Sunday, 22 January 2012

Mummy School

When I was a girl, sitting on the kitchen table watching my mother cooking spaghetti bolognese or ironing shirts, I would ask her over and over again: "How do you know how to do that?"

And she would always smile at me and answer "Mummy school - Page 495"

Almost two years into being a mummy, I've still not found the Mummy school manual, let alone reached page 495 - but just lately, with new years resolutions tucked firmly under my belt and a real desire for change, I do feel that I am learning.

I'm learning that mummy chores are endless and that cursing them will do nothing to change that fact; I'm learning that a little often is better than a manic purge every other week; I'm learning that a clean(ish) house gives me the space to be present enough to play; I'm learning that planning meals in advance will save me  hours in the supermarket; I'm learning that resenting people for making messes will only make me miserable; I'm learning that fresh flowers are not frivolous but important; I'm learning to accept that my house will never truly be clean.

Above all, I'm learning that this is my work, that it's an intrinsic part of the life that I've chosen, and that I am capable of doing it well.

And so gradually, with many hiccoughs along the way, I'm learning to feel less resentful of it, less frustrated by it, less demeaned by it and less defeated by its endlessness.

Slowly, slowly, I'm learning how to be a mummy. I'm just a long, long way from reaching page 495.


  1. After page 495 there are another 495! Helen I think you would like 'The Pace of a Hen' by Josephine Moffett Benton. It's a Christian perspective on the job of being a housewife and mother. It was written in 1961 so is a bit old-fashioned but well worth reading.

  2. You will go through phases of accepting and rejecting the life of a full time mother - much the same as any other job. Store up the memories of the good days when the house is tidy to encourage you when it is not. My windows are probably cleaner now than they when my children were little but if the truth be told I would rather have little children and dirty windows.