Ahhhhhhh motherhood. That idealistic, pretty little picture, the one in the bubble, the bubble that burst at about the same time your waters did.
After surviving the brutality of childbirth most women quickly catch on that there are some things about parenthood that people are too polite to mention.
Mainly that it is extreamly fucking hard. But also that it is relentlessly fucking hard.
My children are now 4-years-old and 6-years-old. They are bright, beautiful, loving boys who fill my life to the brim.
In fact at times my cup doth over floweth and the little sods utterly overwhelm me.
At almost every stage of their development I have consoled myself with the “this too shall pass” card. At the up all night feeding stage, the teething stage, the tantrum stage, the potty training, poo your pants wee in the street stage… you get the picture.
***New parent spoiler alert***
The funny thing is that experienced parents will tell you, and it isn’t funny at all, but it doesn’t get any easier. Sorry, it actually gets harder. Yes, that’s right, enjoy the mind boggling exasperation and exhaustion of THIS stage, because the next level is rock hard. It turns out children are like platform computergames, each year is more difficult, and and the teenage years are the big boss level.
I’m not being cynical here, and I am not for a moment suggesting that I don’t like my children, because I adore them It is precicly because I love them so much that the feelings that surround them are so BIG.
My fear of failing to be the best mother possible, the mother they deserve, is what brings me to melting point when the reality of parenting becomes too much.
This happens far too often. Much more than misty images of parenthood led me to believe. Why did no one tell me about the chaos, the madness, the mess, the grit, the guilt and heartbreak?The pandemonium!
Today was one of those days.
I knew it on the morning school run, when I locked the whole family out of the the house. On the school pick up it seemed like every other kid was off to classes or play dates. We got home and the computers were hidden because of over use. I pointed my children towards their bedroom and waited for the tears and the fighting to start which of course it did. By round three it was my turn to have a little cry, with my head resting against the kitchen cupboard. I just felt like a crap mum.
Of course loads of good stuff happens. Fleeting moments of such amazing beauty my heart could burst, but who wants to hear me talk about that? The point is that not enough to people are honest about the hard stuff.
I gave the boys some cardboard sheets leftover from packing chairs, and a roll of packing tape and hoped they could entertain themselves. Surely it is not unreasonable to think two children can find something to capture their imagination for an hour and a half while I try and do some work?
Blissful peace followed. Then came the announcement that they had built a house and S asked is they could eat their tea in there.
“Yes of course you can” I pipe feelin like Mary frigging Poppins, then I burnt their baked beans and had a reality check.