I had no idea how challenging navigating the parenting journey was going to be. My babies are now real life children, seven, five and almost four years old.
Each child has a completely different personality and each has their own individual desires and needs. We are watching them evolve into people. Little people with big personalities. This period is hard. For me, way harder than the babyhood years. My role has morphed from keeping them alive and thriving to guiding them in how to be independent, courageous and passionate human beings.
We are now watching the development of social skills when friendships can make or break a little heart. It is the era of discovering sporting prowess and learning abilities – or difficulties.
It is the beginning of the journey of who they will become. It is our role to ensure strong and resilient foundations are formed, for if we don’t, their futures may suffer.
The pressure is immense if you think about it for too long, but who has the time, right?
For our seven almost eight year-old son, it is the transition from little boy to an independent being; he is processing his feelings autonomously but can’t yet control his emotions and reactions (nor the testosterone) that come with them. School work is becoming serious and we have a dedicated (fanatical) sportsman already, one who can’t understand why he needs to do homework if he’s going to have a career in cricket, soccer or racing cars.
Our middle child – has major middle child syndrome. She needs constant attention, needs to be loved and needs to be heard – holy cow – do we hear her and so does our whole street. She is a child who can’t stand change, we can’t replace furniture without her world falling apart. Yet she is timid and sweet at school and outside the home, she is a typical Gemini, naughty beyond naughty at times yet the most angelic angel at other times.
The little one is still as cute as a button and is so independent. It’s amazing how little attention we pay to her in compared to what we did with baby number one, and surprisingly – she is absolutely fine. Yet she is starting to mimic the loud tantrums of the older kids (we never had toddler tantrums, I get it now, sorry to those parents I judged at the supermarket). At the moment she is really funny as she crosses her arms, furrows her brow and shouts her little head off. But soon, it won’t be funny as we figure out how the hell to manage her too.
It’s exhausting. I have been interrupted no less than 261,000 times when writing this and right now they are screaming at each other, high pitched she devil screams, and – now – wait for it – the tears, the screaming tears kind of tears when lips turn blue with lack of oxygen. Excuse me while I breathe, (hyperventilate) and sort this out.
No one told me of the skills that were needed in mothering a tribe of narcissistic crazies. I need patience, persistence, resilience and yoga.
As a corporate executive I prided myself in how I could manage so many tasks at once. That was nothing compared to what I’m capable of now. I can cook while listening to library reading and ascertain comprehension, while answering three different questions from two different kids and broker deals on toy ownership and leasing options while planning a yoga class in my head for that evening. I am able to recall any lost item on demand and there is a strong possibility the phone will ring at this time and as I half listen to my mother, I intermittently scream like a referee with Tourettes. (btw, my mum’s conversation doesn’t waver)
This year our lives have become a lot busier with out-of-school activities; we have something on EVERY single day after school. I knew not to do this – but it just happened – a mistake I will not repeat (listen, listen, listen to these wise words and adhere). My organisation skills are developing daily however. I menu plan each week to ensure we’re eating healthily and to avoid the 4pm panic attack while dragging three kids to the supermarket. I have spreadsheets on the fridge to tell me where I’m meant to be each day and what is needed to be packed in school bags. I have alerts in my phone to remind me when I teach yoga, school and Kindy functions and I’ve made amazing school friends who cover for me when I fail. (As I do for them, and oh does it feel good to know I’m not alone out there, even if I seem to need them more than they I).
I am attempting to juggle my relatively new career with a fit and healthy lifestyle, keeping house, while sharing this life with my husband, children, family and friends and all that goes with that. I’m learning not to be upset that my own career aspirations, although starting bloom, are not my priority just yet.
I have finally discovered the freedom in discipline. Anyone who knew me prior, would be amazed. I have to schedule everything; from my own yoga practice to meeting my husband over a wine at the dinner table to discuss the household madness.
I have become the most disorganised organised person I know.
A mother. My children’s guide. Not yet fully qualified, but learning every single day.