Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mummy Rage

It's frustrating being a mother sometimes.  We have a strange attitude in this country.  Pregnant women are fussed over and taken care of.  Friends of mine talked about having shopping taken to the car for them in supermarkets, doors held open etc.  Unfortunately I just looked very fat when I was pregnant so I think people didn't realise (or I don't shop in the right supermarkets.)

When you have a baby, suddenly you're no longer important.  It's all about the child, if you're noticed at all that is.  At least when I have my baby in a carrier, people talk to me (through him mainly but at least I'm not ignored.)  When he's in the pram it's like I could be invisible.  I have no experience of being disabled but I wonder if some of the problems are the same.  It's amazing how many small steps you come across going into shops.  I once tried to wheel into a bakers to get stuck on a step, negotiated that to then get entangled in chains in the doorway.  The most frustrating thing though was the cakes then looked really tired and grotty.  I'd struggled so blooming much to get into the shop, I bought one anyway and just felt cheated by the calories.

I get really fed up by people who park in parent and child places who don't have a child with them.  Just because you have a child seat in the car, if the child isn't in it, people, it doesn't count.  I was in a supermarket a week ago and saw a woman pull up, no child.  Took the last parent and child place.  Walked past me, nose in the air as I was putting my baby in my carrier.  Walked past me again on the way back, nose in the air again as if she owned the place as a father across the car park struggled getting twins out of his car in a normal parking space.  I mean, what do you do in this situation?  Do you say something?  I wanted to.  I like to think there is a parallel world somewhere where I would be confident enough to have a word.  I suspect though it's not lack of confidence which stops me but fear of the consequences.  I also have a tendency to sarcasm which I don't think is the best or most grown up way to approach it.  All I could think to say at the time was "Oh my God!  I think you left your baby in the trolley?"  Not grown up.

So I think I had some Mummy rage building over the past week.  Then I go to the shops.  My little one has been a bit fractious of late (teething / umpteenth cold of the winter / tiredness *)

(* delete as appropriate)

I made it into my local town with a reasonable sized shopping centre and picked up my bounty pack.  Meaning to do this for ages but I never remembered the voucher.  Anyway, I wasn't allowed to pick it up from the first till in the shop so had to walk to the opposite side of the large store to find they had none at the till and the slowest walking shop assistant in the world had to "go out back" to get me one.  After all that the only thing worth keeping in there was a 3.5g tube of Bepanthen.  I kid you not.

So, a bit fed up and with an increasingly fractious baby, I walk to another store.  I decide to treat us to some new sheets after having had a clear out recently.  (Despite not having much cash I have a slight obsession with crisp clean sheets so as soon as they start to look a bit old, I have to clear out.)  First shop; none in the right size.  Getting more fed up in the second shop where I find some I like, my little man decides he's had enough of the pram and wants carrying.  Make it to the tills to be told by two members of management that the tills weren't open and I could pay at the customer service desk.  The customer service desk which was currently working through a queue of 4 people with one member of staff.  I dumped the sheets and walked out.  Next store was so cluttered I couldn't push the pram round.

By then I was ready to growl I was so fed up.  I get home and realise my son has run out of some medication he's on.  Call up the GP as this was put onto repeat prescription last time I was in.  The receptionist informs me I have to come into the surgery (which is a car drive away), put my request in writing, then return two working days later to pick up the prescription and then go to the chemist to get it fulfilled.  No amount of persuasion would convince her that now we live in the 21st century I could put my request in writing electronically.

I'm embarrassed to say I lost it a bit after that and discovered the phenomenon of "Mummy Rage".  I'm surprised I haven't heard the term before.  Once you have a child, inevitably it falls to the woman to do the organising for that child as well as much of the day to day work for the family.  It's stressful trying to balance everything you need to do in a day around the child eating, sleeping, playing etc.  Forget road rage, it's not a patch on it when you've been working so hard all day at keeping your child happy and you are mentally, physically exhausted.  Then you encounter Mr or Mrs Inept or Mr or Mrs Can't be bothered, or perhaps Mr or Mrs It's just not my job.  Frankly if people lived an average week with me, I think I could escape censure for GBH.  Not that I'm a violent woman of course.  Unless you stop me from getting a cake; and if I eventually get that cake but it's a really bad cake.  Then I might get mad...

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