I am mummy to two little people (an eight-year-old and a five-year-old) and this is a piece on what I’ve learned:
- A lot of your time includes being a translator/interpreter: ‘your brother didn’t mean to hit you’, ‘your sister will give you her toy if you ask her nicely’, or UN officer ‘no pushing/snatching/hitting, ‘sharing is caring’.
- Nothing is as scary the second time around: a fever, vaccine, public tantrums, first day at school….you’ve got this, you’ve been here already.
- When both are small you need to learn to live with the guilt of not being able to give the amount of attention you really truly want to give each one individually. You do what you can, as much as you can. They will adapt, so will you.
- Be eternally grateful to the support system: grandparents are angels walking the earth to ensure parents don’t loose their minds.
- Compensating with the older kid cos the whole world pays too much attention to the little kid.
- Doing the ‘they are finally asleep’ dance twice as hard.
- On an evening when you just about have enough energy to get them washed, only to realise one wants to do ‘jumpy jumpy’ on the bed and the other wants to be read THREE books, so you count to 10 (sometimes to 20) and persevere.
- Be in awe of the magic of their love, relationship and bond growing stronger and stronger each day.
- You come to terms with the fact that your car will never be rid of toys, water bottles, food packaging and wet wipes – lots of wet wipes (clean & dirty).
- Never get too comfortable! Just when you think you’ve got this parenting business sorted, kid no.2 comes along with a totally different personality and with different needs that you now have to work out.
- Listening to those around you but mostly trusting your gut, only you can know your children fully.
- Realising that kids will grow but if you want to raise them, if you really want to do it right, parenting requires a lot of effort, patience, and hard work. You will screw up at times and that’s ok, but you hopefully have a lifetime to do it right.
- Realising the secret to managing two kids and a full-time full-on career: ‘Something’s gotta give’ e.g. housecleaning- just let it go- you will find dinosaurs in the washing machine and Legos in the fridge… Just breathe.
- The last one I’ve recently learned is take little escapes- whether that be listening to music with earphones (to shut them all out!) or taking time out in your bedroom to recharge. Parenting is an exhausting journey that cannot be travelled lightly. So, listen to your heart when it’s struggling, those little people need a mummy who takes care of herself as much as she does them.
Shenel Husnu Raman