Ah, motherhood. There are the joys, of course. Children bring so much love into our lives, that it’s very rare we regret giving birth to them. But the stress? There’s heaps of it, some of which you will only know if you have ever been a mother yourself. The next time your non-parenting friends tell you how stressed they are, stare them down with a withering glare. “Really?” you ask them, as you start to recount the stresses of motherhood to anybody who will listen.
There are the early days when you bring your baby home for the first time. Giving birth was hard enough, but now you have to cope with sleepless nights, a serious lack of me-time, and an endless wave of dirty nappies. Shudder! And why won’t baby stop crying? Why are they trying to put their fingers in the electrical sockets? What is that they are putting into their mouths? And just what is that smell? Oh, it’s another dirty nappy.
Baby becomes a toddler and walking begins. To the edge of the stairs, to the edge of the garden, to the edge of your sanity! They are always going somewhere they shouldn’t. Your finances take a hit as they grow out of their clothes, your protective instincts are on overdrive whenever you’re out of the home, and what is that smell? Oh, it’s another dirty nappy – when will they ever grow out of those?
Of course, life moves on… for those other people in your life. Nights out partying, checking out the latest movie releases, brunch in town…none of these things are relevant to you. You have too much to do at home, your nights are spent lying awake listening for the pitter patter of tiny feet, and the only movies you will be watching are those dictated by your child. Maya the Bee Movie, again? Please no…
Where did your time go? Chores are at a maximum, your child’s needs are demanding, and you barely have time to put your feet up. You need time-saving hacks to rescue you! And as your child gets older, your time is still barely your own. The school run, parent meetings, more chores, the home run…you barely get chance to see your mates for a coffee. Frazzled and stressed; just the everyday mindset of the average mum.
There will be days when you feel as if you just can’t go on. Longing for a decent sleep pattern, new friends, and something approaching the normality of life you used to have, you question everything. Is it worth it? Yes, of course it is. But you can’t be blamed for feeling negative. Being a mother is flipping hard, and it’s only amplified when you choose to have another. Still, there is no prescription needed to buy Levonelle, the morning after pill, so don’t feel guilty if you ever do decide enough is enough. Because having kids is a fast-track to stress, despite the blessings they bring to your life.
And so, when your non-parenting friend stresses about their broken nail, and when they complain about not having enough hours in the day to get their hair done (because they have been too busy down at the local spa), you wouldn’t be blamed if you picked up your child’s dirty nappy and aimed it directly towards your mate. “Stress?” you scream! “You don’t know the half of it!”
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