So don’t feel too lonely.
    Does any of that make any sense???!

    Reply
  6. Birdwithachip

    And this is why I read your blog, Angie. This. Exactly THIS! And how I needed to read your wise, wise words this morning. X

    Reply
  7. Mel @ Adventures of a Subversive Reader

    “But someone has to toilet train the leaders of tomorrow. ”

    This is the line that just stuck with me – reminds me that however mundane our day might look, the work we do is pretty damn important. When I was a teacher, I’ve unfortunately saw the fall out from children who hadn’t received the love and attention they should have received when they were younger. Now I’m a mum, I’m so glad to be part of a group of parents who are doing everything they can to prepare their children for the big bad world

    Reply
  8. E

    Love.

    It’s crazy town isn’t it – how being a mother is oft overlooked unless you’ve done something like raised 17 kids that aren’t your own or opened an orphanage in some far away country for kids with only two limbs – there’s no praise or recognition for the every day.

    I do think sometimes though I can actually be my own harshest critics – I imagine what other people (the non baby ones and the hot men) must think of me, agonise over being trivialised and dismissed – when I think it’s possible I think these things about myself and project a little?

    Sucks to be a working Mum with young kids – you know how they get sick all the time – there’s only so many sighs and eye rolling from colleagues you can handle in one year – happy to take gastro to work and share it around though…. yeah think my kids aren’t sick do you – well here’s some conjunctivitis to go with your judgement….

    x

    Reply
  9. Jacqui

    Brilliant!! Cheers to us!

    Reply
  10. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    It all makes sense, you beautiful, thoughtful creature!

    And that’s exactly it, I get the mind-numbing boredom of motherhood and also, the joy. Because being a mother is the most beautiful thing I have ever done as well as the hardest/most boring etc. Therein lies the dilemma – motherhood is a contradiction of emotions, often from one minute to the next! Is it any wonder we actively seek a place to express ourselves? To hear and be heard?

    I think whether we write of the woes of raising children or the joys associated with same, neither are given much respect. We’re either whingeing or gushing.

    What I have realised is that the community I have here is worth so much more than a nod of approval from the arbiters of what is cool or legitimate or literary.

    I found people like you. There is no measure for that kind of cool. xxx

    Reply
  11. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Mel, becoming a mother has exposed my heart to fears for my own children but also, fears for children everywhere. I am often struck with an aching that some small person somewhere is not getting what they need from their family, being exposed to things they shouldn’t, being starved literally and figuratively. I have to shut my mind off when this happens because it leaves me feeling so anxious and helpless.

    So yes, I am preparing my children for the world and making a million mistakes but they will know they were loved, so very loved and it matters. It really does.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts here. xxx

    Reply
  12. Neroli

    I must be the mumsiest of the mummies, because I spent the whole time I was reading the post going, “Yes, yes! But DID SHE GET THE MOULD OUT?!?!?” 😉

    Reply
  13. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    You make some excellent points here, lady, but then, this surprises me not a bit. You are a wise one.

    And yes, I think I am the first one to bring up my uncool mummy status – almost like a defence mechanism. I’ll get in first with the derision to save others the trouble. I need to stop doing that. I am a mum AND I’m awesome. In fact, I’m especially awesome BECAUSE I’m a mum.

    Conjunctivitis for all the judgers! May it be so!

    Reply
  14. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Oh my god! That is HILARIOUS! You are hilarious!

    To answer your question, not yet. But apparently, castille soap is the key!

    xx

    Reply
  15. Claudine Innes

    You know, as undervalued as our roles can be, and as uncool (and sometimes tedious) as mummy-ness gets…I’ve found that social media in all its’ forms, has also lent itself to a kind of exclusivity for us mothers too… that Yaya Sisterhood feels more alive now than ever before.

    I know that I’ve found myself reading (and completely empathising with) blogs such as yours, bonding with other mums on Facebook and the like and finding secondhand support just in the acknowledgement that I am not alone. That many mums are out there struggling with the same daily minutiae. And it helps, it truly does.

    Angie, you have no idea how many times I’ve read your posts (usually while I’m expressing at work, on night shift) and have laughed out loud at your candor and frankness. It makes me feel human and normal to know that most of us feel driven to drink by the sheer inanity of it all. But you know, we also share those golden moments and those moments are bliss. It’s what we live for as parents. They’re our rewards.
    …Sure, the groundhog day element sucks some seriously sweaty balls, but I know I’m glad knowing that every Mumma has these days too. So let’s drink to that! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Mumabulous

    I like to embrace the mundane of motherhood and have a bit of fun with it – hence blog posts entitled The Road To Dagsville, Wifely Fashion Must Haves etc, etc
    Actually whilst reflecting on how unglamorous my life if whilst I wash the dishes for what seems like the zillionth time, I reflect that I could be back in the fiance industry plugging figures into spreadsheets. The dishes don’t seem all that bad!
    As for snorting cocaine from RG’s torso – I’d be content with a Violet Crumble and James May. You’ve got nothing on me when it comes to dagdom.

    Reply

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