Cocktails are nice, aren’t they? How I’ve missed my flavoursome friends. I’ve been blanking them since I had my son (two years ago!) and ironically acquired the enviable skill of seriously impressive hangovers along with the ability to clear up someone else's puke using just one hand. This weekend, however, I dipped my toe in that refreshing pool of cocktail bliss...but,I didn’t dive right in. I stopped myself before getting in over my head. I stayed at the water’s edge. My extremely wonderful, oldest friend, though, dive-bombed her way in and swam submerged lengths with her eyes open as if she could somehow extract oxygen from Cosmopolitans. In the past, I’ve tried to help this friend out by reminding her how she sometimes regrets getting massively drunk. I’ve held her hair a few times using my new-found coping-with-puke skills. This morning, she just sent me this text ‘My poor head! It all went downhill after you left. You were my voice of reason! What a silly idea to drink more and more cocktails. Silly. Silly.’
Do you know what? I wish I’d gone and drunk a shit-load of cocktails too rather than heading home after a few glasses of wine. I wish I was more able to throw caution to the wind and switch off that sensible voice in my head - the voice always calculating the odds, working out the worst-case scenario. I’ve always had a problem with control. Yes, I have definitely lost myself on several occasions and enjoyed it A LOT, thank you very much, but I find it hard to stop the anxiety and worry long enough to stop angsting and worrying rather than just laughing and enjoying. It’s definitely got worse since being a mum. Predictable, I know - It’s not just me I’m responsible for now and all that. But sometimes I so wish I could drown out my Voice of Reason.
I think this voice is a big part of the problem for mums. I reckon that the issue’s often not about being irrational and emotional - it’s about being too rational and emotional. When you are doing all you can. When you’re carrying out the instructions declared as being transformative in all those baby books. When you’re trying and thinking and analysing and battling...and still your child won’t sleep through the night, or won’t eat their food, or won’t breastfeed or won’t stop trying to sample anyone within biting distance...THAT’s when Motherexia (see previous post) is at her strongest and THAT’s when reason can be anything but your friend.
When it comes to mothering, I reckon sometimes it is best to stick your fingers in your ears and tra la la until your Voice of Reason buggers off. Kids aren’t rational. What they do isn’t rational. Resigning yourself to the fact that sometimes stuff is simply out of control and makes no sense whatsoever is often the best sanity saver there is. I say, embrace your Voice of Treason! Rebel against what SHOULD work. ‘Should’ is a very dangerous word. Should, schmood. Throw Gina Ford against a wall. Give that quest to be a Good Mother (whatever that is) a rest. Leave it all up to chance for a change. It’s bloody hard, but killing yourself trying to change or ‘heal’ stuff can be exhausting and pointless. Sometimes there really is no reason your child is doing or not doing something. It’s nothing you’ve done wrong. Nothing that’s wrong with them. Sometimes they just spontaneously sleep all night, acquire a taste for broccoli rather than blood, or favour chatting over screaming ‘poo, shit, poo-poo, shit-shit’ in public. Sometimes Voice of Reason just needs to shut the f*ck up. Your kids mostly refuse to listen to it...and maybe sometimes you should too.
P.S. I am currently having to read this post to myself hourly as my son has just developed a taste for head-butting. Must take own advice. Must take own advice.