OK… Don’t judge me. Please don’t judge me. You see, I’m going to admit something which may force you to mount your high horse. I don’t blame you. In fact, you may not be able to help it. Those little legs of yours may just clamber up on to your saddle of self righteousness. Before you know it, you’ll be galloping off into the distance, to a bright, beautiful, virtuous sunset, while turning your back on me. Me. Your embarrassment. Your oh so slightly dingy, redheaded, blogging friend. Me, who along with your other embarrassments in life, you would rather forget – those long, hazy university nights; the man in your past that you should NEVER have spent the night with; the purchase of 50 Shades of Grey. You will try your very best to forget me too…
And of course, is it fair for me to ask that you don’t judge? Is it fair for me to censor your judgement? For me to ask that you control your thoughts before knowing the reason why?? Before I smack you square in the face with the punchline? How can you (you poor reader) guarantee no judgement before hearing my confession? It’s completely unfair. But… I guess the truth is… I feel vulnerable. I feel unsafe and I need to feel that safety, that emotional safety, before I admit something… You see… It’s a terrible truth… It’s a “see you in hell” kind of truth… I hate to admit it but… I’m a better parent when I – wait for it – d r i n k.
You have probably guessed that I don’t mean “drink” in the mainstream sense of the word. It’s not in a tan-tights-coloured cup of Yorkshire tea kind of a way. I, of course, mean the hard stuff. The stuff that changes your otherwise flawless perception and steadfast emotions – even during a non PMT week. While I’m not suggesting that I’m able to parent while wasted, I am completely convinced that a few drops of alcohol make me a better mother.
Now, just imagine… I’ve finished my day of work, it’s 4pm and I have just returned home after collecting my two boys from school. It’s a happy reunion for the three of us. Cuddles and kisses are shared. Stories about the day are told. I happily locate my house key and open the front door. This door swings open. The boys charge inside. I follow, excited and relieved to return to my warm, welcoming home. However, my smile slowly fades as I am gradually confronted with the devastation that has been left to smolder over the last 8 hours of work and school…
Is it possible that in the haze of a panicked morning routine, I lit a cereal bonfire, leaving the embers of milk and cheerios to burn and embed on our kids plastic table? While in my zombie state of not asleep, not awake, did I allow the county council to relocate the local recycling centre to our lounge? What kind of a charity shop is forming in our spare bedroom with clothes – indistinguishably dirty or clean – wrinkled and scattered everywhere. My heart sinks as I survey the chaos. My blood boils as the requests from my children begin to pour in: “Mum? Can I have a drink?” “Mum? Am I allowed a lolly?” With every second that delays my response, their voices get louder, higher, increasingly whiny “Mum? He’s got my game.” “Mum? He’s blocking the TV.” School reading books need to be read. Bills need to be paid. Dinners need to be prepared. A headache begins to form at the base of my head – the pain conscientiously radiates round to my temples. Pressure forming, pounding within my skull. Why God why don’t they offer trephination on the NHS???
And…. pop! The bottle has been uncorked.
And… glug, glug, glug. The prosecco has been poured.
I swig back a mouthful of cold bubbly stuff and feel the transformation. Shoulders start to relax. The headache fades. I lie on our hard laminate floor, finishing a digger jigsaw with my boys with no cares about the wet laundry festering in the washing machine or the important phone calls I needed to make. I am happy. Relaxed. The boys are happy and relaxed. Their high maintenance mummy has been replaced with a woman who is able give them time without being swayed by other demands. I just don’t understand it. Why do I need wine o’clock to help me chill out?
Initially, I berate myself for needing this hidden pleasure. I despise my weakness. But then I get thinking…. it’s the numbing sensation I enjoy. The ability to slice away the extra, unwanted layers in life – the things that aren’t that important. The ability to enjoy that moment rather than worry about the past or future. True, it would of course be more healthy to practice meditative yoga. However, the reality is that a Downward Dog ain’t that effective when your kids use the asana as a bridge for their diesel trains. I’m not using a little sip of wine to escape from my family life, I’m using that tiny tincture to escape the other shit. So quite frankly my dear reader, you can judge all you want. Go enjoy your numerous, pointless demands. I’m off to watch Topsy and Tim snuggled up on the sofa with my two boys and a dash of the hard stuff.
Rambling Red wants to hear your own confessions as a parent!!! Please comment below…