At the risk of bringing the world crashing down around my ears I’m going to say it. Parent and motherhood is, at this moment in time, easy . . .er.
And it’s only taken me twelve years to somewhat tentatively say this out loud.
From those sleepless newborn months, with boobs like rocks prone to leaking at a moments notice. From having to abandon my half full trolley to sort a nappy explosion and break up a sibling game of tap tackle in the biscuit isle. Through the toddler years where juice in the wrong cup or snapping a biscuit in half could bring forth meltdowns of biblical proportions. To the bubbling resentment of seeing my darling partner free and able to accept a spontaneous invitation out. All the bedtime delaying tactics. The sheer groundhog feelings of exhaustion and impending doom at the thought of a solo parenting weekend. I could never quite believe strangers assurances that “It does get easier”.
However, I am now sitting pretty in the bubble of family life where my boys are 12, 10, 8 and 5 and I genuinely enjoy being with them. As a collective and individually. Don’t get me wrong, life is far from a scene from the Waltons. The bickering, tears, fights and ear piercing wails of injustices are as loud and frequent as ever. Car journeys can still be horrific and FFS is still my go to, under my breath, elongated mutter.
Yet the joys, jokes and new experiences now arrive in equal measure.
The rewards are EVEN more than a sleep through.Or a smile. Or a cuddle with an “I love you”.
So yes, life is still a crazy balancing act of juggling work, cooking “disgusting” meals, washing or hunting for P.E kit two minutes before the school run. There are still swimming lessons to watch as you ooze buckets of sweat from every pore. But now there is also the sharing of a top ear-worm tune of the moment. There are dance offs in the kitchen. There are movie nights cuddled up on the sofa. Now you can really see their personalities evolving and debate the burning questions of the hour; “Could Ironman beat Batman if it was Tuesday and which would win, water or a rock?”.
Maybe all these lovely moments were there in the early years but I was simply too tired to appreciate them.
I’m am aware (if not prepared) that in a blink of an eye my boys will hit adolescence and realise I am an irritatingly flawed individual who can’t work the remote properly. I also know this mothering lark is for life not just Christmas and that even if you make it reasonably unscathed through one period, there are still plenty more moments in their adulthood to come back and bite you on the bum.
Which is why, right now, I’m raising the flag and saluting this moment on the parenting timeline. Life. Is. Good.
And for anyone out there who has just had to count to 10 or lock themselves in the toilet to get away from their little darlings. For anyone whose day started at 4am or who has just had to change their top for the third time thanks to projectile vomit or squirty poo…. Hang in there. It really, truly does get easier.