A funny thing happened from a week of writing using prompts, this blog has started to feel a little more like home, like the comfortable place I wanted it to be. That place where I could practice my writing and share my thoughts and have tea with an old friend. It was always supposed to be a place to share my friends with the world but also to have a place to check in and compose my thoughts. A place to figure out my journey in written form. Writing long pieces on a daily basis has become the norm around here and although I won’t be keeping up that pace, let’s just enjoy this closeness while it’s here this week.
Last night I took part in the Instachat over on Twitter. As usual, I was late and scrolling through the questions and answers trying to keep up. I came across a tweet that was about community and how Instagram had helped a single mum of twin girls. It got me thinking and I remembered that my escapism was this blog and the surrounding social media. That by writing and talking with all of you that, that is how I kept an element of sanity in my life during the early days of baby and toddler insanity. That image above is about as real as it gets here on a tough day. I haven’t brushed my hair, I have managed to get dressed but I haven’t made it off the couch.
I keep reminding myself that those sleepless nights and pyjama days that blur from days into weeks, you know those ones where you feel like you could actually loose your mind and you feel like you never come up for air; those were the ones that changed my life and not just because I was now a mother but because it forced me to create something for me. By constantly giving to other people you get burnt out so fast and those baby hormones, well they are just dagnammit evil. How on earth are you supposed to function as a human when you are crying into your cereal because you used the blue cup instead of a mug for coffee?
Do you know yourself?
There are so many thoughts that go through your mind when you are going to have a baby but they never really prepare you for actually having, holding and then raising one. I never really thought that even at 0 months old they would teach me things about myself, I mean, I have been with myself for 30 plus years, I should know myself right? Turns out that I didn’t know myself as well as I thought and as I read that tweet I wanted to run over and hug this mum and make her tea and tell her the world will come right again.
They will *eventually* sleep. They won’t need you in the same way they do when they are brand new. At almost 3, T is strong, determined, willful and only needs me to provide food, shelter and the odd magic kiss to make the owie go away. I can’t take any credit, she came into the world that way. That need, that smothering, clinging need she had is gone and in its place is the need for me to guide her and set boundaries and explain the answers to her never-ending cycle of questions.
I’m not a parent blogger but these little insights into my thoughts can sometimes help you, you know who you are, to get through the day. I remember reading a paragraph once from a lifestyle blog that in my opinion the most ridiculous thing I had ever read. I one hundred percent disagreed with everything, from how they thought kids should be dressed and how they should meet the world. That an emphasis at a certain young age should be on styling and not on growing up and having fun. I remember feeling sorry for that child, it would never get dirty and play in old clothes, make mud pies and just have fun. By reading this piece it taught me what I did value and what I wanted to teach my kids. In my disagreement, I found another piece of the puzzle of who I was even if I was still sobbing into my mug of coffee because of those dang hormones.
It’s ok to be lost. Your children will grow, you will go through things you never thought possible. Life is a journey and you can’t be the same at the end as you are at the beginning. At least, I don’t think you can. In those early days, if you get through a 24 hour period and everyone is ok, they may be dirty, in need of a nappy change and you are wondering why you ever bought a bed in the first place; if you make it through you are winning. Never compare yourself to others, no two babies are the same, no one knows what the most difficult parts of your day are, only you know this and whatever you need to do to see the day through it shouldn’t be judged by others*. Parenthood is hard and yes it often feels like we are alone, let me assure you, you are not. The madness will end and it will be replaced by another parent trial but there is a whole community out there, just like you. The stay at home parent, struggling to get through the day and we will be there to hold your hand when you need it.
I’ll be back tomorrow with an interview from an independent yarn dyer so for my craft and creativity readers, come back and have a read with a cuppa.
*I’m not condoning drinking or anything else that can actually cause harm to the kids here.