To my children.
I may get uptight, I may seem sharp.
I sometimes get cross.
I often mutter “forfucksake” a lot under my breath.
I get annoyed when you shout me at 3am because you need a wee and want company or even worse when you shout me then you’re asleep by the time I’ve dragged my tired arse to your room.
I may spoil all your fun with comments like
“get out of that box”
“don’t pull the cat’s tail”
“stop leaping all over each other”.
I might baby you by not letting you run off ahead with your friends.
I may declare a need for wine on a regular basis.
I may spend an afternoon wishing it were nearly your bedtime.
I may sometimes wish for a holiday, just me and daddy.
Or just me, I’m easy.
I may seem strict when all you want to do is play.
I may sometimes seem fed up or tired.
I spend a lot of time being climbed on and sat on, tiny, pointy elbows and knees jabbing me while you try to get comfortable.
I spend a lot of time being hit in the face, sometimes it’s your frustration, sometimes it’s your eagerness to show me something terribly important.
I spend a lot of time apologising to other people because you won’t share/you keep kicking/you walk into people/you don’t pay attention.
I spend a lot of time listening to you tell me how unreasonable and awful I am because I won’t let you have this or do that (often after you’ve just had or done something pretty cool)
I spend a lot of time hearing you shout at me for doing or making something wrong.
I often hear how I am entirely responsible for you having the worst day EVER.
I spend a lot of time defending myself while you laugh hysterically thinking knocking my glasses off my face is a great game..
I wish you’ll go and nap just so I can take an hour to sit quietly with a little bit of space.
I feel like a terrible person for wanting that little bit of space. (Seriously though, an inch would do).
I tell the other mum at school how grumpy and difficult you’ve been today because, y’know, naps are for losers.
I instantly feel bad and wonder if I talk about your fantastic, hilarious and great moments so readily (these are abundant).
I start to feel a bit warm on the inside and feel a tension rise when I feel like everyone is watching you shout and writhe in your buggy while I have no way of placating you.
Once again I say to myself
“roll on bedtime”.
Believe it or not, everything I do is because I believe it’s the best for you.
I may be right, I may be wrong.
I want you to grow up to be well-mannered and I want you to be grateful for what you have.
I want you to be nice people.
I worry about how I’m bringing you up and sometimes my grumpiness is me fretting.
Finally you’re both in bed, I pour a glass of wine and breathe a big sigh and I feel bad.
I feel bad for every uttered swear, every sharp word, every exasperated yell.
I wish you weren’t in bed so that I could give you a squishy cuddle and tell you I love you – I worry you’ll forget that.
I hear you breathing gently (snoring) and I feel calm.
I recall how I used to love the sound of you both breathing and snuffling in the night when you were tiny babies.
I remember my heart used to feel so full of love that it could burst.
I realise that now it still feels exactly the same. In fact, maybe even more love has squeezed in there.
I realise that as you both get older and more independent we’re going to butt heads.
You think you know better, I KNOW I know best.
After a day like today it’s easy to think that my everyday is like this but as I sit here, feeling thankful you both went straight to sleep, I realise that today stands out and the fact that today stands out as such a bad day is because it’s actually a rarity.
We may have some shit days but by gosh kids. I love you so much, I wouldn’t change it*.
I love you all the world with all my heart.
*Well, maybe I’d prefer not to see you between midnight and 6.45am.
Just a thought.