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?!

Always there

There’s nothing scarier than being a mum. Okay, maybe being taken by a shark or twisty rollercoasters might be up there, but you get what I mean. It terrifies me to think I’m responsible for two little humans. That it’s up to me to help shape their future, teach them things and help them become the best person they can be. But I (try to) take it all in my stride, most days anyway. But it is a big responsibility and I have moments where I suck at it. Yep, you read that right, there are times I consider myself a pretty crappy mum.

For example, I let my girls watch TV while they’re eating breakfast, which more often than not is a Nutella wrap. Yep, I’m that parent. There are many times you’ll find them playing games on their LeapPads. That probably makes me lazy or irresponsible, so be it. I also let them eat chips, chocolate, biscuits and other junk food. Yep, I’m a bad mum. Judge me if you want to because I don’t really care! Well, a small part of me probably does, but shhhh don’t tell anyone.

But you know what?! They’re still pretty good kids, from what I can tell anyway and I’m biased so probably not the best judge. I may call them terrors or turds or whatever suits at the time but they use their manners (about 80% of the time anyway), mostly do as they’re told and play nicely with other kids. I’ve said so many times before, there is no instruction manual when it comes to raising kids, so I’m winging it! I stuff it up all the time. I swear, I yell and I make the wrong decisions. ALL THE TIME! I’m definitely not up for Mother of the Year and I don’t want to be. I’m just doing my best. If that means my kids hate me at times, there’s not much I can do to change it. But that’s all part of the process right?!

I often wonder what life would be like without kids. Where would I be? What would I be doing, still writing? Obviously about different, more adult topics, haha! But I don’t want to change it. As hard as things can be, especially after the last couple of years, I don’t think I’d change too much. I think we’re doing okay and as I’ve been saying for years, they are still alive so I must be doing something right, well I can only hope anyway!

To my girls: I’m your mum, nothing will ever change that. I may think sometimes I want to change it, but that’s likely because you have driven me crazy. I love you even when you tell me you hate me. It hurts to hear you say it, but deep down I try to remember you’re only saying it out of feeling and frustration, well I hope so anyway or I’m way off! I will always be there for you, even when I’m angry or sad because you two are the most important people in my life and always will be! Don’t ever let anyone dampen your spirit or try to stop you from shining bright because the world would be a dull place without your individual and sometimes crazy personalities. Keep being you, ALWAYS!