Like not Love not

It’s okay to say you don’t like your kids. I’ve done it before. Many times. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. No matter what I’ll always love them, it’s just how it is. But when they really crack my last nerve, my fondness does waver. A long day of yelling and being driven round the bend, it’s hard not to be cranky and not like someone, it doesn’t matter who they are! If everyone liked each other all the time, we’d live in a pretty boring world.

The hardest part is explaining to your kids that they are driving you up the wall. When another adult irritates you to no end, you walk away or tell them and either an argument ensues or you don’t talk to each other until tensions have eased. It might be a bit more complicated than that (especially with the vast differences between how females and males perceive how an argument goes, but don’t get me started on that!), but overall you get the idea. When it comes to telling your kids to give you some space, you may as well attach a big neon sign to your head that says “Keep annoying Mummy”.

I don’t like being the angry mum who tells her kids to go away when I’ve reached breaking point. The looks on their faces is enough to touch anyone’s heart. Oh the mum guilt! But I have also taken to hiding in the cupboard from time to time. It becomes a game then to see who can find me. At least it breaks the tension down a bit. And being able to jump out and scare them as well is also kind of funny. You have to have some laughs at the expense of your kids otherwise where’s the fun for you?!

Life without kids would certainly be boring. Well, in a really weird way. Who doesn’t miss being able to go anywhere you wanted at the drop of a hat and all you needed to grab was your phone, wallet and keys and off you go?! Mind you, the amount of things I need for my girls to leave the house now isn’t that bad, but it’s more the time it takes to get ready to leave the house. Insert big face palm and sigh right here!

We don’t live in a perfect world. I’m not a perfect parent and I never will be. I certainly don’t expect my girls to be perfect either because that’s never going to happen, I’d be living in a dream land if I thought it was. I know their attitudes and behaviour are going to get worse as we head towards teenage years as well. So much to look forward to, haha! But sometimes I just feel it’s not that much to ask my girls to be nice to Mummy so she doesn’t go off her brain day in day out. I still swear they hear something else entirely. Must be their selective hearing kicking into gear!

I know one day I’ll likely look back and wonder why I was worried about all the small stuff when there’s bigger fish to fry. But we all know how different things are when we’re currently living it. All I can say (as I hear another ‘loving’ sister fight brewing in the background) is lucky I love my kids and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. Come check on me in five minutes though, I might just change my mind, haha!

A little bit of history repeating??

I can do this, I repeat to myself again and again. I count to 10 but it doesn’t work. Why do you both have to be so strong willed like me? Haha! Karma I guess. Yes, my beautiful and cheeky, but oh so attitude filled daughters are at it again, breaking Mummy! It’s not hard some days. It’s funny how one minute they are the best of friends and then in 10 seconds flat there are tears and cries for Mummy because someone’s world has been turned upside down, usually over a toy! I’m sympathetic to a point, but I do want them to learn how to sort some things out themselves.

I don’t know what it’s like to deal with a sister thanks to growing up with an older brother, although that wasn’t always fun, my brother on the other hand may beg to differ. But I do hear it can be a mixed bag of full-on moments, throw in some cute ones (probably to lull me into a false sense of security) and then some love/hate hair-pulling scenarios followed up by being the best of friends. In other words, never a dull moment…much like now…just to keep me on my toes. I’m not silly, I know a lot of it is about getting each other in trouble, pushing the boundaries and looking for attention. I may not have grown up with a sister but even with a big brother, the same rules apply for a lot of things, especially when my brother was always trying to get me into trouble (you can’t deny it bro!).

At least I can be grateful for one thing…for now anyway. They don’t tend to gang up on me too much. Most of the taunting is aimed at each other. Somehow, I can’t see this lasting. There can be a lot of copying, usually from Miss Phoebe watching her older sister of course! But then she sure knows how to try and get her big sister in trouble. Lucky I wasn’t born yesterday and have started getting used to some of the signs, haha! The joys of raising children, they can have you smiling, crying and then screaming in the space of about 30 seconds flat. It’s the best thing I have ever done (insert sarcastic tone here). Well, in a way it is the best thing I have ever done, having children, but don’t ever quote that back to me on a bad day!

I’ve said this before but I do love that my girls will always have each other. And when they aren’t trying to get each other in trouble, they actually have somewhat of a close bond. I can only hope this continues throughout their lives. I’m still a little terrified (okay, a lot!) at the thought of having two teenage girls to deal with one day. I may have to go into hiding or take up meditation, they’re both viable options, haha! My girls are pretty good kids, when they want something. I’m kidding, they are most of the time. I think everyone just seems to catch me on the bad days, which feel like they’re becoming more often, haha! I know I’d be lost without them and to be honest they give me some pretty good material to write about as well. Now excuse me while I go deal with the latest dramatic episode in sister life, someone has probably stolen yet another pony or barbie doll or even just looked twice in the wrong direction! Ahhhhh children, gotta love it!

Smack, bang, game over

“I’m going to bed early tonight.”

Hahahaha! It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve said all day, maybe all year, perhaps in the last decade too. I rarely go to bed early these days. I look at any time after the girls go to bed as “my time”. Yes, it means I get a little less sleep. But it’s my chance to watch a grown-up television show (as in something that isn’t on ABCKids), try to read a book or even do some writing, woohoo excitement plus! That’s the joy of parenting right?! There’s some kind of silver lining there.

Your priorities definitely change as a parent. How you define them is your choice but finding some time for myself is always a big one. And if that means losing a little bit of sleep, I guess I’ll just have to wear it. But when my dearest darling children are the ones behind my loss of sleep, it’s another story!

They just know when to pounce, every time. Whether it’s super early, late, your defences are way down or they just want to push the buttons. It’s like my girls know exactly when I’ve hit my deep sleep and bam, it’s time to bring me back to wide awake again. Or they know when I’m starting to stir in the morning. You know that moment where you first open your eyes and before you know it they spot you. You can’t close your eyes again because they know you’re awake. You want just a couple more minutes but defeat is your best option.

It’s pretty much the best option especially when the odds are stacked against you. The tears. The tantrums. The whinging and whining. It all makes me want to hide in a cupboard until it’s all over. Will it ever be over?! Insert long drawn out groan right here. Haha! Ahhhhh the fun.

Lately I feel like I’ve been more of a referee than anything else.
“Izzie hit me.”
“Phoebe bit me.”
“Izzie’s not sharing.”
“Phoebe took it.”
“Mummy it’s not fair.”
I think I’ve said “life’s not fair kiddo” more times than I can count and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen so many eye rolls I’m waiting for a little head to spin around.

Miss Izzie is my drama queen. Everything is the end of the world, especially when she doesn’t get her own way.
Miss Phoebe is just hell bent on stirring up trouble whenever she can. If she can get her sister into trouble she will and she doesn’t care how she goes about it.
I then feel I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to work out which child is in trouble and who is the cause of trouble. Phoebe’s cheeky grin is often a dead giveaway of her guilt.
Honestly, I feel like bashing my head against a wall, it might be more effective seeing as they don’t listen to me anyway. I predict the future won’t be any better so I’m adjusting as best I can already, haha!

But as always, they know how to work their magic and find a way back into Mummy’s good books. I’m a bit of a softie when they come up and hug me for no reason or tell me they love me, it is kind of sweet. And they’re still at an age where you can almost safely assume they don’t want anything major. But then again, I do still have the say over when they can have chocolate…..

The fun side of growing up

I’ve always thought it was a bit of a bummer being the youngest child. I know there’s only two of us (sucks to be you if you have more older siblings) but at times it hasn’t always been fun being the youngest. And if you’re about to say the youngest gets everything, that’s not always true! Plus having an older brother, I swear he got away with so many things and then I wasn’t allowed to go out as much either as a teenager, thanks to his antics! I could say so many things about him here because it’s unlikely he’ll read this. Older siblings, who would have them? Haha! In saying that he’s been an alright older brother, looking out for me in some of the toughest times in my life. Yep, being the baby of the family has both its perks and a downside as well, as with everything!

I guess I have noticed I do have a bit of a soft spot for my baby, Miss Phoebe. Don’t get me wrong I love my girls equally and I don’t have a favourite (not all the time anyway!) but there are times when my heart goes out to my youngest child. If you can’t beat them, join them, right?! Must be because we have that younger sibling role in common. Or because for now she still sort of listens to me. Who am I kidding? My children don’t like to listen, especially Miss four going on 14 and Miss two I’m copying what my sister does! Maybe we’ll go with the younger sibling link, for now anyway!

Let’s face it as the youngest you pretty much learn about life the hard way. The oldest is the test dummy and if they survive okay, then once the second arrives they can handle it even more! Just thinking back to when Miss Izzie was a baby, I watched her like a hawk, was careful how she ate food in case she choked and overall made sure nothing happened to her. Miss Pheebs on the other hand has had a somewhat more relaxed upbringing so far.
As a younger sibling you get pushed around, pushed over, kicked, sometimes bitten, toys, thrown at you and taken off you and that’s just a selection of the fun. I guess it’s all part of the pecking order. Quite often I have to step in as referee before things escalate but more often than not Miss Pheebs stands up for herself (you go kid! I’m kidding of course!).

As always though, mum guilt kicks in when I worry about being too hard on Miss Izzie as the eldest. I know her whole world changed when her little sister came into the picture, but I just hope she knows how much her little sister looks up to her. I love watching her get along with her baby sister, those are the best times. The fun, the laughter and then the cuddles when they see each other after some time apart, it certainly makes up for any tough times. I know it’s not going to last forever. I’m still dreading the day I come across some serious hair pulling or fighting over clothes or boys, that will be fun (not!). I still want to skip those years, long before they happen! Lucky I love them right?!

On that note, if you’re still reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and joyous start to the new year. Thank you for your support in what can only be described as a challenging and emotional year. Let’s see what 2018 brings. 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!

Good times and bad

Do you ever just look at your kids and think wow what did I do to be given such angels? Pffffft nope neither do I! If it ever happens it’s usually in the five minutes they sleep peacefully….in their own beds. Ahhhhhh bliss. I’m still waiting for that five minutes. I can dream that one day it’ll happen!

The joys of parenting are never ending. You worry if they’re too hot or too cold. You worry they’re going to axe themselves when they start running at a million miles per hour on hard ground. Soft skin on little arms and legs doesn’t take too kindly to rocks, concrete or even dry grass it seems. I’m sure it’ll toughen them up in some way right?!

The fun I’m facing right now involves the constant battle to get each other in trouble. There’s snatching of toys, hitting, ear piercing screams and tears plus many cries of “mummy, mummy, mummy” followed by accusations of things that haven’t happened just to cause more trouble. And it’s not always who you first think as the instigator either!! It’s a case of can’t you two just get along? They do for awhile and it can be cute to watch but it’s almost like an invisible hand flicks a switch and a treasured toy is taken causing the outbreak of another sibling war, it’s just awesome.

I swear I heard Miss Phoebe, who isn’t even two yet, ask me “why” when I was talking to her recently. I knew this day would come but I’m not ready for two children asking me why of everything just yet. It’s enough they’re competing to get all of mummy to themselves, I’m not sure I can handle hearing double cries of why? I think my head might explode, haha!

But kids know exactly when to push your buttons. They have a knack for working out when your defences are down and boom they pounce, usually teaming up together for an extra boost as well. And it sounds terrible but sometimes I love being able to dish out a bit of punishment in return. Confiscating toys or even reneging on a promise after they do something wrong, you almost can’t help but laugh at their reaction. I must admit I do give in occasionally. It’s the quivering lip and puppy dog eyes that get me!

I’m not always nice mummy though. It can be little things, big things and sometimes nothing at all. But it’s when they don’t listen that I get a little frustrated. I just love repeating myself, said no mother ever. Not to mention saying things in slow motion as you repeat them to the child who has said “what?” to the message you are trying to get across to them. Grrrrrrrr! If you listen the first time….we all know that will never happen!!
As I’ve said many times before (talk about repeating myself, haha) even though they drive me crazy, I would be lost without my babies, they are my world. I don’t want to scream, yell or get angry with them but sometimes you just have to do it and maybe quietly cry about it later. The things we mummas have to do are endless but I guess it’s all part of the journey or motherhood.

But there was one moment recently that definitely made me smile and it’s not the first time my girls have done it either. As I watched then playing together….nicely too…they started giggling, clearly having a great time and without hesitation they hugged. The sister bond they share is not one I will ever know but it makes me glad to know they will always have each other to lean on.

Feeding frenzy

It’s official.

I’m just a milk machine again.

Our latest little bundle of joy is now almost two weeks old and very much settled into the household.

Miss Phoebe (yep, another girl has joined the ranks) had a quick entrance into the world surprising us all by arriving both before an anticipated induction and after only two and half hours of labour (no pain relief either!).

Now that you’ve finished cursing me for being lucky it’s time to sympathize instead (haha)!

My eyes are hanging out of my head, my boobs have a mind of their own and my belly looks like a deflated balloon.

Things could be worse but life is certainly very different the second time around.

Yes newborns are kind of predictable as they mostly eat, sleep, poo and repeat.

But throw an energetic, inquisitive toddler into the mix and it does change things….big time!

I must admit we are coping much better than I thought.

Although there have been many tears (pretty much all mine) and a few arguments (mainly started by me), we are working well as a team.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting to happen but it’s certainly been an experience and a time of adjustment….and it’s only the beginning!

I have and am still going through mummy guilt for Miss Izzie.

My husband keeps telling me I’m being silly but what would he know right?! (Haha!)

She’s gone from having my full attention to having to share it in the blink of an eye.

So far, apart from showering her baby sister in kisses and cuddles, and a few attempts at giving her scraps of food, we seem to be doing okay.

She has been helping with nappy changes and grabbing things for mummy and daddy too.

I dread the day I see her trying to really help mummy by carrying Miss Phoebe or even dragging her across the floor (yikes)!

As I keep reminding myself every little aspect of this new adventure is all part of the fun of parenting.

We’re revisiting parts of it again having a newborn in the house but we’re also learning what it’s like to juggle two at a time.

They’re still fighting fit and that’s a good start.

Anything that goes wrong from here is their father’s fault (just kidding)!

Although it will be interesting to see how things go once he returns to work.

We’ll save that story for another day.

But for now I’m mostly enjoying being a new mummy for the second time, especially with snuggly newborn cuddles.

On that note, it looks like it’s milk machine time……again!