Tick, tick, tick….cross

I didn’t sign up for any of this. The drama. The tantrums. The sassy attitude. The back chatting. And even the hitting. Not just each, but I’ve been known to cop a toy or even a limb to the face/head. Nope I didn’t sign up for that. None of it. Geez, I wonder where they get some of it from?! Haha! One day you’re staring into the eyes of a cute little baby and then it’s like someone hits the fast forward button and a little terror takes their place. I am, of course, speaking so fondly of my two little psycho….I mean cherubs! They are just the best .

What is it that makes kids just go round the bend? I don’t mean a little bit silly, but absolutely bonkers, to the point I swear they’re going to literally crash and burn. Well, it feels like I crash and burn and they just bounce back and do it all again. And again. And again. It’s on a repeat loop, most days. One minute they’re casually hanging out and being nice to each other and then it’s on for young and old. It’s funny (but not in a haha way) how quickly they turn on each other. Part of me is a little bit proud when my youngest daughter sticks it to her big sister who has been purposely antagonising her. But then I have to deal with the snotty crying that follows, usually from both of them.

I’ve been told so many times that my older brother and I were exactly the same. But surely we weren’t that bad? I remember us being more like sweet angels, right big bro?! Hahaha! I’m sure our parents, well all parents really, would find that statement hilarious. Unless you do have an angelic child, who does absolutely no wrong. They can’t possibly exist but all power to you, if that’s what you believe!

On so many levels I love them like there’s no tomorrow and I want to bottle up their sweetness. Five seconds into a bickering battle (usually for the tenth time in a day) and my brain quickly reminds me to snap into yelling mum mode. Whyyyyyyyy???! How can someone so cute and sweet one minute turn into a demon the next? I suppose some might say we women are very much the same, haha!

There’s always so many ups and then many, many, many downs when it comes to kids. There’s always drama, even over the smallest things. Outside play can sometimes last two seconds if there’s an insect that gets in the way of a fun game. And if someone stacks it on a bike or scooter, it’s all over, even if there’s no blood! But even as I type this, I can hear them playing so nicely together and all I can think about is how long until someone cops a barbie to the head or there’s yelling or tears for some unknown reason. It’s true that I often like to say “never a dull moment around here” but surely every now then it’s not too much to ask for?! Lucky I do love them, right?

A different kind of normal

What day of the week is it again?
I think every day has been rolling into the next in a bit of a blur. What used to be a normal structure and routine has disappeared. Thankfully some kind of “normal”, and I use that term very very loosely, looks set to return. Woohoo! We better not break out the party streamers just yet, because if we have learnt anything over the last few months is how quickly things can change.

I think I’ve been tested as a parent more in recent weeks than ever before. I’ve learnt I’m definitely not a teacher and have zero interest in taking it up as a profession, pretty much ever! Some aspects of doing school from home haven’t been too bad but overall, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Let’s just say, I’m very much looking forward to my big girl returning to the classroom in a few days!

What is a social life anymore? Not that I really had much of a “social” life before. Not unless you count chatting to other parents at school drop off/pick up and play dates. That’s a social life right?! Not being able to go out and see friends has certainly taken its toll on everyone, from adults right through to the littlies – my girls definitely included. I think it’s quite possible I have yelled at them more in the last 2 months than ever before, I’m sure the neighbourhood probably agrees, haha! They have been seeing each other all day, every day and it shows! Constant bickering and fighting over even the silliest of things. Going back to school and kindy might actually give them a chance to miss each other again, aww! I’m hoping so anyway. If not, I think I’m completely screwed.

My girls have been pretty good at understanding why their little world has changed so much, well mostly anyway. A quick trip to grab a few groceries with them in tow (for the first time in months) the other day had me nearly dropping the f-bomb in public. Why is it as soon as you tell kids not to touch or do something, they are compelled to do the exact opposite?!! I know I’m not alone in this one! Let’s just say, I think I’ll continue to grab groceries alone in the foreseeable future. I’m not sure whether I’m overjoyed or bummed about this prospect. Plus they still don’t quite get the idea of keeping their distance from other people, although I think they’re doing better than a lot of adults out there!

On a slightly different note, it’s a special day for many out there this Sunday – Mother’s Day. It might not quite look the same for everyone this year but it’s still worth celebrating all the mums and those who fit into the role, however that may be. It holds a different meaning for so many people. For me, it reminds me of the three most important people in my life. The two beautiful little girls (yeah I know, I’m feeling sentimental so they’re beautiful instead of the usual terrors) who made me a mum and remind me on a regular basis why I am their slave…I mean the best mummy ever. They are the same right?! And I can’t not mention the person who gave me life and who listens to me whinge all the time, my amazing mum! Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I haven’t been the easiest person to put up with, especially in the last three and a bit years, but I know you do it because I am the best child you have. Oh right, it’s actually because you love me!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums, mums-to-be, step mums, the dads who might be mum as well and everyone else who fits into the “mum” category, you are all amazing! May your day be filled with love, fun and laughter, along with some good presents as well!

Crazy Times

You almost feeling like saying WTF world?

We are living in a really strange time, something that I have never seen before and many others as well, let alone our kids. I’ve never had the experience of being away from school before the term ended with no way of knowing exactly when we’ll go back. Or watching all the shops, cinemas and restaurants shutting down. And the biggest thing of all, being told by our country’s government to stay at home. It is all new and to the littlest people in our lives, it probably doesn’t fully register what’s happening. Their life, which is normally packed full of fun, good times, going out and everything else, has suddenly quietened down significantly. It’s a massive change for them, one they will adapt to probably easier than us adults, but it’s still outside their normal.

Yes, they are hearing about germs, washing hands, trying to keep our distance from other people (for them, their friends) and being home schooled. They are being told holidays and fun events are cancelled, movies aren’t on and they definitely can’t catch up with their friends for a play at the playground. It’s not the end of the world, but it certainly has an impact on them. I think I’ve heard “I’m bored” more times than I can count and this is only day one and it’s a Saturday! I think I’ve explained so many times that we can’t go anywhere and I get lots of eye rolls, so at least that’s somewhat “normal”. I’m not trying to take away from the seriousness of this pandemic, people are extremely sick and so many people are dying, it’s very scary.

I’m not going to lie, I am feeling a bit scared myself. I live with an autoimmune disease that increases my risk of becoming quite sick if I were to catch the virus. I also have family members who are at a very high risk of becoming very ill as well. We are doing our best to adhere to all the advice about reducing the risks and ensuring we stay at home as much as possible. I’m scared for what the future holds for my girls and I’m trying to make life as fun as I can for them at the moment, but it feels like I’m up against a brick wall. We are lucky to have plenty of space at home to run them ragged but man they have lots of energy!

With all the doom and gloom out there at the moment, it’s hard not to feel down and in turn reflect that on to my girls. I know I have zero control over what’s happening out there, but what I am trying to control is how that makes my girls feel. I keep telling them everything will be okay and I’m holding on to lots of hope that it will be. But it’s the unknown that makes it harder. We don’t know how long this may last for (including our home schooling sanity!) but we can only do our best. We’ll keep going like we always do. This will not last forever. One day we’ll look back and remember all the good stuff about spending lots of time together at home. Until then, try to enjoy the ride!

Going up and down – where is the middle ground?

There are days my heart feels full and other days where it feels heavy. The strain of motherhood knows no bounds. The responsibility for the little people in my life can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. They can drive me to the brink of insanity and then just when I feel like I’m going to tip over the edge, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Kids!

I’ve been told I’m both hated and the best mummy in the whole world in the space of about two minutes. I’m not here to win any fans, but I certainly wasn’t aiming for being the worst so soon. I feel I must be doing something right, somehow. Even though just quietly, it feels like I’m doing it all wrong!

The best you can hope for in raising kids is that you keep them alive and that one day when the toughest years disappear behind you, that you have done your best and raised a decent young person. No one tells you to how to guide them, you’re pretty much winging it from sunrise to sunset. I am only human, after all. Sometimes I think my girls must think I’m superhuman (well we sort of are!) and that I can make absolutely anything happen.

The most I can hope for is they know that despite everything we have been through and endured in these youngest years of their lives, is that mummy did her best. Even though I yell, swear, walk away angry, say things I shouldn’t and even cry, I’m still trying to be the best mummy I can be.

We have days full of tears and tantrums (sometimes mine, sometimes theirs) and others loaded with fun and laughter. But I can tell you I’m already a bit over hearing the words “I’m bored”. Even when there is plenty to do, how can you be bored??! It must be yet another rite of passage as a child to utter that phrase over and over again to see how much you can irritate your parents! If it’s not “I’m bored”, it’s along the lines of “what can we do mummy?” because apparently I have to completely fill the day up with activities so we don’t get bored (insert eye roll here, haha!).

One of the most difficult things I’ve encountered lately is having two feral children who act like they belong in a zoo. Running around the house, throwing things, talking back and being rude, demanding I do everything, it goes on! It drives me insane and they think it’s funny, so up goes the needle on my anger metre even more. I think they might even get a bit of a kick out of seeing how far they can push mummy. Before I blow a gasket I do my best to remember they are my monsters and luckily I love them!

Being a mum is hard work but it can also be somewhat rewarding. Knowing I’m their person (and hopefully always will be) that they turn to when they need a hug or just a bit of help is a pretty big deal. I still need my mum now and I haven’t been a kid for a very long time. It’s all about finding the right balance apparently, if anyone out there has found it, let me know how so I can join this elusive and exclusive club too, haha! In the meantime I’ll be in the corner pulling my hair out…and probably yelling too, some people say I do it really well, that’s got to count for something, right?!

Take a deep breath and…run?!

Is the day over yet? I feel like all I’ve done is yell and get angry. Damn rain ruining all the fun. Why do kids go absolutely bonkers when it rains and find my last nerve with everything they do?! Even if I walk away, they find me and keep on going and going. It’s like 10 rounds in the boxing ring, they can’t stop until it’s all out of their system. Meanwhile I’m taking deep breaths, counting back from 10 (and only making it to 7) and trying my best not to lose my “you know what”!

I’ve said so many times I love my girls more than anything in this world, but I definitely have moments where I’m not their biggest fan. I’m not going to lie, I’m only human after all. They drive me crazy! And after a rainy few days limiting any possible outside time, I’m feeling a little bit over it. I’ve even been asked why it’s raining so much. I have no control over the weather, although sometimes I really wish I did!

While we’re on the topic of kids going over the top, since when did 6-year-olds have so much sass?? I remember a fair bit about growing up and how much of a pain in the bum I was to my parents, but I don’t remember being as rude as I cop from Miss Izzie. It’s hard not to snap and try to gain back control, man kids are manipulative creatures. Well I was thinking turds, but you know, trying to be a bit nice here, haha! It’s hard being both the good guy and the bad guy at the same time. While I want them to have many things, I also don’t want to be dealing with spoilt little brats. There’s plenty of them around already!

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not their friend, I’m their mother. Also known as the rule-maker, food and drink provider, fun police, worst person in the world sometimes, the list goes on. I’ve been told I’m hated, I’m the worst mother ever and apparently I ruin a lot of things, but hey that’s part of my role. One day it’ll change, I know that. But we have to get through the hard stuff first, it just feels never ending. It’s a fine line type of deal, be the task master when you have to and have a bit of fun when you can as well.

I think one of the hardest parts of parenting is when you spend too much time worried what others think of you or being too scared they are judging you for your choices. I know I’m not a perfect parent, I even swear at my kids (it’s their fault, haha!) but at the end of the day, I’m just doing my best, like just about every other parent out there! I’m pretty sure my girls love me…most of the time anyway…so I’ll take that as a win, for as long as I can!

Tis the Season…to be over

Yes, once again, I probably sound very much like Scrooge or even The Grinch. There’s just something about the silly season. Every year I always feel compelled to write something around Christmas time. I don’t know why or what it is, but I seem to find something to talk about. Maybe it’s my excitement at soon not having to find somewhere new for “Jo Jo” our magical elf to be or not having to worry about opening anymore advent calendar days. Don’t get me wrong I love how excited my girls are about Christmas, but I find it more stressful than anything! But as much as Christmas can be full on and indeed stressful, it’s important to remember the magical side for my girls.

Their faces on Christmas morning when they open their presents from the big guy or even the countdown itself creates a massive sense of excitement, for everyone. I just wish their behaviour was as good as their excitement in the lead up to December 25. It’s like they know. That deep down they can get away with anything!

Threatening that Santa is watching does absolutely…..NOTHING! I can threaten until the cows come home and it’s all for nothing. Because as parents, we all know it makes no difference, we will still hand over all the presents. Why? Well probably because we have taken the time to shop for them and wrap them and sneak them under the tree on Christmas Eve, it’s a lot of effort to throw it all away. And money too! Plus it is worth it watching their reaction to see if they actually get what they asked for. I’m glad that my girls are still young enough to ask for realistic…ahem affordable…present options, haha!

Then once it’s over and so begins another year. I know I’m very “Meh” about it all. Don’t get me wrong, there is a part of me that loves Christmas and celebrating and then welcoming another year. The memories we create and the new traditions we start are all a big part of it. Maybe I enjoy getting a few presents too. After all I’m still a bit of a kid at heart. Plus I do like to get in the Santa photo as well. While my girls are big enough to do it themselves, I look at it as a great opportunity to put a nice dress on and get a photo taken with my girls that isn’t a selfie! I don’t go as far as sitting on Santa’s lap though, that’s definitely pushing it!

While the magic is still there and they definitely do still believe (I know that’ll change soon enough) I’ll do my best to be a little less ho-hum and more ho ho ho! Some festive cheer is all you need right?! Maybe a sprinkle of magic dust too??! It really is the most wonderful time of the year to spend with family and friends. However you choose to celebrate or not celebrate Christmas, I hope it’s a good one for you, your kids and the rest of your family. May you enjoy some of that festive cheer and some tasty treats along the way as well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s not really a competition

When did being a mum become so much more than what it is or rather what it should be? Why is it still such an issue over whether women return to work or not once they have kids? What is wrong with a woman staying at home to be with her children rather than working? Why is it seen as an issue if a woman returns to work after having children, like she can’t be at home?

And why oh why do we have the massive competition over who has it the hardest – a mother who is it at home all day and night with her kids or the mother who goes to work during the day and is home all night or even those who work all night and who are home all day?

And then it gets even harder if you are in the crappy position of being a single mum. Those who have full time care and don’t get a break at all or those who have shared care and get the time to themselves. Let me tell you now, it’s no fun sharing your children. Yes there’s a “break” involved but the pain you feel in missing out on time in your small child’s life is no fun at all.

Ladies, no one wins and they shouldn’t because there is no competition. Motherhood is a massive challenge. Yes, it is one most of us take on by choice, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard or full on! Raising children is no easy feat! So, why are we so busy tearing each other down all the time? Why is there this idea that there should be a “perfect mother”? Why does it have to be worse or better or a big deal made over who has it worse or better?? Society and the community we live in, certainly have a lot to answer for and in a way so do we all individually, but the perception needs to change or mothers are going to be worried about more than they really need to be!

I’m not a perfect. I go through ups and downs, questioning my role as a mother all the time. I’m scared I’m ruining my daughter’s lives because of so many stupid things. I worry that I’m not a good mum, that one day they may hate me – probably when they’re teenagers, so it’ll be normal anyway – or just that everything I do for them will make their lives worse. I’ve been told that because I worry about whether I am a good Mum, already makes me one, but the worry and fear never goes away! I’ll forever doubt myself and my abilities but I know I can count on the unconditional love my girls appear to have for me! Awwwww…come back to me when they hit the teenage years, haha!

You never stop being a mum, even when they aren’t around you. It’s a part of who you are. It isn’t necessarily the full story of you and your life but the little monsters in your life certainly help shape you into being the person that you are. And all we can hope for at the end of the day/week/century even, is that the tiny little humans we started with get dished up some karma when they have kids of their own (nah just kidding, haha!). What I really hope for is that my beautiful girls go out into the big wide world and leave the biggest mark they can, in a good way of course!

Until that happens, you’ll find me trying not to compete in this ever changing challenging role and world of motherhood and likely failing miserably, haha!

An ever-changing role

Has being a mother changed me as a person?

You bet it has! I may not be the same person I was a long time ago and pre-kids, but I’m much richer for the person I have become and keep changing into. It’s taken a lot to get to this point. I’ve lost a lot personally (some I’m really glad I did, especially looking back now) and I’ve also gained some more positive influences in my life along the way as well, you all know who you are! I’m not sorry if you don’t like me now, that’s your choice. And if you do like me, good luck to you, haha! I know I have two little ladies or pains-in-the-butt (depending on the day) that think I’m the best person in their world…most of the time…and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

We spend so much time trying to live up to this idea of the “perfect mother”. Who and where the hell is she? She doesn’t exist. No, really she doesn’t and I’m happy to argue that point with anyone who’s keen. I’ll admit I’m just as bad as everyone else out there, thinking that I need to be the most perfect mother. To say the right things and make sure my children have everything under the sun, just because. Why? It doesn’t mean they’ll turn out any differently or be any better than any other kid out there. To me, that is probably more about how we interact behind closed doors. I scream, yell and swear when my kids are driving me crazy (who doesn’t??) but I also have a softer side too.

I’m forever telling my girls how much I love them, how beautiful they are, giving them big cuddles and kisses because I want them to know, not only how important they are to me, but also how much they should value themselves and their place in the world. Yeah I know, I should really take some of my own advice, but that never works! When you have kids, you make a bucket load of promises about how different their lives will be and that you won’t have the biggest brats in the world. They certainly have their moments, haha!

I’m constantly worried that I’m screwing their lives up majorly and doing the wrong thing all the time, that I’m the worst mother in the world. My girls reassure me I’m the best mummy ever and it melts my heart. Maybe I’m doing something a little bit right after all. But who can tell? There is no rule book. How I do things for my girls may not work for other mums out there and there is nothing wrong with that. You can parent how you want to and I’m certainly going to keep doing things my way. Whether it works all the time, well, that’s another story. Just when I think I’ve got some kind of handle on things; my girls throw another spanner in the works and I’m back to square one. It certainly keeps life interesting.

Until next time…you’ll find me enjoying plenty of kisses and cuddles with my little munchkins, I know they won’t last forever!

A Sentence of Epic Proportions

“You don’t love me mummy”.
And just like a knife to the heart, I had these words thrown at me recently. Well yelled repeatedly. I could have cried. But for once I kept my cool and stayed calm (miracle, I know!). Because as much as it hurt for my beautiful five-year-old to utter those words, I knew I had to get to the bottom of it while reassuring her it wasn’t the case.

It’s hard convincing kids that what they actually think and feel about something isn’t the case. Because let’s face it, when it comes to children, there is no rationality. Some might say the same thing about women here too, but that’s another story. Kids feel what they feel, know what they know (even when they don’t) and what they say is exactly how things are…even if it’s not. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter in their world. It’s hard to remember all that when you’re stuck in the moment and either bordering on losing your mind and/or trying not to cry! Confused? Yep, me too! But I think that’s part of the torture…I mean cycle of parenting!

But you can’t always say they don’t mean it either. Even though the little terrors may not fully understand emotions, they can have a pretty good grasp on words and what context to use them in. Never underestimate the mind or power of children, they can be smarter than we think. And then they’ll go and do something like smack their head on a cabinet or fall off a bed and you do question how much of their brain they actually use! (I’m not calling anyone dumb here, just making a joke, before anyone thinks I’m being a nasty mum!).

When it comes to having kids, throw any rule/advice books or ideas you have about raising kids out the window. Or better yet, keep them to bash your head against, because that’s something you will feel like doing on repeat many times a day, possibly hour, depending on the day you’re having. Oh look, I quite often paint an average picture of my life as a mum. Probably because my girls give me some good juicy topics when they are acting up. There are good times, but you can’t always write that stuff, it seems too good to be true and let’s face it, this isn’t a fairy tale!

Fairy tales are what you were imagining your parenting life was going to be like before your first child came into the world. That they would be perfect, an angel that would be extremely well behaved; would sleep well like-a-baby; eat everything you put in front of them and would forever be telling you you’re the best mum (or dad) ever. I do get some of it. I can be the best mummy ever, for about five seconds when they get what they want, the rest of the day not so much!

Is it all worth it? Hearing those words “you don’t love me mummy” rattled me a bit but deep down I know that it’s “normal”, for now anyway! Ask me again when the teenage years hit. I’ll be hiding in the corner, curled up in the foetal position. If found, bring supplies, preferable chocolate and wine, the order doesn’t matter!
Until next time…hopefully they continue to bring me some good stuff to write about, going by the last couple of days, I think we’ll be right, haha!

Sass is the new direction

I know my parents often tell me I had extremely cheeky moments as a child and I could be quite the devil at times, but I’m starting to think that karma is screwing me over. Hell hath no fury like a child scorned, well two of them in fact and both girls as well, scored the double whammy on that one! Meanwhile, I think mum and dad are sitting back quietly laughing to themselves while I face palm at every given opportunity.

No matter what I try – silence, yelling, ignoring, bribery – the end result is often the same, I lose, I always lose. Well, technically not every single time but a lot of the time anyway and I’m always hopeful that one day I’ll get my own back. Until then, you can find me quietly rocking in the corner, haha!

Seriously, where did my children come from? Yeah I know the obvious scientific answer, but as for the rest I’m starting to think maybe they were abducted by aliens at some point and returned with different DNA. Okay, so maybe not quite that bad but some days I could crawl under a rock and just stay there!

When my girls are good, they are really really good, but when they are bad, I pretend to disown them. It’s difficult given that Miss Izzie has similarities to me (so much sass and don’t get me started on the attitude of a 5-year-old) and Miss Phoebe looks exactly like I did 30 years ago and like a mini version of me now (or so I’m told!), so I can’t really deny they are mine. Not that I really want to, just more so when they are fraying at my last nerve, so maybe every other day?! I know from talking to other parents I’m definitely not alone, which is mildly reassuring…I think! And yes mum, I know you have told me you went through all this too….but you know living in the current moment always feels worse, haha!

I think it’s always on reflection that it’s the little things you know you’re going to miss the most. The squishy cheeked hugs and kisses, the constant whiny and whinging call of “Mummy”, then asking to be picked up or to hold their hand or even when they whack you in their sleep after crawling into your bed in the middle of the night. At the time they bug you and ask so much of you but you know that one day it will stop and they won’t ask again. That one day will be the last time and you may not realise it. All this has been playing on my mind lately and even brings a tear to my eye that it may not be long until some of it stops. You can’t wait for them to finally gain independence but once they do, you miss them wanting your help. Good old mum guilt strikes again.

You never want to miss anything they do, especially if it’s a first, but sometimes they can also be too much, just another dose of mum guilt there too. Does it ever go away?! I guess that’s all part of the “fun” too. Just like being thrown up on at 1am . But I have to keep reminding myself to let them be little as long as I can stand the tantrums and tiaras (and other things being thrown at me) because it’ll be over before I know it!