Monkey see, monkey do

Life really can be hard to figure out sometimes. I know my role and what I should be doing but it doesn’t always feel like that’s the path it should follow. Confused? Yeah me too! Haha! Parenting is downright confusing, hard and like the world’s biggest and never ending rollercoaster! But no one ever said it was going to be easy.

I recently read a blog that a mother had written to her first born and it triggered a fair bit of emotion in me (what’s new really?). She spoke about how her firstborn child was the one that made her a mother and she felt that she was tougher on that child because they were first in line. It hit me hard on so many levels.

I know the pain of expecting maybe a little too much from my first born because she is the eldest. Even as I write this I’m tearing up. In my head she is growing by the second but in my heart she will always be my baby. I feel torn because teaching her that in her role as the eldest sibling she forges the path for her younger sister, but in reality it doesn’t matter or at least it shouldn’t. Maybe I just want everything to be perfect for her when in reality, it shouldn’t make any difference. But you never think about it in the moment when everything is happening right in front of you.

Sometimes I worry I’m making her grow up quicker than she needs to and that she is still only little in the whole scheme of things. Maybe I’m in denial, knowing that while she needs me, a part of her doesn’t and I’m still trying to control that part and in return she retaliates. Usually with stubbornness, attitude and oh so much sass. Many would say she’s definitely my daughter. Not sure I see the resemblance, haha!

Maybe not having been the eldest myself growing up, my opinion and view of how to treat my own girls is somewhat flawed. I watched as my older brother got away with quite a lot (he would deny this of course) and it set the benchmark for what I could or rather was never allowed to do! I don’t know the answers, maybe I never will and that’s just how the journey is meant to go.

From watching both my daughters forge their paths in this tumultuous world, what I can say I have noticed about them both is their tenacity and strength to be themselves. Oh do I live and breathe it daily. It frustrates me and almost breaks me but deep down a little bit of pride sneaks up too. I can’t always control the way things happen (it’s one of my weaknesses that I struggle with, but that’s a whole other story) and I know I should just let them be but then the realities of having to parent kick in. But that’s all part of the fun, at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. If you see me rocking in the corner, come and save me, haha!

Learning the ropes

“No.”

“Not yet.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Coz Mummy.”

“I’m a big girl.”

Yep defiance is strong in my baby girl. I wonder where she gets it from?! Haha, who am I kidding?!! Miss Phoebe is one strong willed and very independent young lady and very much like her mummy already. Well, to be fair, both my girls can be a lot like me. There’s nothing wrong with that, on a good day that is! Don’t ask me on a bad day. On a bad day I’m not even sure they’re my children, hahahaha!

It’s a different experience, watching their little personalities shine through as they turn into a little person. I never thought it would go this quick. One minute they were my little babies and now they’re forging their own paths in the world. Okay, so maybe I’m jumping ahead a little bit, they are only two and four after all, but it has, so far, gone very quickly.

In saying that, I do spend a lot of time butting heads and feeling like I’m going nowhere. My girls certainly have a lot of sass. I’m not going to lie, I’m very proud of their ability to stand up for themselves. It just doesn’t work when Mummy is trying to make a point where they should be eating, or not giving me so much attitude. You really can’t win and I’m finding raising girls certainly comes with a lot of challenges. I am terrified of what lies ahead in the next 10 to 15 years, plenty of screaming matches to come, no doubt!

It begs the question, how do you teach them to channel the cheeky/defiant/whatever you want to call it really, attitude into something that isn’t going to leave you banging your head against the proverbial wall? Or am I just doomed? Karma maybe for all the “fun” I put my mum through?

I still find it funny that no matter how much trouble they get up to or get in, they always want hugs from mummy in the end. They might be cranky or sulking in the corner, but you can pull a funny face or tickle them until fits of giggles ensue and it’s game over once again (sometimes mummy does win, haha!)! I knew life with kids would never be easy, but some days are downright challenging and exhausting, especially with my two little bundles of attitude riddled never-ending energy.

I don’t ever want to wish the time away, especially when I keep saying how quickly it’s going, but there are times I can’t wait to get past some stages. Defiance I know won’t disappear overnight (or possibly ever!), attitude, well that really speaks for itself, thinking mummy is the best can only last for five minutes at a time and the rest just goes in waves. I know that despite feeling overwhelmed and quite often like I’m failing and flailing, I just have to try and learn from it all and keep smiling. Yeah yeah, I know, easier said than done! And maybe, just maybe, one day I might take some of my own advice. Yep, I can hear the laughter ringing in my own ears, haha!

Until next time….

Talking the talk

You have to love the lies we tell ourselves about our own children. Before they’re born and you see a friend’s offspring or a kid at the shops throwing a ridiculous tantrum over nothing you say, ‘oh my child won’t do that’. After they’re born and you’re still stuck in that newborn haze, you can’t help but think ‘everything will be perfect and work in my favour, my baby is and will be nothing like those other kids’. But the truth is you really don’t know what will happen until you’re living it. Living the dream or actually realising you were acting like a completely smug you know what until reality (your children) smacks you in the face.

We have our good days and our bad. The times we’re really happy or bawling our eyes out. Life with children is no walk in the park. So why should we treat it that way?! Why should we pretend everything is perfect when in reality it isn’t? Well I think it has a lot to do with a preconceived notion that we have to show that we have a handle on everything and we can do just about anything.

Mums are pretty good at doing most things, most of the time (we like to think so or at least hope) but we really can’t have it all. I’m about as far from perfect as you can get, I’ve always been happy to admit that and I have no shame in saying that I have struggled and even now I still have extremely tough days and nights too. I yell when my girls go feral and yes, I have been known to swear (shock horror) at them as well. Every now and then I still have the thought that running away might be easier than dealing with a child whose sister has looked at them at the wrong way/taking a toy or even touched them. I think it’s safe to say I won’t be winning Mother of the Year anytime soon.

And seriously I’d still like to have words with whoever put the silly idea in Miss Izzie’s head that she can’t possibly wear anything other than dresses. Every. Single. Day. We have a drawer full of shorts and plenty of pretty shirts hanging in the cupboard, but it seems they aren’t good enough even with Elsa’s perfect blonde hair and beaming smile plastered on them. It’s an ongoing battle, one I should probably just let go of (see what I did there). Can you sense my frustration? Haha! I guess I’ve never found myself much of a girly girl. Shorts and a top are my comfort zone. So, dealing with a little princess sure can be challenging, to say the least.

I have hope. Yes, I’m hopeful that Miss Phoebe may be less of a handful. Who am I kidding? That kid is already the devil in disguise, getting her big sister into trouble or upsetting her every chance she can. It makes me laugh though because I’m pretty sure I did the same thing for my big brother. Correction I was the best little sister ever (cough cough).

At the end of the day it shouldn’t be about who has a better handle on things, who’s winning or losing in this epic battle of parenting. It’s really about surviving and showing your kids you love them even when they’re driving you up the wall. Expect the worst, hope for the best and always keep a stash of wine and chocolate somewhere handy!