When mum fails are actually mum wins

Chicken pox games

Everyone has chicken pox at the moment. I swear, the whole world has chicken pox – or that’s how it feels. Chicken pox is sweeping the UK, on my Instagram and Facebook feed, in my village, at my mum’s GP surgery.

Of course we have it too. And, because life’s a bitch like that, the day after the baby came out in spots and I smugly told people her sister had already had it, Frog came out in them too.

Two girls with itchy, sore chicken pox at the same time. Two girls who aren’t sleeping, who both need me just as much as the other, who don’t really know what they want but know it’s not a sibling clambering all over them stealing their mother and taking them off the top spot. Man, weeks like this remind me that I’m not cut out for three kids. Like, ever.

Monday morning was shit. I cried and pleaded with the NLM not to go to work, so desperate was I not to have to negotiate the pressure cooker of pox bedlam that was bound to follow, on only an hour and a half’s sleep. I looked at my two screaming kids, the state of my usually tidy house, the pile of dirty dishes on the side, the work emails going unanswered and I thought, “SURELY it must be nearly lunchtime by now”. It was 8am.

Chicken pox bath

Tuesday was also shit. Quite literally, in fact. We ventured into the garden for some fresh air, only to find a neighbourhood cat had been using our lawn as a litter tray while we stupid humans stayed indoors in the rain. Cat shit on the carpet. Crying children not wanting to be holed up indoors for another minute. Itchy, uncomfortable, tired children who both wanted to just be cuddled but didn’t want to share my knee with a sister.

Somewhere in the week Baby Girl gave up taking naps and started headbutting the cot instead. She has an egg-shaped bruise on her forehead. That resulted in (and I’m not exaggerating) an hour and a half of me pacing our narrow hallway pushing my littlest in the buggy up and down, up and down, until she eventually fell asleep. For twenty minutes. FML.


Then there was a trip to the park. A total failure. We timed it with stealthy precision, thinking if we snuck there during school hours on a pretty miserable day that it would be deserted. Wrong. Of course both girls wanted to play on the one piece of equipment that was swarming with pox-free tots. We came home, both girls kicking and screaming as I plastered a brave smile on in an attempt to look “in control” in front of the audience of elderly people watching me struggling with my kids down the street. I had a cry once I got home, naturally.

In between it all we’ve had toys down the toilet – Baby Girl’s new favourite game. A lost tooth – total drama considering Frog HATES blood and finds losing her teeth traumatic to say the least. A broken leaking car – meaning I can’t even drive my kids out onto nearby Dartmoor to run around (the car’s not even fixable meaning I now have to drive what is effectively a bath on wheels, just to make a great week even better).

Obviously our “no alcohol during the week” rule has gone out the window this week. We went the whole hog with a takeaway on Tuesday night too. Needs must. Oh, and I haven’t had the chance to have a shower for two days. I know, I’m ALL the glamour.

So it probably won’t surprise you to hear this has not been my finest week of mothering. I’ve been snappy, cried in front of my kids and been generally a bit rubbish. But just as I was about to give up completely and pack the kids off to their grandparents I read the “chicken pox diary” I’d forced gently persuaded my five year old to keep this week in an effort to minimise iPad time. Here are some of her entries (spellings adjusted accordingly):

  • “We made pancakes.”
  • “We snuggled.”
  • “We went to the post office. Mummy bought me chocolate.”
  • “We baked cakes.”
  • “I watched the iPad. It was fun.”
  • “I was itchy. I had a bath after my lunch. It was funny.”

Perhaps it hasn’t been such a week of mum fails afterall.

Still, I’m glad it’s nearly over. How’s your week been?


P.S. I really loved this post at Lulastic this week – Winning and Losing at Life. Read it!



  1. says

    Ah, I remember it well. The worst was M catching chicken pox from Sarah. He really was so ill, home visits from the doctor etc. Three weeks off work! During this time, someone decided to knock the front wall over in our garden. I got home and M wasn’t really aware of what happened. I swear there was not a millimetre of skin where he didn’t have blisters, including the soles of his feet. So as much as you are hating this week, it’s far better that they have the chicken pox now than later. Honest!

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