Happy Mother's Day!
• The reality of having children •
It’s been a while since a little voice was saying: “Mummy, it’s morning time”, whilst I’d barely nodded off. I was told years ago by my children’s nanny whom I asked after a very difficult day at work when I came home in tears, to please tell me honestly, hoping for that ‘oh yes it does get easier’ answer....when mine were still very little that apparently it gets worse when they become teenagers and you lie awake watching the clock, and not wanting to look like a psychotic parent texting your child every half hour, until they come home. I can now for sure say that the childminder was right, and that it does get worse during teenage years. I’ll likely never sleep well again. It’s a good job they give me such joy in my (many) waking hours.
Immensely proud pretty much all of the time but (unfortunately) there are moments that just completely tip you over the edge....that nearly, very nearly bring you to literally wanting to pack your bags and bugger off somewhere fun with no responsibilities whatsoever! And after a few rough months, I nearly got tipped recently.
Then you have a chat in the mirror and remind yourself you are an adult and remember that they are still kids, learning and pushing every boundary possible, and trying to be grown up teens but still wanting to be your little ones too.
You also realise that they are a carbon copy of you (and your [ex] husband) so actually the fiery, crazy, argumentative, stroppy, sensitive, upsetting moments were really only to be expected.
You muddle your way through as best you can, wondering if you just said or did the right thing or made everything worse.
It’s just fine to feel a little heavy, and it’s just fine to just sit here and catch your breath, and it’s just fine to be a mess at times.
You often get the 'sorry mum, I am really sorry'. But you know it will happen again, hoping maybe you will handle it differently next time....maybe not. You already feel you have tried every approach possible. Positive, understanding, gentle, loving, tough love, right through to totally losing it.
You have a hug. Run through the ground rules again, ask for a bit of think-before-you-open-your-mouth in future and you move on, even though you want to stay really mad, you know it helps nobody, and after all life is far too short.
You know there are millions of mums and dads dealing with the exact same thing. Your friends reassure you they are going through the same. It’s not just you.
You still question yourself....how can this happen, am I a really bad mum, have I spoilt my child, did I make the right choices, and all the other nonsense that runs around your head. Then you have to stop otherwise you would drive yourself absolutely crazy.
Life is never perfect, no family is perfect no matter how they try to portray it on social media or when you ask them in person how they’re doing and they answer ‘all great, thanks’, don’t take it as the honest answer.
To get through these crazy days is to breathe, try and remain calm. Have a good cry when needed (I do, and often), but do not dwell on it or let the angry feelings linger because you lose precious hours of you life. Look through a few pictures or fun times and precious moments!
I hope if you have a day, hour or moment like I have recently had, you will recall reading this and smile that it really isn't just you, you are an Amazing Mum or Dad, and you will get through these challenges.
Because when you stop and look around, no matter how difficult life may be, this life is pretty amazing, and being a mum is the best thing ever to have happened to me.