"There is one thing nobody warned me about when I became a mother: what a breeze it would be. I was warned about everything else. All I had been told since I became pregnant was to prepare myself for the toughest job of my life. For years of sleep deprivation, boredom (yes, boredom) and my life not being my own. I was bombarded with tales of cracked nipples, all-night vigils and vomit on the carpet. I was more than mildly worried, as a result, about how on earth I would cope. I am someone who needs my sleep and had a decades long habit of calling my own shots. Would the requirement to be at the beck and call of a little one – even my little one – do my head in?
So, I got the most pleasant surprise to find that being a mum is one of the most seamless, joyful, intuitive things I have ever done. Yes, there are sleepless nights (many of them, in a seemingly endless row), but there is nothing difficult about being up all night with the love of your life. I know our baby boy is only nine months old and isn't even crawling yet, let alone tearing through the house crashing pots on to the floor. I know I only have one child who is healthy and I, thankfully, escaped the cruel curse of postnatal depression, but still I can't see what all the fuss is about.
Ask me if I have another, but from where I stand motherhood is a cinch."
All I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh. I think she's right - babies can be quite straightforward and some women do find themselves with extra time (thus, the many postgraduate degrees that get started while on maternity leave). But I laughed because she hasn't really got that far down the track of motherhood yet. Some of the 'hardness' of being a mum is not because the actual tasks are that difficult but because it just gets repetitive. It goes on and on.
AND she hasn't got a toddler yet who wakes at 6 and then doesn't have a day sleep, whines all day, argues with you and won't eat anything that is vaguely healthy. Add another baby into the mix and then it gets just that bit crazier.
So if you read this and feel disheartened, don't. Because let me reassure you that while there are times when mothering is pretty straightforward there are a whole lot of other times when it is hard, hard, hard work.
I struggle with fear. I get overwhelmed unexpectedly. I think it is just the way my brain works. I can be calm, calm, calm, calm and then suddenly not so much. The 'not so much' is particularly strong at 3am in the morning when I feel like the sky is going to fall in on me. Thankfully I awake again at 6am and it isn't all so grim.
The Bible says a lot about fear. God seems to kinda "get" that part of being human is getting scared. There's a lot in there reassuring us to "Fear not". And why are we encouraged to be less fearful? Because God is with us.
I don't think the Bible is dismissive of our fears. It's not saying 'oh don't have fears' because fear is pretty instinctive. When I'm standing at the edge of a cliff, fear is a right response. Fear actually protects me at that point.
But fear can come from other places too. How about FOMO? Fear of not getting what I want out of life. Fear of my children not turni…
I have written about this before, but after broaching the subject on facebook a few weeks ago I've been thinking a lot about the whole colouring your hair deal. On facebook I asked when having natural coloured hair was going to become trendy like other old fashioned things like quilting and growing your veges? I am quite tired of how time consuming colouring my hair is and how expensive it is.
A very interesting conversation resulted with a huge variety of opinions. Many of the women said they would be going natural, but of course they aren't gray now (and are my age) so I don't think that really counts. Until you ACTUALLY start going seriously gray/white you can't see how it impacts on the way you look. I think it is different to be almost white (like myself) at age 40 and agreeing in principle to going natural when it happens to you in the future (when you will be a lot older than I am now!).
Just quietly, I'll believe it when I see it (let me throw down …
Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash
Of course I loved Marie Kondo's new show on Netflix. I'm a bit obsessed with getting rid of stuff (much to my family's frustration, "I guess I can't find that because you THREW it out Mum..."). Five years ago I went through my own process of decluttering. I'm also fascinated by how to efficiently use space and to consider the impact of our carbon footprint.
It's not just that we have five (increasingly) growing offspring in a three bedroom house, but that accumulated clutter adds to my stress levels. I think a lot of it stems back to growing up in a third world country and accumulating very little because we moved a lot. Plus our neighbours were often fairly poor so having lots of material wealth wasn't helpful in that context (we still looked SO wealthy though). Interestingly I'm not a particularly tidy person, so the decluttering also stems from a desperate desire to just have less chores. Less …