If you’ve been at home with children on a completely full time basis for as long as I have (13 years and rising), then you’ve probably developed a number of coping mechanisms by now.
One of mine is tuna, mayo and sweetcorn pasta. Lunch, very quickly, with all the most important food groups in it, which can be easily fitted in around, variously, changing or feeding a baby, having a quick pregnant snooze, coming up with a plan for the afternoons entertainment, putting washing on, breaking up a fight or changing the channel on CBeebies.
CBeebies is of course another 😉
But the big one, so far as I can see, is the ability to filter out constant and repetitive noise, the white noise of the clatter and argy bargy of kids just being kids, playing, yelling, fighting (or as I prefer to call it, socialising and discovering boundaries) and being tired, hungry, wailing or just generally waiting for their mother to wake up and cook some tuna pasta.
If you are really clever, you can even learn to filter out CBeebies 😉
Over the years I have got this down to an art; I can produce reasonably sensible bits of conversation, run a business, educate, feed a baby, cook etc etc etc, all without actually being too bothered by the noise levels. I do generally notice if someone is actually shrieking with pain and I’m reasonably good at inserting a good shout if someone is actually being horrid, but otherwise, these days, I’m blissfully unaware.
Let’s just say I sat in a maternity waiting room recently, with a group of first time mums – the fire alarm was going off, causing all of them to clutch their ears or bumps protectively while moaning a lot. *I* just read my book. I didn’t even notice until the sounds of the moaning finally beat through to my brain. I only just resisted telling them off and sending them to do some maths 😆
Unfortunately, I have concluded that this works both ways; the girls are equally good at filtering me out.
We could get so much more done if ONLY people did things when I first asked or engaged their brain in some way so I didn’t have to repeat myself ie.”You’re surprised you need to put a leotard on, do your hair, have a snack and fill a water bottle to get ready for gym at 4.30pm? Well indeed. Who knew? After all, you have only been going twice a week for 3 years…..”
And don’t get me started on lost ballet shoes, or how many times I have to ask for a room to be tidied, with the resulting loss of years of creative play time. Or just “brush your teeth, brush your hair, wash your face (yes, yes, I know, radical), get dressed, we leave in 5, 4,3,2,1 minute….”
A few years ago Max bought me a gadget Christmas that had a series of record buttons. I could programme each one to say anything *insert all of above repetitious remarks* and just press the button to say it over and over again without actually expending breathable oxygen on it. But the novelty wore off as it does – and besides, it involved a certain amount of awareness on my part. With pregnant sleepiness once again towering over my daylight hours, what I need is some form of ring back tone platform; the girls could just dial in at their convenience, listen to me harangue them – and then just ignore me at their leisure
Come on then.. tell me your top mothering coping techniques? Anything up to, but not including, locking them in the under stairs cupboard? (You may include locking yourself in there 😉 ) And pet peeves? What NEVER sinks in, what will you still be shrieking after them the day they leave for university?