Ah, parenthood: the best and hardest job there is. Let’s face it, if any other job came with a list of responsibilities including ‘wiping smelly bottoms’, ‘being woken repeatedly in the night until the notion of ‘eight solid hours of sleep’ becomes the stuff of fairytales’ and ‘having people sneeze directly in your face then smear the snot over your only clean jumper’ we’d run a mile.
Yet we cheerily sign ourselves up to it, congratulate others who take on the same job and then – most shocking of all – actually enjoy it. Ok not all the time and certainly not ALL aspects of it, but even so…
I think one of the main things I’ve learned since becoming a parent is to expect the unexpected. Children are so creative, and I never really know what mine are going to come up with next. I’m often surprised by the things they say and the ideas they have, and I’ve found myself experiencing all sorts of things that pre-motherhood, I would never have expected. This past month has brought the following ‘gems':
- Being awoken from my slumbers when a strawberry-scented fluffy dog was stuffed in my face. Said dog was holding a flashing light sabre, dressed in a hoody and belting out “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful’ by One Direction. (Thank you ‘build-a-bear workshop’!)
- Asking my sons: “So, what did you do at school today boys?” to be met by the answer: “Mostly just farted.”
- Having to wait my turn to use the bathroom because the toilet was currently in use by an imaginary grasshopper.
- Discovering a star chart designed by my sons for their baby brother. He is so far doing quite well with “eat all food” and “do not jump in your high chair” but progress with “croll (crawl) soon” is very slow!
- Finding my way down the stairs blocked by an array of handmade greetings cards on every step, all covered in pictures and proclamations of ‘Happy Birthday’. You might assume that this occurred on my birthday and be thinking ‘Oh how lovely!’ Nope. In fact, this happened one Saturday when my sons ran out of soft toys to throw imaginary parties for and instead were ‘celebrating the stairs’.
- Being required to have a religious debate at 7am. Pre morning cuppa. With a six year old. “Do people think that God made trees because people didn’t?” “Yes… I mean, er, no… hang on.. what was the question again?”
Yes, being a mum is a funny thing. Some days it makes my brain hurt. Some days it makes me cry. Often it makes me exhausted and even more often it makes me laugh, but underneath whatever else is going on, it’s always worth it. Parenthood: the best, hardest and most rewarding job there is.