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The hardest part of being a Mom

I don’t know if it’s because nobody told me, or because I didn’t hear them, but I did not anticipate being needed so much. I mean, I knew that I would be needed to feed my children – first breastfeed them and then teach them to eat solids and then make snacks and lunch and dinner. I knew I would be needed for cuddles – when they’re sad or have an owie I need to kiss better or when it’s bedtime and they need some love. I knew I would be needed for all the practical stuff – making sure life runs as smoothly as possible for them without them needing to see all the million little things I juggle in the background. If you don’t have kids, I hope this seems like a lot already! I thought it did. I was wrong.Because what I didn’t anticipate is that the needing never ends. And I mean that quite literally – I had a hard day today (my teeth have been giving me troubles, post-pregnancy – happened last time, happened this time) and all I wanted to do was message my mom so she could give me sympathy. I needed her. I frequently need her.

But I think the age that Arthur and Ella are at now is so acute in terms of need because he needs me emotionally and physically in ways that are completely different to her emotional and physical needs. So I’m dealing with the 4 month ‘I’m crying ’cause I have a stubborn burp and need you to pick me up so it can come out and I can go to sleep’ at the same time as I’m dealing with the 2.5 year old ‘I’m used to you singing me Somewhere Over The Rainbow every night and I need that to happen so I can fall asleep peacefully.’ And I do mean at the same time. Concurrently.

This kind of thing happens all day. Every moment of the day, except when they’re napping and somehow (How?!?!) they don’t nap at the same time, except for maybe a 20 minute overlap. I heard about this phenomenon before I had Ella, but I didn’t believe it. I should have.

And while a lot of the needing throughout the day is really quite sweet – Ella likes being held, likes being cooed at, feeds a number of times a day; Arthur likes me to look at things he’s doing, help him to the potty, answer endless questions – by the end of the day I am tired. Bone tired. Bone grating on bone tired. And they don’t seem to care… That’s the part of being a Mom I find hardest. When it’s my turn to need something: a lie down, a gin and elderflower, 5 minutes of peace to gather my thoughts, a deep breath, some silence, a back rub (the list goes on and on, take your pick) and I still have to Mom. Hard. Because some small person needs me.

I have been told so many times that this stage passes really quickly, and I can believe it. But I don’t yet feel it. For now I am in the thick of being needed every waking moment of my children’s day. And now I need to go to bed to start all over again tomorrow…


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