Parenthood. The name has so many meanings – and means something different for each and every one of us. It is a difficult, rewarding and an amazing experience, often all at the same time. Life however is not unfulfilling if you do not have kids. But I hate that some people think that it is; or that we are judged on the fact of childbearing/childrearing/childless as being a descriptor for us.
The daily battles with not only myself, but with the kids, need to be selected – and carefully. Some days, fatigue sets in early, and clouds my judgment. Things that normally might not bother me, do. Couple this with four active and stubborn kids and it leaves me feeling like I am just out to survive the day. Waiting, waiting, waiting for that sun to go down so they can go to bed. Only to sleep a bit and then I get to do it all again tomorrow. If only you know completely, before having kids, just how much psychological warfare is to be used, so you can equip yourself, prepare yourself. I am unprepared, unmatched, and outmanned most days.
I think I would have laughed if someone told me 10 years ago that raising kids was like ‘this’. Even now I sometimes catch myself looking at the scenario – I mean really looking, and thinking, ‘wow, why do I actually care so much if she does not want to do ____/wear ____/eat ____? ‘ Motherhood is a strange existence sometimes. One minute you are consoling a sick/injured/tired child, the next you are on full scale debate as to why we should eat vegetables, or the values of doing a base in lego. There are no professional development days as a mum. Most of the ‘experience’ you gain is your own passage of motherhood time. There are no powerpoint presentations to help you prepare, there are books, but they generally make me feel as though I am doing far worse than I thought.
That horrid feeling. Those two words. Yep, you are likely well versed in the signs and symptoms of mothers guilt. It is a condition commonly felt when you have so many things to do, and have not been able to sufficiently juggle everything to fit *everything* in.
It is a type of guilt that has varying levels. You can feel guilty for your inability to *do* something for your kids, like not being able to take them to the beach/park/play date. Sometimes you just can’t get there. That is generally ok. Then there is the guilt that hangs around like a bad smell, because you work or just can’t do something. You feel as though you are constantly not there enough, not doing enough, not being enough for them. Or that they don’t have the best of everything (like they care), but in all reality, you are. The irony here is that we are our own worst enemies and judge ourselves to all manner of harshness when we just don’t need to!