Heads Up. You Might Not Like Parenting

Let me first start by saying I love my children with everything I am and everything I have. There is not a single cell in my body I wouldn’t give for either of them, should they need it.
Not only do I love them, but I also wholeheartedly like them which is something completely different. I like who they both are as little people.
Dex; always curious, clever, cheeky, a little shy. Good with words, loves reading, is a bit rough and loves with his whole heart. Feels emotions strongly and draws in everyone with his kindness (when he’s not being overly boisterous). He gets infatuated easily and looks up to many a person with awe and wonder. I like him for all of these qualities and more.
Dolores; a beautiful little girl who can melt the iciest heart with a little “You can have a flower?” she absolutely adores her older brother and her dedication to him is heartwarming to see. She is so generous and will share with anyone, without being asked. She is forgiving and is often the first to apologise even if it wasn’t her that started the tiff. Happy to just go along with whatever is happening, enjoys gardens, helping and playing outside. Relishes in the opportunity to bounce on the trampoline with someone. Is a snuggle bunny from way back.

I have said these things to show, not only do I love my children, I genuinely like them too.
I do not like parenting them.

In fact, a lot of the time I hate parenting them. Which isn’t something you hear very often.
Parenting is fucking hard. If you’re not their parent, you can do everything you want to do. Not care about bed time, not care about routines. Not care about their teeth or their health or their anything other than the smile you are putting on their face.
Parenting is fucking hard because you are the one putting boundaries. Raising these little people into the next doctors, teachers, artists, thinkers, parents.
You have to guide them in the right choice not always being the most fun one. Teach them about rules.
Parenting is shit because you have to say no.
I don’t enjoy parenting. I wish I could give them everything under the sun and say yes to every single question they ever asked me.
But I just can’t. That isn’t a parent.
It wouldn’t be any good for tattoodaddy and I, and ultimately, it wouldn’t be any good for them.

To be honest, it gets so hard saying no a lot that mostly, I need a break. Before I had children, you don’t think of the no’s you will have to say. You think about parks and swimming and trips away and days spent snuggled on the lounge.
And yes, these still happen a lot.
But amongst that is the cleaning and the washing and the cooking and the groceries – all things they need to get used to and participate in because that is life. And part of your role as a parent is to teach your children about life. And this part of it fucking sucks.

I need a break from my kids weekly – daycare is my saviour. Why? So I can have a break from telling them no. So they can have their whims indulged. So they can run amok all day and not be burdened by tedious chores that infiltrate their every other day. I hate telling them no. and I don’t do it excessively. I try and work fun into everything we do but there are always things they want to do and we can’t. Things they want to buy that we can’t. Places they want to go and we can’t.

Parenting fucking sucks because it is no choice but to not constantly indulge them.

Parenting is amazing on those days you can say “fuck it. Fuck the washing and the cleaning and the mopping and the groceries and everything else. We will spend all day at the beach and have icecreams and chips and fall asleep on our towels in the sand.” And I live for those days. Parenting is amazing when they come and curl up against you in the middle of the night, tucking themselves into the curve of your stomach and holding your hand. Parenting is amazing when they tell you “I love you.” Parenting is amazing when you see your children working together, helping each other, enjoying the company and loving each other.

It is all these moments that make the shittiness of parenting worth it. Ironically, it is all these moments that show you that as much as you hate the parenting you have to do sometimes, you are doing an amazing job because you are growing two beautiful human beings.bed

You’re NOT a Shit Parent if…

batLately we have had our fair share of shit days and shit nights.
Yelling and crying on both sides.
Hitting. Books thrown at me.
Muttering “This is not fair!” (and shouting it)

I went in to the bedroom after one such episode and tattoodaddy is just laying on the bed, looking blankly.

I feel for him. He doesn’t really have any Dad friends to hang out with. To have a vent too. I know this stage will pass. I know that children, just like adults have shitty days for no particular reason.

He doesn’t get to vent to someone and have them say “OHMYGOD MINE TOO. I was ready to leave them in the carpark and head straight to the bottle shop”
Because let’s face it, everyone has thought this at one point.

And so I tell him;

You’re not a shit parent if some days, you just want to walk away from it all.
It doesn’t make you a shit parent if you wonder if you are the right person for this.
It doesn’t make you a bad person if sometimes you think “why the hell did we ever do this?”

Do you know why it doesn’t make you a shit parent? Because it means you care enough to worry you’re not doing a good job. It means you care enough to worry that maybe someone else could have done a better one.
Because ultimately, we are both still here, still being parents even though sometimes (most times) it is fucking hard and it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall and there’s a moment when you see your kids playing together and you think SHIT maybe I got this RIGHT for once and then someone throws a block at someone’s head and there’s crying and yelling “I didn’t do it!” and you’re thinking again ohhhmmyyyygoooddddd when does it end?!

Wondering if you’re doing a good job, if you’re the right person for the job – doesn’t make you a shit parent. It means you’re a good one because you love your children enough and you care about them enough to worry they are not getting the absolute best start at life. And shit parents don’t worry about that.

We all need a break sometimes.
We need a break from them, they need a break from us.

Breaking Point – Something’s Gotta Give

mug

I am doing way too much.
Calming telling my child that I had tears because he was being a rude, naughty and generally not nice little boy and to please go away from me was the point at which I realised I need to back away from some things in my life.
Normally I would have yelled at him. Told him to go to his room.
I was too scared to yell.
If I yelled I might just scream and never stop.
With the shop, everyone just keeps saying “when are you doing this, when are you doing that?” “Do you have this?” Can I get this? How much is this… Me Me Me.

And yes I realise that is what retail is. But fuck. Seriously.
If you’ve had these dreams to open a shop just like mine, why didn’t you do it? Money? Time?
They are my reasons too. It takes time, it takes money. And on top of that I have two children, a partner and a part time job.

At my job I’m jokingly getting “Why are you even here?” and “what do you even do?” and whilst it’s in jest, it still hurts.
I KNOW I’m an overly sensitive person. I know I take things to heart that are said in jest. But what is the point of being nasty, even jokingly. It’s adult bullying. And it’s just pointless.
Why am I there if that’s how it’s going to be. I have my own business I could be building up.

At derby I know I can’t dedicate enough time needed to make it worth it. All I get is tired, a night I don’t put my kids to bed and that’s without me attending everything that needs to be attended. I can’t give two knights and one afternoon.

Right now, the gym feels like the only place I can go and escape from it all. To push myself physically and mentally so when I have a bad day there, it feels horrible.
Yesterday I had a bad day there because of everything else that has been going on. I have too much stuff weighing on me and so, my focus is lessened, my effort is lessened. I feel like I’ve wasted time and money and energy and I hate it.

I just want a break.

I got told to “control my children.”
We were invited out for dinner, at 7pm. Their bedtime. It was moved forward to 6:30pm.
They were hungry, wriggly, tired. Wanted to walk around, which in my opinion them wandering quietly at the back of the restaurant is better than two screaming children strapped into a highchair.
I told her if she wanted to parent, she was welcome to take them for a week and see how hard it really is.

She later apologised and told me she didn’t realise how hard it is. That if/when she has children, she’s not taking them out in public until they are five. That she’s sorry she told me to control them.

And I really appreciate her apologising.

But fuck it hurt.
People never put themselves in others’ shoes.

I just need a break.
so much, I need a break.
time to just sit. No cleaning. No yelling. No being climbed on. No constant questions. Nothing to do but sit and be.

And yes, I do realise I chose to have children.
I chose to open a business.
I chose to do all these things.

But don’t we all just need a break every now and then?
Don’t we all just need to sit and do nothing?

I Always Said

I always said that my children wouldn’t watch too much T.V.
I wouldn’t smack them unless it was definitely the only option.
I wouldn’t bribe them with food to shut up for 5 minutes.
I would read at least 2 books a day to them.

I didn’t have them for someone else to raise.

And yet, here I am.

Tomorrow they both start daycare full time.
I start Uni full time. And while I know this is admirable and accepted, I still feel as though I am fobbing them off.
Why?
Because I am thinking how wonderful it will be to have a clean floor- The. Whole. Day.
How wonderful it will be to have a cup of hot tea.
How wonderful it will be to be able to sit down without having two little people climbing on me the second I do.

But.
I know I will miss them.
I will miss everything.
That’s how I know I’m a good mother.
I’m doing it for all of us, them and me.

Even though I know it will hurt.Image

None of your business.

There are a few questions I get asked often about my family, so I thought I’d just put it out there for everyone to see.

Do they both have the same father? Yes. They do. Not that it would change my capacity to parent well if they didn’t.

Are you still with their father? Yes. I am. And not just because we have young children either. Because I love him – imagine that.

Were they planned? We didn’t plan the exact night on which we would fall pregnant, no. Weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying. Does that mean I love them any less? No.

Are you feeding her yourself? I’m not sure how my boobs are any of your business, but yes – I am lactating.

Is he a boy? Yes. Just because he has (gorgeous, curly) long hair and nail polish on his toes doesn’t remove his penis.

Gosh she’s little. Was she premmie? She was born smack bang 37 weeks. I’m just lucky and have little babies. It’s great, I get more bang for my buck with clothes.

And one I’ve only been asked once:

Is Pat really the father?
You know, I’m not sure. He’s the one out of the three possible choices that earned the most though, so I told him he is.

For the record, yes, Pat IS the father to both my children. But God, it was worth saying that to the person who asked.
And then asking her if her husband was the father when they fell pregnant.
Priceless.

What questions do you get asked and you feel like saying “Mind you’re own effing business!” ?

Sick of Pretending

I’m fucking sick of pretending.

I’m not good at being a mother of two.

When I take them both to the shops, it’s not because I’m so great. I take them because it means that I can keep them both in a very small, contained area and it’s ok. It’s actually expected.

It also means I can bribe the child with a donut and everyone smiles at him while he’s covered in sugar and tell me he’s adorable.

I just want one goddamn night’s sleep with no interruptions. I’m sick of dealing with sick children. And being up all night with reflux. And toilet training a child who is adverse to pooing on the toilet.  Is that too much to friggen ask?

Pat goes from one extreme of Hubby of the World to the other. Sometimes he is absolutely amazing, sometimes I just want to yell at him “WHAT ABOUT ME?!? I’M SICK TOO!” Luckily, I can’t complain too much. He is great MOST of the time. Just a little oblivious when it’s most important.

I love my family and I love Pat’s family. But sometimes I wish we could just tell them we don’t want to see anyone, do anything or go anywhere. We’re tired. We don’t get a break to just do nothing despite what you might think. Having two young children while we are young is HARD. There are things I wish we had for our kids (our own house being one) but we just can’t afford it. I’d love to have Dex in swimming lessons and baby dancing and all those other things good parents put their children in. But we don’t have the money and I feel like that makes me not a good parent.

Most nights Pat and I just fall into bed. If I’m lucky we have enough energy to have sex. I refuse to lose that part of our relationship due to being too tired, because sometimes it feels like sex is the only thing I do that doesn’t have something to do with being a mother.

I feel guilty when I wonder if this is what the rest of our life will be like. I love my kids, both of them. With my whole heart. If I didn’t I would possibly have shaken them already so I could just get another fucking hour worth of sleep. But I haven’t and I won’t. Because as much as I sometimes question being a mum and if I’m any good at it, their smiles tell me I must be doing something right.

First Post Giveaway.

Photo from our recent holiday – Dutchies Beach, Nelson Bay

They say that a change is as good as a holiday. And I just had a pretty great holiday, so I decided a change was in order also. Works in my head.

To celebrate me buying a domain name (I feel so fancy – tattoodaddy knows better than to roll his eyes at me, or to question, for that matter!) I have presents for one lucky follower!

Because I’m a mum and I love cooking and saving money, I have bought you (or you?) and your little cherub: a children’s apron and teatowel set, a spatula and a Junior Season Serve – all from Tupperware.

*Tupperware fridge smarts are one of my best tips for saving money on your grocery bill*

for your chance to win:

Follow my blog.

Follow me on twitter @tattoomummy

Leave a comment below telling me what you would like to see on my blog. (recipes, budgeting advice, toilet training disasters etc.)

Possible extra two entries per person if you facebook and/or tweet about my giveaway – links must be posted in a seperate comment to your answer though!

And here are some happy snaps from our holiday to warm your heart.