Sun’s out, fun’s out!* Is that a saying? It must be the sunny weather or that Peaches is now a toddler, but we are having better social luck at the playground and library. More conversations and interactions make both Mama and Kiddo happy!
I still get into this hermit mode of “hissss, leave me alone with my angsty thoughts” - don’t get me wrong. But I am really enjoying the parent conversations at the moment. No longer is anyone asking me if I do this or that for my baby, if I work or why I haven't returned to work.
Finally people are owning up to not knowing what hell they are doing, how exhausted they are and tips on kid friendly places to go. For first time parents the veil of “things are going to get easier” finally is lifting. We all realise, what second+ time parents already knew, that the parenting does not get easier. Nope. It just changes a little with each step in the child’s development.
So we gather with our wee ones in the communal spaces of libraries and playgrounds. For the bleary eyed parents these spaces have become a safe place to share the ups, downs and struggles of parenting. Kind of like a confessional but for dishing out embarrassing moments about themselves, their partners or their offspring.
Here are some anonymous examples:
“We were staying with my partner’s mother after the birth of our child. One morning during a feed a packaged arrived. As everyone was out of the house, I quickly buttoned up my nightgown and answered the door. To my horror the door slammed behind me. I had no keys, no phone, knew no one and had no idea how long his mother would be out. Somehow the police arrived and I was able to direct them how to get to my partner’s sibling - who had spare keys. After 25 minutes (which felt like hours) I was back inside the house to find my five week old babe still asleep safely in her cot.”
“My elder child was born with a heart condition. My younger child was born with a hole in their belly. I have recently been focusing on my younger child after their latest surgery. I am very afraid that in giving the younger one so much attention, I will miss something in my elder child that could be fatal.”
“We were at the mall during a prime holiday shopping day, took my young child into the toilets with me when they loudly asked me ‘mummy, what’s that hairy thing?’. Needless to say, you could hear the echoing snickers down the adjoining cubicles.”
We all have fear.
We all have shame.
We all have earth shattering love for our children.
These things never change.
But talking to others about the crazy journey eases our troubles.
If even just oh so briefly.
*I started writing this during a string of good weather, but am very aware while posting this it has been raining for days. England! You trickster, you!!
In life, I did not always know where I was going but I had an enormous amount of hope. Hope that I would get my act together. Hope that I would stumble into a career of my dreams. Hope that I would find someone who loves me and I love in return. Hope that everything would come together after immigrating to England. Hope that my story would eventually wind up “having it all”.
What is having it all?
A loving and stable relationship? Amazing sex life? Career you love? Financial stability? Home of your own? Regular explorations from travel? An adorable pet? Healthy, beautiful family? Feeling like a valuable part of your community? Having a close knit community of love surrounding you?
Basically an enviable Instagram Worthy kind of life?
I spend a lot of time scrolling through other parental blogs - looking for….. something. Anything to tell me, “hey you are doing okay” or more likely “here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how I have it all and you can too.”
Nothing has yet squelched this need I have. It is a very needy need.
I want the career that gives satisfaction.
I want the comradery of lovely work colleagues.
I want the time with my child before she starts school.
I want the time with my partner, away from child doing grown up stuff.
I want the time with our families, to watch our relatives grow and change.
I want the time with myself to be creative, think of things and act upon them.
I want to be the best mother, provider, friend, colleague, relative, pet owner, and human being I can possibly be.
And until I am all those things, this needy little drive inside of “do better, be stronger, work harder, plan more, try again, not good enough, more-more-MORE!”
Now I feel guilty for being a whingemaster 3000 and listing all those “I wants”.
So now I'm off to scour haircuts/clothes/items (for a serotonin boast) that inevitably I will never get (for guilt reasons, food before fancies).
Distractions are everywhere - hey, what was that post a few months ago with the tag #parentinglikeaboss that I did? It seemed to be the answer to the conundrum we all find ourselves in this day and age. So I will say nothing more about it and instead talk of flindripingal doolaylays and their bomusical frinkdringers. Did it work? Did you “look over there”?
Distractions, distractions everywhere, not a spot to think. Heck, even now I am listening in on my nephew discussing how noisy it is at night between four adults, himself and a toddler staying in a small two bedroom flat all together, instead of focusing on this task at hand. It is a welcome distraction from Peaches and I’s everyday routine.
Usually I am looking for distractions, anything, to make it through our long days. (Hard to raise a child to be able to deal with boredom when I am not leading by example). Planning, waiting and working towards the weekends of togetherness. BLINK! They go so fast, and there we are again finding our daily distractions.
It is how my sanity stays in tact being a SAHM, brief respite from the continuous touching/demanding/yelling/preventing/figuring that come from being ‘on duty’. (There is no real ‘off duty’ for parents without family/help readily available). A stroll through instagram, a twirl through twitter or flipping through facebook. These are my distractions, all being found in the palm of my hand at will.
They must be sacred.
Or so it must seem to my daughter, as a lot of our distractions is me hiding/removing my devices out of her grasps. (She may have XRay vision because she always finds them).
This blog is also my distraction and I have now put off getting dressed for an hour, thank devices.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.