@communicatewithchloe is back with her second blog post for Ruby Doo. Her down-to-earth and unfiltered words sharing the realisation that parenthood isn't perfect, and that parents shouldn't put extra pressure on themselves in what might already be a difficult daily reality.
Read, enjoy and click the heart to leave a like!
Having a child, I’m sure, is never what anyone really imagined before their child arrived. Yes, you get some of the magical moments we all dreamed of in the Mamas and Papas’ catalogue, you know the ones in the pumpkin field, unwrapping gifts next to a glistening tree in matching pyjamas… but the reality is they’re few and far between and actually anticlimactic at times. The majority of parenting is tiring, it’s mundane, it’s hard work. You pour and pour from your parenting jug and it’s exhausting. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child unconditionally or don’t enjoy being a parent (I love wine but if I keep pouring and pouring eventually I collapse).
It can feel like Groundhog Day.
You clean and tidy, only to have to clean and tidy again before you’ve even put the hoover away. You cook, but it’s the wrong thing, you cook again but they want the meal that 10 minutes ago they didn’t want. You take them to the toilet, but they don’t need it, so you carry them back downstairs and then of course, they need it.
You wipe bums, wipe noses, brush hair, clean teeth, runs baths (get soaked), time them getting dressed to make it a race because it’s the only way they will, say “bye I’m going without you then" 40 times until you realise they don’t care about being home alone. You can’t go to a soft play party with out a child and don’t want to get arrested for neglect, so carry your little Kevin McAllister out of the house screaming anyway. From roughly October time you do all of this whilst repeatedly saying “SANTAS WATCHING”, yet they always end up on the good list because you love them more than life.
You buy glitter, make play dough, bake cakes, build dens, pretend to be a horse, get aggressively stabbed with an ‘injection’ playing doctors, get jumped on from every angle, you play their game but get shouted at because you’re doing it wrong, when actually they didn’t prep you with the rules beforehand and when one game finishes, well it’s straight onto the next; it’s never quite enough.
I’m not ashamed to say that I sometimes feel unappreciated by my toddler who hasn’t even developed the concept of appreciation yet. But we’re all just human, we don’t give to receive from a child but honestly it can be draining.
You know, every night my daughter and I do the Hokey Cokey (overstimulating but it’s my pyjamas on bribe) and then we head up the apples and pears or as she calls them the “oranges and bananas”. We read two books and then eventually after telling me a confusing long winded story with no plot and asking me questions like why squares aren’t round she turns over and I sing her to sleep.
Every night I have always sang her two songs; You Are My Sunshine and Somewhere Over The Rainbow. She lies with her back to me and falls to sleep. I never thought she was really listening or particularly liked those songs it just became a habit that I enjoyed and felt comforted by. Usually I sing whilst falling to sleep myself, my eyes heavy, my limbs contorted in a toddler bed or lay on the floor holding her hand; the reasons why my back looks like a Quaver.
Then one night recently, after nearly 4 years, I started singing and she turned around to face me, put her little arm around my neck and sang along. Every single word to both songs. Start to finish. She was listening every night, she was soaking it all up and she remembered. It was the most beautiful sound.
You might think now that your children aren’t noticing what you do for them but one day maybe next week, 4, 10 even 20 years on they will say something or share a memory that will pour all of that love and appreciation straight back into your depleting jug and you will know you did enough and it didn’t go unnoticed.
They will surprise you unexpectedly out of the blue on a mundane weekday. These are the real magical moments that can’t be depicted in catalogues. When you realise that not only is that little (or not so little anymore) person your sunshine, you are also theirs. You make them happy when their skies are grey. Your hugs and kisses melt their troubles like lemon drops. You allow them to believe that the dreams they dare to dream really will come true.
You’ll never know Dear, how much they love you.
You will watch your happy little blue bird fly beyond the rainbow and be proud that everything you did during Groundhog Day gave them their wings.