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20 things that make you irrationally angry when you're a stay-at-home mum

March 10th 2016 / Emma Bartley / 5 comments

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Since becoming a mother, Emma Bartley has become the sort of person who would cheerfully bludgeon you to death for hiding the TV remote

One of the things I've learnt since having a baby is that you get quite angry when you're stuck in the house for 12 hours straight. I’m not talking about things that make you rationally angry, such as rising energy prices or the fact that your hairdresser has made you look like Rachel from Friends circa 1995, because that is the only haircut that s/he knows how to do. Or the lies that other mothers told you in order to get you into the club of stay-at-home misery. No - we’re here to discuss the stuff on which you lose all sense of perspective, the minor issues that transform an ordinarily sane woman into a furious banshee when she is stuck inside her own home for 12 hours or more. Things like...

1. That DIY job that needs doing

It might be a picture that hasn’t been put up. It might be a badly painted ceiling edge, or a wonky cupboard door. But once you’ve seen it, you can’t stop noticing it. By the end of the day at home, it is all you can see. The house is a dump, your life is a misery and the person who walks through the door at the end of the day - perhaps thinking that he is tired, perhaps expecting a welcome kiss - is met with an anguished wail of “WILL YOU PLEASE JUST FIX THE GODDAMN COT”.

2. The baby not eating

Ah, feeding your baby. Carefully choosing foods that will help them to grow strong, promote brain development, and set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. Lovingly preparing said foods. And then watching them scream, turn their head, push the spoon away and/or throw two thirds of the meal on the floor. My husband can't understand why I get so agitated about this but it makes me insane on a deep, primal level.

3. Whoever moved the TV remote

Compounded by the fact that they won't pick up the bloody phone.

4. The doorbell

About as welcome as a bout of thrush if it happens when the baby is sleeping, you’re changing a nappy, you’re feeding the baby, you’re still in your nightie/a towel, the person on the other side of it is not the postman. All the time, basically. (And the person on the other side of the door should KNOW that.) See also 13.

5. Automated calls

"THIS IS AN URGENT MESSAGE ABOUT YOUR -” Oh do f*** off.

6. Your mother

No? Try adding “-in-law” to the end of that. Thought so.

7. Internet problems

I've just spent 40 minutes doing this online shop while my child does her best to end her own life by playing with every plug socket, hot drink and heavy object she can reach and now it won't submit? Are you f*&^ing kidding me?

8. Vileda mop heads

To date, I’ve bought the big spongey one, the little spongey one that wrings itself out, and the floppy traditional one. Each one requires a different handle! Sometimes I like to think about turning up at Vileda headquarters with my two redundant mop handles and challenging the chief executive to a duel.

9. <Insert name of radio DJ here>’s voice

A lot of my friends listen to the radio while they're pottering about: it's the closest thing you have to adult company when you're at home with a baby. But whether it's a trendy name-dropper, the "sad-serious" tone of a host whose empathy never quite rings true, or a woman whose abrasive "MOOOORNING!" sets their teeth on edge, everyone has someone whose voice makes them dive for the dial.

The one who makes my own blood boil is an award-winning Welsh DJ who sounds as if she's permanently getting a massage. Her voice is just so bloody soft! She elongates all her vowels! She flirts with absolutely everybody! But of course, what really gets to me is the fact that she’s purring like a cat while I’m standing in my kitchen, plastered in houmous, looking at a bunch of undone DIY jobs and wiping down the high chair AGAIN.

10. Wiping down the high chair

Wiping. Down. The bloody. High chair. Multiple times a day, every day, until you despise the very cloth in your hand. And don’t get me started on the floor beneath it. "Should you sweep?" wonders my friend Lucy. "Should you wipe?" These are the big philosophical questions now.

11. Reading the comments on newspaper websites

The fastest way to destroy all your faith in humanity.

12. Jeremy Kyle

The second-fastest way to destroy all your faith in humanity.

13. Jehovah’s Witnesses

When you work full time, you have no idea how often this lot have been round hoping to read a scripture on your doorstep. It’s twice a week at ours! And there's no polite way to get rid of them so you have to be abrupt and then feel bad about yourself for the rest of the morning.

The other thing that sends me into a white-hot rage is when they stand at the exit to an Underground station, watch me lug a pram all the way up the stairs by myself and try to hand me a Watchtower magazine at the top. "No thanks," I growl through gritted teeth, wishing that the end of the world was indeed nigh and they were the first to go.

14. TV repeats

Why fob us off with stuff we’ve already seen, TV schedulers? We’re the ones who need you most.

15. Radio repeats

They only paid royalties for 30 songs, which sounds like a lot until you’ve heard each one five times.

16. The bin men

It’s a little annoying when you come home from work to find your bin slap-bang in the middle of the path to your door. It’s enraging to be watching the bin man from an upper window with your entranced child going "Bin! Bin!" and see him execute a perfect volleyball dig that bounces your food recycling bin into the middle of your garden.

17. The little bits that are still stuck on the dishes when they come out of the dishwasher

I can only imagine how furious you must be if you don't have a dishwasher.

18. Spelling mistakes in children’s books

I was actually forced to email an author the other day after spotting the word “chiwawa” in one of my daughter’s books. HIRE A PROOFREADER YOU MUPPET was the gist.

19. Anyone who is not stuck at home with a baby

Especially if you are married to them. Especially if they behave as if being stuck at home with a baby is some sort of holiday.

20. Realising you've run out of milk or bread

As much as you might hate being in the house, there is still the odd day when you’ll plan not to leave... and then this happens. Aaaaaaaargh.

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  • sheila cormack
  • December 8th 2014

The door bell oh my god the door bell
Hyper toddler walking around downstairs door rings as I've made a break for the stairs to go pee. All most ready to wet myself door rings I do the go back don't dance and go open the door "I'm a Christian I'm not buying anything sorry bye" but we are not here for that as part of a government grant we will insulate your walls do you have five minutes". Me oh f it ok but here's a toddler come in stay there but don't let him escape I really need to go upstairs for a second" it was either close the door and lock it have my son make a break past the men take him with me to the loo. Handing him to two strangers then going to pee and stopping for clean knickers and trousers on way back a child rearing moment I will always be proud of especially coming back to find my two year wrapped round one of the men's legs saying Daddy's home, exterminate. He obviously choose the one who had no clue about kids and didn't like them to attach himself to. No milk is the worst exhausted myself in to a heap went to go get tea no milk get toddler (when we are both due our much needed nap) ready to walk to shop change him after he poos get buggy set up go back for med walk two minutes down street realise I've stubbed my toe broke the nail off am bleeding everywhere have to go back by the time I'm patched up we had to give up on the milk :(.

  • Alex Cummins
  • October 13th 2014

I work full-time and I'm a single Mum. Every morning in a struggle with an 18 month old, who only sits down for more than a minute if Peppa Pig is on. So I go on Youtube EVERY morning and put it on repeat whilst I attempt to shower/ sort my hair/ find a pair of shoes/ get his outfit sorted/ get him his rice cakes to eat on the commute.

Whoever made Peppa Pig to last 4.5 minutes is MEAN. Take a cue from In The Night Garden and freaking make it last 20!!!!

  • Emma Bartley
  • October 12th 2014

@Caroline - OMG the delivery cards! I can't believe I missed this. Also lose stuff all the time, especially socks - we now have about 10 odd socks and only 2 matching pairs.

@Lesley I still blame the kids, it's their fault you had to hide it.

  • Caroline Spearing
  • October 12th 2014

So yes to the DIY task and the ipad. Also
1. Going into an empty room to find the TV blaring out Cartoon Network at full volume
2.Lego. Full stop.
3. Finding half a pair of pyjamas in the kitchen and having to go all over the house to find the other half.
4. Finding a missed delivery card on the doormat when you are all too bitterly aware that you have been in All Bloody Day.

  • Lesley Soden
  • October 12th 2014

All so true -now mine are older my irrational thing is trying to locate the Ipad then find it and it's not charged. I often accuse the kids of losing said IPad to then realise I've hidden it but forgotten I had or where I'd hidden it.

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