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Thanks for stopping by. Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated. I now have a new, albeit smaller blog over at www.jodieansted.blogspot.com.au.
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Thursday, May 12, 2011
What Are you Suited To?
Such is the life of a mother to young children.
Whilst there is a definite upside when kids are yet to start school (fewer scheduled activities, no rigid time frames to follow, amazingly gorgeous cuddles and cute-as-can-be slightly lisped observations about the world), young children - babies, toddlers and preschoolers - can be challenging. Beautiful, but challenging.
A friend of mine really struggled when her two sons were toddlers and preschoolers. Her patience was tested constantly. She once described her life back then as "chaotic", "unpredictable", "frustrating" and at times, "depressing". She dealt with sleep issues, learning issues (one son was born prematurely), discipline issues...pretty much what all of us go through. But for her, these issues left her feeling stressed and in need of some breathing space (hence her return to work when her first son was around six months old - she had always assumed she would be a stay-at-home-mum, but reality forced her to reconsider). In fact, she thought she was a bad mother back then. Surely, she thought, she could keep it together without yelling at her kids and feeling the way she did?
As her boys got older, she started to enjoy them more. Finally, she was able to ask them to complete a task and they could do it without throwing a tantrum, or getting distracted. She was relieved not to do everything for them. They could help out around the house. They ate most food put in front of them. For my friend, life has only gotten easier with each new year as her sons have grown.
When her boys were still very young, she saw a GP who told her - after my friend had described to her how she felt about motherhood - that she was, "probably a mother suited to older children," and that she shouldn't worry. Years later, my friend would realise her GP was spot on. She has always assured me that it will get easier as my own boys grow. "A lot of people will tell you it only gets more difficult, but I certainly didn't find that at all." (Although, I'm sure teenagers might be another story.)
To be honest, I've mostly found that to be the case for me too. The challenges are still there, they're just different, and at least now when my 9yr old is upset, he can verbalise it (most of the time anyway!). I guess I'm not a 'mother of babies'. I didn't enjoy breastfeeding, for example. There were times I did - like when my sons would feed, their hand placed on top of my breast, their eyes gazing curiously up at mine. That - I loved. But for the most part, I couldn't wait for the breastfeeding to end. I gave it up willingly. I gave up nappies without a hint of sadness too. When we sold our cot - I didn't think twice about it. Admittedly, selling our pram was another thing. I felt a hint of sadness when a new couple arrived to collect it. I loved that pram, and I have so many fond memories of pushing my children around in it. However, I soon got over that. Not having a pram in the hallway all the time, taking up space, was rather a relief.
The 4yr old has always been challenging. More so than his brothers were, and although I am still feeling some anxiety and heart-pulling at the thought of my last son starting school - and the toddler and preschooler days finally coming to an end - for the most part, I think I'm like my friend. Ready for my sons to become more independent and grow.
I just hope I can be the best mother for them.
How about you? Do you think you're more relaxed as a mother to babies and young children, or school aged kids?
Image: We Heart It