My Three Obsessions of Parenthood


Before Parenthood (BP): Intelligent discussions about politics, films and how much booze I had consumed at the weekend.

After Parenthood (AP): Comfortably discussing bowel movements with people I’ve only just met; my own and my children’s. Regularly taking photographs of the toilet beasts produced by children that only live on breadsticks, raisins and cheese. Needing a faecal update at every opportunity to help keep the poo anxiety at bay.


BP: Suffering from bed ache after spending far too long in bed.

AP: Suffering from sleep anxiety and graduating as a senior member of the Noise Police which involves wanting to kill my husband for tripping over what sounds like a mountain of tambourines, anyone with fireworks, the postman, aircraft, twatty teenagers on 50cc scooters and barking dogs*. (I am exempt from this as the noise I accidentally make is an accident.)
*Fully aware this will change when I have my own twatty teenager.

BP: Eating out in places called restaurants, fluctuating wildly between high end cuisine and Frankie & Benny’s.

AP: Suffering food anxiety as I rotate between four main accepted meals of frozen beige, pasta beige, rice beige and bread beige. Occasionally pinning them down to pump an Ella’s Kitchen pouch down their necks like a foie gras goose and secretly hoping the tomato sauce on the pizza counts as 1 of their 5 a day.

Oh, to be a mother like the ones I saw in all the magazines.

Follow The Camel via Happy Medium Mothering on Facebook

Sex education for your five year old: what not to say…

My husband and I made a pact to never lie to our kids. We quickly learned this was an idiotic pact as we informed our children that the local soft play was closed. Again. (How they earn a living, I’ll never know *inserts winky face).

We changed the pact to never giving misinformation to our kids. The pact needed to exist because my husband still thought thunder was created by clouds banging together, despite gaining a physics a-level, and we didn’t want our children to feel aggrieved later in life by incorrect facts they had been told, just to shut them up.

Death? No problem. I stick to the facts. We return to the earth and feed the flora and fauna in the same way it feeds us during our lifetimes. “But I don’t want you to die, Mummy,” my five year old says forlornly. “We all die. But hopefully by the time I die, I’ll be really old and you will have spent a good few years wiping my bottom for me as I won’t be able to use a toilet any more…or not even know my own name for that matter.” See? Facts.

Sex education? Easy. Simple facts. No need to go into details of who has to sleep in the damp patch. Just cold, hard facts. But I don’t have to think about this right now. My eldest is five. She won’t ask about the birds and bees for at least another two years.

Five year old: “Mum…when I grow up to be a lady, I’m going to have lots of babies. *Thinks for a moment* How will I get a baby in my tummy?”

Shit. Really? Shit. Ok. Facts….seed. Seed in tummy. That’ll do.

Me: “A seed gets planted inside your tummy and a baby grows.”

Lame. Really lame.

Five year old: “Do I eat the seed?”

Just say yes. Eating the seed is good…Hang on…NO! NO TO EATING THE SEED! 

Me: “No…ummmm…I tell you what…get your pjs on and we’ll have a little chat about how babies are made.”

Good. Stalling. I like it. Load up DisneyCollectorBR on youtube and she’ll forget all about it.

Me: “You know…it’s not inevitable you’ll want children. Lots of people decide not to. Both your uncles have decided not to have children. Your body. You can do what you want with it…and if that means not having children, then fine.”

Female empowerment. I like where you’re going with this…

Five year old: “So, how do I get a baby in my tummy?”

You carried on talking. Why did you do that? The feminist cause could have waited…

Me: “So…you know girls have…”

Use it’s proper name. Use it’s proper name. Say Vagina. Say it.

Me: “…minnerwins…”

It’s ok. Minnerwin is fine.

Me: “…and boys have windles…”

Well, you’ve said minnerwin now so it’s utterly pointless saying penis. You dick.

Me: “…well…the windle goes inside the minnerwin hole…the hole that bleeds…and puts a seed inside the tummy which meets with an egg and grows into a baby.”

What the actual fuck. The hole that bleeds? Why? Why? Why?

Five year old: “Do the seeds already have names on?”

Amazing question. I bloody love her so much. I love her for completely bypassing ‘the hole that bleeds’.

Me: “No, my darling. The seeds are inside…well…you know the…ball bags under the windle? They’re inside them. There’s no names on them. They’re blank.”

Are you fucking out of your mind? Ball bags? Did her question even require this explanation? No. Just stop now. Stop talking. Get DisneyCollector whatever the fuck her name is on youtube and shut the fuck up.

Five year old: “So…does that doctor that looks at babies on the computer see the name?”

Me: “No…the doctor might be able to see whether it is a boy or girl but the baby comes out without a name, unless it’s mummy and daddy decide on a name before the baby is born. We knew you were a girl and named you long before you came out of my minnerwin.”

Five year old: “Babies come out of minnerwins?”

Fuck.

Me: “Goodness…is that the time? I think it’s time for sleep now. Goodnight.”

Follow The Camel Via Happy Medium Mothering on Facebook.

The Eight Methods of Negotiation

Parents have spent centuries developing ways to combat the power struggle that exists between them and their offspring, using pathetic attempts at gaining compliance so they can delude themselves that they are actually in charge. It appears there are eight main methods of negotiation that exist when dealing with children, although this certainly isn’t exhaustive, and I have adopted all of them at some point or another.

It’s not always necessary to use all eight methods for the same activity – hair washing, for example, may only require one or two. However, there are some activities that require pulling out all the stops; mealtimes being one of them. Sick of serving up beige food with the nutritional value of bark, or having to witness that look when I present them with something new, these eight tried and tested ways may be all I need to lead me to victory:

Incentive

“Look at this delicious dinner I have just made. It has special ingredients that make you really strong and clever.”

*Only really used when I have the required amount of patience (varies daily). If I have not had an adequate amount of sleep due to dealing with the dream shark, and I get presented with the look almost immediately upon delivery of the dinner, then this method will be skipped entirely.

Obstinance

“You’re not leaving the table until you have eaten your dinner. Even if you have to stay there all night.”

Standing my ground. I make my position perfectly clear. I’m definitely in charge. I’m almost definitely absolutely possibly going to win this.

Cliché

“There are children starving in Africa who would give their leg limbs for a mouthful of your dinner.”

Clearly floundering, I jump straight into cliché, followed by muttering, “you ungrateful little shit,” under my breath just to make myself feel better.

Bribery

“Try it and I’ll give you £1.”

The child waivers slightly. The promise of a gold coin usually bags the win…but not this time. The food is just too nutritious.

Emotional blackmail

“I have spent hours making this for you. I’ve even made my fingers bleed making this dinner and if you don’t try it, I’ll be very, very sad. Do you want to make me cry?”

*Inserts other words such as disappointed, heartbroken, devastated and ruined for maximum effect.

Threats

“If you don’t eat your dinner, I’ll never cook for you again and you will have to survive on scraps out of bins.”

Other threats include dobbing them in to their favourite teacher. Despite usually being incredibly effective – it’s time to go nuclear.

Rage

“THAT’S IT! I’M SICK TO DEATH OF MAKING FOOD JUST SO YOU CAN MAKE THAT FACE AT IT! STARVE! SEE IF I CARE!”

Complete with a dramatic door slam and stomping off powerfully, spitting expletives through gritted teeth followed quickly by an overwhelming sense of failure and guilt.

Desperation

“Five mouthfuls…three…just one mouthful…taste it…just taste it, please…just lick the spoon…one lick…sniff it then…one sniff…look at it…just one look…look at it with one eye and you can leave the table.”

YES! They looked at it! VICTORY!

And who says this parenting lark is difficult? *Pours large glass of wine and beats self with parenting stick for not sticking with ‘Incentive’.

Follow The Camel via Happy Medium Mothering on Facebook

A Toddler’s Guide to Choosing a Transition Object

Frightening illustration from Wikipedia
Frightening illustration from Wikipedia

You have probably discovered by now that your primary carer cannot wait to bin you off with anyone who will have you. Despite being desperate to bring you into the world, your massively differing body clock seems to cause your grown up to have psychotic episodes and be really ill, or whatever.

Screaming till you choke on your own spit and clinging to their leg is futile. Grown up brains are underdeveloped and lack the ability empathise with your emotion. They’ll always prioritise ‘I desperately need a poo’ or ‘if I don’t eat something, I’ll die’ over your emotional well being.

This is when you need to invest in a Transition Object; an object that can serve as a replacement when your mother – so called -pisses off to ‘earn money to live’ or some other bullshit excuse in an attempt to make her look less selfish.

Selecting a TO requires careful planning and research. It needs to fit a very specific criteria in order to get your grown up working in complete harmony with your needs. It doesn’t just serve to comfort you but can be used for bargaining, manipulation and all other forms of skulduggery normally observed in an adult human mother when trying to get you to sleep in your own bed/not piss yourself/smile in photographs. So, here is my handy guide to help you make a good choice:

It is important to consider when choosing a TO that you will be carrying it with you at all times, day and night. Having a TO that is average size (a generic teddy bear size) is pointless. It either needs to be larger than a five year old, or small enough to fit in the palm of your hand making it incredibly troublesome to a) carry or b) find*.

*At your convenience

Because it’ll either be being permanently dragged through exfoliated skin cells, animal hair, mud, puddles of your own urine or being clutched in a sweaty, greasy little hand, it needs to be a neutral shade of beige to fully display the collection of crusty matter. This will also come in very handy for the next point as it makes it disappear easily amongst the rest of the detritus.

An inconveniently large TO ideally needs to be a blanket to aid with the dragging through crap process as well as the getting lost regularly saga. A tiny teddy or stuffed animal of indiscernible species is also ideal for this very important part of TO ownership. It is essential that the TO is lost at least once in the bed covers, every night. This is to ensure your grown up doesn’t get too much sleep; sleep causes cancer so you will be helping them live longer.

Perhaps once every six months, lose the TO in the local area – far enough away that your grown up has to employ the efforts of international rescue, but not too far that it is gone forever. High anxiety situations such as this keeps your grown up’s skin looking more youthful.

If you feel like your grown up has been particularly emotionally unavailable, then you will need to lose it in a motorway service station. Despite the fact you will go through extreme grief during this difficult time, your grown up will suddenly possess powers of omnipotence to be at your beckon call, usually with large amounts of chocolate.

Due to the power a TO has to possess to fully ensure the grown up conforms when required, it needs to be either a) expensive (think Build-a-Bear) or b) irreplaceable. Ebay needs to be redundant and no amount of frantic internet searching will be able to locate anything like it on Earth.

This is also why it is imperative that you never let your grown up wash it. If, God forbid, another child does have the same TO as you, you can at least guarantee, by the no washing rule, that it won’t be covered in the same crusty shit, or emit the same cheesy smell that yours does.

Despite the fact you have employed its services to act as a replacement for when your grown up has disappeared again ‘treating yet another head lice infestation’, know that your TO will never let you down, always be there for you and will comfort you when you’re left on your own in front of Cbeebies…again. The sooner you get one, the less likely you’ll end up addicted to crack and yo yo-ing in and out of prison. Trust me, I’ve been there.


Written by Edward, aged 3 years.

Eight of the Biggest Changes Since Motherhood PLUS EIGHT MORE…

A while back, I wrote an informative piece on eight of the biggest changes since motherhood. Clearly being a bit previous with its publication, I have thought of several more. So, here for your gratification, is the original piece with an additional eight, and to save myself from further embarrassment, I’ll add a disclaimer that this list is not exhaustive and will likely be added to on a regular basis as my life continues to devolve into chaos. Enjoy.

Obviously, there are a multitude of things that are just not the same after Vaginal Destruction Day, some quite surprising in fact. Like my new found hatred for fireworks. I used to really enjoy them before VDD; perhaps that’s because they only seemed to appear on one day a year. However, since having children, they seem to have exploded onto the scene from October until the New Year with their constant threat of waking sleeping children. Thank you wanky cheap imports.

Clock changes. Getting the extra hour in bed. Oh, it was heavenly. Now, it’s just utter torture knowing that your 6am, four year old alarm clock will now be jumping on your head at 5am.

However, there are sixteen (and counting) major things that are just not the same for me anymore.

# 1. Makeup.

How the feck did I have time for shit like blusher? Get the black bags hidden. Do I look less like death? Yes. Fuck it, just get out the house.

#2. Tampons

Has the flow changed, or just the flow outlet? Who knows, but there’s carnage every 28 days.

#3. Body hair.

This is a conversation I had with my four year old daughter the other day:

4yo: What are you doing?
Me: I’m putting my deodorant on.
4yo: Why?
Me: Because when you’re a grown up, you need to use it to stop being so sweaty and smelly.
4yo: Does it make your hairs smell nicer?
Me: Did your Dad put you up to say that?

#4. Underwear.

My underwear drawer is possibly the most depressing place on Earth. But, it’s sooooooo damned comfortable.

#5. My brain.

Who are you? What am I writing about? Have I eaten today? Shit, I think I’ve just wet myself.

#6. Muscles.

I have a new found strength as a mother. I can wrestle an inhumanly strong toddler into his trousers, his high chair and his car seat. But only using my left arm. The baby bicep. You pick a hip and stick to it meaning that one arm constantly bears the weight until you have just one ridiculously strong arm which then comes into it’s own when overbearing the strength and will of an outraged child.

#7. Lie ins.

Fuck off end of British Summer Time.

I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I spend my life yearning for a wake up time that doesn’t begin with the number 6, but when I do get the chance of a lie in, I lay there awake. I just stare at the ceiling listening to the screams and mayhem from down stairs and can’t close my eyes. Either that or I’m writing a novel in my head.

#8. Toenails

I am fully aware of my unusually large big toe. However, it can always be made more beautiful with a splash of colour. Now my husband doesn’t know whether it’s my leg hair or toenails causing the lacerations to his lower body in bed. That, or we’re stuck together like velcro because of the sheer amount of body hair between us.

#9.  Bath time.

Bath water seems to possess similar qualities to holy water; my children scream as if being burnt alive like tiny demons. Unless I’m in it. Then bath time consists of :

a) staring at the furry animal between my legs for an inaudibly long time to ensure it isn’t going to bite them.
b) being water boarded.
c) orifice violation.
d) husband taking a dump.

#10. Language.
My ability to use three syllable words seems to have vanished. Along with my ability to say the word, “dead,” without shuffling uncomfortably, coughing loudly and changing the subject immediately onto rainbows and unicorns.

#11. Pockets
Coats, dressing gowns, trousers; if there is a pocket on a garment, it will be brimming with random floor pickings that make no sense whatsoever but still don’t quite make it to the bin.

#12. Carbon footprint

Three hour daily drives for ‘nap time’ + house full of plastic tat that will never decompose + washing machine that only gets turned off when it explodes + every light in the house being left on + the use of AA batteries increasing 400 fold = death to the earth.

#13. Facebook Profile Pictures
Faux-ejaculate Binge Drinker to Earth Mother in just a few clickety clicks. No-one with ever suspect you’re rocking in a corner, flicking your teeth, whilst secretly plotting the murder of your snoring husband.

#14. Music

Disney songs and nursery rhymes now infiltrate my brain like an infection. Every day, I end up punching myself in the face after driving all the way to work listening to the some Disney shit when I could have been listening to anything else. ANY. THING. FFS.

#15. Organising.

“Husband, when is the next gap in the diary between after school activities, weekend activities, birthday parties, earning an actual living, charity fundraising, clearing out the loft and buying more unnecessary pets? 2056? Okay, I’ll book Derek and Pamela in then.”

#16. Me time.

Wisdom tooth removal? Smear test? Ingrowing toenail excision? When can you fit me in?

(Follow on Facebook via Happy Medium Mothering)

An Idiot’s Guide To Stains

It is usually possible to extract enough information from the location of stains on a person’s clothes to decipher whether they are indeed a parent and the age of child they are a parent to.

From the moment the baby is evicted from the mothership, it leaves clues of it’s existence around your person. This is most commonly in the form of a white smear perched happily on your shoulder and will remain there in various guises until the child leaves home.

A new game develops early in parenthood known as, “Is It Poo?” The rules are very simple; locate an unidentified stain, stare at it quizzically for a few seconds then sniff it. I would thoroughly recommend not licking as it is usually poo. In fact, the game should be renamed, “How Did Poo Get There?”

Clothes that you would have ordinarily thrown out for the wash get picked up, dusted down and put back on ready for another days onslaught. Non-parents will happily point these stains out to you at every opportunity as if doing you a favour in case you weren’t aware of their existence (you were), whereas fellow parents join in with the catharsis of picking silently at unidentified crust when stood chatting rocking together.

Smears of mud that adorn tops of thighs signal a parent of a toddler/preschooler/teenager that has momentarily lost it’s ability to walk, mere seconds after relishing the delights of stamping in muddy puddles.  These stains will remain there for the foreseeable future as the parent usually only has one pair of trousers that comfortably fit since childbirth.

No fabric is exempt from the stain-spreading abilities of a child and no surface is immune. Washable pens become impervious in the hands of a small human as they can somehow detect exactly which surface falls outside of the ‘washable’ characteristic and scribbles violently, forever leaving self expression all over the place.

New games will naturally evolve as the children get older. These include:

Get Your Shoes Off The Sofa

Don’t Wipe Your Fingers On There
Please Use A Tissue
Stop Masturbating In Your Socks

All of which have exactly the same rules:

Player One shouts the title of the game loudly at Player Two. Player Two ignores Player One and continues with loathsome behaviour. Repeat daily.

Investing in a really good washing machine or spending out on decent stain removing products are a waste of time and money; just buy an incinerator. It will serve you much better. Or move house.

An Idiot’s Guide to Instructions

I followed some instructions today. When I say followed, I mean used them as a guideline based on the fact that I had a child eagerly awaiting their new toy. When I say eagerly awaiting, I mean having an apoplectic fit that their new toy wasn’t ready instantly. When I say apoplectic fit, I mean suicidal, homicidal and all the other cidals.

The instructions were as follows:
Very straightforward had I not had an all out cidal toddler. So I have rewritten the instructions for future reference.

1.The large Jungle Magic pen requires 2 x 1.5V AAA batteries. Locate the battery compartment on the side of the pen. Don’t bother with a crossheaded screwdriver. Find a blunt knife from the drawer to open the battery cover.

2. Quickly realise you have got the wrong size batteries. Scramble to find a remote with AAA batteries. Remove from remote and place into Jungle Magic pen.

3. Fill aqua pen with water all the way to the top. Do not take volume of water into consideration when inserting sponge-filled aqua pen. Spill water all over your inconsiderately placed smart phone. Shout expletives as your child starts to claw at the back of your legs.

4. Put smart phone in a bag of rice knowing it will do fuck all but at least gives you some kind of hope you’ll be back on Facebook by nightfall.

5. Turn on Jungle Magic pen. Grit teeth.
NB. This toy contains offensive noise which may affect most adult humans. If you suffer from <<insert conditions>>, seek advice from your general practitioner before turning on this product.

6. Locate toy from under sofa after being abandoned following 30 seconds of use. Switch off. Use knife to remove batteries. Never replace. Pretend product is broken.

WARNING!
Important care information! 
Only use pen for specified use. Do not attempt to insert up your nose or into plug sockets. Only use clean water and not water collected from the toilet, puddles or your own saliva. Do not machine wash. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. For best performance give to an adult and never let a child near it.

The Anatomy of a Mother

There are many documented physiological changes that occur during pregnancy. Breasts and legs look like they’ve been scribbled on by a toddler with a blue marker pen. Feet, ankles and calves all merge into one painful, fluid-filled cankle. Blotchy, dry patches and stretching skin cause incessant itching, mainly around the bumpal region. And lest we not forget the discharge. Just everywhere. From all over the place.

These changes tend to dissipate fairly rapidly post Vaginal Destruction Day, apart from the discharge.  Whereas the lesser documented changes which occur after VDD are mostly permanent.

Ears become enlarged initially to aid with detecting infant breathing, every forty seconds for the first six months. However, this also develops into an ability to correctly identify the scream of her toddler amongst forty other screaming toddlers in a hell hole known as ‘soft play’.

Nostrils are widened due to the excessive amount of crotch and bum sniffing that takes place and also when trying to determine the dirty clothes from the clean clothes that have replaced the carpet. Shoulders becomes broadened due to her child’s inability to walk anywhere and insistence on shoulder rides only (ears also useful for handles).

A women walking through town fondling herself isn’t necessarily a pervert, she may be just trying to recall which boob she last fed from. From an outsider’s perspective, this is usually easily identifiable from one enlarged breast throbbing like an alien egg about to hatch with supporting damp patch whilst the other bosom looks like a spaniel’s ear. One arm is significantly larger than the other (known as the baby bicep) due to holding her baby/toddler/child/teenager on the same hip.

One hip will be displaced significantly to the side in support of the developing baby bicep to such an extent that it soon becomes impossible for the mother to hold her baby on the opposite hip for more than three seconds before having to switch back. Groove marks just above the wrists aid with carrying plastic shopping bags as the handles of the pushchair inevitably get overloaded causing the pushchair to tip backwards at every opportunity.  Hard skin on knees develop from crawling on all fours trying to retrieve crap from under the sofa, being ridden like a donkey and scrabbling through all known varieties of disease-infested soft play, reaching peak thickness at around three years after which only a pneumatic drill can chisel it away.

Although fingernails have to be kept short to avoid lacerating her baby when getting it dressed/changing it’s nappy, a mother utilises a long little fingernail to perfect hoicking out bogies of the nose and eye variety.

The most subtlest change happens over a period of years.
The stoop. Unfortunately entirely unavoidable. It begins with the nappy changes, gets developed further trying to avoid head injuries whilst being dragged into playhouses and through tunnels and reaches a critical point after years of having to push and/or drag bikes, trikes and scooters, most commonly without it’s rider because they only wanted to use it for fifteen seconds on the way to the park.
The stoop gets cemented permanently into an almost right angled position when her child starts school and they fully expect their bike/trike/scooter to be available for their use on the way home*.

*Most likely to be having a massive meltdown and not at all interested in bike/trike/scooter.

If you happen across one of these unfortunate looking characters, don’t assume, by trying to stop that voice from coming out of her child’s face, she’s making a rod for her own back  – if she were, she’d be stood a lot straighter. Instead, give her a reassuring look and throw a chocolate bar at her.  That might help.

Follow The Camel via Happy Medium Mothering – a place to feel better about parenting.

An Idiot’s Guide to Toddlers

otally Unreasonable

Toddlers are bipolar with multiple personalities. They switch between personas frequently and swiftly without warning. Don’t assume that just because they’re coming towards you with their lips pouting that they won’t punch you in the face.

bsessive

Like collectormaniacs, they squirrel away objects in every corner of the house with a preference for large quantities that are impossible to carry all at once. You will be expected to carry this precious bounty every time you leave the house otherwise Psycho personality will make an appearance.

etermined

You can’t knock a Toddler’s determination. They can do everything. They don’t need your help. It’s just a shame their tiny little fingers or inability to judge space and time coherently means that they end up flipping out, blaming you for their failure at everything. Help them but DON’T HELP THEM. They need your help but THEY DON’T NEED YOUR HELP. Help them but make sure they don’t know YOU’RE HELPING THEM. STOP HELPING.

emanding

They live in a very specific world and have things in a very specific way. Unless you possess the powers of telepathy, just accept you’re fucked. You’ll never be able to second guess the personalities or pre-empt their next move. They change the goal posts daily just so you’re constantly walking on a carpet of lego.

oathly

You can’t really blame a toddler for being opposed against having a hand reach around the front of their face like a child snatcher with a chloroformed soaked hanky. Despite just innocently trying to remove the thick green oxygen-depriving gunk that exudes from their nostrils, they’d rather have that hanging from their faces and eat off the floor than actually consume healthy greens and breathe freely.

ffective

With fingernails that are impossible to clip and tiny fingers that infiltrate orifices as fast as lightening, they can disarm an adult human swiftly. They can also bring you to your knees by setting you impossible tasks such as ‘make the batteries work again’ or ‘make me a dippy egg that’s not too dippy but still dippy but isn’t dippy’.

ageful

Satan himself isn’t even immune to the rage of a toddler. The most effective deterrent when a toddler reaches volcanic eruption point, is to stand very still. Like a statue. Offer no eye contact and eventually when the toddler forgets you exist, you can slowly side step to safety and phone the police.

When does this phase end, you may ask. It doesn’t.

(Follow on Facebook via Happy Medium Mothering)

Could you be suffering from decision fatigue?

If you’re a parent, then the answer is quite simply yes. However, because that would make this blog post far too short, I will elaborate a little more.

Decision fatigue is actually a thing. Yes it is. And it represents something far more than just mere tiredness. Decision fatigue farts in the face of tiredness. A judge, for instance, used this phenomenon as a way to explain why he had let a dangerous, previously convicted, criminal walk free. He’d had one too many decisions to make that day and was completely fuzzed.

As a Mum (and Dad but more Mum unless there is no Mum and it’s just Dad), you have to make an estimated 46,782 decisions regarding your child per day. This quadruples exponentially with each further offspring you spawn. Fact.

Let’s consider the question of dressing a child:
What is the weather forecast?
Do I believe that weather forecast looking out the window?
Am I going out and then in and then back out again?
Am I going on any car journeys?
Am I taking the pushchair just in case?
Is this knitted cardy too chunky for the carseat straps?
Is this knitted cardy warm enough for the pushchair?
Who are we seeing today?
Are they likely to judge me for not bothering with clothes today?
Am I likely to want to stab myself when the child falls over in a muddy puddle right outside the front door?

I’m totally decision fatigued and we haven’t even made it downstairs to decide what packet of crisps they want for breakfast.

In an actual, real life experiment, some boffins carried out research on decision fatigue. Three groups had varying levels of different choices regarding purchasing a computer.  One group just had to ponder the advantages and disadvantages without making a final decision, another group had to short list the ideal features for a computer and the third group had to figure out everything on their own, including making the final decision on what computer to get. The third group were obviously the most fatigued and as a result had depleted self control and will power.

What happens when we have no self control and will power?  We reach for the sugar-laden delights. This is why supermarkets put all the good stuff near the tills. They’re literally taking advantage of our diminishing mental health. The dirty bastards.

In the same study, they measured what happened to the decision fatigued group after they had a hit of glucose. Why their abilities to make decisions improved of course! (They really did.)

So, if you’re having a particularly difficult day despite having a great nights sleep, and you find yourself staring into space when someone asks how your day is, or you want to punch your partner’s eyes off for asking where the baby wipes are – don’t despair. You’re not going mad and you haven’t got ME or leukaemia. Decision fatigue has set in and it’s essential to freebase a bit of sugar. And that is desperate advice coming from a dental professional. 


Follow The Camel via Happy Medium Mothering on Facebook