Ignore the people who make you feel bad – they either can't understand or aren't willing to.
Since having my son Joseph, I have found that things I once took for granted as being quick and simple tasks, often become a lot more challenging, for example, a trip to the supermarket.
What was once a time of leisurely browsing (especially in Aldi or Lidl whereby popping in for milk can leave you searching desperately for that other wellie boot or sewing pattern book that you simply must have), the supermarket has suddenly become a nightmare to any mother of a toddler.
The other day was a particularly bad day for me as Joseph was already cranky and this wee trip to the supermarket was merely my way of preventing the house from getting anymore ruined (wax crayons and painted walls do not mix).
I often find that some of my worst days are the days we don't make it out at all, so with this theory in mind, we bee-lined for the supermarket in hope of some respite.
As soon as we arrived, Joseph was screaming to get out of the pram. I say screaming, but he's actually started saying "pweease", which although I'm happy he's picked up on, it does make saying no extremely difficult.
As soon as I let him go, he was off! Darting towards the fruit and veg like a ravenous bunny rabbit ready to destroy anything in his path. Peppers were thrown like bouncy balls and apples were bitten and bruised without care.
I scrabbled along behind, trying to keep my composure as I juggled armfuls of Romaine lettuces and attempted to steer the pram out of the way of oncoming shoppers who watched on in both disapproval and amazement.
I began to think "this was a bad idea.. but maybe it can't get any worse?", until we got to the bakery where my carb-addicted child felt the need to lick every single baguette before putting it back, while laughing and running off with his eyes firmly on the breakables.
By this point, I'd given up. Given up caring and given up on trying to stop him. The disapproving looks continued and I almost willed someone to say something to me, just so I could turn round and tell them just how much I didn't care (maybe not in those nice words!).
All hope was lost. Deflated, embarrassed and defeated, I began wrestling my child back into his Kinder Egg laden pram. I was close to tears and ready to run, when at that moment, a lady stopped me and said; "Devils aren't they? We've all been there" and walked away. That was enough to keep me going that little bit longer and just like that, I got my second wind; I lived to fight another day!
So this really is a story of HOPE!
If you're reading this and dreading a weekly shop, or if you've just had a terrible experience that has left you feeling like poo, remember:
Ignore the people who make you feel bad – they either can't understand or aren't willing to, and in either case, there's no point wasting your worries on them.
Stay positive and try to laugh at the situation – there will always be at least one person who's laughing with you.
Remember this too shall pass and one day (maybe a very long time away!) you will long for the crazy shopping trips.
Finally, if your day is going really badly... online shopping!
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.