Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kids change everything

Last night I was suffering from insomnia and I started to thing about how life had changed since the children had arrived. Before they came I worked hard as a teacher striving to be the best that I could, I had a reasonable social life and didn't have to think too hard about saying yes when invited somewhere and I even had a disposable income, now the children dispose of the income, my social life consists of mainly providing a taxi service to various parties and clubs the children need to attend and while I still try my best, work, (writing) seems to fall down the list of things as the children create ever more jobs for me to do.

I have to admit that I never imagined I would be a stay at home mum, once Heather reached the grand age of 1, I found a part time teaching position and returned to work, she went to nursery and seemed to like it, then the trouble with her ears started and after having to frequently stay home with a poorly little girl I dropped from three days to one. The last straw came one day when I received a call to ask if she could be given some medicine, I consented and was told there was no hurry to come and collect her. Twenty minutes later another call came through to say that Heather had collapsed and an ambulance had been called.

I don't remember much of the drive to the nursery other than sheer panic, guilt and nausea, as I pulled in and saw the ambulance outside, the knowledge that it was for my child was crippling. When I got into the office she was huddled against a paramedic looking so small and helpless and reached out to me. It turned out she hadn't fitted, her ear drum had burst and she was in considerable pain, but from then on I knew that as soon as my maternity leave started (for Matthew was now on his way,) I wouldn't be returning to work.

I am lucky to be able to make this decision and sometimes however frustrating and mind numbing life seems I try to remind myself of this fact. I am also lucky in that I have good friends who have remained friends even though I have produced three children in four years and turned into even more of a lunatic than I was before they arrived.

On Saturday we went to the school open day and it was then that I realised how much I enjoyed being a mum, as we were wandering about I was chuffed to see examples of their work on the walls. Both Heather and Matthew had produced self portraits, Matthews was a large blob with some sticky up hair and some eyes and a smiley face, Heather, being two years older had produced something much more realistic and as I looked at them I could picture them. Heather with her tongue sticking out slightly as she concentrated on getting every detail, even down to the bow on her school dress just right, Matthew leaning on his knees if he could get away with it, pressing as hard as he could with his pencil and hunched over his paper, doing their best, the results now on the wall for everyone to see.

That's it I thought, that's what it's all about - doing your best. I do my best to keep the house tidy, they do their best to untidy it, I do my best to get them to places on time, they do their best to lose 1 shoe, hairbrushes or books, and I do my best to write every day and keep up with my coursework and they do their best to distract me with jigsaws, books to read and games to play. All in all though I wouldn't change it, - life is chaotic even frenzied at times with 3 against 1, and I am the first to admit that it sends you a little bit mad trying to keep up with them all but all too soon they will be at school all day and I will have all day to study and write and if I'm not careful I'll have missed them growing up with all the tantrums, breakages and slip ups along the way.