Some days this FIFO mothering gig ‘aint easy. Parenting ‘aint easy. Full stop.
I’m not alone.. I know there are plenty of other FIFO Mums with more kids than I have, enduring longer rosters AND they most likely have days that make this night look like a walk in the park… I know this because sometimes this is a standard night for us.
So the littlest bear kicked off at 3pm today.. A little earlier than his usual fussy period which starts around 5pm, thus making it almost impossible to prepare and cook dinner as our 8 kilo bundle of joy insists on being held – but not in a carrier….waaahhhh! I do end up managing to put dinner together for myself and master 3, with grizzling (for the most part) baby on my hip. (I’m usually more organised during my man’s away week prepping or cooking dinner at lunch!)…. paying for my tardiness tonight alright!
However master 3 insists his dinner go in the fridge to cool down (he does this with every meal, hot, warm or stone freaking cold *cue eye roll*). So as I’m getting his dinner out of the fridge OOPS I drop his bowl and his dinner splatters all over the floor (as I’m still holding Mr Poodgey)… Nooooo! So I give master 3 my dinner. I’d like to say I wasn’t hungry anyway, but I am a breast feeding mum. I could currently eat the leg off a horse. And that’s a tall order given I’m a vegetarian. My wonderful 3 year old mostly plays with his kindly donated dinner. Pushing it around on his plate, chewing it up, spitting it out, rendering his scraps completely inedible. What a waste. Why did I even bother to cook? Could of just had pretzels for tea.
Next up bath time…. I’m not stuffing around tonight. It’s already late and the scallywag wants a bath, but sorry buddy…. Shower…. I’ve run the water and got his towel and asked him approximately 236 times to get in the shower before I yell at him like a crazy person with the baby grizzling on my hip “JUST GET UNDRESSED AND GET IN THE SHOOOWEERRRRRRRRRR…. NOOOOOOWWWWWW’. He looks up at me, a little perplexed… and says ‘ooooooh kaaaaaaay’ …. as if to say ‘geeeees you could of just asked?’… I squint at him and maintain eye contact as he gets into the shower recess. Gees what I wouldn’t give to have a hot shower unaccompanied, uninterrupted for 20 or 5 minutes.
Baby has fallen asleep on my shoulder… Thank god. He’s so heavy, my back is killing me! Try to put master 3 months down in his cot, NOPE, he’s awake and cranky. Again. Right, back on the hip/ shoulder he goes. I try to tidy up the mess on the floor and dishes but it’s all a bit unmanageable with the situation wriggling around on the hip. I can’t find the broom or the dustpan… and I don’t think using my new beaut dyson stick vacuum cleaner would be a good idea! ;-/
I fill master 3’s night time water bottle, sort out his story books and get his pj’s ready to go….. I turn the shower water off in order to get him out and dry. He promptly jumps out, runs starkers and dripping wet into the living area and starts playing with toys he’s left lying around – WHICH may I add I’d usually have had him pick up before tea had ‘baby fussy period’ not started 2 hours early today… It simply is not worth trying to get him to pick up those toys tonight. ::Pick your battles, pick your battles:: …… BUT, again I ask, and ask, and ask, and ask and then YELL LIKE A CRAZY POSSESSED MENTAL PERSON to get him to come into the bathroom, and let me clean his teeth “Open, open, open, look at me! Open! Face mummy – YES the toothpaste is spicy, that’s because yesterday you squeezed out all of the kids strawberry toothpaste into the bath – so congrats, now you have to use grown ups tooth paste, sorry mate!…. OOOOOPENNNNN YOOOOUR MOOOOUTH!” (Baby still grizzling on hip). “Spit and rinse” … “I mean, rinse and spit!” “You know what I mean” Ok teeth cleaned. Bedroom. Undies and PJ’s. Pleeeeease mate. Mummy’s trying really hard.
Try to put baby down again. Nope. Gawd. Why won’t he happily sit strapped into his Baby Bjorn? Honestly the stuff we buy in the ‘hope’ it’ll make things a little easier.
I come back into master 3’s bedroom to find he has indeed put his star wars PJ’s on, with the top on inside out and backwards. “Good job, you did awesome at getting those PJ’s on yourself, fist bump my man!” *bumps knuckles* “Boom-shaka-laka-laka”
Finally get eldest into bed ready for stories… but he wants teddys. I look around. Where are they? Scattered throughout the house because you know, kids like to do that… “You go” I say to him, “I’m not carting your lug of a brother around scouting for Scout and Mr Camel, and Snake and Olaf… you go find them and hurry”. Said child brings each cuddly toy back into his bedroom one at a time although I am pretty sure were likely on the one couch in the living area. Will. This. Night. Ever. End?
We get through two story books, my boy patiently listens, as his baby brother grizzles all the way through Peter Rabbit and Trucktown. I usually read three books, but no, he’s only getting two tonight for dilly dallying around. Finally lights out kid #1 in bed. Yay!
Though we aren’t out of the woods yet. The littlest scallwag is still cranky, fighting sleep and therefore, dishes still on the sink, the plate of food still on floor and I’m eating a pack of cookies for dinner, because sh*t it’s all I can actually manage with one hand.
Oooh and bub’s foot just tipped the empty packet over, so crumbs are now also everywhere. Awesome.
So I sit here… in need of a shower… with a babe that has finally accepted a feed, but now I can’t actually get off the boob…. This will be my third attempt…. I think he’s asleep. Do I risk it….?
He’s off. And sleeping. Yay….
I stand up, picking him up with me to transfer him to his cot and I smell it….. I check…… WHAAAAT. Freaking great. If I don’t change his butt now, I’ll surely have to do it in a couple of hours…. So I change it and miraculously he stays pretty sleepy…. There is a god.
Try to put him down again… I kinda need to wash my hands….. HE’S DOWN.
AND IT’S A TOUCH DOWN FOR FIFO THIS MUMMA. The littlest babe is DOWN. I repeat, the littlest babe is down.
It’s 9:45pm. I’m wired. Tired. Tired and wired.
How do mums of 3 or 4+ kids do it… day in, day out? On 2/1 or 4/1 rosters? Ooooor. Single Mums? Navy mums? I whole heartedly salute these Mummas!
Is this you?
Feel free to enlighten me in the comments (maybe you will totally make this seem like a dream night) while I go and clean up the stir fry on my kitchen floor, load the dishwasher. And hopefully…. hopefully get a shower to wash away this evening of FIFO Mum shortcomings.
This mothering gig ‘aint easy.