It’s day 3 of Podmas and today’s prompt was: I’ve learned xyz about myself this year
You can read Day 1 here: Best advice ever given
Here’s Day 2: Be Honest Online
Today’s prompt was also difficult and really forced me to sit and think. What did I learn about myself this year?
The only thing I’ve realized about myself this year that really stands out to me is how much I love being a mom. I’ve always loved my kids more than I could ever imagine, but this year is the only year I’ve really fallen in love with being a mom.
I’ve always wanted kids, but I didn’t want to have kids just because it was the normal thing to do. I never imagined I wouldn’t have children.
As a child, I always imagined my life would follow a losing formula like this:
- go to school
- go to university
- go to university
- get a job
- meeting a boy
- get a better job
- Buy a house
- get married
- keep a dog
- I can have a baby
- please have another baby
- (You never know what’s going to happen next. I’m sure you’ll get a better job and a bigger house soon!)
It seems incredibly boring when lined up like this, but life actually worked out this way and it was incredible. It hasn’t all happened exactly in this order, and we haven’t gotten to the “marriage” part yet, but the major milestones in my life have generally been like this.
I never stopped and thought, “Do I really want to go to college?” Do you really want to get a job? Do you really want to settle down? Do you really want to buy a house? Are you sure you want a baby?’ All of these things just happened.
I’m sure I would have wanted to because that wouldn’t have happened if it were me, but what I’m saying is, I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat for years dreaming of having kids. That doesn’t mean it was.
Sam and I were incredibly lucky as we were able to easily conceive two boys. Neither was exactly planned. That’s not to say they weren’t wanted by any means, they just came a little faster and a little easier than we expected. We were very lucky that many couples were “trying to have a baby” and didn’t have the time to spend months dreaming and getting excited about what it would be like means. Baby outlook.
I briefly thought about having a baby, but I got pregnant the next month. In three weeks, we went from “That’s a good idea…” to “Oh my god, we just had a baby, we need to sort out our lives…’
We had two boys in 18 months and it was wonderful, but any parent knows that those first two years aren’t always sunshine and snuggles and it’s a lot of work!
I dreaded the days when I would be alone all day with the boys. Sam went to work at 7:30am and I was literally counting down the hours until he got home at 5pm. It took us 10 and a half hours with two children under 2 years old. How can I fill the time!?
But if I could fill that mess with a whirlwind of chaos and diaper changes and trips to the park and lukewarm coffee in groups of babies and toddlers where the moms were all pretending to be having a good time. I did.
In October, Joseph turned two years old and something miraculous happened. It became less hard work and a lot more fun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult, but now the fun outweighs the difficulty!
I’m now excited to spend a full day alone with the boys. Build a burrow in the living room, bake cookies, go for long walks in the woods where you can look for gruffalo, or play with poo sticks on the bridge over the river. We go to the zoo and soft play. Take turns riding the zip wire at your local park. In the summer, I go for long walks to pick wildflowers and take photos in the sun. In the winter, I go to the woods with a flask of hot chocolate, spend an hour looking for the perfect picnic spot, and then come home to light a fire and watch a Disney movie.
OK, now that I’m rereading it, I realize I’ve expressed my parenting ideals in 125 words. It’s not always perfect, but it’s definitely a lot easier and a lot more fun than it was 12 months ago.
My tip to enjoying parenting
Once I realized that there was no point in trying everything, I really started enjoying raising my children. I quickly realized that there was no point in working while carrying a baby, and there was no point in trying to ‘help’ a two-year-old make complicated meals’.
These things are possible and we see parents working with their kids, shopping, and doing all the daily household chores, but well, it’s hard! As soon as I accepted that these things were hard, and most importantly, accepted that it was okay to be hard, I stopped caring.
I’m not going to stress about making sure my house is spotless or responding to every email within an hour!
I answer work emails, write blog posts, clean the house, cook delicious dinners, do laundry, and don’t just leave my two little boys idly in front of the TV. I was able to spend the day trying to keep myself busy.
Or you can take the boys outside for a day and have some fun!
That’s what I’m doing. I take them all day and have a great time. I don’t have any emails on my phone, so I don’t get distracted by work messages and can focus on my boys for the day.
Then I get home and, yes, my house is a mess, I have a mountain of laundry, and my inbox is full, but that’s okay. Sam takes over at 6pm and he does laundry, cleans the house, and bathes the kids while I prepare dinner and work on my inbox.
It works for us and makes life much less stressful.
That’s what I learned about myself in 2018. What will happen in 2019….