The Mummy Shark

Scared of sharks? Don’t be – you’re actually more alike than you know. Forget tigers, I think you’ll find that sharks are the more apt comparison for mothers of young children.
Dead Eyes
Remember sleep? Me neither. When I see the black, lifeless eye of a shark, it’s like looking in the mirror. Although, you’ll be pleased to hear, I do manage to raise a sparkle in my eye when looking at my dear children, for much of the time my eyes betray the fact that there is no one home.  Tiredness and the relentless repetitive tasks of mothering create a lacklustre look that make-up just can’t disguise. 
Grey Skin
I’m getting older and I’m three kids’ worth of knackered – and doesn’t my skin show it. Not just the lines, which are another matter, but the colour. Without lashings of fake tan and crème blush (which I keep forgetting to rub in and thus go round looking even more like a ragdoll), my complexion has a shark-like hue.
Never Stops Swimming
The last time I sat down my bum didn’t know what had hit it. What is this? It cried. Comfort? Stillness? It couldn’t stand it. It had to get up and I haven’t stopped moving since. You could argue I’m more like a goldfish, as I basically swim in a circle from sink to table to washing machine, with obligatory darts out to do the school swim. My memory has similar capacity to the wee orange one, but I prefer to claim the analogy with the power and awesome grace of the shark. And, though I often wish I had more time for relaxation, I actually think if I stopped swimming, I’d sink. I’ll sit down when they leave home.
Ferocious in Defence Of Her Young
Push my child in the park and meet my teeth. No, I won’t bite you, but I will gently reprimand you behind the fixed grin of a very dangerous beast.
Eyes In the Back Of Her Head
Sharks’ eyes are on the sides of the head, so they can see almost as well behind them as in front. Essential while driving / cooking tea and refereeing the kids at the same time. Also for hiding Freddo frogs before the stampede arrives.
More Than What’s On the Surface
Just as the fin poking above the waves represents the shark, the mummy is often stereotyped, characterised, seen as just the shadow above her children. But there is a whole lot more going on under the water. Even if sometimes you’re too tired to believe it.

Related animal-themed posts: The Meerkat Mum – like a Tiger Mother, but more cuddly
The Mummy and the Frog: A Love Story – my ode to Freddo.
And to prove I’m not really a shark but a big softie: I Love The Way Babies

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