Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Which Mummy are you?
Long before COVID-19 involuntary home schooling, I was being homeschooled by my then 6 year old. One year before, I bought the pictured oral hygiene bathroom set. It consisted of a toothbrush section, toothpaste holder and 4 rinsing mugs. The mugs had emojis on the bottom of them. As I bought the set, I chuckled to myself. The emoji mugshots reflected our family personalities in a humorous way. The youngest, 2 year old daughter, was the cheeky one : o . Our 6 year old, the happy one : )) . My husband, the grumpy one : | . I was the smiley one : )…of course. At home, my daughters instinctively chose the mugs that suited them. I selected the smiley mug for myself.
The mugshot that woke me up
However, a few months later I had the smile wiped off my sheepish face. One night, my daughters and I were merrily brushing our teeth. I asked my eldest daughter which mugshot reflected each family member. Shock. Utter confusion. I was sure my daughter had misheard me. She pointed to the ‘grumpy mugshot’. “ The serious one is you. Papa is the smiley one because he is always playing fun games with us.” In disbelief, I repeated the question several times ( and in different ways). Her response, did not change. Suffice it to say, “ I was woke!” Although I felt like I was smiling and ever cheerful as a person, my ‘parenting mugshot’ reflected quite differently.
It was at a particularly stressful period of my career. I thought I was handling the stress well, but I wasn’t. It showed. I didn’t want to be “Grumpy Mummy”! So began my quest to find that smile.
Stress wears a clever disguise. Sometimes it takes someone else to reflect the truth we cannot see. Other times we know we are stressed but don’t know what to do, or how to handle it best.
Am I alone here or can you relate?