Being a mum is no easy task, and the world is becoming an increasingly annoying place to live whoever you are…with all sorts of things that annoy, bother, grate, irk and p*** you right off. And so with that sentiment in mind, today I’ve teamed up with the The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation to bring you 10 things (it could have been 100!!!) that frustrate the hell out of us mums.
1. Car seat confusion
You are an intelligent person with an advanced degree. Why does putting the child’s car seat in make you want to tear your hair out? And how can you be sure you’ve done it right? You have probably heard the advice ‘When all else fails read the instructions’. In this case, you will have to read two sets of instructions, those of the manufacturer of the car seat and your car’s owner’s manual. Arghhhhh!
2. Reading children’s stories over and over
How many times does your child want you to read him The Gruffalo? About fifty-seven more times than you want to read it. Your daughter, meanwhile, wants to see Frozen, for the ninety-sixth time. Mums have been known to ‘lose’ books, to suddenly ‘forget’ how to read or speak English, or to ‘accidentally’ reverse over the DVD with the car . . . five times in a row.
3. Clingfilm that sticks to itself
You spent 15 minutes baking a tray of cookies to take the school bake sale. You put them on a plate and get out the box of clingfilm. You spend the next 20 minutes trying to get the film to unroll and stick to anything but itself. Clingfilm is known as clingfilm for good reason. It is designed to cling. The trick is to get it to stick to containers and not to your fingers.
4. Free Time? What free time?
I can’t talk now, I have to pick up the kids and take them to band practice and cook dinner and work on my report for tomorrow’s annual meeting and mend my jacket and learn French and . . . wait, a text just came in from my boss, he wants me to send off that report to a client in Tokyo. Bang goes the me time – every time.
5. Interrupting, or ‘let me finish my sentence or you die
Don’t you hate it when – excuse me I was talking – when people interrupt you while you’re speaking? ‘It’s one thing if you interrupt to say “the building’s burning down”, but if it’s not an emergency situation it’s very rude,’ says Dr Katherine Hawkins of the Elliott School of Communications at Wichita State University, Kansas.
6. Queues: The other one is always faster
ou just want to get up to the checkout till, but all these people are in your way. They don’t deserve to get up to the till as much as you do. Waiting is aggravating and worse still is seeing someone who got in line later pass you by. We spend a lot of time waiting around in queues. The research firm Priority Management estimates we spend five years of our lives waiting. That’s five years you’ll never get back, and you certainly don’t want to see someone else passing you up.
7. Teen angst or ‘you’re ruining my life!’
The teen years are inevitably a time of angst, arguments and utter turmoil, right? Not so fast. There is no reason it has to be that way. In fact, it may be our belief that the teen years are a time of angst that causes us to experience it. So don’t begin with the idea that you are in for a bumpy ride. Lots of parents get along great with their teens, and their children are generally happy and well adjusted.
8. Toilet seat left up
You stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night. Half asleep you sit on the toilet, only to find that your co-habitator of the masculine gender has left the seat in the upright position. You receive a rude awakening as you tumble into the bowl. Why can’t he just put the blasted thing down when he is finished? Leaving the toilet seat up is, anecdotally at least, one of the main causes of minor marital spats.
9. Unmatched socks
You start out with a drawer full of nice pairs of matched socks. Eventually, the order degrades to the point that you are forced to go outwearing one white sock and one blue sock. What happened? Where the lost socks go is one of the great mysteries of the universe.
10. What did I come in here for?
It is like there’s a force field between your bedroom and living room. You get up off the sofa, propelled by a desire to get something. You pass through the door and poof!, your memory is gone. What am I doing in this room? I know I came in here for something. You are not going insane, you just have insufficient RAM at this time. Your short-term, or ‘working’, memory, is analogous to the RAM on your computer. It is temporary storage of information you need to keep in your head while you perform tasks that require that information. I like to call it Melted Mum Brain Syndrome.
All of the above is enough to make you just go ahead and be like:
Excerpts taken from The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation designed to reduce the stress of your daily grind with science and wit. The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation by Laura Lee is published by Cassell £10 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk)
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