Being a parent is the most difficult job on earth.
I’m going share some the difficulties from my perspective as a Mother (because that’s the only perspective I can give a truly honest account of).
I think that having a child is the biggest most rewarding experience, a true blessing and one that I’m eternally thankful for and these challenges I face are no reflection on the joy that I experience being a mother and the unrelenting happiness they bring to my life.
In my opinion you won’t completely comprehend the meaning of true love until you have a little life in your hands that is entirely your responsibility to keep alive and not only keep alive but to cherish and protect every part of that tiny little soul, physically and mentally.
Whilst preparing to have a child people share all sorts of advice and feelings from their parental journey, I even shared mine as a naive childless woman, how I feel silly now about some of my ignorant comments. You don’t know anything till you have your own and even then you won’t know much.
You start to love your child the moment you realise your going to have one, and that builds, grows and multiplies over time without you even noticing.
You start to have dreams, expectations, imaginations, wishes and hopes for that life you desire to bring into the world.
Then one day it a becomes a physical existence, reality, a baby.
Its handed to you with soft pink flesh, smelling like an angel,
with tiny little hands and feet and the most beautiful little face, everything you had dreamed and more, All that building, growing and multiplying of emotions swarm over you like a tidal wave and your powerless to its force.
You have become Mother.
You spend the first few weeks getting to grips with this new shift of priorities, I felt like my like my life no longer belonged to me and that my universe now revolve around this little human and I happily accepted my new position.
I love my husband and everything that our life is but it is a different love you share with your partner. It’s a choice to love, a love we chose to build on and grow and work at every day and having a child strengthened it, made it blossom to a new level, we share something now that bonds us for life aside from our love and desire to be together.
The love you feel for a child is one born without choice.
One that comes with great responsibility.
We have managed up to now to keep our children alive for 6 years, and to be frank I’m bloody proud of that fact. Parenting is hard.
I am not a perfect parent. Far from it.
And I’ll share a secret with you.
THERE ARE NO PERFECT PARENTS!
I don’t care who you are, where your from, how much money you have, how big your house is, what experience you have. When you have your own child none of it matters.
We are all bloody winging it.
Using the tools we have to do the best we can and guess what, sometimes we fall sort.
I feel like we are providing the general basics for our kids, food in their bellies, clean clothes on their backs, roof over their heads. They are clean and healthy. These are thing I have relitive control over.
It’s the emotional stuff that I feel I struggle with mostly, the other stuff you can see, fix and alter with such ease as wiping a dirty face. Emotional health is a whole different matter. I cannot see what I’m missing there, what I need to attend too and it makes me feel helpless.
I can do my best to make my children feel safe, cuddle when poorly, soothe when hurt, to make them happy in a moment with fun and laugher, to comfort them when they are sad, to explain when they are confused or curious, to teach them right from wrong, and good and bad.
The true difficulty is when you can not help, because you can’t see the struggle, when they can’t express their needs, when they don’t have the words to tell you.
All parents feel the pressures of raising a child.
I feel sometimes my pressures can be a little different because my children are different, no more or less important than anyones elses, my children’s perspective of the world differs from ordinary people therefore as is their reaction to it and in turn how I handle it.
The boys are opposites on how they express their needs, one will hold in all his emotions because he cannot tell you, find the words, place how he feels, explain or understand his feelings. The other is a force to be reckoned with, his emotions are strong, loud and are physically reactive and are shown in their basic form, he’s either very happy, very angry or very sad, for him its simplistic and bare. Esme is different too, she is shows her feelings on her face, and she tells me with her words and her emotional reactions to things, she’s easy to read and decipher and I can easily get her pin point the basic feelings because she seems able to understand and separate them, I can fathom her out much easier than I can the boys at this point but I’m sure all this will change when she becomes a lovely teenage girl.
I am the only person that they feel safe enough with to show their true feelings with because they know matter what mummy loves them. Everyday I have to find way to help them to communicate, to teach them ways to tell me their needs. I am usually hit physically or emotionally as they struggle to handle their own emotional well-being. Every single day I feel like a failure, like I could have done something better, different or tried harder, realistically though I have to remind myself that I’m doing my best for them with the knowledge and tools I have at hand.
Then there’s the guilt. I feel guilty about everything.
The guilt I have about having to spend more time with one child than the others, the guilt about how its one rule for one and another for the other, how I expect different expectations from each child because of their capabilities. I have guilt about everything I can do, don’t do, do do, should do, shouldn’t do. There’s no winner with guilt.
On top of that there’s the worry. I worry about it all!
Are they happy? Are they safe, hurt, poorly? Are they feeling ok? Are they worried, anxious, scared? Have they eaten enough? are they warm, cold? Are people being kind to them? are they being bullied? Are they struggling? What if something happens to them? What if they get lost? And so so much more.
This is constantly niggling though my thoughts all the time. I have anxiety attacks about all my worries while trying to sleep at night, in the darkness of my room with nothing but my thoughts swirling about in my head, my heart starts to pound and race, I feel like a 1000 LB weight is sitting on my chest crushing me, trapped under the pressure of it.
I’d say that 70% of my worries are things I have 0 control over, the actions of others, the world we live in, the cruelty of life. I know I cannot control these. I still worry about them all the same though.
I try to prepare the kids the best I can for the,’ what if’s’, because that’s all we can do. I wish that they will never have the need for it.
One thing that I don’t think any of us mothers are truly prepared for is the loneliness of it.
You can have a supportive partner, my case a very supportive, loving husband and amazing Daddy to our children, you can have a loving family who have your back and will drop everything to be there for you, you can have best friends to bend the ears off.
I am very lucky I have all these people in my life.
BUT I feel alone. I struggle daily, I fight every single day to keep my shit together. I leave the house everyday with the impression that everything is good, because that what I want the world to see. Because that what us Moms do. We are the glue. What other choice do we have. Also I feel that if we are all alone somehow we are all together.
People don’t see the moments when we are washing the pots, crying over the sink because the pressure of it just too much. The days when hide in the bathroom just to steady yourself. When the fight gets too difficult that you feel that you could just walk away.
You can’t walk away though, or give up, or stop fighting, these are not choices what are offered to us because of the Love, the love that we bore. The love that we are powerless too.
A mothers love.