Monday, 12 May 2014

what the hell am i doing here?

I think it was Mother's Day everywhere else in the world other than the UK yesterday. It was definitely Mother's Day back home in Canadaland and with it came lots of posts from Facebook friends about motherhood. Most of it sentimental, some quite funny, and a few about how difficult it is to be a mother and how under-appreciated we are.

A friend posted a link to this video about "the toughest job in the world", which turned out to be motherhood (note: it's a greeting card ad, so don't feel enraged when you get to the end to find out you've shed tears over a commercial.) The message is that we're unpaid, work 365 days a year, and do most of our tasks standing or moving around. As the unsuspecting interviewees put it, they're inhuman working conditions. "Why would anyone have kids?" a friend of my friend asked. Well. Good question.

I've always said that being a parent is the toughest job I've ever had. There are no sick days, no holidays, and they always want something. I cannot tell you how many times I hear "I'm thirsty/hungry" over the course of a day. I'VE JUST FED YOU A MASSIVE ROAST DINNER. YOU DON'T NEED TO EAT AGAIN FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER HOUR. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE SO I CAN HAVE A PEE.

There is no privacy. They howl and try to bash the door down in a zombie-like frenzy if you ever attempt to shut yourself in any room in the house.

You cannot make or receive phone calls because there is a special signal installed in all telephones that incites children to riot as soon as you say, "Hello?"

You will never eat a hot plate of food ever again. Just eat sandwiches or vegetables and dip from now on and save yourself any disappointment. And make sure the sandwich is a variety your kids don't like because they will stop at nothing to eat it.

Being Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny will add a whole new level of stress to your life. If you get caught, you will be the crappiest parent of all time. Retrieving a tooth in the pitch dark and sticking a coin under your kid's pillow without making any noise is like Tom Cruise dangling from the ceiling in "Mission Impossible."

And sometimes they can just be little shits.

I think I've aged 20 years since having kids. I'm always tired. I'm always on the verge of losing my rag with someone. I'm an introverted only child so why I decided to fill my house with kids is a mystery.

But being a parent is also a pretty great thing. My kids make me laugh, like proper belly laugh. They ask me questions that make me wonder why things are the way they are. They give me an excuse to see Pixar films at the cinema and ride on merry go rounds. They love me unconditionally, throwing their arms around me for hugs each morning. Even when I've been a little shit.

It isn't at all logical and I definitely couldn't sell this job to anyone. I think having kids simply makes me a better person. I'm no longer self-centred and I've discovered I have this endless supply of love for these little beings. I want to teach them things and learn along with them. I'm so curious to see what sort of people they'll become. It's not why we decided to have kids in the first place - that I can't really verbalise - but it's what I've discovered since becoming a parent.

Having kids is not for everyone and not everyone has a good time with it, but for me, it's just what makes sense. Sticky walls, Lego foot injuries, and all.
Still one of my favourite photos of the kids: Christmas Card Fail
Christmas Card Fail, 2010