This month Abi turns 5. 5 years old. 5 year of being her mummy. 5 years of Abi being my best friend, more than my best friend, my everything.
Before you become mum you have this pre conceived notion that your little bundle will always be everything, you’ll never feel anything but pure love and devotion. And you know what, that’s true. But what you don’t expect is all the times that they’ll push you so far you’ll also feel anger, upset and if we were all being honest, a little bit of hate. You’ll never feel more than that little bit of hate, but you will feel it. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll instantly feel guilty but you know what, it will happen again and it’s ok. I mean, there’s only so many times you can turn a blind eye to your child rubbing rusk into the carpet, that stuff is like cement!!
The last 5 years have been hard. Being a parent is hard and despite every parenting books, behaviour books and friends full of advice best efforts, there is no manual.
I had just turned 20 when I got that dreaded positive test. I don’t say dreaded in a wholly negative way, I say it because it was dreaded. But I never felt negative about it. From that moment I felt fiercely protective of the little bundle of cells in my belly.
I felt every emotion you could imagine. Fear, anger, anxiety, upset. But I also felt a weird sense of excitement, love, happiness and like I said, a fierce protectiveness.
All those emotions stick with you through all of parenthood. Every day I find myself feeling a mix of all them. Every school drop off and pick up, every bed time. All the time. Every day.
I’m a strong believer in being honest about parenthood.
The rise of social media fame often means that parents feel the need to hide the parenthood truths that we all suffer. Everyone is guilty of it at some point. Maybe it’s posting a picture of you and your littles at the zoo captioning it with a description of how amazing it all was and how you’re all a happy family. When in reality, it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles all day. No doubt you argued with your other half, shouted at the children at least twice when they blatantly ignored your requests or shoved an other child in the park and you definitely would have asked yourself repeatedly why you would even consider a day out in the fast place.
Holidays, days out, meals, even home days, we all have the tendencies to share these experiences and polish the turd that is a stressful day in the life of a parent…
The pressure of being a perfect parent is sometimes (well, all the time) too much. And it isn’t just because of social media, we choose to put ourselves out there. That’s an occupational hazard. I’m talking about the pressure that comes from people; health care professionals, nosey Mrs Jones down the road and even friends and family.
Everyone knows something better than you when it comes to parenting. Not necessarily negative, but even positive judgement is sometimes a killer. It’s easy as a parent to become stubborn when someone suggests something for your child… And its even easier to take everything as a personal attack.
I don’t know when, but at some point I stopped caring about other people’s opinions. I stopped trying to be the type of parent I thought I should be, no more failed pintrest activities, no more shoddy baking attempts… I finally stopped all the negative and started being me. The mum I wanted to be. The mum my children needed and wanted.
Now If I’d written this 4 years ago, it would have been a very different set of words you’re reading. It would of been me beating myself up, wishing I was good at arts and crafts, that I enjoyed soft play and attended several baby groups.
It would have been a great big giant pity party.
5 years since earning the title mummy, I’ve grown as a person. I’ve had days where I’ve been so happy my heart could burst and days where I’ve been so angry I had to walk away. Days where I’ve felt so lonely I felt what could only be described as despair. I’ve learnt that there’s so much more to life, so much more potential and happiness to chase. But most importantly I’ve learnt that when you become a parent, you are no longer the priority. You will go years without any treats or luxury’s just so your little one can attend dancing lessons and go on day trips that she doesn’t enjoy after an hour! You will learn that sleep isn’t a necessity and it’s possible to never sleep for more than a few hours at a time and still survive. You will do anything to ensure that your child thrives and lives the best life they could ever want…
5 years doesn’t really sound a lot does it? But it is. So much can happen in 5 years. You can learn (and forget) so much.
Parenthood is an adventure. An adventure that never really ends. And despite the no sleep, stretch marks and inability to sneeze without peeing, I’ll be forever grateful that we fell pregnant with our biggest love.