You need a lot of strength to be a parent that’s for sure. There are days particularly when more strength than normal is needed. Today was one of them. It’s so difficult to see your kids sick. It’s also difficult looking after yourself when your kids are sick. Even worse when you are sick yourself! The sheer willpower, determination and strength you need to get through that day would be comparative to jumping off a high rise building. And today… landing flat on my face. Yep it was not a good day.
As l lay here and breastfeed my sick toddler for the 64th time today l feel relieved that we all made it through the day in one piece. A tired 4 year old home from pre school thrown in the mix, and there you have a receipe for a volcanic eruption. While trying to have some store bought lasagne heated up in the oven with some frozen veggies, you have a sick toddler crying and trying to sit on your knee. The 4 year old next to you decides he thinks veggies are ‘yucky’ tonight and proceeds to tip his food on the table. What do you do? The best you bloody can l say. As much as you want to swear, walk away and maybe cry, you try and empathise with them and show them that you care and all will be ok. This takes lots of energy. No wonder there is lots of mummy burnout.
Sometimes l look at myself and say ‘hey you should know what to do! This is your area of expertise. Your a child & family health nurse! What are you complaining about’. ‘You should have the strength to be able to deal with these situations’. ‘You have a Master’s degree for goodness sake’. Well you know what? No piece of paper is going to tell you how you will experience motherhood and parenting in today’s world because everyone is different. You are not going to know how you will parent until you parent. Ok you may have a lot of knowledge which helps but nothing prepares you for the emotional and physical rollercoaster which is parenting.
Tomorrow is another day and yes l hope my 4 year old has a good sleep and wakes up happy. I hope my toddler is now feeling better and be able to be his cheerful little self. But if they are not, l know l will get through the day. It won’t be easy but a time will come when l can go to bed and recharge.
Talk to other mums about your strengths as a parent and what skills you use to get through the day. We learn from each other and our experiences. It’s great when other parents validate how you are feeling and can relate. Try and focus on what you are doing well and remember no parent is perfect. Kids don’t want perfection. They have to learn about mistakes, wrong decisions and how to problem solve. This is what helps them get through life.
Be kind, have strength and give yourself a pat on the back because you are doing an amazing job. Ok ok I’m telling myself that too! ☺️