Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Parenting Rollercoaster

The wise philosopher Ronan Keating once sang, “Life is a rollercoaster,” and I'm pretty sure he was talking about parenthood. 

It's true I was fairly emotionally expressive even before having kids. I have been known to shout, "Pick a lane, any fucking lane, you wanker," whilst driving. I have also been known to laugh hysterically on drunken nights out and cry at those Britain's Got Talent VTs because it's the first time they've had the courage to sing since their cat died. 

I knew there was an emotional range there to start with.

But Christ Alive I’ve never known a rollercoaster of emotions quite like the last 3.5 years. 

Gone are the 'good days' and 'bad days'. Days are less easy to emotionally rank now. Sometimes I encounter the full spectrum of emotions in the same day. Sometimes I encounter the full spectrum of emotions in the same hour.

There are times I feel angry. 

Because try as I might to suppress those feelings of fury there is only so much food-refusal, sofa dive-bombing and incessant whinging that one mortal can take. I mutter, 'For fuck's sake,' at least 127 times a day (whilst sighing).

There are times I feel guilty.
Bastard sodding guilt creeps up on me and smacks me around the face. At times it's just a niggle of guilt but other times I swear it is trying to suffocate me, punishing me for getting angry and feeling bored and sometimes wishing I was at work. Guilt tells me I'm hands down the shittest mother in the entire history of shit mothers.

There are times I feel happy. And really bloody thankful.
Not just averagely-pleased happy but overwhelmed-with-joy happy, bursting with pride and gratefulness for all that I have and all that we are as a family. Times when I find myself laughing at hilarious things the boys have done or smiling like a loony from ear to ear, wondering what I could possibly have done to deserve so much greatness in my life.

There are times I feel scared.
Scared of how much I love them. Scared about letting them go out into the big wide world (okay pre-school, but it is bigger and much wider than the living room). I feel scared when I can't see them or hear them. Even when they had a sleepover at Nanny's I couldn't bear to look at their empty beds because I knew it would trick my mind into thinking what if.... what if the unthinkable ever happened. I can't even type it. 

And it all takes its toll, doesn't it? The laughing, then crying, then shouting, then worrying and then laughing some more. It's not surprising parents feel tired.

But I think I'm learning to accept it.
To take the crushing lows with the pretty remarkable highs and heed Ronan's advice about the rollercoaster.

We just gotta ride it.

The Unmumsy Mum










36 comments:

  1. This nearly made me cry... Why do kids turn us into such a fucking hormonal mess?!

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    1. I did cry. Does that make me the winner or loser?

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    2. Sooooo true. Thank you. Xx

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  2. So completely true! I think I've experienced all of those feelings today.

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  3. I don't normally leave comments on things but I've just read this at exactly the right time. Thank you for making us mums feel normal instead of the raving loon I sometimes feel I have become...! X

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  4. Aaah this has made me feel better! I am first time Mum to a 3 month old girl and we've just brought her to France to see her Grandad. Dealing with being a Mum away from the security of your own home is surprisingly hard. I constantly feel all of the mixed feelings you describe but I think the hardest one which I underestimated before I had her is the worry - being scared. Such fear that something may happen to her. That's what I find the hardest. And try as I might to relax and be a chilled mother, I just can't do it!

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  5. this just did make me cry!

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  6. My children have all, thankfully, survived into adult hood now (goodness only knows how) and without too many emotional or physical scars but every single day when they were young I was either wishing that I could be anywhere else but there and when I was away I wished that I could be at home just looking at them and keeping them safe. Now I'm a grandmother and it has started all over again...

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  7. Perfectly put! I have three rollercoast inducing beings, 14, 11 and 8 so whilst they are older we still have the sofa diving and the fear of letting them out into the big wide world. The only difference is two of them are taller than me! I love reading your posts :-) x

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  8. I thought it was only me that looked at my sons bed when he's on a sleepover and thought 'what if' ... so glad its not! Feel quite normal again.

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  9. I wrote such a similar post a couple of days ago for my very first foray into the world of mummy blogging - how everything we feel - EVERYTHING - is so blooming overwhelming! Becky @ And Then There Were Two

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  10. So how i feel my my beautiful babies sums it up perfectly xx

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  11. Spot on. I flip from happy to scared most of the day. I'm such I natural worrier, I'm glad that someone put into words how I feel xx

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  12. Guilt normally creeps in when I hear my 2 year old drop something and say 'sake' she obviously has got this from hearing me say ffs dozens of times a day, at least she leaves out the f's x

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  13. We've harnessed Ronan Keating's philosophy in our new campaign..... Take a deep breath, trust yourself and #ParentOn everyone! www.parent-on.co.uk #yougotthis

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  14. Wow spot on thought I was going mad. I breathe a sigh of relief I am not alone. Thank you

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  15. So true, its amazing what emotions we go through with our Lil ones. Its a hell of a ride but oh so worth it

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  16. I've just written a really long emotional post about how I've just split up with my husband and am having to learn how to have spontaneous fun and the bloody page deleted it... Next time I'll plan it !!!

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  17. I couldn't have put it better myself, and as much as I feel Mr Keating is a twat he is right!!
    Love your writing

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  18. You have just described me! I stress and shout and FFS and sweat (who knew you would be drenched by the time you got two under 2s out the door!?) until I get to the nursery then I crumple with all consumming mummy guilt and self hate that I shouted so much shortly followed by getting home and looking at pictures of my boys on my phone grinning and feeling tearfully lucky. Its not even 9am yet!!!! So thank you.

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  19. My two boys bring out emotions I never knew I had and will never feel again with anyone else. You are right it is exhausting sometimes and being on my own now makes it even more intense - the fear, the guilt, the pressure. I just hope they always feel, that despite the shit days I (we) have, they will never ever be loved more :) x

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  20. I love this everyday I laugh cry and laugh some more ur blog has kept me sane since my friend said read this its so funny and since every day I'm here reading more and more realising it isn't just me with ungrateful and sometimes horrible children but the same as every mum wouldn't change them ever x

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  21. Shits and giggles, shits and giggles! You can't have one without the other!!!

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  22. Oh isn't it just ... Today was one of those days. Anger/frustration/shouting/tears followed by belly giggles/playtime/delirious happiness then followed by anger/frustration/shouting/tears again! Who knew an almost 2 year old could make me so damn angry by holding porridge in her mouth rather than swallowing it then making me feel so bloody happy by telling me she loved me and being such fun for a few hours! To right its a rollercoaster, complete with the motion sickness. But, it is still the best one ever - and I hate the bloody things!!!

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  23. I have these same thoughts and feelings every damn day.

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  24. Wow, I felt every emotion as I read them, so, so true, bloody hormones, I never cried before baby! The fear is the part that got me everyday I look at my beautiful boy and just worry, how can we love so much!!

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  25. I had to read that right now. Thank you.

    My first son started school today and my ten month old cries every time he is put down, I lost my shit, a lot today. Oh the guilt.

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  26. You always seem to get it right, but this, THIS is SO right. Keep up the brilliant work - you put into words so eloquently what we are all struggling to express and can't x

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  27. You nailed it with this post. Made me cry, but what I needed to read today!

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  28. This. Can relate with every single word. I sometimes feel like an emotional wreck since having a child!

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  29. You have it there, spot on. Thanks for this. I'm now taking a moment to pack up all my emotions, feeling understood unravels me! X

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