Before I had my own kids I used to look at other families through rose tinted glasses and just imagine what it would be like to have these little people in your life who were hanging on your every word and doing exactly what you said, when you said it with a, ‘Yes please Mummy!’ at the end of every sentence.
I’ve always been a naturally maternal person and growing up always wanted to babysit other children as we didn’t have a big family ourselves and I was always really good with other’s children I wanted to play with them and always took time out for my own nephews and friends children. I couldn’t wait for the day when I could grow up, get married and have a brood of my own.
Before I had my own kids I honestly used to look at other parents who seemed in control and on top of it all and think how easy, lovely and pleasurable parenting looked, I imagined a scene out of the Waltons. Then in 2005 I met my soul mate and best friend, Richard we were together just over 3 years before we set a date to get married and then immediately wanted to start trying for children even before we got wed. I was getting older and my biological clock was ticking and we couldn’t wait. At first we started out thinking it would happen quite soon-ish and then when it didn’t, that excitement grew into frustration and all the while I’d be looking at other families with their own brood and I was just wishing it would be our turn. Then 18 months later we feel pregnant and we were over the moon, all our dreams came true.
I had a great pregnancy and after a 26 hour long labour I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Thomas and he was everything we dreamed of, such a beautiful baby boy and he was such a good baby too. We’d waited so long to have our own baby that we didn’t take precautions and fell pregnant again 3 months later, we couldn’t believe it. I gave birth to James 1 year and 8 days after having Thomas, it was a surprise but, a welcomed surprise and he was so beautiful and we were blessed with another healthy, beautiful baby boy.
The next 3.5 years was particularly hectic, busy and I often felt frazzled bringing up two children with only a year apart. I used to go to those mother and baby groups and I was the mum with two babies and I was trying to feed one whilst the other one was crying and wanting to be fed too and it all just felt like hard work! But, we managed and got through it somehow but, it did have it’s challenges at times. We both worked full time and I studied, it was crazy but, they didn’t go without, in fact far from it, we’ve created some amazing memories and continue to do so.
Having two boys is the best gift we could have ever received but, my goodness it’s been challenging at times as the two of them are just typical boys, they’re boisterous, spirited and strong willed but, kind loving and caring too and I wouldn’t have it any other way! They can have tantrums in the most inappropriate places and at times when we could do without it, they’re ultra-competitive and they view everything as a challenge which has it’s good points and it’s bad points. They’re best friends one minute and competitors the next but, that’s the beauty of brothers and I love seeing their friendship grow over time.
So now as a Mum myself when I see another mum with a toddler in the middle of a tantrum I’m much more less judgmental and I can walk right on by without even looking at them because I know how she’s feeling at that time. On the outside she looks calm and together but on the inside it’s a very different story and I know that feeling all too well. Then as a parent there’s the school runs which never seem to go to plan even when we’ve got the uniforms and breakfast pots ready the day before and there always seems to be a last minute dash for the ‘take the toy to school day’ which causes its own set of problems. Then we’ve got the clubs and the boy’s hobbies which means taking and picking them up to swimming, footy (Richard tends to do this) and the birthday parties, which can sometimes seem like a never ending cycle but nevertheless they enjoy it and it’s a chance for us to catch up with the other parents too. The parents usually spend their time sipping tea whilst swopping stories about their children and our boys have two sets of great friends so I too enjoy that time.
Being a parent myself now I see other families, mums, dads and children and watch the way they interact and look to my friends and those families who seem to have it all together and pick up tips and swop stories with my friends too and as mothers we all try to help one another. You see, nothing quite prepares you for parenthood and there are times when it’s stressful, challenging and it can get very emotional and tiredness plays a huge part in that but, that’s all part of the journey. You have to take the rough with the smooth!
Nowadays, I don’t always think the way the child behaves is a reflection of a parent either because sometimes children can just push the boundaries because they just feel like it and now I think it’s a good thing too in some ways. We’re still learning everyday how to support our children through their emotions (and ours during the difficult times) because it’s hard for them to understand the feelings of anger and frustration but, we’re on this continuous journey with them and we’re loving every minute of it!
As they grow we’re learning from them too and they teach us so much, they view the world in a completely different way, they just want to have fun, they don’t conform to society and I just love that. Everyday we notice small changes in their outlook, their perspective and their behaviour and it’s so interesting to observe. We’re proud of the way they’re growing up and of course we are biased.
Parenting is such an enjoyable and rewarding experience but, it certainly comes with it’s own challenges too, I’m embracing every part of it and I look forward to learning new things and adapting my skills as they grow up too!