I’ve realised that being a mom comes with a certain set of challenges and a skills set no university professor could ever teach you. It’s just something you have to learn as you stumble along the beautiful road from being an untethered young adult, to being a parent pinned down by two little cubs at every turn. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it does make for great blog material and will hopefully add a smile to your dial.
Please enjoy my musings…
» I’ve become very adept at doing 3, 4, 5, 12 and 24 piece puzzles since becoming a mom… When puzzles are flung from cupboards, of course it’s mommy who has to put them back together again at the end of the day. The jungle one’s my current favourite.
» Getting ready in the morning is like running a gauntlet of obstacles. You never know what variety of things your toddler has sprawled across the floor for you to slide on. Things like plastic plates, toys, blocks, dvds (coverless of course) and other objects you never knew you had (that generally come with pointy edges for your to stand squarely on). You never know who may tear around the corner on a push bike with the passion of a gladiator, where your toothbrush has disappeared to (until you realise that it’s in the hands of the toddler that became suspiciously quiet and is happily digging with it in the flower bed), or how on earth you are going to get everyone fed, dressed, wiped, brushed and out the house on time.
» Does anyone else play Tetris with their fridge? How come is it that every time I have a put something in the fridge, I have to shift around a dozen tetris-shaped tupperware blocks to squeeze it in? And just when I think I managed to solve it, I turn around and see there’s one left on the counter.
» If you wear white pants, you may as well wear a flashing sign that says “Place sticky fingers here.”
» And multi-tasking? I obviously had no idea what the term meant until I had kids. Try breastfeeding your newborn while bathing your tantruming toddler who is splashing water out the bath all over you and the baby who is now crying. Or try having a very important grown-up conversation over the unrelenting soundtrack of “Mommy I want a biscuit,” while you’re walking half-dressed around the house with a baby perched on your hip who’s grabbing at your glasses and trying to slamdunk them into the toilet.
» Parents seem to acquire a noise-filter when they have kids. The louder their kids get, the less they notice the racket. Before I had kids, I couldn’t possibly imagine how anyone could ignore that level of noise. Being a mom now, I realise it’s a self-preservation technique.
» You can learn a lot about persistence from your little ones. They have an uncanny ability to keep returning to the very thing you’ve told them to leave alone a thousand times before 7:30am – including switching the TV on and off because buttons are fun to push (especially mom’s), climbing on tables, yanking your older brother’s hair and causing general mayhem for the whole family.
» Changing a little kid is like trying to dress an octopus – all arms that generally land up in the wrong hole or perpetually grab at nearby objects so that said dressing cannot be completed.
» The parent-child energy ratio – Oh yes, mommies, daddies and anyone over the age of 20 who’s ever looked after kiddies, you know what I mean, don’t you? The more energy your child has, the less you do. Why is that? They’re like rechargeable batteries – their energy fuels energy. We’re like the disposable kind – our energy is used up until we run (or fall) flat. And it would seem this upside-down parent-child ratio goes for strength of will too.
» When I became a mom, I didn’t realise I’d have to negotiate like a top FBI agent in the Crisis Negotiation Unit. Explaining to a 3-year-old why he still needs an afternoon nap, is like waiting for a ticking time bomb to go off. It could go either way. Either you’ll negotiate the socks off the situation and the little guy who is holding you ransom will surrender to sweet sleep, or you’ll fail and have to deal with the fall-out of the 6pm overly-tired meltdown. Luckily my bargaining chips can literally be chips… Or a star, or a coin for a piggy bank, and not thousands of greenbacks left anonymously in a suitcase on the corner of an unnamed road. Of course, you also need to know how to mediate better than a UN diplomat when siblings are engaged in an all-out battle over who’s turn it is to play with a toy or object… And it’ll always be the most arbitrary thing they can find in the house, not so? It’s serious business trying to make opposing forces see each other’s point of view when that elastic band, braai tongs or small piece of fluff is just beyond their grasp, or in their brother’s grasp.
» If you manage to get a photo of your family where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling, you should have your name in the Guinness Book of Records.