I returned to my old work place for a very short time following the birth of my eldest. The dream had always been to work from home as a writer and it came as no surprise that this dream only intensified after having children. However, making the change from one profession to another is not always easy so until the writing kicked off I opted for the ‘easy’ option of childminding. Easy – well I was looking after one child, a few more wouldn’t be hard, would it? How wrong could one person be? My life felt like a million ‘winging it’ moments strung together. Standing in the playground collecting the after-school kids I would scan the faces of the other mums and dads. These were the parenting pros, they each had four, five, six or more parenting years under their belts. I hadn’t even been parenting for a year, I felt like a total novice with no idea what I was doing, they all had it sussed right?
I am now into my fourth year of being a school run mum and some days I feel less knowledgeable than ever. Winging it continues daily and I am beginning to wonder if anyone EVER feels like a pro when it comes to parenting. Despite my clear doubts I have learnt SOME home truths from the motherhood world.
1- You will always be tired. ALWAYS. I spent the first few years pleading with the Gods to let my eldest sleep through the night, so shattered I felt permanently queasy. One day she did sleep through the night, and then she did it again, then my second came along and after a few years (yes years) I mastered getting them both to go to sleep. But I am still tired. My mind is constantly filled with the million and one things I need to remember; school trips, forms that need filling in, dentist appointments, the list goes on. I don’t think all the sleep in the world would make me feel pre-kids awake again.
2- You will, at some point in your parenting life, catch vomit. Chances are you have done it multiple times before your kids turn one. They have a knack of choosing the most inconvenient moments to hurl and its your job to save on yet another dry cleaning/ car valeting/ carpet cleaning bill.
3- You will get used to the smell of your own child’s poo. Even now, years after potty training I can still precisely pin point which of my kids just farted.
4- Girls with sync with their mum’s hormonal cycle years before they start their periods. Why? I don’t know, but I do know just before I’m due on my kids are vile… or is that just me?
5- You will listen to ‘baby shark’ (do do do) for ten hours straight across rural France just for an easy life.
6- Despite thinking yourself an expert at whether your child is truly ill or not, they will, at some point, hoodwink you into believing they need a day off school (when they don’t).
7- Every day as a parent will surprise you, be it that you are surprised that they can actually be THAT naughty, or their act of supreme kindness bowls you over, no two days are the same. And that is what I love the most.
If the things that I have learnt are as close to parenting professionalism as I am going to get, well, you know, I’ll take it.