“I time travel back to Young Me. I breathe in the air and my young mama exhaustion; it’s sweeter, coming from the future. And I forgive myself my petty frustrations because it’s plain that I knew. I knew this was my kids’ only childhood, and I spent my time trying to give them a good one” – Beth Woolsey
Just Imagine if twenty years from now, we could time travel back to this present phase of our lives. What would we see?
I would see Young Me wiping noses and putting on pajamas and making endless cheese & marmite sandwiches and resolving arguments over the TV, a scooter or a small object found in the garden. Oh yes, I would say, this is how you were at 3 and a half Z, , the eyes that crinkled when you smiled, , quick to laugh, quick to cry. But always full of hugs and affection.
I would see R happily playing by himself one moment then throwing a great big tantrum attack the next.
My eldest A, indecisive wether she should act all ‘grown up’ at 14 but always at hand to play with her younger siblings, wether its a ‘tea party for 3 , or Buzz Light Year taking off in a space ship.
Sometimes quick to tease, other times quick to please.
And, Young Me?
I was happy and angry, busy and idle, joyful and frustrated, very content and very restless. I was a walking
contradiction and I suspect a lot of it stemmed from something as simple as a lack of sleep.
Yes, that’s me these days. These days with young children are lots of glorious, beautiful things but they are also hard. And that’s okay.
It’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay to admit that it’s hard.
If we aren’t able to say it out loud, (because we’ve been sent the message that any time we speak of motherhood we are only supposed to talk about the good stuff otherwise we are being ‘ungrateful’ or whining), perhaps we can just say it quietly to ourselves.
Being a mother is hard. And It’s okay that it’s hard.
There’s no competition and no prize for the Most Composed, pKeep it All Together Mother.
I try to remember this, because despite how hard I find it some days, I know it now and I hope to know it every day of my life:
No matter what I feel in the heat of the moment, the part of me that knows how to look at the bigger picture, that remembers how my own childhood was, the part that can rise above the petty frustrations of the day and see the future glimmering closer and closer in the distance, believes this with every atom in my heart –
This is my kids’ only childhood and I want, more than anything else, to give them a good one.