I don't want to miss this.
I make mistakes as a parent almost daily, even hourly on a tough day, and I feel the intensity of mum-guilt hit every time it happens. I shout, I lose it, I cry, I feel like I'm failing them and myself, more often than I'd like to admit. I google how not to make the same mistakes, how to be the patient parent, how to let the challenging behaviour float over my head as if it couldn't even touch me at all. And sometimes I think I've cracked It.
Until the next epic blow-out.
Then I realise I'm human.
There will always be others who are so much better than me at this parenting lark, who are able to halt those angry bursts before they surface, who have a Mary Poppin's bag full of patience and who are just fantastic at indoor crafts (I bought the huge tray, the mess is still incomprehensible). But there will also be those who experience the same daily turmoils, who couldn't even get through the day without *whispers* the TV. I admit it, I am that Mum.
I try as hard as I can to entertain my children, to meet each battle with patience and kindness, to not secretly look forward to pre-school, but I didn't know that being a stay-at-home parent could be one of the hardest jobs in the entire world (and trust me, it is).
But then there are those moments. The morning's I get to stay in bed and enclose one giggly little boy under each arm. The Halloweens I'm there with them all day, the Christmases, all of the holidays, to witness the underlying excitement in their every facial expression. I'm there for the scraped knees, the crisp morning walks and the milestones. I'm lucky to have that, to never miss it (also, the lack of commute makes sleep deprivation somewhat bearable).
So I won't lie and say it's been easy since I embarked upon this SAHM journey. Quite the opposite. And I don't know when I'll return to work again (beyond freelancing), but I've realised, just like any good job, they are pushing me to be better, a better parent and a much better person and I'm grateful for that.
And whilst I work, I get the added extra of an adorable leg cuddle as my littlest potters over from his train set to enquire about what I'm up to.
I'm just not quite so fond of the
lukewarm freezing cold tea.