Motherhood is an art form in itself. The most precious of all professions. There are hundreds of theories on how to raise your children. Once you have children, there are just two things you need to do: to love and to nuture.
The rest of the time you will feel like you are mostly just surviving and muddling through the best you can. This is far from a guide on how to parent. It’s a mere observation from my own experiences and should be read in good humour!
Once your little ones start school you will discover how much you can achieve before 8am. There will be delay tactics (there is always something far more important than getting dressed and teeth brushing) and the occasional complaint that school is too difficult and they are just too tired. You will be baffled when you collect those smiley faces and then return home to find them excitedly playing “schools”
If you have more than one child you will find yourself counting them. A lot. As you brush their hair, as they go through the door, clamber into the car. This is just for your own sanity.
There is no longer time to do your makeup and you won’t tut at an unkempt looking parent at the school gates because you will knowingly see each other in a different light and just know that you got everyone there, so you are winning.
After school your children will want to eat. Constantly. My advice is to just feed them. This will save any mood swings that could prevail long into the night.
Don’t waste your money on buying every educational/trend setting toy out there. Any kind of tap, kitchen sink, bath, outdoors, it doesn’t matter. A tap is where it’s at. I stand by this statement..
About 5 minutes after eating a lovingly prepared home made meal (sometimes deemed inedible) your children may be ‘starving’. The before bedtime snack will take about an hour to eat. I brought teatimes back by an hour just to honour this ritual.
You will fear a child is going to come through the ceiling – they are quite clearly not getting ready for bed as requested.
Bed time is nothing quite like anything you have ever experienced before in your life. It is far from a peaceful affair, it is a military operation. Even though every light in the house is switched off for playing a game (usually when you are trying to do something fairly important) they are now suddenly scared to sleep in the dark. It is like daylight. It isn’t going to work..
You may sometimes mutter swear words – it is inevitable.. trust me. You will forget most of the vocabulary you ever learnt by about 8 in the evening. This is pretty normal and you mustn’t beat yourself up about it.
Magic cream (antiseptic), a cold compress (simply a wet piece of tissue) and plasters will be a blessing. Keep a good stock.
You will amaze yourself at what is possible. How organised you can be and somedays feel like a super human being. Not every day is like that but it feels twice as nice when things go smoothly, the rest of the time is life and just living. How you react to their behaviour and how you behave will show them your limits, good humour and what real life is like.
Learning to be a parent is on the job, taking snippets of your own upbringing as a loose guide and adding what you feel is right.
What no one tells you is how strong you need to be, for you and your brood. It can be a testing time. But milestone upon milestone (and just when you think you ‘get it’) your children change and keeping up is key.