Well I admit I have spent the odd day actually feeling a bit out of sorts with everyone and everything. I know beyond a doubt that lack of sleep is the worst thing for moods. I have been going to bed later because I haven’t been working, but still waking up early so my sleep patterns are all over the show and it is beginning to tell on my well-being.
Have you ever noticed that with life things are never all smooth sailing? It has become the norm when I am having a great time and everything seems wonderful, that I start to wonder, what the heck is going to go wrong surely this can’t last. And sure enough some drama comes along to rock my boat. Some may say that it is negative to think this way, but in fact it is just life because things can’t be wonderful all of the time and anyone who tells you that is leading a very charmed life or just plain stretching the truth about it. I have learnt to really enjoy the good times because life is a roller coaster ride and we are going to have those ups and downs. It is how we learn to deal with it that is important. Get outside in the sunshine and fresh air, always a good medicine, phone a friend and arrange to meet up for lunch or a coffee. So many times when I have done this I have found out to my amazement that right about that time they were feeling much the same as me and are so uplifted to be asked out for a good old catch up, we both end up feeling heaps better and ready to face our worlds again.
Did you ever have your parents say to you as a child, “Cheer up, there is always someone worse off than you”. It used to annoy me because I would think well that’s other people why should that be important to me right now, I am worried about me at the moment! Well I have become my mother and hear myself saying those words now and even though it is one of those annoying obvious statements, it is genuinely true. You only have to go down the street to witness this, read the news or phone someone whom you know is struggling with a serious health issue. It soon brings your own problems back into focus and makes you realise that hey maybe you aren’t so bad off after all.
I think as a mother we carry the burdens of our children, well if you have a sensitive, caring nature it is part of who you are. All those young mums out there, a word of advice, absolutely treasure the years with your children while they are still young and dependant on you. Don’t fill your days up with running around here and there trying to entertain them, stay home once in a while and let them just be children and spend quality time with them. Those years pass so quickly, one day you will be sitting in your quiet orderly tidy home and wonder where on earth the past fifteen years have gone. Once the children have got to a certain age they don’t need you as much, oh yes they will always need you in a sense, but all of a sudden you aren’t the centre of their universe anymore and you will find that other outside influences are more desirable to them than spending time with their parents. You are their biggest role model in those influential years, don’t blow it because you don’t think you have time in your day to fit them in.
I would have those years back in a flash if it was possible, how wonderful to have your children just wanting you to push them on the swing, build lego with them, or having a cuddle at night as you read them a story. Such precious memories! Yes we have struggles and problems bringing up children, and when they become teenagers those problems change to different sorts of dramas, and then when they are adults the dramas are still happening but on a different scale again. So if you think that once your kids leave home your worries will end, well sorry but I have news for you and it’s all bad. I once read an interview with a well-known counsellor who was asked, “When do I stop being a parent?” His answer was “Never, we parent our children until they leave home, we parent them once they have left home, we parent them when they get married, we parent their children, we parent our children and our grandchildren until we die, and then the cycle starts all over again with them”. Quite a sobering thought isn’t it? So we need to dig deep sometimes for that wisdom and consistency that will be the examples they all need to survive this world and all that it brings.
I enjoyed the preschool and primary years best even though there was always a lot of pressure time wise with running to school activities and sports etc. I liked the fact that our world was kind of cocooned in a way without too much outside influence. Once they get into secondary school things change and you start to get the attitudes and typical teenage hang-up’s, but even during this time and their later teen’s life can be good. Having lots of teenagers around was always a great way to keep young and up to date with what was going on. Our angle was to have them all at our place so we could keep an eye on them and they were always happy to be around as long as they got fed and watered they entertained themselves. So we had a lot of sleepovers and went through lots of food, carted them around where they needed to go, and generally had a lot of fun and laughter.
Don’t get me wrong though, we had lots of stressful tough times too, like teenage love and then once they got their drivers licence we had a ‘need for speed’ mentality, boy racer cars and the occasional drink driving which we had always drummed into the kids about not getting in cars with someone who has been drinking and definitely don’t drink yourself then try to drive home. Our way around this, as we live in a rural community so it was always a drive away to a birthday party or whatever the occasion was, was to be the taxi driver. Sure it was an inconvenience for us many a time but we always knew that they and their friends would always get home safely. So they knew to phone us whether it be at 11pm or 2am and we would always go and collect them. We didn’t encourage our kids to drink in fact I would have been much happier if they never tasted a drop, young ones all seem to turn into silly idiots when they so much as smell a bottle cap, but it was going to happen whether we approved or not so it was easier for my worry lines to act as taxi driver.
So our lives are much quieter now and if you ask me “Do we miss it?” the answer is a resounding YES! It is great to have lots of young ones around with all their noise and problems and over the last few years we have often borrowed other people’s young ones, having them in for meals and visiting when they call us for some advice or help. It keeps us in a younger mind frame and keeps us up with the things that young ones face today. Over the last few weeks two of our sons have been home to stay for different reasons and both of them had BBQ gatherings with a few drinks out under our trees catching up with friends, and yes it was super! Every part of being a parent can be rewarding, it is up to us to make the most of every moment because with the bad there is always lots of good times as well. Don’t be in a hurry to get them all off your hands, enjoy each day as it comes.