Being a mother is tough some days! Real tough! You just want to give it up, throw in the towel and go do something less stressful. Memories of days where you could eat a hot meal in peace are just that- a distant memory. And I’m not saying parenting can’t be tough for the guys too. But a lot of it is still dealt with by mothers. Although Stay at Home dads have increased in numbers in recent years, they still are a minority. Mums are known for having to think 6 billion thoughts about the needs of others, before themselves. Breastfeeding- nope, my husband can’t do that and the determined toddler has refused a bottle since she was 6 months old. Settling- when at her worst hysterical moments, only mummy can calm her down. Organising meals- yep, you guessed it. Mummy again. Sorting out the next season’s clothes. Wondering which school they will go, if they’ll make friends easily, and how you’re going to afford it. The whole world of motherhood is hard.
Being a mother of a toddler
My latest moment of finding being a mother hard was this morning. I sat down to breakfast, after dealing with the rigmarole in getting a 3 course toddler breakfast (well toast, cereal and fruit counts, right) and this happened. Eleanor lost control of her cereal bowl and it spilled cereal and milk over the corner of the table, my legs, my slippers and the floor. My little one sat there in her highchair going ‘Oh! Oh!’, whilst milk dripped further down my leg.
I sat there in shock to start with, and then tried to figure out how I could mop up this mess without making it worse. Of course there was not a wipe in reach (a rare event when you have a toddler in the house). And not even the packet of serviettes was in range! And no one else is at home! I can scarcely ask the little one to pop over to the sink and grab some paper towels. She’s safely strapped inside her high chair. And it’s a slim chance she could follow that instruction just yet.
So of course my toast was very cold when I finally got everything cleaned up. Eleanor wanted to have some of that too, even though she had the same thing, Vegemite toast, right in front of her… apparently mine is better. Why do they need to eat everything that mummy has? Although I guess it might help with my weight loss plan that she demands every snack I have. In reality it’s probably just an easy way to see something isn’t poisonous. Mummy is eating that one, so it’s okay. Heavens knows what this stuff in front of me could have in it!
Then we get to dressing for the day. The toddler is dressed by mummy. Thankfully she’s not yet at the age where they insist on dressing in the most weather inappropriate clothes. I realise halfway through getting myself dressed that I have completely forgotten how to dress as a normal non-breastfeeding person. Which is rather strange as she only feeds mornings and evenings now. But my mind still insists on dressing in accessible clothing as it’s just been so long since I dressed any other way. If I had to return to teaching work right now, I don’t know how I’d cope! Or be able to be dressed before 9am for that matter.
At least today we have avoided the excessive toddler grumpiness, over-tiredness and refusals to go to sleep. I’m sure that last night as I tried to get her to sleep for the umpteenth time that I was practically banging my head against the cot rails questioning why I ever thought having another was a good idea. I love her more than words can express, but sleep deprivation is torturous…especially when the person keeping you up can’t express why they won’t go to sleep. Is it teeth hurting, nightmares, the cold winter night or just wanting to snuggle with mummy?
And so ends my day. With those numerous thoughts still running through my mind, and finally a few moments peace to myself as both girls are in bed. I’m sure I should be in bed myself, but that’s not going to happen! Too many things I want to do that can’t be done whilst in mum mode. And even though I’m exhausted and frustrated with those little things when they happen, I just have to look at my girls to know that I’ll gladly do it all again for them tomorrow and the next day. Yes, being a mother is hard! But the rewards of spontaneous hugs, wet kisses and baby snores are pretty damn good too!