When I flung open the Maccas play area door this morning, the familiar whiff of dropped chicken nuggets and sundaes hitting me, I saw you.
And to be honest, you scared me a little.
You looked like death warmed up and the mum rage inside you was palpable.
But that’s exactly why I knew we needed to chat. Here’s why.
Yesterday I was you
Seeing you today, reminded me of me yesterday.
You see, I was having a bad mum day then, just like you are today. Like you, I wasn’t coping. The kids were driving me mental and had been pushing all of my buttons – the naughtiness was relentless – first, it was getting into the pantry, then it was eating all of the sprinkles, then pulling toilet paper all over the house, followed by pulling my folded washing off the dining room table – argh! I was at the end of my tether. I had felt fragile, unappreciated and I also felt angry. So angry that I might explode.
So I took the kids out, and this was as much for them as it was for me. But while I went to the swing set two streets away yesterday, today you escaped to Maccas.
Some mum days are just angry days
I get it. And I feel you.
When mum-anger bubbles in me like that, I also need a change of scene. When I saw you though, you were very much still in ‘that zone’.
Your hair was greasy and, I’ll be honest, you looked like you hadn’t showered for a week (again, I get it!). You were wearing sweatpants, a stained tee and an expression of ‘do NOT mess with me’.
You reminded me of Rabbit when he has ‘lightning in his eyes’ in my three-year-old’s Winnie the Pooh book.
You were huffing and puffing at your kids who wouldn’t stay in the play area and sipping away at your large coke in the hope it might take away your bad mood. Only it wasn’t working to calm you down.
Mums are each other’s best medicine
I kept my distance from you for a while, thinking you just needed a little time to decompress, but after I’d flicked through Facebook on my phone and finished drinking my McCafe “made by a real barista but tastes like crap” flat white, I knew we needed to chat.
So I sat next to you and did what women do best. I bitched and moaned about my day knowing you needed to as well. After a few minutes of complaining about my kids waking at 5am and making me chase them all over the house to dress them, you pipped in.
You told me that your youngest is teething and you were up a lot of the night. On top of that your eldest wet the bed at 4am. You said you feel “like utter sh!t today” and that you just wanted to have a damn shower this morning and wash your hair, but a little person had other ideas. You also confessed that on top of feeling tired, you felt angry. Angry at all that mumming entails.
And we started laughing over our shared experiences while munching down on greasy hashbrowns.
And that’s when your mood lifted.
We both felt understood. We both needed this. By the time we went to leave that play area we were both happy mums. The conversation had shifted from confessions to positive statements like, “oh, but it’s all so worth it! Being a mum is actually the best. Hard, but the best.”
We felt refreshed. We felt restored and by the time we left our kids seemed happier too.
So angry mum in Maccas. I feel you. And I have your back. We all do.
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