How do we survive?

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I’m well into my second glass of wine at the end of a difficult week. At home, it’s been a week of screaming, stuff being thrown and assault by flying Fisher Price. At work, it’s been a week of screaming, stuff being thrown and assault by tree branch. I wonder how we will get through what I think will be at least a year of total toddler nonsense. I am recalling with greater clarity now, the period between 18 months and 3 years with our first boy, and how difficult I found that time. I am utterly loving the 4 and a half age, but really struggle with toddlers. I have posted before about the noise, the cacophony that these boys together can create when they want something. But despite the challenges, my life is not hard. My work makes me keenly aware of what I have to be thankful for in these times.

Firstly, my boys sleep. They go to bed, secure in the knowledge that when they wake up in the morning, their world will not have changed. Secure, peaceful, trustful sleep. You don’t know what a blessing it is until you don’t have it. Many of my ‘clients’ have no sleep pattern, poor sleep initiation, night waking, bed wetting, not even being able to sleep in their own beds. It is a recurring issue and it causes no end of trouble. No sleep = no peace = no growth = wired all the time. It must be exhausting, and terrifying.

My boys have a loving, interested, funny, devoted father. I can count on one hand the number of fathers I have come across in my work over the past year and a half. Not ever minimising the role of Mummy, or devaluing single Mummies ever in any way, but I have said to my husband many times that I can’t begin to try to put into words how much he is building up our little men by simply loving them and being physically and emotionally there. As a kid from divorce myself, I have always thought that they are ahead of the eight ball just by having not experienced family disfunction and divorce. Just being able to say mum and dad in the same sentence, which I never could.

I keep trying to limit myself when I feel like I’ve had a hard week. My kids are healthy, developmentally on track, really, what do I have to feel stressed about? But I think it is important for us all to feel our own stories and experiences are valid and important regardless of how we might compare to others. I’ve got friends right now who are going through the worst of times. But I know they’d still sit and listen to my silly sob story, and value it regardless.

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