Help! Somebody has robbed two of my little children and replaced them with hormonally charged, moody, mini adults!
Remind me again; was it me who said I couldn’t wait for the children to get older? Did I say that I thought life would be easier when the children were of an age where I could discuss things with them reasonably? Hmmm! I take it all back.
When I had four children under the age of six, I found life very tough. I never had a minute to myself and the weeks went by in a haze of nappies and sleepless nights. I seem to remember somebody (hello Denyse) saying to me that I was lucky that the children were still so young. Easy for her to say, I thought to myself. Her three were borderline teenagers and, in my eyes, her life was good.
It’s only now as my two eldest are bursting into their teenage years that I’m beginning to understand what she meant. Reason with a teenager?? You must be joking. It’s easier to reason with a two year old. All I seem to get these days is ‘but why can’t I…’ or ‘everyone else is going…’ or just plain ‘tut!’ Now I know that all the good books say that we should ignore their moods to a certain extent. But it’s very difficult to bite your tongue when a simple request is met with eye rolling and tsk tsking.
The other thing is that it’s so difficult for my beloved and I to get any time together alone. Gone are the days when all four children would be tucked up in bed at eight o’clock and we could open a bottle of wine (not that we’d do that often of course!) and sit and have a nice chat in peace. It seems that they all now want to claim some sort of seniority in the house; the eight year old wants to go to bed later than the six year old, the twelve year old later than the eight year old and the thirteen year old later again. If I give in to these demands, either I’m putting the six year old to bed at six or the thirteen year old at midnight!
Then just when I thought I was coming to terms with how things are now, somebody comes up with a beauty; ‘Ah sure it’ll get worse as they get older!’ Thanks for that! Apparently, the sleepless nights will start all over again when I’m waiting up for them to get home, I’ll never have a thing in my fridge because they’ll bring six friends home with them who’ll eat me out of house and home and they’ll ask me every day to go out to the garden and pick them some notes off the money tree I have growing outside!
The truth is, nobody forced me into this mothering job. I went into it with my eyes wide open but the trouble is, each time I blink, they’re another year older. Being a parent is certainly a challenge but a rewarding one. I know I moan about it but I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I’ll get through the awkward years – after all, my parents got through it with me and I can tell you, it wasn’t easy. I hope and pray my children realise I’m muddling through as best I can and that I love them completely and unconditionally no matter what.