Mama: midnight minutes

5 Jan


Hello lovelies, I hope your weekend is treating you quietly and kindly!

There is nothing that makes me feel more fulfilled or tormented than being a parent. I wish often that I had no other important tasks just so that I could spend every moment being with my children.

Though I know that is not possible nor suitable. For they can’t model certain behaviours if they are not witness to them. For I couldn’t be the best mother I could be if I didn’t allow some spaces to exist between us.

But I feel that parenting forces so many things onto us that we never expected or could have possibly anticipated. I remember years ago when friends were having babies and how they would often say we should have a baby, that we’d love it. How wonderful parenting is. And we always thought you mean put ourselves in the same shite you appear to be in. Tired, grumbly, busy, stretched, unhappy, …

Parenting didn’t look especially fun from the outside. And having been an early childhood educator previously, I was privy to youngsters and their wiley ways. Of course other peoples’ children are not your own. But one doesn’t really, truly realise that until they have their own. And then you just think ‘oh that’s why they like their baby but I couldn’t understand how they possibly could!’

Parenting is a special brew of tea, an especially foreign cup of coffee, that is really only palatable to one’s own life with one’s own ways. While parenting shares so many similarities, there exist so many things different as well.

I wish that people in my physical surroundings were more understanding and open to the fact that we are all on parenting journeys and that it isn’t all roses for all of us all the time. That we could collude on things parenting to feel supported, supportive and better about our journey and trials and tribulations. It just seems so much like a competition. Who can walk the earliest, who can play ball already, the best school, the hipster clothes, the better parenting skills, better behaved children, the list is endless.

I can’t vouch for other people and their mindset. I can tell you, though, that I am parenting a hard journey that requires energy that I sometimes simply do not have. I always pull through somehow and everything stays together and the bottom of our life doesn’t fall out, the walls of the maternal ‘womb’ haven’t crumpled in (yet), the children are healthy and happy.

What is wrong is the endless guilt. The feeling that nothing is enough, no decisions exactly right, no time sufficient, no answer correct. No answer correct!

Last night, for the umpteenth time, I got up from my bed to check my babies. I am alone at night for most if not all of the night and so I hardly sleep, sleep lightly and fitfully when I do. But as I wandered down the hallway at 2am I realised that for almost 7 years now I have risen from my bed at least 4 times a night, sometimes awake all night, to check that my children are comfortable, covered, not too hot, not too cold, on a good angle, faces clear of whispy hair, safe, well, and sleeping restfully.

I am not bleary eyed, but fully awake and alert and conscious of every little aspect of my children every single time I do this. It takes me a long time to settle back in my bed and so I usually spend a lot of time thinking and worrying and planning and feeling confused and concerned, hurt, angry, grateful, happy, awake. 

There is something rewarding in the knowledge that your children are safe and happy. This feeling is an analgesic for the pain of being less rested, guilty for sitting to write longer than you meant instead of preparing a snack on time.

Parenting is this amazing hardship wrapped up so tightly in scarves of wonderment and fluffy coats of amazing that walking in your parenting shoes is like walking on angel breath after all.

Today, like every day for the past 7 years, I am incredibly grateful for my opportunity to be a parent. A parent to 2 children who know nothing other than my world and what I surround them with. My responsibility is to make that world amazing, great, huge and safe.

I better off, my lovelies, I have a huge responsibility to make today count. How do you like to make your days count? What plans have you for this day?



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