Steph's Blog: It's all relative
If I, for what ever reason, was to have had amnesia and forgotten the last 10 years and woke up today in the familial madness that is being mother to my three children, I would most likely sidestep quietly to my car and drive hastily in any direction.
At 21 I became pregnant with my first child. Although I largely winged my way through and found it all quite lovely, I had my moments.
The first was when I held her in my arms, only moments old I held her up, looked in her eyes and announced "oh beautiful girl, you will be an only child!" Followed by the bewildering question: "Who the heck (may or may not have been 'heck') does that twice?"
I then recall sitting dazed on the couch 3 days later. My eyes constantly flicking to the wall clock as it dawned on me "I will breast feed every 3 hours for the rest of my life". Although that was not entirely true it was very much the all consuming reality in that moment.
I loved my birth and I loved my baby, she slept, smiled and smelt perfectly. Yet on many occasion I sat crying at 2am, crying in unison with my little girl. I was failing her, nothing I offered could satiate her desire. I was clueless, exhausted and at the end of my tether. But moments later she would fall in to deep and beautiful slumber and I would sit awake watching her breathe in complete wonder at how my mother possibly did this three times?
These moments never got easier. A sick toddler with huge pained eyes, Why can't you fix this Mama? A shove in the playground by a bigger child. The lump in my throat never shrank. The love and the fear only grew but slowly something shifted inside me. A quiet and still acceptance.
Four years later I reached under water and slipped my hands under two small arms. I lifted him up and looked into his eyes: "Hello beautiful boy, you will be my last child" I told him. I stood and jiggled him from 10pm onwards every evening, he didn't like to sit. I hurriedly searched for my daughter's left sandal as I fed him his morning feed, he joined our busy days of playcentre, grocery shopping, kindergarten drop offs and ballet lessons.
Life got busier but never any harder, just a different kind if life.
Not long later we learnt of our third son, our big boy and our days were then topped with mountains of adoption papers, Skype dates and CYFS inspections. Busier but not harder. Our third son arrived, he was barely visible beneath his baggage and initially he clutched tightly to it. Things were hard. But only months later we all adjusted to the new meaning of family and we trucked on.
If I woke up today to a toddler announcing the new day at 4am, last night's dinner dishes unwashed as I flopped into bed not long after the kids, the missing jar of peanut butter that had been snuck and eaten by little hands at 2am, elbowing and tears to get to the shower first and then again at the toaster, lost lunch boxes, misplaced shoes, homework frets and the race to the front seat of the car.. .I might have side stepped quietly to my car and driven. but it's all relative. The work load, the stress, the pressure may have grown but so have I.
Never let fear cap your opportunity to love and grow. The things we regret in life are not the things we do, but the things we didn't do.
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