Siobhan Francis' TTAM
There are so many parents out there that will tell you being a parent is not easy, at most it will be on the basis of no sleep and shitty nappies but do you really think that’s it? It’s almost an unspoken word among the parenthood community to not tell the ‘TRUTH’ about parenthood and what REALLY happens. Is this because maybe the world’s population could suddenly decrease from everyone swaying away from being called ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ and rather just ‘auntie’ and ‘uncle’?
Now that I have two kids I feel somewhat betrayed and cheated from those around me who are already parents. ‘Have kids!’ they say, ‘It’s such a wonderful experience!’. I think now would be the time to put in this disclaimer:
I LOVE my kids and they are my WORLD!
However being a mother is not a joke.
So where should I start? Should I start with the fact that they are actually yours forever and you can’t give them back? Or sometimes you just want to call them assholes but apparently you can’t?
I've heard people discuss baby blues and how after having a child your hormones are all over the place but never did I think I would be part of the percentage of women who have a 'chemical imbalance', as my therapist told me, in the brain and therefor tick all the boxes that suggest post natal depression! For a little while it just felt like this black cloud that just stayed over my head and rained at just the thought of any thing I used to consider as a 'happy' thought. It feels like someone is sucking the joy out of motherhood and instead throwing at me a 1000 page book saying 'This is why your life is so shit, and why your a shit mum!'
It doesn't help that there is an increase on the 'perfect mum' image on social media and the Ines who show their truth as not that image are ridiculed and so Mumma's are scared to speak up about what they are really facing in fear of judgement! I know I have been that way. I'm starting to realise that post natal depression is something that happens to more women that dare to tell, but it absolutely doesn't define me as a person or a mother.
I won’t completely slate parenthood as if it has not changed me for the better. I am no longer selfish as really I have no choice because I have two small human beings dependant on me every single day. Its amazing watching them grow as they learn and discover new things even if it is how to pick their nose and eat it because if they weren’t doing it last week it means between now and 7 days ago they learnt something new and I should be proud. I’m the lucky one who has two kids quite close together aged 2 and 6 months old (yay me!). I remember being pregnant with my second and people expressing how lucky I am to firstly be having a girl, so now I have one of each and also having two close together as they will grow up together. I understand how this may seem exciting to people, trust me I was once in that space too, however, nobody tells you about the beginning steps before they ‘grow up together’.
I adore the bond between my son and my daughter, it reminds me of my older brother and I as I can see that my daughter is absolutely smitten over her brother. She is always giggling and staring like he is the funniest person in the world and I would like to think at some stage I was like that with my older brother as we are 3 years apart. I am 3 months deep into being a parent to two very time consuming and demanding children and I think what I find the hardest is splitting my time between the two so they equally feel loved! I don’t worry too much about my 3 months old because she is mostly breastfed so I feel I get that special time when feeding her, but, it’s at that moment majority of the time when my 2 year old son decides it is time for me to play with him or time for him to run off somewhere in the house and get up to something he knows he has no business doing. I remember whilst I was feeding my daughter my house suddenly became quiet, with a two year old that’s never a good thing. I tried so hard to try and listen to see if I could figure out which room he was in, finally, I heard tiny movement in my kitchen and when I leant over to have a look I had seen him changing the settings on the dishwasher whilst it was midway cycle and when I shouted to him he jumped and ran to the washing machine and acted as I could only describe as him trying to get into it legs first! There has been other occasions where maybe we are out in public and my son decides that he suddenly has seen a toy he wants and will throw the biggest tantrum and crying fit that someone would think I punched him in the face. Oh and how can I forget most recently the drama over me zipping up his jacket because it was slightly windy outside and he cried all the way home and I’m still not sure of the reason why because I failed to understand him through the snot bubbles and made up words. I am lucky my son is a good eater but I have recently discovered that sometimes when he has told me he has finished his food and ready to ‘get up’ as he says it’s because sometimes he has hidden the food in the crevice of the chair or simple dashed some juiced on the wall and said ‘all done mummy’, I was wondering where his juice went so quickly but later found stains on my ceiling. This all makes my son seem like the naughty one but my diva daughter is not too far off either. She likes to pull her hair if she doesn’t get fed at the exact time and the exact spot in which she discovered she was hungry. She can go from laughing with you to distressed and just over everything and I still don’t get it! But how about when they tag team and set each other off crying? Isn’t that so fun? Why didn’t anyone tell me this would be the best part of it all? Selfish people keeping all the info to themselves, I thought sharing was caring.
I want everyone reading this to keep in mind that this is only my perspective, some people may share my view on things and some people may think I am absolutely crazy! This is also not to deter anyone from having children, do so at your own discretion LOL. Just kidding! However, don’t let the Facebook post, Instagram pictures and YouTube videos that only show the ‘ Good Times’ sway you into believing it’s all bunny rabbits and teddy bears being a parent. It’s an amazing journey to be on and right now this feels like the journey I’m supposed to be on and has definitely moulded me into the strong woman I believe I am in the process of becoming.
Parents (I believe especially mothers) often loose themselves trying to figure out this thing called parenthood. The balance between yourself and your children and the guilt if you then decide to branch out and be ‘ You ’ a little more, whatever that is. The patience you have to have and the energy just to keep up with kids no matter what age keeps you on your toes, so parents I SALUTE YOU. It is ok to be openly honest and admit that you’ve had a shit day or that the kids have driven you to the brink of a nervous breakdown, their our kids, that’s what they will continue to do it to us the rest of our life most probably and we will continue to love them.
This post is not to be negative but simply to show the other side that many of us don’t share because we fear judgement! I don’t care about all of that because if there’s one thing I have realised it is that as soon as you become a parent it is like an open door for the world to judge you and tell you how you SHOULD be parenting. If I had to feed my son digestive biscuits just to be able to sit and write this who cares?? I OBVIOUSLY DON’T!!