Parenting without sanity

Parenting without sanity

It is 9.43pm, the children have just turned their switch to off and have tumbled in between their sheets. I can just hear the sound of soft snores and the hamster turning in its wheel seeping through their door.

With a smile that is 90% relief and 10% psychotic I turn from the door and walk down the hall and seek out my comfortable old chair and drop into it.

I am weary in a way that I find hard to describe.

Upon realizing the children are gone for the night and calmness has descended upon the family home, my sanity finally climbs down from the top of the bookshelf, where she has cowered all day. She disappears into the kitchen to pour two G&T’s before perching on the chair arm and passing me a glass as means of apology for abandoning me this morning.

It is hard work parenting when your sanity is rocking on the top of the bookshelf.

When I woke up this morning, I could tell my sanity wasn’t quite with it.  She had got her days confused and was ready for a day in the office, she looked crestfallen where I explained that it was indeed a stay at home mum day.

My sanity dislikes staying at home in the school holidays.

We walked into the kitchen bravely together; the kids were already fighting over whose turn it was to sit at the head of the table.  Sanity lost it almost immediately and headed to the fridge to grab the bottle of Pimms; luckily I caught her in time and slung a cup of tea into her outstretched palm instead.

The children were like a Wimbledon final all day, rapid, tense, bouncing back and force between moods.  One second saw the twins embracing, laughing and playing in a way that made my motherly instinct glow like an electric fly trap.  Then, smash, one would turn on a sixpence, and their relationship would tumble down like a pack of cards.  Bickering would elevate into scrapping and sanity just couldn’t take it anymore.

It was 11.06am when she buggered off to the bookshelf.

We had all been playing Monopoly, I was the iron, sanity chose it, and I think she wanted to metaphorically drop the iron on our head at one point.  The children were playing well, and then a property dispute began.

Twin boy swore blind twin girl had rolled a three, causing her to owe him £6 rent on Old Kent Road.  Twin girl swore it was a four, and she owed £100 to income tax.  The argument was purely nonsensical; she would rather be a fictional £94 down then cough up to her brother.  Sanity started to drum her fingers on the table as the squabbling continued.

The argument gravitated to poking, sanity started to rap her hands steadily to a beat, and she began to rock.

The Twin boy declared himself a demolition business and swept his hand over the board clearing out the entire Monopoly world, twin girl burst into melodramatic tears; and what did sanity do?

Sanity went bug eyed.

I watched as she rose to her 5ft 6inch height and pointed her finger like a dart, her eyes bulged against a bright red forehead and her jaw opened wide in a bellow.

“Enough” she cried with the venom of a demon, “enough.”

With that she flounced out of the kitchen, climbed the bookshelf and sat there rocking, on occasion she could be heard humming a little tune.

I took one for the team and continued the day without her, parenting my brood without any sane help at all.

It has been a long day.

When does school start again?



  1. Helloitsgemma
    August 6, 2013 / 9:27 pm

    You are such a worry to me. You write so beautifully but clearly this split personality thing is a odd development. Board games? School girl error. The first rule of the school holidays is avoid competitive games. My top tip is spend the day with someone makes nice cakes and park child beyond ear-shot. I’ve had such a nice day – did you need me to share that?

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:55 pm


  2. Donna @ Little Lilypad co
    August 6, 2013 / 9:51 pm

    Be grateful you have the original monopoly and not the new fangled version with credit cards and millions exchanging hands! It’s quite reassuring to know we share monopoly and the bug eyed monster ….. Mine is frequently paying a visit this holiday! In fact I don’t think I am turning into a bug eyed monster, I think I am turning into my mother!!

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:54 pm


  3. August 7, 2013 / 12:55 am

    It is this fear of staying indoors with children turning more and more feral each moment I fail to entertain them that takes me on insane adventures like trekking through London just to watch a film. 🙂
    Over the last weeks I have learnt that if I am unable to get outdoors as soon as we’ve had breakfast, then the trick is to divide and rule- keep them as far apart as possible each doing different things, with me bopping between these activities just long enough they don’t loose interest.

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:54 pm

      We are fans of outside – it is at least less messy!

  4. August 7, 2013 / 7:39 am

    Our holidays are almost over here. I think my sanity needs a break too LOL. Good luck with the next 6 weeks!

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:53 pm

      Tsk! how can yours be over and mine have barely begun x

  5. August 7, 2013 / 8:43 am

    Sanity is overrated. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. We’re 6 weeks in and 6 weeks to go on the summer holidays here. And I wouldn’t like to say how many bottles of gin in.

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:53 pm

      Jesus – how long – god help you.

  6. August 7, 2013 / 10:57 am

    You know it’s going to be a long day when your 2 year old and 1 year old let out ear piercing screams as they argue over a pushchair before 8am. Amazing how as a parent you learn to block out that noise though and can happily drink a cup of coffee while it goes on.

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:52 pm

      I find ear plugs are also a handy parental tool to own

  7. August 7, 2013 / 10:59 am

    Do you think that Sanity knows my special friend, Mentalist? I wonder if they went to school together, because they seem so alike. Great blog, really made me laugh (in a Mentalist way).

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:52 pm


  8. August 7, 2013 / 11:34 am

    That’s one way of putting it! I even lose my common sense every so often because my mind it too occupied with processing the to-do list that keeps getting longer and longer. Your post made me smile!

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks very much x

  9. August 7, 2013 / 5:02 pm

    I think my sanity is hiding somewhere on the bookshelf too waggling a finger at my temper as I shout at a naughty behaviour in progress.

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:51 pm

      I simply can’t imagine you shouting

  10. August 7, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    I think my sanity may be hiding up there with yours! I have been known, before now, to walk in to a room where my twins are mid-argument. They start to tell me both of their sides of the story, at the same time, so I have just turned around and walked straight back out again. 4 weeks to go… 🙂

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:50 pm

      *passes gin*

    • northernmum
      August 7, 2013 / 9:50 pm

      Wise lady!

  11. August 8, 2013 / 2:12 am

    We have four ten week terms in NZ, with two weeks holidays in between and seven weeks at Xmas. So just as you’re hitting your stride whammo it’s two weeks off again. Prob is when they get teenagery your role as Entertainment Officer seems to require a PHD in Psychology and a heavy truck license. (Well lying about that last bit but legit taxi permits deffo).

  12. October 4, 2013 / 12:56 pm

    O dear, I wish I could offer some wise words of advice.

  13. May 1, 2014 / 11:09 pm

    You can buy discount Los Angeles Lakers white NBA jerseys, top rate & fashion origional design for our youth customers with no tax.

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