I talked this week with a mother of twins. Twins who are in their first term of school. I wanted to start writing. But the thing is, my parenthood didn’t start with twins, it started with Seren. I am a mother to three. It’s just my experience is a bit different to those who’ve experienced pregnancy three times.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll be honest, I struggled becoming a parent. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. So what could be more fun than bringing someone home who you have no control over, who you can’t train, with no rule book.
In contrast, my first pregnancy was a dream. Mid-wife led care. No idea what was in front of me after snow prevented attendance at more than two ante-natel classes. I would still swear that nothing can prepare you for being presented with a baby which you have grown and are entirely responsible for.
Seren has yet to stop testing me. In the early days I decided having a daughter was my mother’s revenge. It remains the case. To raise a strong, independent girl is exhausting.
I have the boys as Seren’s contrast. And up until 30 weeks, another perfect pregnancy. If you overlook the breaking news that there were two babies insitu.
At 30 weeks the fun began, and I’m not entirely sure has stopped.
As a mother to three, I’m never sure who tests me the most. Tom: the boy who stopped growing; sending him into an operating theatre at ten weeks; an innocent heart murmur diagnosed at three; and ADHD at seven; with eight seemingly putting other specialities on his card.
Seb: the endless energy; the care; the love; and the lack of control over the three.
Having three children within 22 months is physically draining (probably no comparison to having three pregnancies and three children though…) and emotionally tough.
Having three children aged 7 and 9 is mentally draining and emotionally tough. Nothing disappears from the emotion of raising children. Especially for a control freak. There is nothing about the best of my children that I can control. They are the best of individuals. So I am reliant solely on my need to do the best by them.
At seven and nine the possibilities are endless. As are the questions. And the bickering. The refereeing. And the need to remember the detail of the last bickering, fight or altercation.
There are things which ease off as your children grow. But it’s not that easy. Nothing becomes less. Other things come in their place.
School days are as tough as they were when they were experienced first hand. Wanting your child to make friends, watching the making and breaking of friendship. Learning that with no parental influence your child is capable of making the most worthwhile of friends.
The desire not to influence your child’s future. Remaining resilient- “you can be whatever and whoever you want to be”.
Feeling the need to standback as your child excels in maths, but still has no clue about her career path. “Because she’s nine!”
I laughed this week at our office Christmas party. No-one ever had in their career plan that they wanted to work for a charity, for a non-departmental public body. And no-one came close to aspiring to be a strategy, fund or policy manager.
Enjoying life, and enjoying what you do surely has to be the key.
And do you know, I really, really hope, if this is what counts, it turns out between me and him, we might be better than we think we are at this parenting thing.