What parenting really looks like – misadventures at bedtime

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Picture the scene. It’s bedtime. After nicely putting their own pyjamas on, the biggest child brushes her own teeth while Mummy helps the second biggest with hers.

The baby sits on the floor playing quietly with a toy. Then Mummy pops the baby on her lap and sits on the bed; a child either side of her listening to the bedtime story they picked out together.

After the story, she tucks each child into bed, they exchange kisses and cuddles, say goodnight and she turns off the light. After feeding the baby her milk, Mummy tucks her in bed too, and heads downstairs to fix herself a nice cup of tea.

Sound familiar? If so, congratulations, you’re a superhero! Please can you come and make that happen in my house?!

Or maybe you sometimes have nights like we did yesterday and the scenario above is a distant dream! Let me share last night with you – I can laugh now, but believe me I was pretty much crying then!

Related: 10 ways to prepare for the brutal realities of motherhood

Picture bedtime. Daddy has gone out. Biggest and middle child are full of energy and don’t want to go to bed so are running around like lunatics. They DO NOT want to put on their pyjamas.

The baby has been suffering from a tummy bug, which has caused horrendous nappy rash and is crying because the poor thing is feeling awful.

Mummy bribes bigger two into their pj’s with promises of coco pops for breakfast if they go to bed nicely. Decides that their feeble attempts at brushing their teeth will just have to do and it’s not worth the battle.

Tucks them into bed and tells them to read their own bedtime story because the baby has just had another episode of diarrhoea so she needs to go and deal with that.

Half way through changing, baby has another poo, one of the explosive kind, that manages to make its way off the mat and all over the carpet.

Mummy fetches new clothes for baby and shouts at the herd of elephants upstairs to get back in bed. Sticks poor baby into the playpen and scrubs aforementioned poo out of carpet and disinfects the floor.

Then she takes baby up to bed for another attempt at sleep. Checks on elephants to find they have found and emptied half a bottle of baby shampoo onto second biggest’s hair, and put half a packet of baby wipes down the bathroom toilet.

Mummy takes second biggest to bathroom and tries to wash off the shampoo, there are bubbles everywhere. Baby starts screaming. Mummy gives up, towels dries the bubbles and puts child back to bed.

Fetches the baby who proceeds to vomit over herself and Mummy.  Mummy changes the baby’s clothes (again) and puts back in cot. Goes and changes into clean clothes.

Puts kettle on and makes cup of tea. Remembers the wipes and goes back upstairs to fish them out of the toilet. Sits down with the now well needed cup of tea. Baby starts crying, she has pooed AGAIN.

Tea is now cold.

Parenthood is sometimes just not how we picture it should be! It’s a good job they’re cute.

Related: Surviving sleep deprivation with a new baby

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