My kids drive me insane. On a daily basis if I average it out. Actually, multiple times a day.
Parenting is loving your kids so much that you would throw yourself in front of a bus to save them, while at times simultaneously feeling like you could put them on eBay. I’d always thought they’d be mutually exclusive. But they’re not. Those two feelings compete for space in my brain every day.
I try to be honest about my parenting journey. Parenting is hard, every day my children test me to my limit and beyond. I believe it is important to be truthful about the trials and tribulations of parenthood. After 5 kids I think I have earned the right to whinge about my children’s behaviour without every sanctimummy passing judgement, or people questioning my love for them. My love for my children is fierce, I love them with every part of me, yet there are times that they drive me to tears.
Of late I’ve been made to feel ungrateful for saying my kids send me crazy. There was the woman who commented who would have 5 kids if they were going to put them in childcare so soon? I’m still trying to work out how you’re meant to know that till you have them. There was the one who commented “you don’t seem to enjoy your kids” and the one who when I said “I didn’t sign up for a kid who doesn’t allow me anymore than 4 hours sleep a night” told me “I’m blessed” to get up to my kids at night.”
And I am. Don’t get me wrong. People don’t breed 5 times unless they love kids, or they’re nuts (I am both) I love my children. I enjoy my children. But my children still drive me mad daily. The difference between me and some others is I admit it.
There’s an endless list of why they’re sending me crackers. They won’t eat breakfast. They can’t find their school shoes. Theyre fighting over a hairbrush. The 3 year old has urinated on the door for the third time that day. The baby is crawling up me like a limbless koala while screaming the house down. They don’t want my gourmet baked beans dinner offering. The toddler is going beserk in Kmart because I won’t buy him matchbox car #46643. The girls are ripping each other’s heads off over a hairband. Their toe nails are sore.
Kids drive you insane. The insanity starts about 35 seconds after you leave hospital with them and lasts until the day you die. The last part I’m guessing – my first is nearly 20 and he still sends me crazy, and I am 40 soon and I know I drive my dad berserk.
So the next time you hear someone say they’re losing it, don’t make them feel inadequate. Don’t put them down by saying “oh no you’re not” Nod and smile as if you understand, even if you don’t. Listen to them vent without judgment. You might just relieve some of their insanity. Better still, be honest and join in.
Because we all know the truth deep down -your kids are the best thing you’ve ever done in life.
They also drive you insane.