The thing about having small children is that it’s a constant reminder of how quickly time passes. The oft repeated mantra “the days are long but the years are short” is so true. Still, I feel like I need to get this off my chest because I’m sure I can’t be the only one to ever think this: mum life is so boring sometimes. Isn’t it?
Before you shoot me down for not appreciating my kids, let me tell you I love my kids just as hard as any other parent I know. I’d walk over hot coals for them, gladly throw myself in front of a train etc etc. BUT. But. The daily minutiae of life with two little people can, at times, be bone-crushingly dull.
It’s not that my kids aren’t entertaining. They make me howl with laughter and tear my hair out with frustration on a regular basis. Every day in fact. But the routine, the morning cajoling to get dressed, the regular moments of fraught patience and repeated arguments over the same old things (“put your shoes on” / “sit at the table for dinner” / “no we can’t take ten million toys on the school run”) sometimes feel like I’m living in Groundhog day.
And then there’s the routine. We’ve seen it all a million times before. Every day can feel the same. The walk to school, the toddler activities, the afternoon nap and work time, the same school run, the tea, bath, bed dance. These are the things that make up everyday life, the things I do week in week out. And it’s not always fun. It’s not awful. It’s just… a bit boring sometimes. Isn’t it?
I know there’ll be some reading this thinking I don’t know how lucky I am. I have two healthy girls, a brilliant husband, live in a lovely part of the world and enough food in my fridge to feed my family. I’m not being ungrateful for my life. I love my life. But I think it’s OK to admit that life isn’t a film. And real life for many of us isn’t all-singing all-dancing joy – no matter how much our Instagram feeds might suggest otherwise.
I made a Day In The Life video for my YouTube channel a couple of days ago and, editing it, it hit me how similar our days are. I’m not stupid, I know these are our glory days. I’m well aware that in years gone by I’ll look back on these days and remember them with a rose-tinted filter of cute small people and happy family moments. But when you’re in it? Sometimes it’s easy to forget how special these days are. And you know what? I think that’s OK. In fact, I think it’s totally normal.
Making the same breakfast days on end, playing the same games, reading the same books – kids are creatures of habit and often like things the same. And with that sameness comes a comforting and important feeling of stability. But it can also bring a sense of dull. At least, for me anyway.
It’s not all negative though. When I was editing my video I laughed at lots of moments. And then I watched it back and realised that many of those moments WERE filled with happiness, even if I didn’t necessarily realise it at the time.
There’s a strong trend these days for living in the moment, appreciating the little things, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. But the truth is, life isn’t a film, and it doesn’t make us bad people or bad parents to sometimes forget the importance of appreciating the everyday. It just makes us normal.
So that’s my big confession. Sometimes I find mum life dull. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids (I do, more than life itself), it just means I occasionally need a reminder that these years are short and, one day, I’ll miss them.
Can you relate? Do you ever feel like this too?
Here’s my latest Day In The Life video if you’re interested in glimpsing a regular, real family day…