There are so many moments in parenthood when we are reminded to be grateful. Be grateful you have a happy baby, be grateful you have a healthy baby, be grateful to have a baby at all.
And I am so very grateful. Truly. If I were to choose a hashtag to sum up my life as a whole, it would be #blessed.
BUT (you saw that one coming a mile away didn’t you?). The relentlessness of my children is starting to, how do I put this, drive me out of my f**king mind.
I wish I could float upon a fluffy cloud of bliss as I marvel at the little wonders that Mother Nature has been kind enough to gift me.
Instead I’m in a fog of sleep deprivation as I trip over noisy plastic toys and lunge from one child to the next as they each issue demands, whack themselves on something or pee on the floor.
Yes, I know that the overall picture is amazing. Cute kids, safe house, loving husband. Why sweat the little stuff when the bigger picture is so very perfect?
Having a lovely family really does make my life complete and I love them so bloody much it hurts.
However when you are living this supposedly perfect life up close and personal, day after day, long night after bloody long night, it’s only then the picture starts to distort a little.
Being in the thick of it means taking the rough with the smooth. And with little kids, there’s a lot of rough.
Toddlers say the funniest things. However they also come with toddler tantrums and constant demands, and the noise can leave your nerves seriously frazzled.
Newborn babies are very cute and squishy. But they also wake at unpredictable times, scream when put down and want to suckle at your sore boobs 24/7.
You feel terrible complaining, because many people are facing so much more complex and heartbreaking challenges than potty training or cluster feeding.
Some would give everything to have even one baby.
Some are struggling to do their best for a child with disabilities.
Some are bringing up baby all by themselves.
And some have faced the absolutely unimaginable and shattering horror of losing a child altogether. This I cannot imagine, it must be utterly devastating to say the least.
I try to remind myself of all of these things when I’m too close to the problem, when I can’t see the wood for the trees.
When you’re bringing up small children, getting through every day can feel a little bit like you’re desperately running on a treadmill being bombarded with various obstacles such as Lego bricks just to add to the challenge.
When you’re doing something day in, day out, it loses that romantic glow. Yes we all have those moments when our child stares into our eyes and smiles and it’s so gorgeous you could burst from the happiness. However you’re normally brought crashing back down to earth when said child coughs just centimetres from your face. Because nothing says I love you like being spat at.
And yet you feel like you should be grateful for all of it. The rough and the smooth. Because you’re so #blessed.
We beat ourselves up for complaining about the hard times, the times when we are so tired we want to cry, the times we can’t take one more minute of crying or the times that lovely meal we spent an hour cooking goes splat on the floor.
This is just another chance for our old friend mummy guilt to give us a good slap around the face. She never misses an opportunity, don’t you know.
So I suppose what I’m saying, fellow Mummy, is don’t feel guilty about complaining. Being a mum is tough, so very tiring, sometimes boring and often frustrating.
It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful, it just means you are human.
Please don’t forget that while you are extremely blessed to have your lovely children, they are also extremely blessed to have you as a mum. The person who’s there, doing all of this hard s**t day after day, because you love them so much you don’t care if they spit in your face.
Your life is not perfect, no one’s is. It’s great to be grateful, but it’s also fine to be p****d off sometimes too.
Read more: Life with a baby does get easier