Tuesday, 27 November 2012


It would be tempting to do the schmalzy " Now that you're a man ... " type blog entry to celebrate my eldest son's 18th birthday but as that's not my style , I offer you my alternative take - on the theme of survival.

I'm A Mother , Get Me Out of Here

18 helpful hints on how to survive motherhood from birth to 18 :

1. Forget the Pre-Nup agreement with your other half. When you're pregnant with Number One,  get a lawyer to draw up an infallible list of sleeping entitlement and chore assignment.

2. Assume , if you have boys, that they will hate all ball sports . That way if they use the goalposts as monkey bars during their first footie match or score a try ( for the other side ) in their first rugby match you will not be disappointed. Thank your lucky stars that you will not be standing on the touchline, or whatever it's called, shouting like a fishwife.

3. Buy 3 of every item of school uniform because the first 2 will be lost within a week of starting school. On that note , buy iron in name-tapes. No-one likes a martyr.

4. Buy all alcohol by the case. Cheaper in the long run . Let's face it , a bottle of wine never goes off and it will save draining the last dregs, in a moment of desperation,  of a bottle of that ill-advised holiday purchase of a bottle of  Limoncello.

5. Keep Packets of Nurofen by the bedside ( see above )

6. Assume that if you get ill , your husband / partner will too and his symptoms will be far worse than yours and doubtless warrant a week's bed-rest whilst you soldier on.

7. Hide all bottles of food colouring. They will prove irresistible to curious boys . I can still picture that day at the school gates, watching my son's entire class emerge wearing green stained shirts with the sound of " Mrs F ... can I have a word " from the class teacher ringing in my ears.

8. Keep all old tea towels. At some stage in your son's dramatic acting career he will be cast as a shepherd in he Nativity play and you will not want to fashion a suitable head-dress , with less than 24 hours notice, from your favourite Cath Kidston. Know also that if given a toy sheep to hold as a prop , your son will attempt to BBQ it on the orange cellophane Nativity fire, around which your angelic shepherd will be seated.

9. Parents Evening - I'd really rather not go there .... literally.

10. Don't bother choosing nice carpet. You won't see it for the next few years . It will be buried under a pile of primary coloured plastic and lego bricks ( on the subject of the latter, always wear slippers when negotiating a lego strewn floor - ever stepped on a brick in bare feet ? You'll know what I mean ) . If you must have a floor covering - choose the natural fibre stuff that can hide a crushed packet of digestives with ease although bear in mind that vomit removal requires a toothpick .

11. Birthday parties - someone will always cry or be sick or both. Don't book clowns they're just too weird and preferably hold them some place other than your home.

12. Learn to love your washing machine . You will spend more time in its company than your husband - maybe no bad thing and possibly better company. Whilst you make one sweater last for three outings all other members of your family will seemingly change their outfits twice a day. Buy industrial quantities of washing powder and not the liquid capsules which your naughty boy will sneak into school for amusement value  ( " Mrs F .. can I have a word " )

13. When crossing school playgrounds, walk quickly and if you hear the words " Mrs F .... can I have a word ? " feign deafness and run very fast.

14. Exam revision - it won't happen. You can draw up revision timetables to your heart's content but they will remain pristine and untouched for the duration of exam week and thereafter.

15. Homework - see above . Also , buy shares in CGP. Parents will know what this stands for although I'm darned if I do even after all these years and I've read a few in my time . Understand that comments such as " Why can't you help him with his Physics homework - you did it for A Level "  aimed at your spouse will fall on deaf ears and you will have to become an expert on Kinetic Energy and Wave Theory regardless.

16. Avoid anything to do with the PTA unless you believe that the school will be so pitifully grateful for your Christmas Fair / Book Sale / Quiz NIght help that they cannot possibly entertain the idea of expelling your child from school for minor misdemeanors such as bringing bottle of green food colouring into school .

17. Smoking . It will happen. Your teenager might even take it up too.

18. Enjoy the ride . Thankfully it doesn't last forever . When they reach eighteen you will just about have got used to whatever fresh new hell presents itself along the way and then they'll leave home and you won't know what to do with yourself apart from drain the last of the dregs of that bottle of Limoncello and maybe sew in a few name-tapes for old times' sake.

Happy Birthday Love

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday to the boy (man!) - so so true Claire - still wincing about the lego bricks!!