Almost Not a Stay-at-home Mum

I started this blog two weeks ago, wrote five blog posts in quick succession, had a grand old time tweeting and sharing and doing enjoyable blog-type shit, but after that I haven’t been near it in almost a week.

If you’re reading this post then you’ve likely read the previous posts, so you’ll be familiar with the general topics I like to cover:

  • Kids being lunatics
  • Tips on entertaining your kids with cardboard, paint and desperation
  • Unnecessarily detailed accounts of being drunk/hungover with reaction gifs dotted throughout.

This past week though, whenever I’ve sat down and tried to think of something somewhat moderately entertaining to write about, I’ve come up short. I’ve been on a bit of a mum-related, nostalgia-fuelled, crying, wailing borderline-insane downer lately which has just been HEAPS of fun, and so I’ve been reluctant to post at all. However, they say writing down your thoughts and feelings can be cathartic and since I’m a fucking nightmare these days and John is rapidly losing the will to live I’m going to write a normal, parent-related, probably-not-funny-in-any-way post for my own benefit (because it most certainly won’t benefit any of you, IF I’M UPSET YOU’RE ALL UPSET BUCKLE UP, FRIENDS.)

Today, like many parents, I collected my youngest child from nursery for the very last time. A nursery that has been a part of our daily routine for four years now. I watched Noah walk in on his very first day, not even three years old, afraid to let go of my hand, just as I was afraid to let go of his, full of worries about this new chapter in his life, and about the people I was handing my child over to (would they give him a cuddle if he was upset? Would they understand what he was trying to tell them, with those words he can’t pronounce and that only I can understand? Have they encountered human children before are they under the influence of any substances do they have a criminal record I’LL JUST GO PICK HIM UP EARLY)

I watched him gradually grow in confidence, make new friends, enjoy new experiences. I watched the smile on his face every day at home-time, as he’d excitedly try to tell me (at great speed) every one of the 285 things he did that day, the pride on his face as I’d answer

“You made that all by yourself? You had pineapple at snack-time? Worms in the garden? Played cars with Ralph? Wow!”

This tiny person who’s day once revolved around me (well, 60/40 with CBeebies, or of course those bloody Kinder Egg unboxing videos) now had a part of his day, a part of his life, that was all for him. Though I would look at Noah from time to time, skipping out to greet me, nursery jumper on and handmade cardboard, glitter-covered abomination in hand (IT’S YOU IF YOU WERE A ROBOT, MUM) and realise just how fast time was passing, I’d comfort myself in the knowledge that “He’s only 3. Ben’s just a baby. There’s still so much time”

Before I knew it, it was time to watch Ben walk in to that same nursery on his first day, and for me to start the same journey all over again. The worries were fewer this time around (After two years I was fairly certain none of the teachers were criminals or raging alcoholics, which was a bonus) but I was no longer walking in with a buggy in tow, a baby to head back home with to feed and play with and rock to sleep; that baby was now making his own friends and pictures and cardboard abominations, and I was alone for a few hours. I honestly could not count the amount of times over the years that I would wish and complain and mutter under my breath like a unbearable, crabbit cow for just “TEN MINUTES PEACE JOHN HONEST TO GOD THIS HOUSE IS A BOMBSITE/NOAH SMASHED CHEESE INTO THE COUCH/BEN ONLY SLEPT FOR 8 MINUTES ALL DAY” and yet, after the initial feeling of utter accomplishment of having a semi-acceptable living room for the first time in years, I missed the mess a bit, and worried that perhaps I didn’t actually have “so much time”.

So today, after hundreds of snack-times, songs, handmade abominations masterpieces, accounts of intense fall-outs with one boy who “took the policeman hat so I said I’d destroy him with my lasers because he’s THE WORST PERSON IN MY LIFE” and happy memories, I collected Ben from nursery for the very last time. He’ll start school in August, I’ll start college, and after almost seven years, my time as a stay-at-home mum will come to an end.

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I have been so fortunate to have been able to stay at home with Noah and Ben from the day my eldest was born to the day my youngest starts school; I know this isn’t a reality for some parents who would choose to if they could, and so for that I will always be grateful. I think that the reason for my aforementioned week-long, crying, unbearable-to-all-around-me downer is that I just can’t find it in myself to accept that those days are almost over. I can’t help but think back to those days when my days were spent caring for a toddler and a newborn baby in a messy house, and how I would give anything just to go back for one day, and how I would absolutely not moan about not ever being able to drink tea while it’s hot or leave the house without makeup on or my hair brushed because I spent the whole morning singing Sesame Street songs, and that I’d never get fed up that they wouldn’t go down for a nap so I could put on a washing; how I’d revel in that extra time that they were awake and play with them that bit longer because time goes by so fast, faster than you can ever realise until it’s too late, and you know that now. Of course, you can’t go back, and even if you could, of course you’d moan because you’re allowed to and because those days were absolutely a complete and utter NIGHTMARE at times, and that’s just life. Sometimes though, it just breaks your heart a bit to know that you’re coming to the end of the years that are, and will always be, the best, most hectic, most tiring, most wonderful days of your life.

Luckily, I have so many days and weeks and years to look forward to with the boys who are, in the grand scheme of things, still very small, and also they’re only at primary school, not heading to fucking Vietnam on a solo backpacking trip so I’m probably being an overdramatic, unhinged lunatic of a mother who needs to chill out…and so I will try to do just that, and enjoy the moments that I’m in right now instead of wishing for the ones that I was lucky enough to have already had.

Besides, I do quite like hot tea and my couch sans-cheese, so there’s that.

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