So birthday season is over here for another year and now I have officially been a mother for 10 years and have celebrated 20 of my children's birthdays. Wow!
For some reason all these milestones have hit me hard this year. I feel like I need to take shallow breaths or I'll cry. Actually, I think the end of birthday season around here always has me processing stuff and quite emotional. It doesn't surprise me at all to check the date of my nest post, my biggest emotional post to date, and to see that I wrote it on this very date last year.
So here are 20 of the things I am thinking about being a mother in no particular order:
That you cannot plan anything about parenting from the birth you would ideally like, to the way your child will behave in any situation, to how much you will achieve on any given day.
That being a mother has made me at times feel higher than the sky and so full of happiness and then at other times so crappy and grumpy and irritated. There is so much love and pride and gooeyness but then so much guilt and loss of control.
That I don't need a huge amount of sleep all the time, but I do need some quiet. There is always so much talk and so many stories and so many questions that at times I feel I can't think at all anymore.
Not to get attached to any plan or arrangement because there is always a good chance that someone will be vomiting or have lice or have disgusting ulcers on their tongue.
That children who fight like wild animals one minute, will defend each other fiercely and adore each other the next.
Never to make the same meal twice in a row. Just because they loved it and said it was their favourite food one day, doesn't mean they'll eat it again the next.
That no matter how much I want them to slow down and stop growing up, they have other plans and are in such a rush and so excited to get there. They are so proud of their new, tall height marks on the wall, while I am stuck staring at the ones closest to the floor.
That I really should make the most of and enjoy the fact that they still think I am cool and want to tell me everything.
That when I am tired and distracted so are they.
That when I am happy and focused completely on them, that it will break any bad mood and bring them up with me.
That even though we feel like we have given them the building blocks to be good, polite, sensible decision making girls, that sometimes their behaviours will surprise us.
That when we give them a little bit of sugar they want more and more and more.
That when discussing my children's school yard and friendship goings on, it takes me right back to mine and is hard to separate.
That I will never cross everything off my list or see the bottom of my washing pile.
That I never give myself credit for the little things like getting the big girls to school on time with lunches packed and uniforms washed, but am quick to be critical of myself for getting cross when I had to ask them for the sixth time to put their shoes on and made them sandwiches with shop bought bread.
That as much as I adore them, sometimes I want to shut the door on them and sit in my office alone and sew.
That as chaotic as our family life is, I am still dealing with all the nest stuff. Most of the time it is in the background but at at other times it feels enormous.
That preparing meals is the hardest part of being a mother for me. I could get so much more done if I never had to consider food.
That one on one, undivided attention, and loud music and dancing can fix almost any bad situation.
That I am the luckiest girl in the world and that my three girls are awesome.
There is so much more going on in my head right now but I've gotta go and lice comb Pepper's hair. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! She was scratching like mad in bed with me this morning and all I could think of was that it was such perfect bike riding and picnic weather...