Being a parent is….
I can waffle on about how wonderful it is to be a parent, because essentially at the end of it all it can be wonderful, but for every amazing moment there must be a thousand shitty moments. For every instagrammed perfect picture is chaos tornadoing in the background.
So here is a little compilation of what life as a parent can entail.
Being a parent is:
(Warning a lot of it is sleep related)
Enduring months, years of sleep deprivation, being so insanely tired that you feel hungover and will hallucinate through blood shot eyes, yet you still have to function. Sometimes you will find cars pulled up on the side of the road or in car parks with parents and children fast asleep – well they say ‘sleep when they sleep’. Needs must my friend, needs must.
Having the delightful duty of removing a floating turd from the bath or extracting said turd from a pair of pants, the carpet, the dog bowl, anywhere other than where its supposed to be, even to the point when in the throes of potty training you will rush a half crapping child across the house to avoid turdmania on your unclean carpets (who has time to clean), I mean that’s mess you can’t ignore really.
Living in a groundhog day of attempting to clean up after your delightful offspring who will undo every amount of effort you make, in fact they will double their efforts when they cotton on that you are actually trying to clean clean rather than scoop their crap to one side – you bring out the big guns of cleaning products and they go wild, they will dump toilet rolls down the toilet, paint the walls with the bog brush, tip whole boxes of cereal over the floor, eat some and smear it back onto any surface that it will glue itself to – the list goes on.
Discovering that the gentle rock to sleep may actually be a manic rock of insanity and that your child may not actually have gone to sleep in a soothing manner but actually they’ve had to close their eyes to avoid severe motion sickness – either way they are asleep so win win. Or if you are in the throes of the bum pat, back stroke kind of putting to bed then it’s knowing when to change the soothing bum pat into a gentle backstroke and then peel away finger by finger as you attempt to retract your limbs from a sleepy child.
Trying to leave the room of a sleeping child whilst avoiding all objects in the way – suddenly escaping the room is like a assault course which you must do in silence, even if you are out of the room it’s the actual getting down the stairs – which are all creaky so you are walking down the sides of each step, balancing on the skirting boards and half lifting yourself using the hand rail and wall – now this should be an Olympic sport!
Learning that spanx AND jeggings/legging/skinnies or heaven forbid leatherette pants are not a good combo when you have to hold a child AND go to the toilet at the same time!! Lesson learnt – just don’t do it, such attire requires two hands. If you do make it to the toilet on your own then it’s hearing a thump/smash/scream/cry as you are mid shite, having to then decide on the level of cry whether you have to dump and go or whether you’ve thirty seconds to wipe and run – never will you get a moments peace AGAIN.
Negotiating with the limp limbs of your child as they refused to be dressed but instead they just want to be an octopus just as you NEED to get out of the house or having to karate chop your child into a pushchair/ car seat, then it’s entering the delightful era when your child wishes to dress themselves and then you have to redress them as they are inside out and back to front.
Spending days negotiating, coercing and downright bribing your child just so you don’t have to resort to alcohol at 9 am, sometimes you’ve downed a bottle of (insert alcohol of choice) and then you’ve realised ‘shit it’s only Tuesday’, ah sod it, you feel hungover from sleep deprivation you may as well be actually hungover.
Surviving the never ending period of time with small children hankering around your ankles begging to be fed as you try to create some form of nutritional sustenance only for them to refuse it as soon as it is presented them. After trying to encourage said sweet children to eat the food you have made, you are met with a rather stubborn and indignant ‘I’m not hungry!!’, so sod it, you eat it or bin it and strop off in your own little tantrum…. 5 minutes later ‘mummy can I have a snack?’ – Are you F*&@king kidding me?!?!
Living your life surviving on the off cuts from sandwiches or eating half chewed pieces of food, the discarded meals that they just can’t stomach, you soon realise that a lot will go to waste unless you literally become a human dustbin – don’t bother making your own meal just eat their cold leftovers ‘Yummy!’. It’s a glamorous life of fine dining and a la carte menus.
Upon having a second/third/ (insert number of children) you lower your standards on what you deem acceptable ‘toys’ to play with – knives – no, spatulas, wooden spoons, rocks, bins, nappies – clean – yes, dirty – erm best not. Nothing entertains your child more than a pack of wet wipes or a toilet roll, and then you can clean your house afterwards with them – well when I say clean I mean just a cursory wipe over the worst bits, spray a bit of Febreeze and you could almost pass it off as a clean and tidy house.
Answering the incessant question ‘why’ it certainly tests your general knowledge and can make you contemplate why we do actually do things but sometimes we just have to resort to ‘because it just is, now accept it’…….’why’ – oh fml!!
Constantly having a brew that’s too hot to handle and will melt you from the inside out or its tepid – like gross tepid. There’s never the in between.
Finally making into the shower ALONE and then you are constantly plagued by the imaginary sounds of children crying – so you are stood there, soaped up, shampoo dribbling into your eyes in the cold as you’ve switched the shower off to listen for the sounds of a distressed child – NOTHING, instead you’re butt naked, freezing with eyes full of soap.
Yoyoing from the beaming boastful moment of ‘oh my goodnes look at _________(insert wonderful moment here), this is why we have children’ to ‘holy shit look at _______(insert goddamn awful moment that can never be eradicated from memory) why did we have children?!?! FFS’ Smearing human faeces on a wall is one of those moments – why would you do that???
Spending many an hour, night upon night, laying on the bedroom floor willing your child with every fibre of your being to go to sleep – not so bad when you have your phone to keep you company and you can trawl through every social media account you have – however God help you if your phone battery goes whilst you’re in mid way through, trying to escape is futile as you will just reset your child back to the beginning and hell starts all over again, so instead you lay there, in the dark, with your thoughts. Either you will start to think of the billions things you need to do but can’t, have an absolute brain wave of an idea, a proper Eureka moment however you can’t write down your idea and you know full well you will forget it as soon as you manage to escape OR you fall asleep yourself, only to be rudely awoken by aching limbs, a bad hip and a sore back.
When you do finally make it to bed yourself, suddenly a mindful of crap downloads into your brain and you realise you’ve got so many things to do, people to reply to, orders to place. Cue replying to messages and ordering nappies at 1am – you’re going to be up at 5am but at least you’ve ordered the nappies.
Having spent a great portion of the night when you should have been asleep catching up on all the things you should have done at some point when children weren’t destroying your house, ripping it apart and breaking you down bit by bit, you wake early – however the kids are not awake. Instead of going back to sleep and enjoying the rarity of a lie in, you start to panic – ‘why are they not awake?’ ‘is something wrong?’. At first these worries and doubts just play tricks on you every time you try to fall back to sleep but you remain stubborn in your bed, however the anxiety builds and you’ve convinced yourself they’ve slipped into a coma or something else just as drastic, so you go to check on them, double check that they are breathing – lo and behold they are in the dreamy land of nod – where you should be. You look on and smile and your beautiful sleeping children and then tip toe back to bed….and then stand on a creaking floorboard ‘mummy?’ BOLLOCKS!!! If you’d just stayed in bed and ignored that voice in your head every one would still be asleep but no you had to ruin it all by being all worried and crap like that!
Being a parent is many things – and there are many more that could easily be added to this list however you wouldn’t be a parent if you didn’t mutter in sheer exasperation, sing (yes I do mean sing, like sing as if you were performing an opera or even rap it, either way you’ll find yourself cursing your child through song) or shout manically at multiple points in the day;
‘what the fuck’
‘are you kidding me?’
‘what the ACTUAL fuck!!’
‘fuck my life’
‘oh Jesus Christ – seriously!!’
along with endless ‘no’ ‘yes’ ‘because I said so’
It’s great being a parent – Honest!