As most of you probably know, or are about to find out, and I apologize if you are newly pregnant and this piece of writing scares the morning sickness right out of you, being a mom is a pretty crazy job. I like to refer to it as the roller coaster of all roller coasters. I don’t think there’s a theme park on this planet that has anything like the roller-coaster of motherhood within its gates. The ups are as high as the empire state building and the lows are well, pretty freakin’ low. The nonstop asking for food, the years of wiping butts, the constant but whyyyyyy?’s, the tears, tantrums, and in my house the sister fights, are enough to drive any stay at home parent, or even any working parent, to the brink exhaustion; but the spontaneous mommy…. I love you’s, the uncontrollable giggles, the cuddles and hugs and major milestone achievements (such as wiping their own butt) make it worth every step of the way, even if you cried into three glasses of wine to get through the night the day before.
Parenting is kinda one of those things that we think everyone does so we think can do it too. And as much as that’s true, it isn’t, if you don’t have the support you need. There is no real preparation for what actually ensues as a parent. You can read ALL the books, go to dozens of parenting workshops, listen to all your mom friends stories, but until you are in those sleepless shoes and going through the motions, no one really has a clue what being a parent truly entails. I know, I sure as hell didn’t. As parents, we need someone to listen to our battles, our stories of how our two year old took off their diaper and smeared their crap all over the wall and the how we spent 3 hours cleaning it up and burning all sorts of incense to get rid of the poop smell; or how our newborn projectile vomited into our mouths when lifting them out of their car seat, which caused a chain like reaction of vomit in the parking lot at Coles. Someone has to hear this stuff and share in our pain, someone who also has children. Preferably children close in age to our own. We need advice or an ear when our kids won’t eat, won’t sleep or refuses to wear pants. And the reason we need this ear is because we need to know we aren’t alone, and that all this, what seems to be absolutely insane behaviour, is absolutely normal, and it’s just part of the job and is in no way a reflection of who you are as a mother or father. Especially the puking in your mouth thing, that crap just happens, and you gotta rinse, spit, and move on.
The other day I wrote a long winded mommy rant post on Facebook about my youngest who was in the middle of a crazy screaming, no sleep, no anything-I-wanted-her-to-do phase. There were about 38 comments on it, most of which said it’s just a phase and it wont last, but one of which came from a dear friend who recently lost her father and put him to rest that day on the other side of the country. She basically told me that my struggles were all part of being a mom and one day the effort we put in will come back to us in a way we never imagine. My response: It already has. My kids have taught me so much already. I will be forever grateful for them, their love, their lessons, and all the hard moments (even the moments where I want to bury myself in a hole just to have a pee in peace, or jump a flight to Tahiti and sleep in a king size bed ALONE for 8 consecutive hours). I think her point was once our kids get older, old enough to be there for us emotionally and physically when we need them the most, which isn’t as far away as we think, we’ll look back and realize how very worth it all the sleepless nights and moments of toddler torture actually are. And you know what, I ‘d like to think I will one day cherish this period in my life (more than I do now) and honour my strength as a mom of two toddlers, rather than block it out like they do in Men in Black with that laser pen thingy. So I am going to go with that, and hope to hell she’s right.
In the meantime, all I can suggest is, know that everything you’re feeling or will feel, and everything you’re facing or will face, you’re not alone. Remember that support thing I mentioned earlier? Well here’s another place you’re going to find it! This little yogi momma is living it, loving it, and promises to remind you at the very least, with a little humor & possibly a little merlot- you will get you through to the other side.