Funny Mummy - Easy...Does It?

“When does it get easy?” If I had a dime for every time a new Mom said that to me, a hopeful, somewhat desperate look in her red-rimmed, sleep deprived eyes...well I wouldn’t be getting excited over BOGO days, that’s all I can say. Yes, there is no denying that having a newborn baby is one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever take on – physically, emotionally, spiritually – the burden of being responsible for a new human life while dealing with the fact that a long sleep for you is approximately 3 ½ hours long, can really take its toll.

It’s a really, really good thing that babies are just so darn cute. They redeem themselves over and over again with just the smallest smile, movement or gurgle.


Teenagers, on the other hand...well let’s just say it’s a really, really good thing we’ve already invested about 15 years in them when they start making us wish we could just give them back. Personally, I’m too old and tired to start fresh with a new one at that point.

Teenagers are not cute, very often (unless you are also a teenager and you’re looking at a picture of Justin Bieber). What teenagers are, according to them, is very knowledgeable. About everything. Particularly those things they have zero experience in. These things include but are not limited to:

  • How to drive. Before they have ever taken a seat in the driver’s side of a car. The only thing worse about the totally inexperienced teenage driver telling you how to drive, is having the newly licensed teenage driver point out your alleged bad driving habits. (“Just because everybody rolls that stop sign Mom...”)
  • How to discipline their younger siblings. Due to their complete lack of parenting experience they are total pros at telling you how to motivate and teach their younger brother about how whining will not get them everything they want. (And I’m sorry but in the case of your eight your brother, it mostly works. He’s my fourth and the rest of you have worn me down. You have no one to blame but yourselves.)
  • What to cook for dinner so that people (i.e. THEM) will actually like it. I’ve been at this meal preparation game for a long time, but apparently all I’ve learned how to do is to make food which is "not good”. It’s fun to see them operate under the assumption that I actually care if they like it.
  • What an appropriate walking (versus driving) distance is. According to a teenager, it is totally reasonable to ask for a ride to the high school which is 10 minutes walk away. On a sunny, dry day. And any attempts to school them on your history of an hour long walk through a snowy suburb of Winnipeg is dismissed as “folklore” or falls into the “sucks to be you” information pool.
  • How to dress. “Are you going to wear that today? Just asking.” is apparently not a statement that one should get upset about hearing. They are, after all, “just asking.” Sheesh.

So, when does it get easier? In my experience, it’s not the age of the child that makes any difference at all in terms of the “ease” of going through a particular phase with them. It’s more directly correlated to something more simple than that. For once, it’s not about them...it’s about you. I’m much more receptive to their particular brand of advice when I’m holding a glass of Chardonnay in that bad driving, poor cooking, ridiculously dressed and generally inappropriate hand of mine.

Kathy Buckworth’s latest book, “Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay” is available everywhere. Read Funny Mummy every month and follow Kathy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth Visit www.kathybuckworth.com


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