Nobody said it was easy, this parenting gig.
But nobody said it would be this hard.
Nobody told you how tired you would be.
I mean, they talk about newborns not sleeping. But nobody mentions that kids don’t miraculously start sleeping well on their 1st birthday. Some do. But many don’t. Some do, and then stop again when night terrors/bad dreams/toilet training kicks in.
When a child is unwell, they don’t sleep well. When three children are unwell, they don’t sleep well but do so in a seemingly coordinated roster system so that they are never all asleep at the same time.
Which, in part, means that mum and dad don’t sleep.
Nobody talks about how the tiredness goes beyond anything coffee can fix. That you get tired to your very core. Your entire everything is tired.
Nobody tells you that you might not like your child every day. That there will be days when you look at your child and want to scream at them, “GO AWAY! I DO NOT LIKE YOU!”. Nobody tells you that, when pushed to your very limit, you might actually utter those words to your child. And nobody talks of the guilt that sits with you for days, weeks, years.
Nobody tells you the despair you will feel when your child is sick or confused or upset and no body around seems to care. When your child is scared and crying and gets told, “Stop being silly”. And all you want to do is scream “HE’S NOT BEING SILLY. HE IS AFRAID AND NEEDS SUPPORT RIGHT NOW. I. NEED. SUPPORT. RIGHT. NOW”.
Because nobody tells you how isolating parenting can be. How, when your child is throwing the tantrum to end all tantrums, there is no body there who can take the child into their arms and magically calm them down. That you sit there and look around, hoping that this child’s real parent will show up soon and take over the show.
Nobody tells you that there will be times that you just want to cry. And there will be times when all you can do is sit in your car and cry. There will be times when you yell and stomp and scream and then wonder why your kids yell and stomp and scream. And you know that the best thing is to keep calm and collected. But you also realise this as you are yelling and stomping and screaming.
Nobody tells you how magical it feels to stand in the pantry and scoff a chocolate bar. One you don’t have to share.
Nobody tells you how much fucking laundry you will do.
Nobody can describe how it feels when you see your child achieve something. Nobody tells you how much your entire everything, that same everything that is exhausted beyond repair, will melt into a puddle of proud tears when your child gets a certificate at school, or reads you a story, or writes you a book.
Nobody tells you how it feels when you return from a weekend away and the kids scream and holler and clap and exclaim with glee when they see you, running towards you and hugging you in the best of all hugs. Nobody tells you that, less than an hour later, you’ll be missing that time that you went away.
Nobody tells you how much you will laugh. How crazy you will feel. How you will view the world from a different angle.
Nobody says how valuable the important people in your life are. The people who are actually there for you when you need them. The people who you are there for as well. And that these people pop up in unexpected places, and the people you think you can rely on, aren’t always such.
Nobody asks you whether, if given the chance, you would go back and change things. Not have kids. Do things differently.
Because the answer is no. Without hesitation. With 100% certainty. No.
Nobody tells you how much these crazy little critters will suck you in, completely encompassing your heart and soul and mind and body and everything. That same everything.
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
But everyone will tell you it’s worth it.