One Pink Toothbrush

Welcome to One Pink Toothbrush, where I will be posting moments from my days as a mum and as a wife. Funny moments, messy moments, thoughtful moments, teary moments.... and hopefully using each moment to see what God might be saying.



Thursday, 2 February 2017

Caffeine & Prosecco

Sometimes as a mum, you simply rock. 
A couple of weeks ago, I vocally expressed my annoyance at the cup rolling, cup flicking and cup spinning at the dinner table. In an attempt to make my point, I dramatically threw a plastic cup away from the dinner table, and asked if it was okay to do such a thing? 
But the cup landed upright in a box at the other end of the kitchen. And to four bottle-flipping boys, this was an epic mum moment. I completely failed to make my point, but the kids thought I was cool. And a win is a win. I'll take that.

Sometimes as a mum, you completely suck.
Maybe the nagging of four young men; the husband has to tell me when they've glazed over. They just need simple sentences, not a monologue which includes my feelings. Or maybe when the whole street hears me shout the infamous, "stop shouting at each other". Or maybe when I'm on my phone too much. It's a varied list, which always brings out the Mummy Guilt.

Sometimes as a mum, you just survive.
The hero that is Bear Grylls, he might teach you how to survive in the wild. But that's nothing compared to the sheer grit of Mother Survival.  Bear shows you how to drink your own wee if you're desperately dehydrated, but the sleep-deprived mother would probably drink it too, if it had even a shot of Caffeine (or Prosecco) in it. 

Bear teaches you coping mechanisms for strenuous circumstances, like when you're stuck out in the wild, on your own, with no-one nearby. Wait a minute, that doesn't sound strenuous, that sounds delightful. Just me and nature. Alone. In the quiet. Well yeah I could survive that. In fact sometimes I try and get myself stuck at Asda on my own for a little while, or I try to get stuck in the van on my own for a little while. Or just in the loo on my own... Haha that's not even a real thing!

Bear wants to come and survive dinner-time at my house. Now that's a strenuous circumstance; six or more kids at the table, the extroverts downloading about their day, fighting for an attentive ear, the quieter ones communicating via specific eye movements which you daren't miss, the spilling of water and the throwing (and landing) of cups and cutlery at each other, with the prospect of Homework and chores looming. You couldn't just light a fire in those kind of conditions, it'd send them wild(er).

Or what about surviving the post breakfast table; the bit just before the school run, when school shoes are handed to you with huge holes in the toe. And the PE kit which can't be found, and apparently it hasn't been found for weeks, but this is the morning it is needed. Oh and the homework that wasn't done which needs to be, or it was done, but now it lives in an unknown world full of PE kits. Meanwhile a philosophical question may be thrown your way, or one about sex, or Noah, or advice might be needed on a friendship issue, or sudden tears just because....and usually the milk hasn't got a lid on it, but it's out of your reach...a mum spots that kind of danger a mile off.


And Bear could take a tip out of any mother's advice book if he needed concrete for some reason. Look no further than 'dried on Weetabix'.

There's the survival technique needed for the mental torture of a fully dressed child, being back to naked again. Why? What possible reason do they have? And they think you actually want to hear their reason....
Or surviving the unknown; the child who puts their finger in your face, with a brown sticky substance on it. And you know you should just wipe it, but a mum doesn't, a mum sniffs it. She always sniffs it, even though she should know better. The sniff is to see what level of intervention is needed. Does it need a lick, a wipe, or antibacterial gel? And what if the wet wipe packet is empty? That one empty packet can sometimes be the tipping point for even the most seasoned of mothers. And the wisest of children will walk away at this moment....walk far away.

For nearly 13 years I have been mothering now. That's just over 4700 days. 113880 hours. And like I said, some days/hours I rock, some days/hours I suck and some days/hours I just survive. And that's okay. A favourite Bible verse in our house is 1 Corinthians 10v31, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God". Or maybe I could paraphrase it, 'whether you rock, or suck or survive, do it all for the glory of God'. 

When I rock, I'm to give God thanks that He helped me rock. When I suck, I'm to say sorry and ask for God's and my kids' forgiveness. And when I'm just surviving, I'm to ask God to sustain me. 

To quote Bear Grylls, "I do not want to reach the end of my life in a perfectly preserved body. I want to come flying in sideways, covered in scars, beaten up and screaming: Yahoo! What a ride!"
That sounds a lot like motherhood to me...

When four of them have finally gone off to school, I venture upstairs with a toddling companion, to see what survival techniques are needed up there. A most relied upon and tested method is closing the door to whichever room I've come across, and slowly breathing in through the nose, out from the mouth. A technique I learnt in labour, but with less Gas & Air, more Caffeine and Prosecco.

(NB This blog post was started on November 10th 2016. That is what 'surviving' looks like for a blogging mum).





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