According to a survey of 2000 UK mums carried out by Nurofen for Children, when asked how they found the first year of parenthood and the emotions they experienced, the answers were these;
1. Tiring 69%
2. Love 59%
3. Amazing 48%
4. Fatigued 46%
5. Joyful 44%
6. Stressful 43%
7. Hard 38%
8. Chaotic 36%
9. Lonely 29%
10. Wonder 29%
I am now in my sixth year of parenthood and I experience these emotions daily, normally all of them in the space of the school run (please replace run with very slow dawdling, tantrum filled walk)
Here is my breakdown of those emotions in order of appearance.
This is how I feel before I even wake up. Luckily we have a faulty stormtrooper alarm clock that flashes and screams to bring us out of our warm peaceful cocoons and fall into reality with a bump and a bit of a grump.
It is truly AMAZING that every morning we go through the same groundhog day rigmarole of groans, moans, breakfast complaints (who knew that if you ignore your shreddies until 30 seconds before you need to leave, they turn into a large congealed lump?) strops, refusal to put our coat on , remembering we need a poo as we are leaving, crying that we still don’t have a car (this is mostly from me) , hilarity that Mummy has something unidentified stuck to her nose and is still in her slippers.
Yes, education is necessary and all that. But there is SO much to remember of a day! Packed lunches, one with crusts, one without. Money for toast, money for mufti day, money just in case. Homework. Readers. Socks. School monkey… If you leave the house with less than six bags, you have most definitely forgotten something.
When it’s -6 outside and the boys are clamoring for a day off, it is incredibly hard not to bribe them all the way to school, with two packs of smarties and a creme egg. ( There is a small possibility this might have happened …..)
Baggage, children, busy roads, knotty hair and all the rest makes the time before school ever so slightly chaotic, factor in a Mum who hasn’t managed her 3 coffees yet and chaos is rife.
It is so easy to feel that you are in this alone, especially when you walk past the other parents with their beautiful glowing faces and perfectly behaved pristine children and pull along book bags. DO NOT BE FOOLED! A quick survey conducted via whatsapp in the last 2 minutes amongst some of my closest parent friends, shows that we are all in this congealed cereal state together. I promise!
Having the same conversation about how you don’t have Inspector Gadget arms or Superman biceps and can’t carry both children over your shoulders (45+ kilos of combined child weight) at once, does get a tad tiring, but it’s apparently a necessary part of our daily walk.
This is how you feel when you have got to the playground and handed them over to people in a position of much more responsibility of you, you walk away with a positive spring in your step, you did it! Hooray! this process doesn’t need to be repeated for another 23 hours . The joy is immense!
This is what goes through your mind along with fear, when you hear the teacher and your eldest son calling,
yelling your name. You are a millimeter away from the school gate.. but you turn back , to see your son telling you that he forgot to tell you something really important. Worry sets in that you have forgotten something vital like … well you can’t think of it , cos’ you haven’t had your coffees…
The eldest didn’t run out to tell you off for not putting enough ham in his sandwich, he has run to tell you that he in fact loves you , more than Lego. You melt into a puddle of unhinged parental emotion, he skips off happily , oblivious to the fact that despite your grumbling, you would in fact do the school run a zillion times a day if it meant that every now and again, you get the biggest confidence boost ever.
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