I’m in a different headspace to the one I was 3 or 4 months ago. One of the main reasons I know is because of the questionnaires the GP gets you to do when you get a mental health care plan. A couple of the questions ask if you look forward to things or have hope for the future. There was a period where I would have answered nope but now, despite staring down the barrel of a possible 18 month custodial sentence of toddler-two-year-old-kinda-crazy, I very much look forward to the future. I think it’s because I have the best 4.5 year old in the universe to guide me. His very presence reminds me that the twins will not always scream as their preferred mode of communication. They will not always poo in their pants, the bath and once on the lounge room floor. They will not always plank when I need them to bend in order to get into the car seat. They will one day put food into their mouths, not the dump truck, the sand pit, the bookshelf, the window sill or my handbag. One day, as modelled by Mr 4.5, they will play without cracking each other’s skulls with die cast cars or playing tug of war with whatever the other one has. Mr 4.5 reminds me that one day I’ll actually be able to take them out. Maybe even without a pram. The possibilities are endless. I really, really look forward to it. And yes, I know I’m not supposed to wish it away. I just want to wish away the next little bit. The bit with no emotional regulation, no logic, no continence, no patience and no impulse control.
I am finishing this post 24 hours later, and it is funny the difference day makes. Yesterday, full of optimism, today, everything hurts. Did someone say parenting was a roller coaster? I know this is not something mothers are supposed to say but what the hell do we do this for?? I mean, really? Today, what a nightmare. I had two heading for meltdown before I even got in the car at day care. One sat in the middle of the car park for crying out loud and refused to get in the car. Getting them home and heading into my usual high octane dinner prep was made worse by the fact that I had screaming from downstairs, something about to burn on the stove and a full on 4.5 year old tanty in the bedroom. And I failed, failed, failed. Yelled, again. Said sorry, again. Felt awful, again. I feel like a boxer, ducking and weaving, dancing on my toes and defending myself twenty four seven. It’s exhausting, and on days like this, it is all give, no take. It’s a day when I don’t have a good answer to the question why did I have children? This is a day when parenting isn’t worth it, is not fun, not rewarding and that’s the blunt truth. Too harsh?