40 things all mums wish they could give up for Lent but can’t

Lent begins today and we are ready. Mums all over the country are gearing up to embark on various ridiculous diets, unrealistic exercise schemes and fantastical ‘me-time’ efforts that might not even last until St Patrick's Day. However, there are several things we are not permitted to ‘give up’.

As our Lord set off for 40 days and 40 nights to abstain and reflect, we too have reflected on 40 aspects of the mum-life we would like to give up this Lent… but definitely can't:

1. Caring about bedtime

2. Worrying about costumes for World Book Day

3. The struggle to brush tiny teeth without a fight

4. Making sure they eat something green each day

5. Pulling knots out of little curls

6. Losing tiny hair accessories

7. Tripping on toy cars

8. Stepping on stray Lego

9. Yelling to the point where your voice vanishes

10. Hiding in the bathroom

11. Sneaking chocolate

12. Dragging yourself out of bed at 3 am to serve beverages

13. Reading the same book over and over again

14. Missing them while you are at work

15. Missing work while you are at home

16. Family trips to the supermarket

17. Family trips to the bathroom

18. Caring about stretch marks

19. Craving a glass of wine every time someone has a tantrum

20. Providing a free taxi service

21. Cooking more than one dinner

22. Cooking at all

23. Washing clothes that were only worn once

24. Mum guilt

25. The no-makeup look

26. Attempting to pack in a full CV’s worth of after-school activities into one week

27. The morning rush

28. Counting down from 5 (loudly)

29. Wishing you had your pre-baby body back

30. Rewarding your kids for barley-acceptable behaviour

31. Searching for that one missing shoe in the morning

32. The battle to limit screen time

33. Swimming lessons

34. Breaking up fights (both physical and discursive)

35. Bribery when the prize is mediocre (i.e. 30 minutes of cartoons in exchange for the consumption of a single pea)

36. Your gym membership that isn’t taken advantage of as much as it should be

37. Stopping at the side of the road to let one of them pee after you specifically emptied all bladders before you left

38. Being the ‘strict’ parent

39. Saying ‘no’ 100 times only to say ‘yes’ the 101st time

40. Suppressing inappropriate language in front of the very people who trigger it

Anna Murray is an Irish student mum to one little girl.

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