Growing up is hard to do

I never thought I’d admit I miss my girls as babies. Yes they cried, needed me for everything and quite often I had no idea what they actually wanted (so not much has changed then!) but together we got through it. Don’t get me wrong I love them as the crazy, attitude riddled individuals they have become (not all the time, maybe most of the time or even just some of the time), but sometimes I swear they were easier to deal with as a baby. Obviously I would never, ever have said that at the time. But now, it’s a different story. They talk back, give me attitude, they go feral and they only hear what they want, which is always the complete opposite of what I actually said. Yes, for those of you living with teenage girls, I know I’m not there yet, but I’ve already had a glimpse of that with my partner’s daughters and I’m happy to stay in this current phase with my girls….for now, just for the time being. Or maybe we can just hit rewind and find the happy medium, whatever or whenever that actually was! Feels like a lifetime ago.

I’m really selling this for any new mums or soon-to-be mums of little girls out there. I won’t lie…much, I promise, haha. Little girls can be a handful too. It’s not all sunshine and butterflies or pretty dresses and hairstyles. You might have a fleeting moment of that. Hold on to it dearly, it will get you through the tough times, the tantrums or the emotional meltdowns over I don’t even know what or why. Some days even I cry for no reason, because I don’t know what the hell is going on! Haha! Is there ever a good stage?! One where everyone is content and happy and nice to each other? Does it exist or am I dreaming? Look I know it’s not all bad, but some days all I do is swear and hope for the best, that we will actually survive the day.

I know one day I’ll look back and think how fast it all went and how all the “hard stuff” was really nothing after all. But right now, it doesn’t always seem like it. If only there was that elusive parenting manual that told you exactly what your child needed and when; how much they would change or even when you have done something right for them (does it happen?!). We’d all be perfect parents. Haha, there’s no such thing and if you think you are, well good luck to you! It’s not always an easy job, it’s quite often a thankless one but it can also be rewarding when you watch them achieve so much like developing reading and writing skills or swimming or riding a bike. Even opening a packet of food themselves sometimes is a big deal. Hey, you celebrate the small wins when you can!

Okay I must admit there is some good stuff. I think I may have even talked about it before, once or twice when I really needed to remind myself. They tell you you’re the best Mumma, that you’re beautiful, how much they love you, all that soppy stuff. The cute little kisses and sweet smiles (sometimes there’s a cheeky/naughty reason for it, watch that, don’t let them fool you!), when they still want to hold your hand or the best one of all, when they throw their little…or big growing arms…around you and give you the sweetest hug. I know I will miss that when they stop. Aha, who says I’ll let them stop??!! I think I’ll just make the most of everything, while I still can.

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?!

The finest moments

I know I’m not the best mother. I’m nowhere near perfect. I don’t ever claim to be. I yell and I scream (who doesn’t?). I probably rant and rave a fair bit too. I sometimes pretend to throw tantrums back at my children too, not necessarily because I think it’s funny or I’m trying to teach them a lesson. But because I’m frustrated by the situation as well.

As parents, yes leading by example can be a good thing. But when you’re tired or your last nerve has been fried, sometimes you just respond rather than react how you should. We are only human too. Our decisions don’t always reflect the best choice but maybe just the only choice at the time. It’s so easy to judge, whether it’s others or yourself. You’ll often find me judging myself, story of my life!

I’m sick of pretending like everything is okay when it’s not. Sure, I can fake smile with the best of them but what’s the point?
I’m tired (who isn’t?), my kids are driving me nuts and at times I’m not sure how much I like them. I’m allowed to say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It means I’m human and I’m going through the ups and downs of life.

So why do we have to pretend we’re all Supermums? What does that achieve other than setting a fake precedent for the next round of women looking to raise a brood?
Yeah I know, we’re not chickens either but the way kids can carry on sometimes, it’s like being stuck in the middle of a squawking mess. I could use stronger words there but I think you get the idea!

But you are allowed to have bad days. You are allowed to be unhappy and, at times, not actually like your snotty nosed pain in the bum feral children. That doesn’t ever have to mean you don’t want them or love them….well most of the time anyway. Mum Guilt will always haunt you and it will never go away, no matter how old your children are (or so I’m told).

No one is born knowing exactly how to parent, it’s a massive learning curve and I’m happy to admit I’m still winging it every day. Explains a lot really, haha! But as I’ve said many times before my girls are still alive, so I must be doing something right! At least I try to remember that when I’m having “one of those days”, which is almost every other day some weeks. I know my girls being little will be over before I know it (thanks mum) but will the attitude ever end??!!