Let’s be REAL
This is not a blog about how we should behave in motherhood, it is not an attempt to share my opinion on methods to being a good mother and carer in the family home, this is a blog about being REAL! The reality of motherhood and bringing up a family. If you are not looking for a read about a mother who ‘loses it’ from time to time, a mother who – YES, feels out of control from time to time, a mother who wonders what IS going on in this house?! then it’s probably best you don’t read on, but if you are reading this and can understand the last three points I just made, this is probably going to be a good read for you and in my ‘normal’ motherhood reality – I believe this is not so much an imperfection, but real life in the rollercoaster ride of motherhood, and bringing up a family of, in my case, two children under the age of four. I hope you are blessed and receive some comfort by reading about my ‘inconsistencies’, but also baring some stability, non-stop mega rollercoaster – Kingda Ka, New Jersey tallest rollercoaster in the world (and yes, I did look it up!) journey of motherhood.
Why do we have all these expectations of motherhood?! One minute I’m thinking I’ve got it down, yes….. I can do this……. all my washing is done, my floors are clean, my children are quietly playing in the kitchen whilst I prepare the healthy, zero salt meal for my husband and children. Then suddenly – that moment of what could be described as ‘perfection’ but really isn’t in the grand scheme of things, is all gone. It’s the whole consistency thing, I’ve never really got it, we must be consistent. What I don’t understand is how anyone can explain to a family how they can be 100% consistent when, as far as I’m concerned, in my family it just doesn’t exist! Ok, so I get that we can try and put methods in place in our family home to discipline our children etc etc, but really…..is each situation the same in every household? Is each child the same? We are changing all the time. We all have such varied situations, we are all so different, our children are all so different, different personalities, ages, some have younger siblings, some older, some no siblings at all. Family relationships are different, lives are changing all the time, our children are changing ALL the time, we are changing ALL the time! Where is the consistency in that? It’s a phase, it’s a phase, we hear on a regular basis, EXACTLY, it’s a NEW phase……. or a change in behaviour, a change in the ‘methods of consistency’ that we are apparently supposed to ‘consistently’ work with! If I don’t go to bed tonight with the word ‘consistency’ running around in my mind, then I obviously haven’t been consistent enough in writing this blog!
OF COURSE we can have a set of basic ‘rules’ if you like, something to follow, an agreement of knowing you are on ‘the right page’ when it comes to disciplining your children, and so our children have a sense of security that they can’t just do everything they want to and get away with it. They know they have someone that loves them deeply and is looking out for them every step of the way and guiding them through their lives, just like the love and guidance we look for from our parents, and the unconditional love and guidance we receive from God. However being consistent is always something that I’ve questioned as a mother of two young children, it just doesn’t seem to fit with me, but then again, we are all different……….
So, I lose it, yes, I’m a human being. I’m back tracking a bit now, going back probably about a month ago, (don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost it since then as well). Suddenly my daughter, aged 2 1/2, decided to go from being this amazing sleeper, seriously, she would sleep from 6pm till 8am-8.45am, even with a nap in the day sometimes, to suddenly waking up at 5.30am. Uggggghh! Even the thought makes me feel terrible! So a combination of my daughter waking up at 5.30am, then proceeding to wake up my nearly four year old son, then waking up me, then, just to even things out, wake up my husband. So that’s the whole family awake at 5.30am. Oh, and there were some nights where she would decided to wake up a couple of times in between too. I’m like, I thought we had got through the new born ‘phase?!’. Ok, so I can’t deny that the cutesy bit when she came into bed for a cuddle wasn’t appreciated, but once that bit was over, and she was pulling at my hand to make me ACTUALLY leave the warm, cosy bed, I was what you could describe as a grizzly bear being interrupted during tea time.
The combination of a family that has a VERY sudden change in routine is well………… not a good combination! Patience levels fall dramatically, grumpy parents levels rise dramatically, over tired children levels rise dramatically, and ability to function as a family levels – you’ve guessed it – FALLS dramatically!
Going back to about a month ago, my patience levels dropped significantly. It was the morning rush and the ability to listen to two children trying to shout over each other to talk to you, speaking repetitively over and over again, their voices getting louder and louder, one grabbing hold of your jumper pulling you for a story, whilst your trying to prepare lunch boxes, became less and less of a possibility. I could literally feel the time bomb ticking away inside me, being fully aware of the limited time to get breakfast sorted, teeth brushed, coats and shoes on, whilst trying to figure out where the socks might be!
So how did I respond?? Here it is, judgement time!! I shouted…… Yes, I raised that voice of mine and shouted ‘HOW CAN I TALK TO ANY OF YOU LIKE THIS?!’
I then proceeded to walk out of the room (which, I obviously should have thought about doing before I shouted), I went up the stairs to my living room, left one child in tears, and, not only did I shout once, but yes, I’m afraid that mouth opened once more to shout ‘SOMEONE HELP ME!’, Oh dear, mummy has lost it.
Now, for me, there is only one person that could help me, and that’s the mighty God himself. I hadn’t had a response like this for a little while up until that point, and the funny thing is, I was literally telling a friend the day before over coffee how I hadn’t lost it for a while. My pride was obviously getting to much, and I either needed to be brought down a peg, or I had made my abilities too obvious, and therefore, let my guard down.
During the crazy moment of shouting and uncontrolled situation, I was taken directly to my poem – Be Gentle. Hmmmmm, sometimes we really should listen to our own advice!
After all this madness, I did get the kids to school on time, they did have their breakfast, I did put their shoes on the right feet, (although I have to admit, I don’t always!) I did remember my son’s fruit for snack time and I did get a kiss and cuddle before he waved goodbye and ran in. I even got some time at the school gates with the other mums to let off my emotions and have an opportunity to regain myself.
It’s ok not to be perfect, it’s ok to be real, it’s ok to be a mother that is just too tired to cope sometimes. The key is LOVE, and if you’ve got that, your definitely being real, and definitely doing your best for your family. If you have LOVE the rest will follow. We are all learning, we are all growing in our knowledge, and we will all grow differently because we are all different in many ways, but we can all LOVE.