Yesterday there was a point, and I'll confess it wasn't yet lunchtime, when I was was just about ready to give up. I mean just stop right there on the high street and make a pillow out of my tote. I just felt so, so tired. I know, how boring, another parent banging on about being tired but I'm gonna keep banging on about it because NO ONE IS HONEST. They say you'll be tired for a few weeks or a few months in odd cases a year. No one but no one said after having a baby I would be tired FOREVER.
Had I known I would have spent much more time developing the baby timeshare concept that I had pitched to my husband on a few drunken nights out. The sum of which was that we found another couple, equally loving of their nights out and lie ins and have one baby between the four of us, on a strict week on week off schedule.
I'm sure to the casual passerby I looked like your average, happy go lucky, reasonably stylish mum but on the inside, if anyone (and I mean anyone) had offered to watch my kid for five minutes whilst I cried snottily in a corner, I would have gone for it.
The problem is when I'm in on top of the world, had time to put on eyeliner, supermum mode, if anyone dared to offer me help I would be mortally offended; I mean how dare they suggest I can't cope?! This creates a bit of a minefield for the average individual - do you approach the parent that in your assessment may be struggling? Or do you adopt a charity starts at home attitude and go merrily on your way?
It reminded me of parties I went to at university, before the age of Tinder we went for something far more practical - colour. The occassions were known as traffic light parties and the concept was satisfying simple, if you wore red you were unavailable, if you wore orange you were open to approaches and if you wore green, well, you were up for anything. Wouldn't this be wonderful for motherhood, a clear signal to the world that you are open to support? You see a toddler having a meltdown of epic proportions, just glance at the parent - they're wearing red and you just leave them to it, green and you go in with carbs and compassion.
Of course this isn't practical; for a start orange isn't in this season. So here's my solution. Start with a smile. A smile can say a thousand words, it can say -
You're doing great!
Are you okay?
Been there done that
And sometimes, that's all you need.
What colour is your traffic light?