10 Oct How Did I Get Here in this Hellish Nightmare??
For anyone who’s got little little children and maybe feeling a little stressed by all their needs. This blog is for you.
Hang in there. It gets better. You will get through this. I promise. There is hope. Light at the end of the tunnel.
There was a time when I had three under five. Two of them were only 13 months apart. I remember one evening, after a really long awful day at home with them, I was sitting on the sofa, breastfeeding one of them and steadying the other one’s bottle – and I stepped outside myself for a moment…saw the state I was in…and asked, ‘HOW THE HECK DID I GET HERE??!!’ Cue a rush of self piteous reminiscing…”I was so clever, so beautiful, so talented. I was gonna be the Prime Minister of Samoa! Or a supermodel! Or a vet and save all the stray dogs on the island! Harrison Ford was going to meet me on a beach somewhere and fall madly in love with me! But instead, here I am – nothing but an overworked under appreciated milk machine. A loser!” THIS IS NEVER GOING TO END AND I CANT TAKE IT!!
Fast forward to now. It’s Saturday. I have four children home and one away at university. Their father is in Savaii doing a 24hr cycle challenge around all of Samoa. We expect him back late tonight.
I sleep in till 9am. Because nobody needs their diaper changed, their milk warmed up, or help with their breakfast. Instead, my 12yro son gets up and makes French toast. My (spoilt) 7yro Bella rolls out of bed and languorously eats 4 pieces of French toast and then turns on the TV. My 17yro Big Daughter and 13yro Middle Daughter eat breakfast. Big Daughter ‘supervises’ the kitchen cleaning and dishes. (Which means, she tells her little brother what to do and then spot checks the dishes if he’s washed them properly.) Middle Daughter puts on a load of washing, then empties the dryer and folds clean laundry. Little Son checks the bathroom is clean and empties the rubbish bins. After that, all of them go outside and bath the dog because it’s Saturday and he’s not allowed inside to play with them unless he’s clean. When all the Saturday chores are done, they go do whatever they want. That involves – somebody reading a book on their Kindle, somebody playing Xbox, somebody making something with Lego, somebody going back to sleep.
What am I doing while the children do all those things?
Eating French toast with bananas and maple syrup. Checking Facebook. Reading a magazine. Thinking about how I might walk on the treadmill. (haha, of course that doesn’t happen. But i thought about it, so that counts for something!) Listening to my daughter tell me about the book she’s reading. Listening to Bella tell me about some amazing dragon egg she’s hatching on Dragonvale. Listening to my son tell us all about his adventures at boarding school. Later, we’re having friends over and their children will play with my children. I will buy readymade dough from the breadstore and the assorted children and their friends, will make pizzas for dinner. Then, Big Daughter will supervise all the younger ones to clean up the mess and do the dishes. Bliss.
To all you parents of little ones, especially parent with LOTS of little ones. It gets easier. They grow up and learn how to cook, clean, do dishes and laundry. They become engaging conversationalists who make you laugh. They bake amazing chocolate chip cookies and you get to eat them. They can be bribed and finagled into making your bed…brushing your hair…and even massaging your feet if you want them to. (Be warned they charge more as they get older. Twenty cents doesn’t buy as much as it used to when they were six years old. Little Son would massage my feet for aaaaaaaaaages for 20 sene when he was little. Now? I have to wave five dollars at him before he will even contemplate it.) They read the newspaper and watch the TV news – and ask you about current events (some of which you have no clue about). They can read bedtime stories to younger brothers and sisters. They can take the rubbish out and go lock the front gate at night. They can brush their own teeth, wash their own hair and even SCRUB A TOILET without any assistance.
I look back on dreaded Saturdays when I would be stuck at home alone with babies and toddlers while their Dad went to work overtime (so we could afford to feed those pesky babies and toddlers). I hated Saturdays. And when poor Darren came home, tired and hungry from work, I would take out my stay-at-home rage on him. Of course there would be no dinner made because HELLO, I’VE BEEN LOOKING AFTER THESE DAMN KIDS!!
Yes, I look back on those Saturdays, and I’m extra grateful for the blessing of a Saturday like today.
Hang in there. It gets better.