It’s a funny old thing being a Mom. You grow these little humans for 9 months, then they hand them over to you with no manual or instructions and wave you on your merry way.
I remember taking Jack home. He wasn’t feeding well, so I took him upstairs in our bedroom, laid him in front of me resting him on my arms. I spent time studying his little body he was just 5lb and so tiny. His legs so skinny, like a baby rabbit. I watched his chest moving up and down, his whole life lay in my arms, for I had grown a human, the love was scary and overwhelming.
We got to grips with his feeding that day. I genuinely hadn’t fed him successfully and on my own in hospital, but I had faith that in our own time and space we would get it. And we did, all be it a bit messy, it’s pretty much how the parenting has continued. We get there, but not always without a struggle.
The last 15 years have been a real lesson in extreme parenting. At the age of 24, I had 4 children, from 1 to 4 years over night. I had more children than I had arms!
You can’t prepare yourself for the many challenges parenthood will throw at you. The stages that you think are difficult turn into new more difficult stages. It’s very much a never ending cycle, I can’t count the times I’ve declared I can’t do this anymore ?.
The testing early years with 4 children under 3 still remain a blur. I simply gritted my teeth and got through them. There would be 2 babies sleeping in the bedroom with me, waking for 2 night feeds. Then, I would then wake Steve, who would then feed Lily, the then very sleepy one. We would then be up with Jack at 6am and Steve then left for work at 7am. The never ending bottles to wash and make up, carrying babies up and down stairs, entertaining them and trying to pass the day.
I had a triple pushchair, triple in width! ??? Not at all easy to manoeuvre and push, but totally worth the effort to get them out of the house and go for a walk. Most of the time it was just around the block. Jack would be walking on the walls, me constantly putting dummies in mouths and making small talk with passers by, but the fresh air seemed all that but more awakening.
This stage passed and we moved on to the next. Having multiples is so very different to caring for a singleton. Every hard stage you face it’s always x 3, terrible two’s x 3, starting school x 3, first swimming, first dentist, jabs and the list goes on.
Then the bugs, when they hit you know about it. We had a terrible time when the triplets were around 7, tonsillitis seemed to never leave the house. Sickness and diarrhoea could write us off for a week. I remember one time being so bad, I made them wear sanitary towels as I couldn’t keep up with the washing ?.
A particularly dark time was when Charlie and Harry decided to live the ‘ASBO’ life at nursery. Every day I lived in fear of collection time. I would try and send Mom, as I would die inside when they told me they had thrown toy’s at the staff, ripped clothes and bit the staff ?. I have no idea why things got so bad, but signing the incident book daily (the book, as manager just over a year before I had wrote myself) was cringe worthy.
They got home I would place them in their rooms and they destroyed them. Pulling bed clothes off, and slinging every soft toy down the stairs, life was grim. My thoughts often led to taking my precious golden daughter and running away with her. I now realise at 12 I would have brought her back ?, just how times change really is unbelievable.
So what does really keep you from packing a rucksack and heading for a new life in New Zealand alone? Other than me having no money ?, it brings you back to the love for these little critters.
You can’t describe the love, even when they have driven you bat shit crazy! If someone said anything about them that offended, you would defend them to the death. I’ve had my share of these moments. When one of my darlings has not been the best behaved in the class, and I’ve said oh they are stressed, tired, done anything to defend their name.
Oh I’ve sat on the kitchen floor hand in my face, heart on the floor and wept. Then I’ve got up, made a cuppa and fed them, bathed them and put them to bed.
I’ve dreaded the school 6 weeks holidays most years. I know that they are all my sole responsibility for weeks on end. I don’t think we have ever had a weeks holiday in the 6 weeks, so believe me it’s the most testing of times.
Time alone with each of them is often the answer, you then realise they are rather lovely little people. We’ve had times when their behaviour, each of them, has been so bad and you feel like you don’t want to be anywhere near them. However, if you turn things round and praise the slightest positive behaviour and stop the negative train, (believe me I know how hard this is) it can work, you have to dig deep, ignore just a little darling the climbing on the table, and celebrate them helping Mommy tidy up.
I’ve introduced many a reward chart at some very sticky periods over the years. Some have helped, and I am a big believer in a little praise goes along way. Who doesn’t like a reward?
Things are very different at this current stage of life, with 3 twelve year old’s and a 15 year old, all at high school not forgetting the little 4 year old pocket rocket. Nowadays, I tend to remove hand device’s, ban the weekly youth club and treat school lunches. Does it work?? Some days, some weeks, if I’m strong things work better. If I’m weak, knackered and generally beat down with it, no it doesn’t. Then the mini army seem to win the battle, and I’m often heard telling my Mom I’m drowning ?.
Everyone tends to take life for granted. It just takes a shake up event whether its at home or on the news and you take a sneaky glimpse of these children you have created and all the worries and stress they bring disappears, it’s like magic really.
If you have watched your children sleep you will get the ‘magic’. You study them and dream of what wonderful things they will do with their lives. I can never get over their beautiful skin and strong limbs, the sheer amazement of life can be overwhelming.
And it’s these times, as well as the proud parent moments that get us through the less attractive screaming teenager rages, the mind blowing sibling scraps, the child who won’t eat, and the child who won’t stop eating ?.
We as Mom’s are forever learning. I’m sure my own Mom would agree. She still is faced with new situations that me and my brother are in, and need support with. Its amazing how you become a relatively good medic too. Recently at the hospital I was asked if I was a nurse because I knew so much of the lingo “No” I answered “I’m a Mom to 5”.
I can’t stress the importance of getting over there is no perfect parent, I simply won’t have it. Yes I’m sure there are a few pretty close. However, if your giving them love, your time and keeping your head above water, I’m sure your doing a pretty good job of the Mom role, for its the one with the longest list of job roles ?~