There are plenty of things that come as a surprise once you’ve dipped your toe into the ocean of motherhood.
For example, how much love you can muster for a tiny little creature borne of your loins is indescribable and something that can only be experienced, not explained.
How that love can multiply for subsequent babies and how you would literally die for your child – all feelings that one can never actually understand or relate to until you have a child of your own.
How little sleep you can actually survive on.
How much more you can love your husband/wife/partner when you see them as a parent and loving on your child.
Love. There is nothing like the depths of a mothers love. I love my kids more than anything and multiple times a day I find myself staring at their tiny faces in awe of their beauty or deliciousness and wondering how I got so lucky to have three perfect mini humans to love and receive love from.
All this is well and good, and no, this is not going to turn into a brag-y post because I would never pretend my kids are perfect. I love my children beyond measure. I feel thoroughly blessed to be able to stay home and raise my babies into happy, content, honest, smart, humble, caring, kind and empathetic, well-rounded, contributing-to-society adults in the future. And although the years are racing by faster than a speeding bullet, the journey to reach end point of adults feels somewhat far off on the day to day. In saying all this – I could never have imagined my life without being a Mama. I feel like it was something I was always, always looking forward to. Something I was born to do.
But I’m writing today because the one thing that I never ever realised or expected in having children was how frustrated they could make me feel. Nor how much they could make me roar.
Some days I feel like a lionness. And I wish I could say it was because I was roaring protective bellows over my offspring in the Pridelands to ward off predators. I roar, quite literally, because it has become the only way I can get my kids to listen to me. And you know what? They listen because I’m loud, but they don’t actually do much different as a result of my outburst – they just get a quick fright because Mummy shouted quite loud, and then they’re back to fighting, or refusing to comply or whatever else it was they were doing that was annoying me in the first place, whatever battle I was trying to break up or whatever task I had asked them to complete so that we could a. leave the house on time, b. get to our destination on time or c. take care of our shit.
Which makes me think (and I know) that this roaring is pointless. It’s quite useless actually.
I’ve read heard things about the virtues of raising children without shouting, I’ve attended classes on how to parent without yelling, I’ve read blogs about “slow parenting”, “peaceful parenting”, “conscious parenting”, “careful not to damage your child’s delicate spirit parenting”… but the thing that I just haven’t figured out in amongst all that knowledge and theory, is how to actually make it work. It just doesn’t seem to work for me.
Today I tried SUPER DUPER hard to keep calm, to not let little things overwhelm or annoy me – like cornflakes, milk and peaches (yes, the full bowl) spilled under the table at 7am by Miss 8 who wouldn’t follow instructions to sit at the bench for breakfast and to put her knees under the table; or the catastrophe that occurred as we left the house for soccer, when I hurriedly removed the washing from the line, in case it rained in our absence and as I did so, turned my back for a moment as Mr 3 whacked Mr 6 (who was sitting on the ground waiting for his football boots to be laced up) with a full CamelBak right in the side of his head. Ooooooh I wanted to roar.
And for most of the day I succeeded. I was patient. I explained. I was calm. I empathised. I was fun mama, I was 110% present mama. But the reality was I only had one child in my care. That shit is simple. Every single day when I add two more beings to the mix… things turn to custard. Fists fly. Everyone talks over each other and belongings become strewn across the house – the house that I’ve spent the past 6 hours of the day while they were at school -trying to restore to order.
I never even knew I could roar. In fact I don’t think prior to having children I had ever really even raised my voice. Certainly not frequently.
And yet somehow I find myself almost daily having to raise my voice to get attention. Don’t get me wrong… my kids are normal, they’re sweet, they’re adorable, they are feral, they are belligerent. They’re perfect. They’re imperfect. They’re mine. And I love them.
But I wanna become less of a Lioness. That is all. Is that too much to ask?
How do you stay calm when you want to roar? Or are you a roarer too?