I don’t know if it is just me, but I bloody dread visitors. This is all visitors, but in particular those annoying ones that do not know when to leave, nor do they pick up on the very real and seemingly obvious signals that hey, it’s time to up and head buddy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the people in my life that know when shit is getting too real for me and offer to come over and entertain Oakland for an hour so I can shower, do some laundry and eat a meal that isn’t reheated to within an inch of becoming more radioactive that Hiroshima yet still cold by the time I consume it. I feel like everyone is piggy backing off this though and using it as an excuse to just invite themselves over anytime because suddenly I am this struggling mother who needs a break (which offends the crap out of me by the way). Like I get it, I created the most beautiful child in the world and he is a gift to behold and you all want to be near him, but no.
Here is a perfect example. The other day I had plans with a friend for the morning and then had another friend messaging me inviting herself over and not taking no for an answer, using the convenient guise that I am in need a break. What needs to be made clear here is that her coming over was not going to be a break. It would mean that I would be rushing home from coffee dates with a grizzly child overdue for his nap because his routine was already thrown out by me not being home for his normal nap time. I would then need to get home and feed him then settle him. He would likely fall asleep on the trip home so he would wake and be so grumpy and then overtired/wide awake from a cat nap that my day would be ruined. As predicted, this was exactly what happened. Not to mention she kept messaging me the entire morning trying to lock in a time, which I had not provided as I wasn’t sure when I would be home. I am also not the type of person to reply if I am out with someone because I find it downright rude to be on my phone if I am with someone.
So I get home and Oakland is being hell. I knew this person would be over in the hour or so after I got home so I was beginning to stress because Oakland would not go to sleep, the house needed a vacuum badly and there were dirty dishes in the sink. It took me just under an hour to jiggle, shush and swaddle Oakland to sleep. My phone was in the lounge room so I had no idea if my friend had text a time to arrive. I also knew that if she arrived while I was settling Oakland then the dogs would start barking and it would wake Oakland and undo all my hard work; why the hell is our bedroom located at the front of the house, next to the front door? Basically her impending arrival was just a major stressor on me the entire day. Hearing my phone beeping all morning, not knowing an exact time she would arrive, how Oakland would be when she arrives, the fact I now had a time limit on when I had to get my housework done by and the list goes on. This was so not a break for me.
I ended up getting Oakland down and did the shittest vacuum/tidy ever and then he woke after 20 minutes. My friend arrived, and as predicted it wasn’t the break I ‘so’ needed. It was me sitting there having to entertain her because Oakland currently refuses to go to anyone except me and his other mother. So she sat there and we made awkard conversation while I was actually making a mental list of all the things I would much rather be doing (laundry, tidy the garage, water my plants, begin dinner) and then me clock watching because it was now getting toward the time when I would feed Oakland, prepare him for his bath, begin dinner, begin tidying his play area and all those things mothers do in the early evening. I try to adhere to as much of a routine as I can because if it is thrown out, Oakland gets shitty and then I get even less sleep through the night. She ended up staying a few hours and then after me saying “oh, Oakland is getting grizzly and needs a bath” and “oh, Alee will be finishing work about now, I will have to start tea soon” she finally took the hint. There is nothing worse than those people that just do not take hints, no matter how obvious. I’ve even had friends over before and said the whole “Oakland needs his bath” and then they just decide to sit in the loungeroom and wait!!! No. This is not ok. Bath time means wind down time, then quiet time and bed.
I find it is generally people that do not have babies that do not seem to comprehend the importance of routine and of making their visits swift. It is these same people that can’t comprehend that plans can change very last minute, you may have to cancel or reschedule the time you are set to meet and also that if they text you to have a last minute coffee, you won’t be able to get there in 15 minutes. Don’t they understand you’ve got to sneak a feed in to keep bubs happy, this could (will) result in a vomit and/or poo explosion and this is very likely to occur as you are placing your child in their car seat? This means a nappy and outfit change for them and probably an outfit change for you. You also need to factor in nap times, stocking the nappy bag, calulating what outfits and food you may possibly need that day, depending on the weather and how long you could be out, and of course medications. Is he teething right now? Wind? Reflux? Basically, people without kids do not get it at all.
I guess this is why mums end up losing touch with their old friends and surround themselves with other mummy friends. We just get each other. We won’t get shitty if the other cancels last minute or texts ten minutes before we are set to meet and announces she will be another half an hour because she just got covered in a rain of vomit, or perhaps she is waiting out the overdue morning poo at home because it is safer that way. We also understand that it is better to meet at a coffee shop because that way we don’t have to stare at the pile of dishes and we also don’t have to drop hints for the other to leave. We go, we chat about sleep or the lack of, about the colour, consistency and frequency of our children’s poops, about the lack of our sex lives and giggle about the drama on the posts on our local mother’s Facebook page last night. We also discuss how much we hate visitors and mentally thank the other for not suggesting we catch up at home. Ever.