From one extreme to another
It has come to my attention that motherhood is somewhat of an emotional journey (yeah I know, bit late to the party). And it goes from one end of the emotional spectrum to another. Put it this way- I either LOVE my kids (look how cute they are, their tiny noses, their little hands that slip into yours, those intense frowns, those heart shaped pouts…). Or I HATE them (they don’t listen, their breath stinks of Quavers, they won’t leave me alone, I can’t hear myself think, they are super needy humans).
Maybe it’s time for me to become a more moderate mother? You know, less, well.. extreme? My husband can guarantee i’ve either had an amazing day or a horrific one. He can normally tell by the type of text messages received throughout the day. FYI multiple pictures of children looking cute, an abundance of kisses or texting about ‘our lovely little family’ = a good day. Texts with dramatic punctuation like ‘He’s. Still. Crying’ or things to the the effect of LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME PUSH OUT OF MY VAJAYJAY AND THEN LEFT ME WITH = a bad day.
Loving them and then hating them is not the only emotional extreme that I run to either. My children are either hysterically funny and I will be saying things like ‘look at him dressed up as a lion, ha he ha ha, snort’ (yeah, snort laughing is not my best attribute). Or ‘he said something nonsensical, ha ha ha’ or ‘he looks like he’s doing the ministry of funny walks, snort, ha ha heee’. Or they are INCREDIBLY annoying ‘stop arguing over things that you’re only interested in because your sibling is interested in it’. Or ‘adults do NOT find being called Mr Poohead funny’. Or ‘would you PLEASE walk normally we are going to be late.’ Poor little buggers can’t win. Especially if I found it funny yesterday but today, because of jobs we need to do and time we don’t have, it’s just irritating. My kids must feel like they are the court jesters for a terribly temperamental (and rather scruffy) queen.
Motherhood provokes emotions which really are from one extreme to another so I guess it’s no wonder we have extreme schools of thought on different things. We have the parents who will only breastfeed barefoot on clouds made from tears of the weeping willow tree. Then we have the parents who wean baby on day two by allowing them to suck on turkey twizzlers whilst pouring coke into their tommy tippee cups and offering them a B&H gold (which is a cigarette for members of the former school of thought- back to your cloud, mind the butts). We all know in our rational moments that the best for our kids is somewhere in between, a happy medium of parenting. But parenting moderately is surprisingly hard to do because of the decidedly un-moderate emotions that children stir in us. And there is the fact that I am so passionate about NOT being extremely one way or another in parenting debates that I can be quite forceful about my happy medium approach, and aggressive about my laissez faire attitude. Which I guess sort of defeats the object and makes me an extremely avid supporter of not being extremely avid about anything. Oops.
We obv don’t have to act on the emotions that our kids stir up e.g. my daughter went through a stage of getting up, coming into our room and hovering over me until I woke up, to see her staring at me. It was really freaky (and horror film like) but instead of acting on it and calling the authorities to address my fears that she was becoming all murder-y, I recognised that feeling scared of my daughter was probably irrational. Especially since she followed up her homicidal glare with an inane comment like ‘I have an itchy knee’ or ‘my duvets not straight’ (less horror film like).
They can be quite confusing for the bystander, these complex and extreme ever changing emotions. One minute you can be bitching about your little darlings ‘her hair is so knotty and she HATES having it brushed, had a proper shit fit about it this morning’ (eviling small child) ‘but look at those highlights, all natural, just like her mum’ (swishes hair). NB that mum is lying and I know that for a fact because ‘she’ is me and my kids have been making my highlights look natural since 2009 and it is one of my favourite things about them. Shallow. Soz. So, in summary i’m either bitching about them or boasting about them. Hmmm liking myself less and less as I write this TBH.
So if life is a journey then parenting is a rollercoaster. Hold tight for those ups and downs. But the extremely high parts of the ride and the tummy turning drop into the bottom parts are the best part of the rollercoaster anyway. As much as I want to consider myself in the happy medium camp of parenting, I don’t think that moderate parenting is for me. I love a sit down as much as the next person, but, for now, it will be on the sofa, rather than on the fence. Now where are those beautifully annoying funny little sods anyway?