Are you a stressed out parent?
Remember the days before you had children?
The time of late nights for social reasons, lazy mornings for sleep catch up purposes, and being able to go to a party/holiday/shopping trip on a total whim – often catching a last minute bargain?
This was the period of your life otherwise known as B.C….Before Children.
If, however, like me, you have entered the ‘other’ realm of existence known as W.C…..With Children (no pun intended), life is probably rather different:
The dark times of late nights due to baby/child/teenager being sick, demanding an extra bedtime story or needing a lift home.
Early mornings every morning as the kids seem to work on a time zone similar to that of Narnia and need very little sleep at all.
Never being able to go anywhere on a whim. Ever. This is closely linked with supermarket meltdowns, toddler tantrums and getting totally fleeced for ‘term friendly holidays’.
I have four children aged between seven and seventeen and, due to incredibly poor planning on my behalf this meant that as one little cherub went off to nursery another soon arrived to take their place.
Having a baby at home creates stress unlike any other, especially when you add siblings into the mix.
On more than one occasion the older kids have taken advantage of me being ‘debilitated’ with the baby, especially when I was fresh out of hospital and nursing my youngest, Zain.
Being the resourceful mum that I am, I soon devised a way to wear a baby sling in such a manner that I could still retain order whilst feeding the baby. On a good day I could even bake a cake at the same time, the ingenuity of a mum on the brink is never to be under estimated.
As the children have grown older and are now all in school the challenges have become different. It can seem much more straight forward when you have a baby, after all most problems can be solved with a change of nappy, some playtime or a hug – sometimes a combination of all three.
These days they are more likely to need help with homework or advice on a situation they’re not sure about. This is where it gets tricky – Google is good for homework but not so good when your teenage daughter is broken hearted after being dumped.
All in all parenting is a minefield, full of potential danger and requiring a good sense of direction. The good news is that they will grow up and, if you are lucky, you may just see them run ragged by their own kids one day. Grandma position is far more flexi time than motherhood and you get to hand them back at the end of the day.
Until that time here are some situations
that I am sure fellow W.C survivors will relate to, some more than others….
1. You know the name of every single *Skylander ever created but can’t remember where you put your door keys…again.
*the craze will change yearly and often comes round again, like fashion. I have personally lived through three Pokemon ‘resurrections’.
2. You try to pay for your shopping at the corner market only to find 3 buttons, 1 stone, a fluffy sweet and an elastic band in the pocket where your money used to be.
3. The only similarity your life has with that of a rock star is the flock of whining ‘groupies’ that follow you everywhere you go chanting your name and hanging off your body…
4. Your social life starts to resemble that of a very old nun. A very old, anti-social nun who has taken a vow of silence. In fact you begin to suspect that said nun actually has a better social life.
5. On more than one occasion you have climbed into bed after a successful days parenting (no fatalities and everyone accounted for), only to find that one of your little darlings has beaten you to it, done a wee and then got back in their clean, dry bed…..true story.
6. Having a shower becomes a family event with the kids in and out wanting a ‘number two’ help with a shoe lace or other urgent ‘problem’ that needs immediate action. A soak in the bath becomes nothing more than a distant memory.
7. Helping the kids with their homework consists of opening multiple Internet search windows and bribery on a massive scale.
This can also be bad for your health, the pressure of trying to complete mathematic equations meant for your seven year old really brings home how much you didn’t learn in school.
8. Holiday priorities change from ‘great beach and stunning vista’ to ‘kids clubs and babysitting facilities’ as well as easily accessible.
We took the children to Dubai when they were younger and, whilst the time we were there was amazing, the trip was anything but. Spending seven hours on a plane with small children was something else. By the time we landed I was a stressed out ball of anxiety, the hubby and I had resorted to bickering and the kids were bouncing off the walls, full of pent up energy.
This year we will go camping in the UK….
9. You start to sound more like your mum than she ever did…
10. You arrive at work in your slippers, very scary hair and last night’s bolognaise on your shirt…and it’s only Monday.
If you have yet to experience the joy of parenthood, please don’t let me put you off.
You may just be one of the lucky ones that gives birth to a text book child both well behaved and polite…If on the other hand you are already blessed with children and know the odds of actually being blessed with text book kid are less than 0.01 percent then I salute you. Hang on in there, bedtime is in sight, they do have to sleep at some point…don’t they?