Posts tagged #career

All Grown Up

All Grown Up Mama Pyjama

I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday that I was sitting on a school bench, giggling with my friends about what we were going to be when we grew up.  We talked about how old we’d be when we got married, how many kids we planned to have, all the things we were going to do when we were ‘free’ from the shackles of youth.  It all seems like a lifetime away.  Thirty seemed so old, and the thoughts of us being parents and career women, wives and homeowners, were like alien concepts – far far away in a land we were yet to discover. 

All of a sudden, we’re 34, married, with kids, careers and mortgages.  Yet when we get together we still look at each other, often erupting into a fit of giggles as we look to see our kids playing together on the floor.  We can’t be that OOOOLLD yet!  Whose children are they?! They couldn’t possibly all be ours?!

There are also times when we question our capability and readiness as parents.  We’re 34, and we’re still finding our way.  We’re still growing, we’re still learning, we’re still calling upon our mums and dads for help.  Sometimes it feels like we’re playing dress-ups.  We’ve sometimes wondered if we’ll ever have it ‘all together’ in the way we envisioned all those years ago. 

It’s a strange awakening when you realise that your parents would have felt the same way.  When you acknowledge that you never stop needing to learn.  You never stop growing.  When you realise that there’s really no such thing as ‘grown up’…unless of course by ‘grown up’ we actually mean ‘passed on’.  When you look at it that way, it changes your perspective.  If we’re not growing...we’re dying. 

It’s a lot of pressure hearing a little person call you “Mum” (or “Dad”).  It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed sometimes…especially on those days where you feel like you’re just dressed up, playing house, flying blind.   But it’s ok.  We’re not alone.  Millions of parents before us have felt the same way.  You pick yourself up and you keep fakin’ it ‘til you make it.  Our children will still view us as we viewed our parents.  As old, as wise, as safe, as stable and as home.

We need to remind ourselves that if we’re not learning, we’re not living.  If we were as ‘old’ and ‘together’ as our 11 year old self envisioned we’d be, we’d be boring as bat poo.  There’s colour in our flaws and depth in our weaknesses. This is the light and shade that people always speak of.  This is what makes us human, this is what makes us want to keep on living.  This is what makes us ‘real’, ‘normal’, functioning and approachable people. 

So I’m 34, I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m a career woman, I’m a homeowner…but I’m not grown up.  I’m growing.  With every day that passes I do become a little wiser (and a little wrinklier), I gain a little more experience, and I develop a greater understanding of life in general.  But there’s always room for more.  I don’t intend on having it ‘all together’ or being all ‘grown up’ for quite a number of decades yet!

Daycare

"Why can't I stay home mama?"

"Why can't I stay home mama?"

I’ve had a tough few weeks…and it’s wearing me down.  My son has decided that he doesn’t like going to daycare anymore.  He’s been going since he was about 10 months old.  I had hoped these days would be over by now.  I guess it isn’t to be.

What has ensued is tantrums and screaming in the parking lot.  Fists clenched, iron claw grip on the car seat and me standing at the car door, toddler on hip, begging for him to just get out of the car.  Please just get out and go inside. 

I’m late for work (again).  My heart is in a thousand pieces on the ground.  I’m questioning my entire life situation in this moment.  Please…just get out the car and go inside.

This escalates to dragging, screaming, pulling…more begging.  Then we’re inside and his hands are around my neck.  Clasped together.  Unbreakable.  Then the pleading starts.  The “please don’t leave me.  I just want to stay hoooommme.  I love you mama.  I want to stay home with you and daddy.  I love staying home.  Please can we just stay home?”

They tell me he’s fine 5 minutes after I leave.  And I’m sure he is…but is he really?

This is what I do.  The second guessing.  The worrying.  The guilt.  The all-consuming nausea that is borne from thinking about your four year old suffering anxiety.  Anxiety that your mind convinces you, is something you could prevent or protect him from if you were ‘just doing your job right’.

It feels like a lose-lose situation at times.  So I guess it all comes down to keeping things in perspective – so much about parenting seems to come down to this!  I’ve drilled down to the detail in an attempt to work out if it’s something specific about the daycare that he doesn't like (I have a lot of faith and trust in the carers  so I really don’t have concerns around his safety or care).  Upon further questions my son tells me it’s just “so boring” going to daycare, so I’ve given myself a quiet pat on the back for having such a super fun home ;) and chosen to focus on the fun aspects of daycare as a way of selling the benefits to him.  We make sure we show and tell him how much he is loved and we try to provide consistent routines (giving him pre-warning of daycare days and stay-home days) in the hopes that this will help reduce his anxiety.  I have also bribed him with strawberry flavoured tic-tacs ... this is probably my most successful tactic to date ;).

And in the quiet moments I try to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can to provide a safe, comfortable and loving environment for my children.  Issues like childcare will always spark debates, so I try to focus on the one important factor – every situation has its positive and negatives.  There is no right or wrong way.  All you can do is trust your instincts and try your absolute hardest to provide a balanced lifestyle for your family, and an environment in which your children feel loved, cared for and important.