Motherhood is many things. A blessing, a gift, an adventure and an absolute honour.
It is also unbelievably hard work. And you know what, it’s OK to admit that.
As a Mum you are employed for life, 24/7, with no annual leave (because even your holidays you’re kept busy with trying to stop your child from inadvertently drowning themselves in the ocean)!
You do not get a day off. So how ironic it is that when you’re a Mother to a four month old who is allergic to sleep and a two year old with potential autism, the one thing you could really do with is a day off!
Now before anyone starts misinterpreting what I am saying, let me make it very clear; I know how lucky I am. I’ve lost several babies so to be blessed with Josh and Holly means more than anything to me. They are my pride and joy, my reason for being, they are my motivation and inspiration. When they came along, everything in my life changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been. They make me a better person.
However there is also the realities of parenthood. You will be more tired than you ever knew possible. You will devote your body for 9 months to growing your beautiful little ones and then, if like myself you decide to breastfeed, you and your tits will be at the beck and call of your growing child. Pretty much every decision in life you make will revolve around your child, whether intentionally or not.
Because they rule the roost.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t let Josh or Holly run rings around me and do exactly as they please. They will be brought up to be well mannered, and polite. But at this moment in time, yes they are pretty much ruling me. Holly is a boob monster (like father like daughter!) and because of this she and I come as a pair (no pun intended). Where I go, she goes. I have yet to try her on a bottle, although this will be happening soon because Mama needs her hair doing and a couple of hours to herself! And Josh, well, bless him. It’s hard to know where to begin with Josh because we don’t know ourselves quite what the situation is as yet. But he shows the classic signs of autism and we are in the frankly shit rigmorale of awaiting support (if you can call a 7 month wait support) and eventually a diagnosis, so that we can then give him all the help he needs.
Josh’s needs make him demanding. With his speech so far just a handful of single words, he communicates with me and his Dad by taking us by the hand to what he needs; a toy turned on, the kitchen for food, to the TV for Hey Duggee, his book case for reading. And I try to always always go with him for whatever he needs. I never want him to feel ignored. But when you’ve got aforementioned boob monster attached to you, it’s not always easy to make him the cheese sandwich he’s letting you know he needs. And as with most toddlers, Josh isn’t patient. When he wants something, he wants it right now!
So every day I am trying to be the best mother I can be, responding to every cue and need my babies need to ensure they are happy, comfortable and content.
And yes, it’s hard.
We’re not meant to admit that are we. Especially stay at home Mums like me. To others it probably seems like I have it easy; I am home all day – the biggest thing I have to deal with is whether to watch Loose Women or the shit I taped last night right?! WRONG! My day begins…… well it doesn’t. It’s a constant rolling cycle. It doesn’t begin at 7am because Holly more often than not, will have had me from the early hours to feed, cuddle or just stare in my face (what can I say, she’s a people person). Like the rest of the world I will get up and make a cuppa – only mine goes cold about 98% of the time! And Loose Women – no mate! To watch last nights Emmerdale is a treat that gives me the giddiness a lunch time trip to TopShop gave me pre kids! Usually by lunch I’ll have had to deal with a tantrum over not allowing the iPad or because we had to leave the park. Sometimes Josh’s tantrums turn into sheer hell drawn meltdowns and are often over things as simple as not being able to find the much needed blue or red car he wants. In these circumstances I cannot roll my eyes, or ignore or do the typical discipline. With Josh’s behaviour I have to stay as calm as possible, so he doesn’t pick up on my frustration which in turn would make his snowball. I have to soothe and comfort him and keep him as calm as possible even though inside I may feel upset seeing my son get so distressed, or frustrated cause he can’t tell me what he needs or pissed off that I am by myself dealing with it even though I chose to be the stay at home parent.
Because sometimes my emotions and feelings simply don’t count. It is all about the babies. And it’s not till they’ve gone to bed and I’ve had a few minutes peace cleaning the kitchen (yes, I count that as peace and quiet) that I can take stock of how I am feeling. And sometimes that is truly exhausting.
As parents we mustn’t feel guilty because some days we are on our knees with it all. We’re allowed to say its tough. It doesn’t take away how grateful we are to be parents. It doesn’t make us ungrateful. It makes us human. So lets all cut ourselves some slack, and on those tough days whack on Emmerdale, have an entire bar of Dairy Milk and give yourself a pat on the back. Cause you’re smashing this parenthood malarkey, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.