Parenting is a surprise, that’s for sure. A lot of it is discussed freely, yet still comes as an utter shock surprise when it actually happens. And, I’m not talking about the stuff – the sleepless nights, the endless laundry *eyes Mt Foldmore beside me*, the chaos and the tantrums. Oh, no. I’m talking about the emotional things that happen when you have kids. The “my god I can’t believe my Mum is crying, I’m never doing that. OMG Shame, Mum.” moments that take you (and your reactions) by surprise.
I was in no way prepared for my reactions when certain milestones were reached. Not me. No. I don’t cry at the drop of a hat. C’mon, people. I’m tough.
Plot twist: I’m not. I’m a wimp. A wuss. I find myself welling up at the most ridiculous times, as well as those predictable moments.
No one prepared me for this!
Here are a few times when you will cry. And it may surprise you. You will. If you don’t, then you have no soul. Just kidding. You will cry.
- The first time your baby outgrows their teeny newborn clothes. And then every time you hold said newborn clothes. For eternity.
Babies grow. We all know this. But they grow FAST. And, before you know it, your tiny little button will be stretching out of her stretch-and-grow. And then you will have forgotten just how tiny she was. And, when she is two, even more so. And, when she is five. Ten. Thirteen. Twenty six. Forty. *tear*
- The first time your child pushes you away when you swoop in for a kiss
I mean, I am their mother! It is my fundamental right to be able to kiss my children whenever I want. How dare my three year old son tell me, “no kiss, Mum”. Or, my four year old girl say, “Not today, Mum. I’m busy” *heart slowly breaks*
- When they do something ridiculously simple yet so pride-inducing that you feel yourself standing taller and pointing out the everyone in sight, that they are your child
At school, there was a piece of rubbish. The teacher asked, who would put it into the bin. And PRINCESS raised her hand and did it. Even though it wasn’t her rubbish. Now, this is behaviour that I simply expect from my children, yet for her to do it brought me to tears. Just. So. Proud. *chest puffs*
- When they begin to do things independent of you
Your kids will always rely on you in some way, shape or form. But, sad as it is to admit, they won’t rely on you the same way when they are ten, as they did when they were two, say. They just won’t. It’ll be different. Doesn’t mean they won’t still want Mum-Hugs every now and again. I hope. *hiccup*
- Whenever your child is ill, and you are helpless to stop it
Nothing beats this feeling. When your child is crying, hurt and unwell and you can do no more than cuddle them and comfort them. I assumed that this would get easier when they were old enough to vocalise what was wrong, but with that comes the ability to ask, “why does it hurt?”. I find myself choking up everytime I have a sick child on me, sobbing and in pain. Their vulnerability just rips your heart out. Plus, I’m their MUM, I should be able to fix the world. Sigh.
- When they face crushing disappointment
I think it’s fair to say, when your child hurts, you hurt. Watching a kid say to yours, “You aren’t my friend”. Or, realising that all their friends got invites to a party except your child. And, having them ask you, “why didn’t I get one?”. I will never forget the look on Princess’s face when, as a tiny dot of 18 months, a big kid told her she wasn’t allowed to be sitting where she was, eating her marshmallow. That look of sheer dismay. *sob*
- Their first day at school
Now, this one is a funny one. Firstly, Princess isn’t actually at school yet, so I’ve yet to experience it. But, it’s not looking good for me thus far. Her school does 10 school visits before she starts. We waited and waited for the letter from the school confirming the date she would start. We were very excited! I opened the letter, read it in my head, then turned to her and said, “The letter says, ‘Princess will start her school visits on … ‘ “. And then I trailed off. “When, Mum? When?! Why did you stop??”. I couldn’t answer her, because I was crying. I knew this day was coming, I knew all about it. I cried reading the damn letter. The LETTER. Sigh.
She had her first school visit this past Wednesday and I was very brave. That is, until she was sitting on the mat with all the other kids, arms folded and listening to the teachers. And then I remembered. I remembered her as a tiny baby. I remembered that incident on the steps with the marshmallow. I remembered her first steps, her first words. And I looked at that big kid sitting on the mat, oblivious to my even being there. And, I cried. I stood there and hoped that no one would talk to me, lest I bawl in front of a room of school kids and their parents. I just .. she’s just … *nope*.
THEY REALLY OUGHT TO HAVE PREPARED ME FOR THIS.
Rest assured, I have three months to get used to the idea. And, my kids are all still preschoolers – I’m sure, without a doubt, that I will cry a heck of a lot more in coming years. First day of high school. First boyfriend/girlfriend. Don’t even get me started on weddings, grandchildren .. STOP IT.
And that is that. I need a tissue. And a cuddle. I think I might call my mum.