As a child, you think your parents know everything. Even as an adult, I’m always asking my parent’s advice and getting their opinion on things. My mum is so clever and I sort of assumed that before I became a mother I would somehow transcend into a wiser, calmer, more organised human being. That I would be full of mummy wisdoms and have a broad skill set. Alas, I fear it may not have happened quite yet. Here’s a list of skills I believe I should possess to truly earn my title of ‘mummy’: (and essentially a written account of how fucking AWESOME my own mum is!)
- Diagnose any illness and know exactly how best to treat it. My mum always seemed to know the right thing to do when we were little and is still useful for sensible suggestions about what may be wrong (unlike Dr Google, who usually diagnoses a fatal disease). She always had plasters and Savlon handy! I am still unsure in these situations so she’s great for advice.
- Develop bat like hearing. Actually I can pretty much do this, I can usually hear from the other room when TM has pulled his socks off and started to eat them. I hope to hone this skill further so that in the future I will hear when he attempts to steal my chocolate. My mum ALWAYS knew when I was trying to sneak junk food out of the kitchen or when we were up to no good.
- Soothe anything with a cuddle and give endless affection. This one I am quite confident with, I love a good snuggle with the bubba and in general I’m able to calm him down.
- Remaining patient and calm almost all the time. I think I achieve being calm around 70% of the time. My mum was definitely operating on closer to 95% (she is still calm, obviously, but seeing as how her youngest child is 26 I guess it’s not such a challenge these days!). What a hero, she has FOUR children as well. Must work on this! I could try mindfulness but I’m not entirely sure how to empty my mind.
- Happily watch a child play the same game/tell the same story over and over and over without showing signs of boredom. I feel like maybe previous generations were better able to achieve this as they didn’t have a smartphone attached to their palm, enticing them to check Twitter. I’m not convinced I will be very good at this, I think I have a low boredom threshold. It’s not been too testing so far as he’s still so little. I already seem to sing the same songs a lot, must improve my reportoire. Perhaps Mum will teach me some…
- Cooking. Yep, I can’t really cook. Need to work on this ASAP otherwise my child is going to grow up eating really good meals on the days Daddy cooks and surviving on toast and frozen pizzas the other days. Both my parents are good cooks actually, though my mum was the one mostly lumbered with the job as we grew up because dad worked away a lot. I still invite myself over for dinner a lot!
- Be prepared for all eventualities. Mum always had tissues, wet wipes, packed lunches, drinks and anything else we might need. She’s still always got a pen in her bag and lots of useful bits. I manage this most of the time as my changing bag is definitely on the overstocked side but I’ve been caught out a few times!
- Keeping a house clean. My husband likes to say my family and I are ‘hoarders’ because there tends to be a lot of clutter in our homes…mainly books. But although we were never going to win prizes for the minimalist look, my parents always managed to have a clean house. Mine isn’t totally grim but could definitely do with seeing the vacuum and feather duster more regularly. Also, who cleans their windows? Not us.
- Sewing. Mum could alter things and sew buttons back on when there was a problem with our clothes. I probably can master sewing on a button but thus far I haven’t done so. B’s pretty handy with a needle and thread though, so we survive…although one of my coats was buttonless for a good few months last year.
- Give unconditional love and support. Got this one nailed, so far, but babies probably aren’t as testing on this front as teenagers.
I think I’ve probably missed loads from this list but you get the picture! I’m hoping motherhood is like other jobs in that the longer you do it, the better you become. Are there any skills your parents had which you don’t feel you’ve mastered yet?