Letter To My Inner Idiot

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IMG_3774Dear Idiot,

I am writing this for your own good, for our own good really. I know you don’t think you are an idiot, which is kind of one of the main issues, and why I have deemed it necessary to take action. You actually seem to fancy yourself as a bit of a smarty pants with your time saving ideas, stupid lists and unrealistic expectations. But let me be clear, you are a fool. And it’s about time someone told you – other than your husband, who we both know rarely gets a fair hearing.

So here you / we are, bumbling along, and it’s all going pretty well you know. We have a nice life, a loving family, great friends and a roof over our heads. The child we always wanted is here, throwing his weight and love around in equal measure, filling each day with laughter and also with screams, slaps and poo.

It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always lovely, but overall, we are happy and we are so grateful for what we have. So why, for the love of Igglepiggle, do you keep sweating the small stuff?

First up, I really need you to stop comparing yourself to other Mums – you will never come up to scratch because you are only seeing what you want to see, not the full picture. You wouldn’t pitch other children up against your son – perish the thought! So why are you doing it to yourself?

Comparing the inside of your life with the outside of someone else’s will always leave you faring and feeling worse. However you don’t see them every day, you don’t watch them at home (and please don’t start, it’s illegal), and you have no idea how others manage their day, time, house and hair. If you want to do your nails while you could be sleeping, or iron late into the evening instead of relaxing, be my guest. But I think we both know which you would rather. It’s all about priorities, pal.

Next up, what is with this sudden obsession with a perfect house? Since when did you even see the skirting boards, let alone care if they were dusted? Who are you and what have you done with my make do and don’t look former self? I know being at home more means you notice the housework and that you make more mess, I know that it can get you down and I know that it’s a bit frustrating when the baby pulls everything out that you have tidied away, mixes the clean washing with the dirty and crushes biscuits into the carpet. Did listing it out help?  I kind of wondered if it might make it worse, sorry.

However all you can do is all you can do. And remember – no one cares. If you can clean and tidy some days, clean and tidy. If you can’t, because the baby is being even more rogue than usual, or you are extra tired and unable to do more than sip coffee and grunt, what do you think will happen? Nothing bar a few more biscuit crumbs – at least he can’t make a mess again if you haven’t cleared it up in the first place. The world will neither end, nor notice.

Lastly, we need to talk about who you actually are versus who you think you should be. Pre-baby, it’s not like you used to swan about your immaculate house with perfect hair and make-up doing yoga stretches, far from it. You’ve never been that person, or had those priorities, so if you thought you were going to start now with a tot wiping his nose on your calf as you try to brush the dried milk sick out of your hair, you really are more of a wally than I first feared.

It’s OK that you are not perfect you know. Being fallible, making mistakes, having limits; it’s all normal. You’re not worse off for it and pretty much everyone is in the same boat, it’s just some have a neater lick of paint and a shinier mast.

Maybe you couldn’t do the job of the next Mum, who knows? But you’re doing this one, even on the days you want to phone in sick or hand your notice in. You’re the only one fit for the job of Mummy here, and if he could understand the concept and vocalise it, the baby would tell you you’re doing a grand job. And also ask for more cake. Everyone is fed, mostly clean and pretty happy, it could be a lot worse. Just think, one day the baby won’t nap anymore and then you’ll have something to moan about!

So keep singing the clapping frog song, keep sharing your fruit (and cereal and everything on your plate), keep playing the silly games you secretly love, keep tickling those ears, toes and chubby legs, and keep whooshing down the slide again, again, again. Because these are the things you will look back on with love and pride and these are the things that matter, over and above anything else. You won’t ever regret choosing hugs over hoovering, I promise.

And when you don’t have the time or inclination to iron your clothes, straighten your hair or exfoliate (not that you actually know what exfoliating is), remind yourself that it’s because you are putting your time and energy into something, or someone more precious, who needs all that you are able to give just now. So perhaps you should see these things as being less about inadequacies and more about choices – and maybe you’re choosing wisely.

Please stop thinking about your shortcomings, your bad days or the things that don’t go to plan. In fact, there should be no plan – rip up the plan, spit and stamp on the plan if you so desire. Call the plan a few choice names. Go on, I won’t tell.

What you are doing… is enough. Being a Mum… is enough. You… are enough.

That’s all you need to remember, oh and also to buy more milk today.

With love,

Your more realistic self x

Is it just me who requires a stern word with myself every now and then? Anyone else? Please…

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24 thoughts on “Letter To My Inner Idiot

  1. This… I needed this today. I’m printing it out so that I can read it to myself everyday until I finally get it! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!

  2. Awe, thank you – it is good to know I’m not the only one who needs a good talking to now and then! I am the first to say people shouldn’t put themselves under so much pressure but I do it to myself regardless, especially since becoming a Mum. I hope you manage to give yourself a break soon, a literal one if at all possible!

    • Thank you, lovely lady. Yes we definitely all need telling at times that who we are and what we are doing is just fine. I’ll try to remember to tell you, whenever you
      forget.

  3. I have to chastise myself every night after I put my daughter to bed. I concentrate so much on what I could do better, that I forget what I did right. So every night I give myself a mental slap across the face and remind myself that the good outweighs the bad ALWAYS!

    • Yes, yes to remembering the good outweighing the bad! We are definitely all too hard on ourselves and I really don’t know why. A slap, of the mental variety sounds like a good idea!

  4. Fantastic post! It brought a little tear to my eye…so well written!
    Thank you! Love this line “comparing the inside of your life with the outside of someone else’s will always leave you faring and feeling worse”. So so true.

    • Ahh, thank you so much Laura.

      I really am terrible for comparing myself with others, I’m going to try to change as it really does do no one any good!

      I guess we all need to give the idiot inside a good talking to sometimes, it’s all too easy to be hard on ourselves instead of being kind.

  5. I need this sometimes. There is often so much to do that it becomes overwhelming but stepping back an re-prioritising helps loads. Our little ones aren’t little for long. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for linking up to #BinkyLinky

    • Thank you and what you say is so true – the baby / toddler demanding days aren’t forever and I think we really need to remember that it’s not a failing to have limits, it’s how we protect ourselves and our sanity! Everyone needs priorities and to let some things go, I don’t know where this pressure comes from but it does seem to affect everyone at one point or another.

  6. Aawww what a great post! You sound like you’re doing a fab job! I am always too hard on myself. I try and be mindful and live in the moment, it does help x x #binkylinky

    • Thank you! Living in the moment is good advice, I feel better when I just going with things and enjoy them, but I don’t do it enough!

  7. I am definitely guilty of comparing myself..but all the other mums have it all sussed out, don’t they?! As for the perfect tidy house..I have long since given up on that shit. And exfoliating? Toning, shaving, getting an actual hair cut? Too little time and money for this. But in a way i am glad I am free of all this stuff now!

    • I think you make a fine point there, I should consider myself liberated from making an effort with myself (or even basic hygiene some days!) I must, must work on my comparititus though, but I am glad it’s not just me!

  8. Love this! This is word for word what I need to say to myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to do and have it all that you lose sight of what’s really important. Before my daughter came along, I didn’t have a perfect house or do all the fancy Pinterest-worthy things I find myself wishing I had the time to do now. I’ve never dressed to the nines or any of the other things I feel pressured to do now.

    I love your note to yourself that “all you can do is all you can do”. It’s been my motto for quite some time now! Glad to see someone else feels the same!

    Thank you for sharing at #TBTL

    • Thank you!

      It’s so weird how much MORE pressure we put ourselves under as mothers, when actually, now is the time we should be letting the other stuff go and just focussing on our children and ourselves. It is too easy I think to get caught up in what other people appear to be doing and I am so bad for comparing myself to others. I am trying to get better at that and be a bit kinder to myself but we definitely all need reminding! Lovely to ‘meet’ a like-minded Mum, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  9. I love this post! And I love the name of your blog!
    I think we all need to write one of these letters to ourselves, one way or another.

    • Thank you on both counts! Name is a bit of a mouthful but pretty fitting for us 🙂

      Yes I agree, telling ourselves that we’re doing okay is never a bad thing, but I don’t think anyone does it often enough, if at all!

  10. Love this! Very well said! I think everyone could say this to themselves from time to time!
    Thanks for linking up to #TBTL

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