Thursday, 2 June 2011

Here's to parents

You know being a parent is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. I don’t care what anybody says, it is simply hard. Staying at home all day with young children is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. People often say to me, “How do you do it? How do you manage with 4 kids?” I don’t know how I do it. I do it because there isn’t any other choice. As a mother you just do what you have to do.

A friend of mine had twins recently. Now there’s someone who you can say, “How do you do it?” to.  I am totally amazed by her.  She is feeding both of them and because they are small she has had to feed them more often. She is a first time Mum. Can you imagine the shock she would have had bringing them home? Can you remember the feeling of being overwhelmed when you brought your first baby home? Can remember the advice and the feeling of failure because you weren’t doing what was expected? The conflicting advice? (And I am guilty of giving unsolicited advice too. Sorry.) The goo - ing and gaa – ing that occurred when you first had the baby only to end when you really needed someone to help, to give you 10 minutes to have a shower or an hour to have a sleep? The complete tiredness from breastfeeding.  (Those people who say breast feeding isn’t draining surely had someone else supply the milk. It’s not only the getting up during the night but the physical drain of having to produce that milk.) So tired you can’t think properly? You remember that? I’ve got no idea how my friend is doing it.  Logically I know. She’s doing because she has to but even after 4 babies I don’t know I could handle it, that I’d know what to do. It amazes me what she is doing. I don’t even think she’s given a formula bottle in desperation. She is truly wonderful. She must be so tired and so drained.  I want to tell her it’ll get better but I don’t want to lie. It gets better but then the next problem will present itself.

Motherhood involves constant learning. I just don’t seem to be able to master it. Every one of my kids are different and they have each required different responses to situations. Hannah responds well to having her face in the corner of the naughty corner whereas Hollie is punished enough by just having to sit in it. Don’t send Jessica to her room as she enjoys the time alone in her bed too much. With the end of every phase of parenthood comes the beginning of the next phase with its own challenges. It is a wonderful experience this motherhood thing but gosh it’s hard. Some days when Kevin walks through the door after a hard day of being a high school teacher, I’d give anything to be the one in the work clothes but not this week.

On Tuesday I had to take Lisa to the hospital to get her cough and wheeze checked out. She hasn’t been feeding well. Her feeds have been short and the frequency has stayed the same. She’s lost weight which is a little scary. It may just be the different scales but 1.1kgs in 2 weeks is not good. 1.1 kgs is too big a difference for it to be the scales too. They have put her on antibiotics! I’ve never had a baby on medicine before. They also said her wheeze sounds like an asthma wheeze but they won’t diagnose that until they are 3 years old. She is worse in the mornings and evenings. The cold chill makes the wheeze louder. I’m just glad it was me there with her. My poor little baby.

So here’s to Mums and Dads everywhere. I hope you are all having a wonderful week and rejoicing in your wonderful and not-so-wonderful children. Here’s hoping you have wonderful friends like me, who looked after my kids and my ring ins while I took Lisa to the hospital and who provided morning tea and lots of chatting and mother talk this morning and made everything in life seem ok. Thanks. I don’t know what I would do without the knowledge that what I'm going through is normal, what my kids are doing is normal.

Here is Hollie last week performing her shark song on parade. She was fantastic. I'm glad I'm the Mum who stays home so I'm able to attend all of her school events. I'd hate to miss it because I'm working. Poor Kevin always misses out. I'm a very lucky lady.

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