My most recent column for The Wokingham Paper:
Honest Motherhood: A Morning in the Life
6:00 Tap phone alarm off. Lie in bed for a few minutes deeply regretting the late bed time and feeling irresponsible.
6:14 Down some water. Reluctantly drag self out of bed and to toilet.
6:19 Shower, lather up whilst going over the day ahead and what I could have possibly forgotten, trying to carry out a sort of mental-gratitude-practice that all the self-help books say help start the day “right”. Get lost in thoughts and realise I’ve been shaving my legs for a while now and it must be 6:40 already. Begin panicking that I am now behind schedule and hop out.
6:35 Appreciate unnecessarily silky smooth legs, despite the fact it’s October and they won’t be visible for six months.
6.37 Take the liquid multivitamins my Mother insists I consume and make a decaf coffee.
6:40 Put some dance-worthy music on, blow dry unruly hair and wonder if all the noise has woken the tiny human.
6:50 Head downstairs to find her lying on the sofa watching TV. Offer her breakfast. Head upstairs to try and decide on clothes for the day. Comfortable easy breezy trousers or less practical tights and a skirt I can’t fully inhale in. Go for trousers.
7:00 Have a little dance to wake self up, break a sweat and immediately regret it.
7:10 Brush teeth and tell myself tonight I absolutely will go to bed earlier.
7:15 Bring Maia some jam on toast and remind her to brush her teeth. Met with an often whiny and less-than-enthusiastic response, (an understatement, she’s the devil incarnate any time before 8am), I attempt to entice her with the promise of some bedroom-dancing.
7:18 Continue with my own hair and make-up, whilst wishing I had never begun wearing make-up at work, as now I feel without it I must look ill. Press on with mascara.
7:32 Hear Maia trudging up the stairs and head into the bathroom to help her brush her teeth. Face some quite heavy resistance. Remind her what the dentist said about me helping her, to make sure it’s done properly. Suggest she does it herself but lets me check afterwards. Feel like a good mother. Tap self on the back for how reasonable I’m being. Bring up the pressing reality that we simply don’t have time to mess around this morning. Continue to battle with outright refusal, tears, and a rather intense yet impressive display of emotions for 7:30 in the morning. Remain calm for a few moments before morphing into a dragon and breathing fire (highly audible words) on my little girl. Feel guilty about loss of temper but relieved that she allowed me to help her, and satisfied with how clean my baby’s teeth are.
7:46 Get uniform on.
7:50 Encourage sulking child to turn the TV off and get her school shoes on.
7:58 Fill up water bottles. Gather up belongings and leave house.
8:06 Park car on residential road, feeling proud that we left early enough to get a space, and at how swift I’ve become at parallel parking. Go through all usual thoughts about how the residents must feel with all these Mums parking outside their homes. Tie up Maia’s hair.
8:10 Listen to Maia read. Make a note in her reading log.
8:30 Check the time and begin stroll to school. Approximately twelve hellos to an ongoing stream of familiar parent faces in and around the playground.
8:42 Quick cuddle and kiss goodbye.
8:45 Feel guilty again about loss of temper. Talk about feelings with trusty Mummy friend Lucy on our way into town. Feel better.
9:12 Arrive at work. Make a beeline for the staffroom for another coffee, some bran flakes and a few minutes reading time before beginning job number two, the one that pays the bills. Financially, it’s highly necessary, but you can’t beat job number one.