The Next Top 20 Most Stressful Parenting Situations...

13/11/2012 14:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
The next top 20 most stressful parenting situations...Alamy

A new study reveals the top 20 stressy parenting situations, including taking the kids to the supermarket (tell us something we don't know - that's why we shop online!), long car journeys and bedtime.

Having agreed with every single one, I was disappointed at the end because it wasn't a long enough list.

So I thought I'd have a brainstorm and have a go at numbers 21 and up to see how many 'oh my God, my nerves are shredding like a Chinese pancake duck roll' triggers I could think of. I got as far as number 479. For time purposes, here are the next 20...

21. The kids waking you up by bouncing on your head.

22. Any discussion relating to "so how exactly did I come out of your tummy?".

23. When they LOVE Cheerios so much, you buy a packet the size of one of those American fridges and then they immediately go off them.

24. Every time someone shouts: "Mummy, I've spilled my drink." But they don't rush in to tell you or grab a cloth because they're surgically attached to the sofa.

25. Every time someone asks to do some painting. (Unless it's your other half, when you just faint with surprise instead.)

26. When your child tells you their friend's mummy makes actual lasagne rather than buys it.

27. Opening the door to the children who've come back from a walk with dad absolutely covered in mud. DO NOT MOVE. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. TAKE EVERYTHING OFF. NOW.

28. When you've been looking forward to a programme all day and you finally settle down to watch it with a glass of wine and then a little voice calls: "Mummy, I feel sick..."

29. When your friend with no kids tells you she knows someone at work who's a really good mum which basically means "you're not".

30. Being late for school drop-off or pick-up. Particularly when you have to walk through swathes of smug parents on their way out.

31. You've just put the kids to bed. You're home alone. And you realise you haven't got any milk/bread/ham/cheese for breakfast/lunchboxes tomorrow.

32. You've just put the kids to bed. You're home alone. And you realise you haven't got any wine.

33. Making a birthday cake because you know it's not very good and everyone's going to say "isn't it brilliant!" while privately sneering and noting to buy one in for their child because they don't want to go through the humiliation of people asking "why have you made a newt birthday cake?" when it's a dinosaur.

34. Not eating the kids' leftovers because you're on a diet. Officially off the stress Richter scale.

35. The 7pm announcement: "Mum, it's a dress-up day tomorrow and the theme is Costumes You Can't Chuck Together From Stuff At Home The Night Before. I meant to tell you but I forgot. Sorry..."

36. One of your kids has a new friend round for tea and just before you take the pizza out the oven, they tell you they're allergic to cheese. And fishfingers. And anything you can rustle up quickly from the freezer.

37. Shoe shopping. "But I don't want those hideous brown Clarks shoes, Mum. I want those, with the red patent stiletto which comes with a free handbag and pole-dancing lesson. Everyone else has them – why can't I? I hate you."

38. Spying a cracking blob of wax in your child's ear and he won't let you pick it out and you have to respect his wishes because pinning him down on the floor so you can perform aural fingernail surgery isn't really on. Unfortunately.

39. Sleepovers. Or rather, awakeovers.

40. When your children do something new by themselves for the first time and you can only watch, your heart in your throat, hardly daring to breathe, praying they'll be OK.

Laura's first novel, Mums Like Us, is out on Feb 28.

If you struggle to juggle, join Stella Smith's motherhood revolution!

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