Don’t kid yourself and don’t let anyone kid you either. Parenthood is one the hardest roles you’ll ever undertake in your life. Don’t be fooled by the images you see on social media. The cute chubby cheeks, the gorgeous outfits (matching, or not, depending on your preference), the delightful smiles, the massive hugs….they are a snapshot, I repeat, a momentary snapshot, a second of a sometimes relentless, gruelling 24 hours, where everyday feels like Groundhog Day. Wake, get the children sorted, get to work, come home, sort out the children, eventually they are in bed, go to sleep. Wake up. Repeat.
When they are tiny, your life revolves around feeding, nap times, nappy changes, feeding, nap times, nappy changes – and that’s it!! I was having a conversation with some Mum friends, and we were talking about how no one was honest enough at the time when our children were babies- that this was hard!!! We didn’t know each other at that time. But we all had our own stories of the some of the challenges we went through. A common running theme, our children thought that sleep was ‘optional’. Sleeping through the night was a non-event. And if you were type of person that needed sleep….it was physically and mentally torturous.
I remember cutting myself off people who’s children slept. I couldn’t bear it. I didn’t want to hear how their child slept through the night at the age of 6 weeks, had no trouble teething, how they had no trouble breast feeding….
For my own sanity- I had to cut those lucky, smug, mothers out of my life.
The struggle was real.
But I had snapshots too – of incredible joy, the cuddles, the first words, the way their eyes would light up when they saw me…yes, those moments carry you through the times that were ‘a challenge’.
Yesterday though, I had a day that was heavenly. A day straight from a Disney film, where I was Julie Andrews, the idyllic mum, and the girls were the idyllic children. Bluebirds were singing when I walked and the only thing that the girls didn’t do was refer to me as ‘Mother’.
I was not a referee or a barrister trying to solve disputes, ‘Milud, I do believe your sister had that toy first, so you shouldn’t have grabbed it from her.’ I was not a detective trying to solve crimes of – who left this mess? Where has such and such gone? Simultaneously being good cop and bad cop. I wasn’t telling anyone to stop moaning or whining because that’s just the way things were.
It was absolutely ‘the best day ever’! We went to the supermarket and the girls helped me to scan and put all the shopping away. We came home, had lunch and read books together. Actually listening, no one arguing about who will read first, who will sit next to Mummy, who can’t see the pictures properly – none of that. I then made dinner, then after that we played Ludo, snakes and ladders and then a game of junior bingo. We laughed, no one cried because they lost, no one accused anyone of cheating, no one was grumpy.
It was the best day ever.
Why am I blogging about it? Because my eldest is 7 and a half – and this has never happened!!!! There has never been a day, where at some point during the day, I haven’t lost my ….. (you can decide what should go in the gap yourself).
For the first time in my life, I was a smug mother. All I needed was a quaint apron and I then I would have looked the part of ‘perfect mother’. When the girls went to bed – without arguing might I add!!!!!! Accepting it was bedtime and that they were tired, might I add!!!! I called my Mum to share my news with her – Mum, you’ll never guess what????? She was suitably indulgent of me as well, knowing what a miracle it was.
Today I woke up warily, assuming that we’re going back to business as normal – that’s ok though. I’ll have had yesterday. In my memories, I’ll have yesterday to fall back on. And that’s what matters.
Anybody who can relate to me a tiny little bit, your day will come too. Hang in there. Each day is a challenge, I know, and then one day you will have a day where you think you’re in a dream.
Seems so silly to write about something that must seem like such a non-event to lots of you. But for me, yesterday, was definitely, my best day ever.