The morning scramble to ‘snuggle mummy first’

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Illustration: Karl Speller

“At six and four, my kids might not need the attention that as babies they demanded from me, but the daily closeness and physical affection that they so clearly want from their mum warms my heart,” writes “Mummy” columnist KATE MEIKLE

EVERY morning when they wake, our children come into our bed for a cuddle. Sounds lovely, but I can tell you it usually always ends in tears. 

It’s slightly ridiculous but my kids fight over who gets to “snuggle mummy first”. 

Once the first out of bed has snuggled into my best cuddly side (yes, according to the kids I have one!) the second will appear at the bedroom door, take one look and realise they were not the victor and promptly burst into tears. One child is in heaven, the other’s heart is broken. 

At that point, I declare that I am getting out of bed as I can’t stand all the screaming and carrying on first thing in the morning. Then both kids start howling. So within moments of opening my eyes to face a new day, I have a rude awakening with two screaming kids to deal with. 

This is my life. It’s beautiful to be loved so very much, but also a big burden. 

“What am I? Chopped liver?” asks my husband who, don’t get me wrong, is much loved by the kids, but not to the fervent degree that they squabble over his cuddles and love, like they do to me.

When I am out of their sphere, I am told they are a lot more co-operative for my husband or any other family member who looks after them, but when I step through the door, the dynamic changes. No wonder there are times I feel drained by motherhood. I’ve been told that new mothers feel “touched out” by the end of the day after having the closeness of a baby and all the physical responsibilities that entails, that they crave some time alone when no one touches them or needs anything from them. 

I put my hand up for spending more time on the toilet than need be, and hiding in the kitchen cupboard to scoff a treat out of the kids’ sight to reclaim a little bit of that elusive “me time”. 

At six and four, my kids might not need the attention that as babies they demanded from me, but the daily closeness and physical affection that they so clearly want from their mum warms my heart. 

Every Wednesday, I meet the “CityNews” magazines arriving off the delivery truck and manage our wonderful team of distribution drivers, which requires me to get up early and so there’s no mummy cuddles allowed. 

Sometimes, this is met with disappointment, sometimes some tears, and I have to recreate a quick snuggle in bed before heading out, but this morning, when I came back from the shower, the blankets of my bed were thrown aside with a big “Surprise!” revealing two cuddly little people snuggling up with their dad. And then, the little boss baby started sooking because she “didn’t say ‘surprise’…” so they did it again. 

I love how a “take two” on anything can be just as exciting for the kids. 

He might be “chopped liver” but my husband is also “Daddy Lion”, a character that the kids go bananas over when he romps around on all fours, letting the little ones ride his back and jump all over him, usually squashing and pinning him down. 

Admittedly, that game can end in tears at times, but the fun of rough-and-tumble play with dad keeps them asking for more “Daddy Lion” sessions. Mummy might have the best cuddles, but there’s no way I’m entering that fray. 



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Kate Meikle
Kate Meikle is a staff reporter for "CityNews"

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