Parenthood is hard.
It’s emotionally draining.
They are too tired.
They are not tired.
They don’t want to go to sleep.
They are hungry.
They are not hungry.
They don’t want that for dinner.
They are bored.
They have nothing to wear.
They don’t want to wear it.
Its not fair because I don’t let them do anything.
They have to do everything around here.
I sometimes think I am insane. I mean, seriously, what person in their right mind would sign up for this? I don’t know what type of sane person would put their hand up for 4 years worth of crappy nappies. Not to mention the sleepless nights and the tantrums.
I mean, fair enough, you get caught out once. The parenting gig is a lot harder than you thought it would be. But once you know the pot is full of boiling hot water, you don’t put your hand in again do you? And yet, I have willingly put up my hand more than once. Not too sure what that says about my IQ.
Before you have your first kid, you are all “I am going to be such a cool mum. I am not going to smack them, and I am not going to yell. My kids and I are going to be best friends”.
Then reality sets in. You realise that you can’t be one of the cool kids. You have a responsibility to make sure that you raise your kids the right way. They need to behave. You can’t say yes all the time. In fact, you can’t say yes much at all. They need to learn values. Respect. Right from Wrong.
You find yourself saying things and doing things you swore black and blue that you would never do and never say.
I can remember being a kid. I can remember going shopping with my parents at the local shopping centre and getting into trouble for being naughty, particularly for running around and playing in the clothes racks. I thought it was pretty unfair at the time. I was bored and trying to have fun. Running in and out of the clothes racks was fun.
Now I find myself at the same shopping centre with my kids, yelling at them for being naughty, running around and playing in the clothes racks. I find myself wishing that I could die or at least crawl under the nearest rock while the shop assistant gives me the death stare.
… Yes! I know they are naughty, you judgemental cow! I just want to shop in peace and look at nice things, quietly, and enjoy the background music, but I can’t. I have to tote this little cretins around with me. Just wait until you have kids! Don’t you DARE give me that stare until you have walked a mile in my shoes. And F.Y.I the clothes you sell are crap and they don’t fit over my fat …
And don’t get me started about the self serve checkouts! GRRRR! Yes, Woollies, Big W and Coles, I am talking about you.
All of the checkouts are closed except two, and one of those is an express aisle! Both open aisles have a line up of 42 people waiting to be served.
One kid is whinging because I wouldn’t buy Cocoa Pops, one kid keeps hovering near the lollies and drinks at the checkout in the hope I won’t notice them try to snarfle a Kinder Surprise, and one kid is busting to do a poo and can’t hold on any longer and needs to go RIGHT NOW!
Then I spy it.
The self serve checkout.
It is almost like a golden light from Heaven is shining down on me. God himself is talking to me saying, “Look, I have prepared a way for you. There are four self serve checkouts, they are all empty and one of those is for you.”
And even though I am philosophically opposed to the self serve checkouts, because four checkout operators could be employed, instead of one supervisor, it seems so convenient, just this once. I am very tempted. In fact, the kids whinging has become so unbearable, that to not take advantage of the self serve checkout would be a travesty.
I take one more look at the kids, notice the excruciating faces of poo pain that is accompanying the whinges of the busting one, and start moving my trolley towards the self serve checkout.
Inwardly, I am admonishing myself. Another win for the corporations. Of course people like me with no willpower will use the self serve checkout if supermarkets make it uncomfortable enough for people to line up at the normal registers.
I start scanning through the items. Thats when the trouble starts. One kid decides to start trying to press buttons. One kid decides to start ‘helping’ by taking stuff out of the trolley. One kid starts touching the stuff that I have scanned and put in the bags. The computer starts freaking out. “Unexpected Weight. Call for Supervisor. Removed Item from the Bagging Area. Call for supervisor.
You are an idiot and should not be using the self serve checkout. Call for supervisor. “
I start yelling at the kids and tell them to leave the stuff f#ck alone, with a couple of extra expletives and warnings about death and dismemberment thrown in for good measure just so they know I am serious. I even lash out to smack the busting one on the hand to keep him away from the bagging area as he tries to take something from the bag and accidentally smack him on the head instead. Another shopper gives me a dirty look, the look that says “You are a bad mother.” I feel very trailer-trash right about now.
The supervisor still has to help me another 34 times before I have finally finished scanning through the items and by the time I am finally finished I am so frazzled that I just about need a bourbon and coke right then on the spot. But we don’t have time for that, as the busting one has announced the poo is starting to come out, so we hotfoot it down to the parents toilets, while I sit and relax in the aroma of nappy bins that haven’t been emptied in four hours.
So its not all sunshine and lollipops, this parenting gig. Anyone who tries to say that it’s easy, is delusional. Seriously, check to see if they have had a lobotomy or something.
But there are some moments, some very golden moments that make it all worthwhile.
The kisses. The cuddles. The cuteness.
Mr J has started to become quite a charmer. In the last couple of weeks, he has told me that my hair looks beautiful, and my shoes look lovely. In the morning wake up routine, I give all of the kids one on one cuddles. In our morning cuddles, I asked Mr J if he knew that I loved him. He said “Yes”. I asked how does he know that I love him. He replied “Because you are Beautiful”. This morning I asked if he was my Poppet-Boy. He said “Yes”. I asked, “How do you know you are my poppet-boy?” He replied,”Because you are my precious”. Awww Melt. Right there.
About 3 o’clock this morning, Miss O (10 years old), had a nightmare and came into my room for comfort. Too tired to move, but wanting to give comfort, I beckoned her into my bed for a cuddle. There she stayed, snuggled in my arms until the alarm went off this morning. I felt so glad that even though she is 10 I still get the chance to hold her tight and make her feel loved. I will treasure that moment.
Even in the midst of their naughtiness, there are moments that just make me laugh. Just this week, Mr S informed me that Mr J was being naughty and had messed up their room. When I pressed him for more information, and asked if it was just Mr J, he informed me that Mr J had started doing it, then he “accidentally joined in”.
Blink and you will miss it, but hidden amongst the mundane, are the moments that are golden.
Look for them, cherish and treasure them, before they are gone.
They are the moments that make it all worthwhile.