Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Lessons of life

There are some things I have learnt since becoming a mother that I never thought I would learn. Some of them I did not even contemplate as truth... but motherhood is the great school of a woman's life - or it has been of mine anyway..

Here are some of the valuable things my boys have taught me.

1. Labour - I don't care who you are, whether we have been introduced or not, or what you are doing "down there" just get it out before it rips me apart...... x2.

2. Large breasts do not equal flooding of milk - I think standing on my head and whistling "God Save The Queen" through my left ear would have been easier than breastfeeding. I always assumed that it was one of the natural things a woman does.. apparently not so for all of us. I breastfed Caleb for about 3 weeks until I was suicidal and Caleb was losing too much weight. With Daniel I managed to breastfeed for 3 months - It was so much work and so stressful that I went as long as I could without again becoming suicidal. I tried everything you can possibly suggest to me, it just did not happen - It was like getting water from a sandpit...I know it comes naturally to some women, to me it was a trial of the worst kind.

3. Puke does not have to be cleaned up immediately - Who knew??? Puke (and snot - discussed later) was always something I detested immensely. Just the thought of it made me gag. And then I became a mom to not 1, but 2 little boys who are prone to puking - and not just little spit-ups either, but projectile puking the likes of which have not been seen since The Witches of Eastwick. The thought that it is possible to walk around for 30+ minutes with puke on my shoes and on my trousers (skirt) while trying to console a fever-sick baby is (was) astounding to me. And yet, in the past 4 years I have done it more times than you would believe.

4. There will be snot.. and then there will be more snot - call it phlegm if you like (you are obviously not a parent yet), but it is snot - sometimes it looks different to others, but there will be masses of this stuff in your life, and the real shocker is that you will survive... even when you find it smeared on a wall for the first time - notice I said first...

5. Spaghetti Bolognaise is no longer what you have always believed it to be!!! It is now an excellent vehicle for hiding vegetables in your very fussy 4-year-old's food - you will be amazed how many vegetables can be steamed and pureed so as to make them undetectable in spaghetti bolognaise. Not only that, but the pure joy you will feel at watching him scoff the whole bowl and ask for seconds cannot be matched by anything!!!

6. Homemade Pizza can be healthy - this is a follow-on from item 5. Making the "tomato" puree' which is spread on a pizza base is so simple - all you have to do is steam the veggies, puree' them and spread them on the pizza base, cover with a wee bit of tomato puree and then smother in bacon (ham) and cheese...

7. I do not need expensive or fancy clothes - this one was a real shocker to me. It still sometimes amazes me... How is it that I went from wearing boots which cost the same as a monthly payment on a family car, to wearing boots bought at the mass outlet store? The answer is simple - Money is tight and it is no longer about me. Making sure that the boys have what they need negates my need for hand-stitched leather boots.

8. Listening to "Hello Mr Whiskers" in the car, and singing along to it with Caleb, while Daniel shrieks with laughter is more fun than any adult outing I can remember.

9. Without Adam it would mean nothing - Without you I would still be a mother... but without you all these things would be trials rather than lessons in love.

10. Without The Boys (all three of them) my life would be an empty shell.. I would be richer in coin no doubt. I would probably have a sophisticated hair-do. I would wear hand-stitched leather shoes. I would wear designer jeans.. but I would not hear the little voice yelling down the passage at 5.30am: mama... MAMA!! Or feel the joy at baking a gazillion cookies with the terror that is my Caleb. Or know the absolute bliss of hearing someone say, "You two are really happy in your marriage aren't you?" and knowing that it is true..

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