Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Friday, 30 September 2011

So whose the adult in this relationship?

Having to be the 'adult' all the time is actually really hard! That's what being a parent is about right? You are the adult to their child but sometimes we don't always react like the adult. If anything having children can sometimes bring out the child in you. 

At certain times of the month I find I am less able to cope with it all and yes I imagine those moments probably do coincide with changes in my hormone levels. I am not going to pretend that I am not a slave to my hormones because unfortunately I am. It's not something that I welcome or enjoy but it's as inevitable as the ebb and flow of the tides so I just grin and bear it. However I find at these times that my temper is quicker and my tears flow more freely. Very much like my two year old daughter. 

This morning we were butting heads, as per usual and as per usual she lashed out at me because she was frustrated. She slapped me across the face and for a split second I could have slapped her back. Of course I didn't but instead I just started to cry and she obviously thinking it very funny, laughed at me. So rather than just placing her on the naughty step and explaining to her (for the hundred time) why it is not acceptable to hit mummy, I simply walked out the room. This caused her to burst into floods of tears. And it struck me at that precise moment that I wasn't sure who was the adult anymore? 

We are of course friends again now and I except that I am not the 'perfect mother', not that I ever thought I was. Also I except that there will be times when I don't always feel like being the 'adult', similar to that feeling you get when your are ill and all you want is your mum, even if we are 30 and a mum yourself!  I just try my very best and sometimes that isn't always good enough but it is all I have to offer and I challenge anyone to give more than their best. And besides it is in these moments when daddies have to step up and take control, well providing you can convince them to leave the comfort of their bed before the alarm clock is due to go off (another constant battle in our house). In fact there are moments in the month when I realise that there are no adults left in our house, just two toddlers and a teenager!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Shades of Grey...

When you are a child you see the world in black and white. Emily often refers to things as 'mine' or 'yours' and she wants things to be ordered and to have a place or person to belong to. For example a few weeks ago she points to the hoover and asks,

"Yours mummy?"
"No baby (although I know that I am the only one who ever uses it so you could be forgiven for thinking that it may be mine but) no the hoover does not belong to mummy. It belongs to...well the house I guess."

All humour aside though, it is only once you have left your childhood, adolescence and even your early twenties behind that you start to realise that the world has incredible shades of grey. That our lives are a mass of greying contradictions and that in reality nothing is ever as clear cut as we might have thought or hoped. Practicality takes presidence over perfection and the older you get the more you learn to accept, to reside and adapt. 

Take our families and relationships. Some of us will have grown up with this ideal about the 'perfect family', however the reality of our adults lives could be very different. Lets take a typical scenario, a young girl dreams of meeting 'Mr Right' (that elusive figure), getting married and settling down to have 2.4 children and trust me there are still many girls and even women that dream this dream. But well they have reached 30 and Mr Right has still not materialised, although there have been a fair few 'Mr Right Now', 'Mr Wrong' and 'Mr what the hell was I thinking I must have been insane or extremely drunk' and they start to hear the tick, tock, tick, tock. So they endeavour to find the alternative, the shade of grey, the 'Mr he is nice and makes me smile'. They get married, have children and maybe live the rest of their lives happyish. 

Alternatively some people will meet who they think is 'Mr Right' fall madly in love and give themselves completely over to him. Only to find out a few years and a baby later that actually although at first everything seem very black and white, somewhere along the way they have slipped into greyness and are not quite sure how it happened.

There are of course many other examples that I could give but well I have to return to College in 20 minutes and beside my jacket potato with cheese is getting cold! So...

I am not stating that this is the way it has to be for all of us. I think there must be some extremely happy and contented people out there. People living in a world of black and white where they are safe and secure, the kind of people that never have a grey day. It's just that I have never met any of them but then maybe I don't get out enough. I think what I am trying to say is that we all learn to compromise and accept people for who they are. It's a part of growing up and if you love someone then you learn to live with your differences. You learn to accept the grey. 


Oh and as a finally thought I would like to strongly voice that this entry is in no way a cry for help. Purely an observation based on conversations that I have been privy to recently. So please dear friends (the ones that read this blog) please don't worry I am simply ruminating on life and relationships and am quite happy with my lot. I except the grey, it is a part of who I am.  

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Are our children really our greatest achievement?

Whenever my mother has gone for a job interview and they asked her what is her greatest achievement she has always said the same thing...being a mum. So are our children really our greatest achievement? Is parenthood the ultimate challenge? 

Well I guess for me it is. It's the hardest job I have ever had to do! Not so much because the hours suck, the pay is abominable and your boss is just damn right childess most of the time (she jests). It's because unlike most other jobs I have done I actually really care about this one. I actually want to be the best that I can be at being a mum. That doesn't mean that it's the only thing I want to be and I certainly don't think that being a mum is the only thing that defines me but it's a huge part of who I am now. When I look at my life so far I may have to say in all fairness and honestly that Emily is the greatest thing I have done to date.

And when I look at the parents around me, people I know, I can see it in them too. We sacrifice so much of ourselves for our children. You cannot understand what it is to be a parent until you become one yourself. You think you understand but you have no idea, you have no concept of how it will change you in all the expected and unexpected way. People literally transform and I have seen it right before my very eyes in the people that I know. People who appeared hopeless will rise to the challenge like never before. 

Sometimes people will even forgo their own happiness to make their children happy. They will put up with incredible sadness and loneliness to put their children first and do what they perceive to be the right thing. And that kind of sacrifice is not to be taken lightly. Some may call it martyrdom but I like to think of it as the ultimate in parenting. And to those people living through this I say I hope you find your happiness one day. I hope one day it is your turn...