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3 kids in… why haven’t I sussed it yet?

1
I’m the mum who takes her toddler out without all-important nappies. I rarely carry wet-wipes or snacks or plasters, or anything very useful.

I often leave the buggy at home, believing Liberty really does want to walk all the way… and curse my stupidity, later, when I end up carrying her for far longer than my arms – or sanity – can bear.

Every morning I find getting myself and the kids up and ready for school, really stressful. I wonder why I’m not better at it?

I’m the mum who leaves her children’s sports kits festering in their kit bags

SelfishMother.com
2
the entire Christmas holiday, only noticing a few minutes before they’re leaving for school on their first day back in the new year.

I find it hard to get my daughter back to sleep if she wakes in the middle of the night. 9 out of 10 times I can’t do it. I’m the soft touch who ends up negotiating with the tiny sleep terrorist so much that we end up having a full on chat at 3am.

I’m the mum who sees ’Mother’s Day service’ on the school calendar and doesn’t put two and two together that maybe I should be there; cue texts from other mothers,

SelfishMother.com
3
telling me my child is wistfully looking for me from the stage…

And cue feeling like a failure for the next few months when my kids joke about ’that Mothers Day service mum missed.’

I’m the mum who lets my kids watch too much TV, who hardly bathes her children and who is pretty laissez faire about getting them to do homework.

I wonder why I (still) don’t like pushing my child on a swing, or taking my kids swimming.

I’m the mum who hasn’t cracked the whole mum thing…. and the joke is that I’m 3 children in!

I (mistakenly) thought

SelfishMother.com
4
that my parenting skills would grow with each child I have, but for some reason it feels they’re diminishing.

Now that I have 3 children, my brain space feels less, my patience is poorer, my sense of space feels so much more valuable and my ability to make an intelligent considered decision feels like a distant dream.

Instead of getting better at it all, I feel like I ’wing it’ more than I ever have. In fact, winging it is my modus operandi. And it’s not because I put that slogan on a T-shirt.

Sometimes I leave the house knowingly

SelfishMother.com
5
underprepared just so that we can all get out and I can breathe beautiful fresh air. As if I’ll suffocate in the chaos of my own home.

I thought by now that I’d have routines licked and I’d have clever ’parent-hacks’ to get me through my days.

And sometimes I look at my husband and wonder why he seems to do it all better than me.

And I thank my stars that at least we’re co-parenting, and that one of us is able to get them up in time for school and one of us gets them to do their homework and one of us brushes Liberty’s matted curls… and

SelfishMother.com
6
one of us believes that bath-time should be done more than once a week. All him, obviously!

And from the outside looking in, it probably looks like I’ve got it together. I am wearing red lipstick and clutching a coffee. I can just about string sentences together. I am running a business.

And the kids are sweet, intelligent and well adjusted. They’re all dressed! They go to school! They read, write, sing, chat and create!

But even though I can see my kids are doing well, I’m constantly wondering what the hell is going on and why I’m not

SelfishMother.com
7
better at it.

And then I bump into someone who tells me not to wish it away… and it will go by in a flash.

And I really hope it doesn’t all go by in a flash before I suss this mum thing out.

Or I wonder if I will be winging it at parenthood forever? Maybe this is what parenthood feels like, full stop!

SelfishMother.com
Molly Gunn

By

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- 13 Jan 20

I’m the mum who takes her toddler out without all-important nappies. I rarely carry wet-wipes or snacks or plasters, or anything very useful.

I often leave the buggy at home, believing Liberty really does want to walk all the way… and curse my stupidity, later, when I end up carrying her for far longer than my arms – or sanity – can bear.

Every morning I find getting myself and the kids up and ready for school, really stressful. I wonder why I’m not better at it?

I’m the mum who leaves her children’s sports kits festering in their kit bags the entire Christmas holiday, only noticing a few minutes before they’re leaving for school on their first day back in the new year.

I find it hard to get my daughter back to sleep if she wakes in the middle of the night. 9 out of 10 times I can’t do it. I’m the soft touch who ends up negotiating with the tiny sleep terrorist so much that we end up having a full on chat at 3am.

I’m the mum who sees ‘Mother’s Day service’ on the school calendar and doesn’t put two and two together that maybe I should be there; cue texts from other mothers, telling me my child is wistfully looking for me from the stage…

And cue feeling like a failure for the next few months when my kids joke about ‘that Mothers Day service mum missed.’

I’m the mum who lets my kids watch too much TV, who hardly bathes her children and who is pretty laissez faire about getting them to do homework.

I wonder why I (still) don’t like pushing my child on a swing, or taking my kids swimming.

I’m the mum who hasn’t cracked the whole mum thing…. and the joke is that I’m 3 children in!

I (mistakenly) thought that my parenting skills would grow with each child I have, but for some reason it feels they’re diminishing.

Now that I have 3 children, my brain space feels less, my patience is poorer, my sense of space feels so much more valuable and my ability to make an intelligent considered decision feels like a distant dream.

Instead of getting better at it all, I feel like I ‘wing it’ more than I ever have. In fact, winging it is my modus operandi. And it’s not because I put that slogan on a T-shirt.

Sometimes I leave the house knowingly underprepared just so that we can all get out and I can breathe beautiful fresh air. As if I’ll suffocate in the chaos of my own home.

I thought by now that I’d have routines licked and I’d have clever ‘parent-hacks’ to get me through my days.

And sometimes I look at my husband and wonder why he seems to do it all better than me.

And I thank my stars that at least we’re co-parenting, and that one of us is able to get them up in time for school and one of us gets them to do their homework and one of us brushes Liberty’s matted curls… and one of us believes that bath-time should be done more than once a week. All him, obviously!

And from the outside looking in, it probably looks like I’ve got it together. I am wearing red lipstick and clutching a coffee. I can just about string sentences together. I am running a business.

And the kids are sweet, intelligent and well adjusted. They’re all dressed! They go to school! They read, write, sing, chat and create!

But even though I can see my kids are doing well, I’m constantly wondering what the hell is going on and why I’m not better at it.

And then I bump into someone who tells me not to wish it away… and it will go by in a flash.

And I really hope it doesn’t all go by in a flash before I suss this mum thing out.

Or I wonder if I will be winging it at parenthood forever? Maybe this is what parenthood feels like, full stop!

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Molly Gunn

Molly Gunn is the Curator of Goodness at Selfish Mother, a site she created for likeminded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for publications including Red, Stella, Grazia, Net-A-Porter and ELLE. She now edits Selfish Mother and creates #GoodTees which are sold via TheFMLYStore.com and John Lewis and have so far raised £650K for charity. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 5, Fox, 3 and baby Liberty. Molly is married to Tom, aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live, work and play in Somerset.

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