If you tell me you love every moment of every day with your kids, I’m sorry but I’d have to call you a liar.
I love being a mum. I love my kids. But now that they’re all well into their school years I feel like I’ve reached an entirely new domain which really makes me miss those baby days filled with endless cuddles and slobbery kisses all over my face.
I even miss those sleepless nights huddled up close whilst breastfeeding in the wee hours of the morning. It was hard at the time, but the thing is, it hasn’t gotten any easier as my kids have reached school age. That’s my truth, anyway.
Team Mamamia confess: The time I was a bad mum. Post continues below.
The first few years with a baby and toddler I felt supported, like every parenting resource was either easily accessed in the community, readily available at bookshops or online, or thrown at you by general parenting gurus/know-it-alls.
But when it came to having tweens and teens, I felt far less prepared for the daily parenting grind than I did sitting in the hospital room with all of my newborn babies (being ever so gratefully mollycoddled by pretty much everyone I interacted with).
That’s why I’m sharing the 10 things I think parents of school age kids should be warned about and adequately prepared for. They’re the very things I loathe, and I learned about them the hard way:
1. The vomit bugs.
Baby puke is nothing compared to holding a bucket in your kid’s face while they’re on the toilet being sick both ways, silently praying they don’t get it in your hair. Then there’s the 10 loads of laundry over the next three days because it goes through all your kids. Is it any wonder parents’ faces turn deathly white at the mere mention of a ‘gastro bug’ going around?
2. The ‘I hate you mum’ moments.
I’m pretty sure I never told my mum I hated her (not to her face anyway, for fear of getting an old fashioned smack). But my girls don’t seem to have a problem holding back on this one. The best comeback I have is, ‘Good, I know I’m doing my job right then’.
3. The ‘she/he’s your favourite’ syndrome.
This is basically an extension of no.2, because most of the time my kids are hating on me because I apparently love the others more. ‘How come she got this? How come he got that? You always take her side! You always believe her! You love her more than me!’ These defiant claims are standard on any given day in my household.
4. Playing parenting favourites.
Of course daddy is the favourite because daddy gives them money for the canteen and bought them a dirt bike. Never mind the new undies, socks, clothes, school shoes, party shoes, sports shoes and those dreaded school theme/mufti-day outfits that cost mum a small fortune.
5. They let you go – willingly.
Sometimes you get your heart broken by your own kids – repeatedly. I have to admit the independence was cute the first time only I got pushed away with a ‘Bye mum’. Worse still are the moments they say, ‘Mum can you go now, you’re embarrassing me’.