This is a subject that bugs me a lot.
Just how much craft, baking or other happy family activities are most mothers doing with their children?
The thing is, I don’t. Well i do, sometimes. But it’s usually in short, guilty bursts.
I’m not saying i leave my kids 24/7 to roam the house while i put my feet up and eat muffins. I take them out somewhere every day – indoor play, children’s centre, playground, pub (oops, did i say that?), but when i’m in the house they’re usually either a) watching television or b) playing on their own.
I have visions in my head of all the other mums replete with “kids and hers” aprons, baking cakes, brownies, quiche as the children whoop whoop with delight and lick the leftovers from wooden spoons. That, or finger painting, play dough competitions and vegetable growing demonstrations all before lunch. (which obviously consists of said home grown and home baked food).
The thing is, I’m utterly convinced that this is what all other mothers are up to. While i’m there saying for the 50th time, and oh so innocently “You must be tired darling? How about some quiet time while mummy clears up the lunch things?” As if a) quiet time in front of the tv is a novel treat and b) he hasn’t realised yet that “clearing up” takes mummy at least an hour, and usually involves a lot of time typing on the computer.
Rationally i suspect this is probably another example of me measuring myself up against the “better mums” that i fear i’m losing out to on a daily basis, but that don’t actually exist.
The problem is that when i visit other people’s houses, there is mabel’s artwork on the kitchen wall, out comes the biscuit tin “would you like an apple scone, archie baked them with me this morning”, or there sits impressively a toddler-size car made out of boxes (believe me that has happened to me).
As i mentioned in Get Confessing, I have a sneaking suspicion that some other mums might not be being entirely honest (the biscuits are Annabel Karmel’s and the car was made by dad under duress last night).
Problem is that the rational side of my brain gets overriden by the irrational wonderings of a guilt-ridden mother.
That, and obviously having too much time on my hands to think while i put my feet up and eat muffins.