There are moments. Fleeting but they are there. All consuming. Suffocating.
Moments where you think, “nope, no, nahhhh. This isn’t for me. I cant do this. I’m not cut out for this, I didn’t sign up for this.”
We are made to feel we must spend all our time grateful, savour every “delicious” moment and put pressure on ourselves to make sure every moment is worthy of a filter and a caption on social media. Reality is, it’s not. And while I am forever grateful to be lucky enough to have children, lucky enough to have healthy children, we are all allowed to have brief moments where we want to leave our children out in the garden and hope that some sparkly green nymph takes them to the second star to the right.
The majority of time it’s not even them sparking our fantasies of the Mermaid Lagoon, it’s all the other bullshit life throws at us. They are wonderful and show us the magic and innocence of childhood. Often after just speaking to my three year old I can understand life a little better, a little easier. She shows me magic and true joy in almost everything. Yesterday our car tried killing us, again, and after 10 months of dealing with PTS and separation anxiety from a car accident, I think it tipped us over the edge. Me, because I’m tired of feeling paralysed by someone elses recklessness that caused the accident in the first place and Dan because he is the one trying to protect and provide for us while we are constantly dealt a shit hand.
There was a quote recently that sparked up a lot of opinions, from all points of the spectrum, about how we only have “18 delicious summers” with our children. For me, I would give anything to be back cartwheeling through sprinklers in our garden and making human whirlpools in the pool only worrying about how I could push bedtime back a bit later and realistically it was probably a lot less than 18 summers that were really spent being wild and carefree. Those memories are never far from my thoughts but right now I feel like this summer, this year, has passed me by, all the while knowing how treasured and how brief these summers/years are. I’ve spent my maternity leave trying to recover from being mentally fucked up, spent it not enjoying my time as a new mum and missing the forest for the trees for a culmination of reasons and unnecessary stresses. But life is meant to test us!
I often see parents who have their shit entirely together, but then on closer inspection, their children are older and able to enjoy summer for what it is, not a teething, irrational time where they’re marinating in a mixture of factor 50 and calpol. That mixed with being hotter than the hinges of hell and you can see why most will gladly wish this summer away.
But then realistically, what parent can actually say the first 3/4 years of parenting are easy, delicious and adored. There are moments, cherished for a life time, and then there’s that Mermaid Lagoon…