Becoming a mum has opened up my eyes to a whole new world. A world where sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going, sometimes I don’t know if I’m happy or sad and sometimes I don’t know if I want to hug someone or throw something. Some days it’s a total mess of confusion but at the same time it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
Parenting is a paradox.
I wonder why no one ever told us of the hardship, of the struggle, of the ups and downs of parenting. About those nights when you are awake more than you are asleep, taking shifts with your husband and passing each other in the hallway like zombies in the night. Those days when nothing goes right and you are left crying behind the closed bathroom door thinking how can I be getting this so wrong! Those weeks where one day rolls into the next and you wonder if life will ever be easy again.
On a good day you sit watching an animated movie with your babies thinking life could not get any better. On a bad day you pass a childless couple dressed up to have a quiet relaxing dinner together and just think ‘those f*ckers’.
On a good day you could just sit and watch the magical, timeless days as they unfold for a child. On a bad day you just want to run out on to the street and scream TAKE THEM AWAY.
On a good day watching your husband play with the kids gives you those same feelings you felt on your first date. On a bad day you just want to hit him with a baseball bat because, well... just because.
Oh the paradox.
So, in wondering why no one really talks about the bad days, I thought about what I would say to my daughter when one day she comes to me and tells me that she too, is going to be a Mummy. I might think to myself all of the above..... But then there’s that other side of the paradox. That part of parenting that is so hard to even find the words to describe it. That part that you would never want to scare anyone away from experiencing because it’s the absolute best thing that has ever happened to you.
How could you find the words to explain to someone that something so challenging is also the most magical thing in existence?
I really don't think it's possible. So instead, I’ll feel my daughters joy, I’ll tell her it’s going to be amazing, I’ll tell her that I’m going to be there for her every step of the way and I'll tell her to keep her girlfriends close because she is going to need them more than ever.
Because really, that’s all we need. Someone to say “I’ve been there”. Someone to say “tomorrow is a new day”. Someone to say “it's a toddlers job to drive you crazy but you’ll get through it”. Someone to say "I'm glad it's not just me".
Women need other women. So if you’re considering having kids, build up your team of kick arse women who will have your back. Kick arse women who will pick you up when you’re down and make you laugh when you thought you had no other option but to cry. If you have kids and don’t have those women, then open your heart and let them in. Find them. And never let them go. Because they are the only ones that know what you’re going through and the only ones who can say “I feel the same”. Those women are your saving grace.
The biggest paradox of parenting is when you wonder why your mum never told you how hard this was going to be and then you understand. You understand and you realise that you will do exactly the same thing one day.