Feeling absolutely sick now after inhaling chocolate and wine but finished the day off by going full couch potato; watching films back to back and ignoring the dishes!
The basic moral of Tonight’s choices were your usual, well-worn cliches: ‘believe in yourself’, ‘know who you are’, ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’. Unusually though, both films got me in a reflective mood about life, the universe and my full on Hollywood meltdown this week!
I’m just going to say it and damn how cheesy it sounds: parenting is a journey (feel like I’m on the X-Factor…I’ll be saying it’s a roller caster of emotions next)! Looking back, I was insanely naive! How could I have been anything else, realistically? The path to where we are now has taken twists and turns beyond anything I could’ve anticipated. It is the ultimate journey with no destination. It never ends, never let’s up. It’s as unrelenting in its trials and challenges, as it is in its surprises and unashamedly beautiful, overpowering moments.
Yet this week I’d forgotten the fundamental thing…where I am today as a parent it not the end. I have been pushing myself to be this amazing finished product of a ‘mum’. Boxed, shiny and ready for the shelves. In trying to fit this image I had, I’d strayed so far from my true self that I was damaging my self image as a parent and, worse, my relationship with my child & my husband. I was not believing in myself to trust my instincts, be led by my intuition and listen. I had become so preoccupied with what ‘they’ (bloody ‘they’…rearing their ugly know-it-heads again) say my toddler should be doing to be Nursery ready, how ‘they’ say my aversion to strict routine is damaging my child, what ‘they’ say my greedy boy should and shouldn’t be eating, that I’d lost the essence of what made me ‘me’ as a mum!
I am fully aware that this is not the 1st, and for sure won’t be the last time, that I forget to hold onto these tried and tested mantras but for now at least, sod it! So what if my Little Man steals sips of my tea. Who cares if he likes a bottle to fall asleep while cuddling on the sofa at night? What’s the worst that will happen if he doesn’t get the prescribed 14 hours sleep every time!
Being a parent is a journey and it is a roller caster of emotions (oh shit, I just said it)! Every cliche ever written is absolutely, 100% true at some point! So yes, I will be late for everything and I can’t guarantee I will arrive clean. Yes, sometimes I will talk like I’m the only person to ever have children. My house will perpetually look like I’ve had my own personal cyclone pass by and I will appear to enjoy living like that, when in truth I have just given in to the inevitable!
I will believe in myself. I will know who I am. I will honour the journey and I will not be rushing to my destination for, when I get there, my house will be clean, I will arrive on time and I will not wax lyrical about the latest piece of crap art, because my child will be grown and no longer want to snuggle to sleep or play for endless hours.
And that’s ok. That’s right.
I will have done the best I can for him and that’s anyone can ask (even of myself).