Do you know what's really hard about parenting (for me)? Specifically the part of parenting that relates to the fact that there are no part time parenting roles... What's really hard is getting love, enjoyment and appreciated jumbled up in your head. When they wee all over your new top and now you have to change yourself and them, sponge the carpet, anti-bac the changing mat and keep your s&*$ at that crucial moment when you've got all three hands full and your toddler is about to pick up their own poo out of the potty to show you they're a BIG GIRL NOW... When those things happen and it feels like the planets are aligning to destroy your plans to get to the supermarket (which you didn't even want to go to ANYWAY!) and you think "right now... I bloody hate this..."
That is you not enjoying parenting. You're not enjoying it because it's hard and it got on top of you and maybe you wanted to be better than overwhelmed in that scenario... Because ya know... So many of us are unhealthily unrealistic in our expectations of our parenting.
What it is not? It is not you not loving your baby. And it is not you being unappreciative of the miracle that is your child.
It's you being a human being in a rubbish situation and thinking "this is rubbish". So often I don't allow myself that logic. So often I think how I'm a terrible mother because I don't like parenting right now and maybe that's the same as me not loving them right or maybe it's the same as me not getting that I am so divinely lucky to be so blessed with two beautiful children.
And "terrible mother"! What's the overuse of that phrase all about? I'd like a pound for every time I hear at a coffee morning. "You're going to think I'm a terrible mother when you see what snack he's got..." "I was a terrible mother the other day..." "... so I just wiped the poo with my sleeve and carried on eating, I'm such a terrible mother!" etc. Have we got so desensitised to the concept of being a "terrible mother" with all our self-preservation speak that we really are so ready to think we can be terrible mothers?
Maybe it's more second time mum confidence speaking? But I'm doing one reflecting on Bow's babyhood at the moment and I realise he's had some hard phases. Most notably the 6 week period when he was 5-6 months old where he wouldn't be put down. At all. And that was hard. It was not an enjoyable time in my parenting "career". Did I love him less? No. Not for a second. Did I appreciate my son any less? No. Not for a second.
So keep them separate. My lesson this week. Which I'll have to learn again next week...