Continuing with my motherhood lessons – and this one applies to any parent with crazy, active, non-stop, turn-your-hair-grey-kind-of-kids – is to have faith that one day it will just stop. My kids certainly aren’t miraculously docile all of a sudden, oh no no no, so maybe I’m more relaxed because I’ve stopped caring so much and can let them be? Or maybe, just maybe, I know I can trust them more because they’re growing up and have shown me they have earned that trust – including more awareness of personal safety? I definitely think it’s the latter, and while I’m never blasé about my kids safety, it’s certainly nice to be a bit more chilled when I’m out with them- even if I run things like a military campaign sometimes….
This epiphany occurred on the weekend when I was at a kid’s birthday party. All of the kids were going nuts, while the parents got to enjoy a glass of champagne and the opportunity to chat. Naturally it helped that the party was in a big function room, so kids were within view – although it certainly got hairy on the bouncy castle a couple of times, with my boys center of the action. The parents I’m meeting through the boy’s school are lovely, so birthday parties have actually become a real pleasure to go to, and I’m getting to know a whole new and diverse bunch of people. It’s great.
However, there was one Mum I didn’t speak to. When I saw her at school after the party I said we didn’t get to speak, but then you’re still at the phase of constant vigilance right? Right indeed. Her little lad is just over one and he’s all movement and curiosity. He’s the sort you can never EVER take your eyes off, because you just don’t know where he’s going to turn up – probably at the champagne bucket if he’s like my lads. It’s intense stuff when your kids go through this phase, because they couldn’t give a crap about anyone else – it’s just them and the world at this age.
This Mum had the typical harried look I know so well, but for the first time in five years, I realised I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not frantic all the time, wondering if one of mine is going to fall off a roof, or bounce out of the castle, or drink champagne, or whatever it is they bloody used to get up to. They want to hang out with the other kids and play. It’s AWESOME!
And so my lesson learnt is this – whatever it is your kids are doing that is driving you nuts right now – it will stop. Of course they’ll probably start doing something else that will annoy the hell out of you, but for me it sure is nice being able to have adult conversations again. I really missed that. For those parents who continue enjoying adult conversations without interruption when kids came along, you are very very lucky bastards. I know you exist, because you are the parents who used to try and talk to me during the last five years when I was constantly running off to sort something out, coming back to say “so where were we?” Not that any of us ever remembered…. Mothering certainly destroys the brain!
Phases in childhood are never ending, but I do take a lot of solace from the fact that they stop, you get a few minutes, weeks or months of peace, and then you’re back in the trenches again, tearing your hair out.
Remind me why we actually choose to have kids again?
Yours, without the bollocks