I don’t know when being a mother stopped terrifying me.
It scared me witless for the first four or five years.
I’m awed by women who take to it like a duck to water.
Part of me wanted to run far, far away.
Getting my baby to stop crying, to sleep, to feed without every suckle feeling like razor blades … that stuff was so, so tough.
I was secretly relieved to go back to work two months after my eldest was born. It felt virtually guilt-free because my ex took six months paternity leave to look after her.
Editing a weekly magazine, deciding whether to spend $100,000 on a set of photographs, was so much easier than being at home with a baby.
The toddler years freaked me out too. A whole day stretching out before me with a small child to entertain … oh, the secret panic!
(My ex, on the other hand, was a pro: treasurer of the local playgroup and everything. Go him!)
The preschool years were no walk in the park either.
Fast forward to my precious Saturdays with my daughters. I love those lazy days with them. There should be homework and trumpet practice and boring stuff like that, but I willfully ignore it all.
Yesterday was a bit bleary, post-virus, but we managed to make the most of it anyway.
I cooked up bacon and eggs on toasted Turkish for brekkie as the kids watched cartoons. Then the youngest and I spent a few hours making and decorating gingerbread men for her classmates. Not being much of a reader, the youngest borrows cookbooks from the library – she’s been bugging me to make something for school.
We whipped up a few extras for her sister, plus one for her Dad, and another for DD for his birthday.
Then I forced them both into the shower – it had been a loooooooong time between washes for the sickly eldest. I’m banned from the bathroom when she’s in there, but the youngest still likes me to wash her hair. I’m cherishing that odd pleasure while I can, despite the sogginess.
I’ve joined the local RSL – wow that makes me feel old – because it has a well-regarded Malaysian restaurant, so we headed there for lunch and shared curry puffs, chicken curry, roti, and mee goreng. There was much discussion over lunch about the merits of the RSL curry versus the one at Mamak … then the kids segued into a lively debate about their favourite Zoomer Robot Dog.
A misty-eyed admire of the puppies running down the aisles of the local pet shop followed, plus a trip to Target for a few cheap DVDs (Pretty In Pink for $5!!!!), a perusal of the men’s department for possible accoutrements for the eldest’s Doctor Who Halloween costume, and a twirl around Trade Secret for the beginnings of her year six formal outfit.
The eldest hates dresses. She fell in love with a black pleather biker’s jacket and I convinced her to buy a silver skirt (with the promise of biker boots to off-set the girly). I’m pretty sure that’s not quite the school’s desired dress code, but she’ll look super cool in it.
We made a flying visit to my sister’s for an admire of her schnauzer puppy before heading home to collapse on the couch and watch Pitch Perfect 2 – not the best movie in the world, but fun with some laugh-out-loud moments from Rebel.
I served up shepherd’s bog for dinner (my version of the classic – pastry base, leftover bolognaise mince, a layer of grated cheese and mash on top, baked in the oven until golden) and another movie – Man of Steel. We wouldn’t normally watch so much tellie, we’d planned on finally finishing our game of Monopoly, but the eldest and I are still too wiped out.
So we curled up on the couch and got square eyes together.
The youngest is a treat: she knows her limits and isn’t afraid to greet them. At 8.30pm she announced she was off to bed, after a back massage, cuddle and kiss from mum.
When Man of Steel ended, I hustled the eldest off to bed with a hug – kinda freaky to cuddle a child the same size as you.
And that was our day together.
I loved every minute.
I wasn’t scared once … except when I thought about how little time I have left before the kids don’t want to spend Saturday night on the couch with their mum.
Did parenthood ever scare you?
Song of the day: Alanis Morisette “Ironic”