When I envisioned having kids, I saw my kids and I playing hide and seek, holding hands and laughing all day long. They ate when it was time to eat and they slept when it was time to sleep. Well, that was a sweet dream! I woke up and finally became a mother. Quickly.
I love the perfect pictures you see online of mothers with their kids. I have put up a few of those on my Instagram too. You see the matching outfit a mum wears with her kids and husband sometimes. Pretty. Everything looking well co-ordinated.
Basically, the other mother seems to have it all together. Cool, calm and collected. She seems to have everything under control. She’s like a superwoman.
After seeing all the posts on social media and reading the very sweet caption she writes, you’d imagine she never has a bad day. Actually, it looks like everything must be going on perfect for her. Her kids must be such angels, you’d think.
There was a day I was at a friend’s house. Her little toddler followed her everywhere. She had to step outside to briefly see someone at their front door. She went without him and he began to cry. When she came back inside, she said; “What is it? Why are you crying? I will soon run away oh. The day I run away, anything that will happen should happen.”
I started laughing and asked her where she was going to run to and she said there were lots of places to run to. I feel exactly the same way sometimes when things get overwhelming. But you know what? We have thick skin, we ain’t running away. It’s just a thought. Are we at least allowed to have thoughts?
There were days I literally cried. It was just I and Gamal at home and I think he wasn’t up to two years old at the time. I tried making him sleep one night but he simply refused to sleep. And you know how it is, the baby doesn’t sleep, mummy can’t sleep. I was dead tired after a long day and I was feeling sort of feverish and dizzy. I really needed that sleep.
Turned out the lights, patted him down, sang, begged, fed, everything. Nothing! I snapped and began crying because I didn’t know what else to do. He watched me surprisingly and then he finally decided to sleep. That was when I could sleep too.
It’s always hard work whenever we are having a photo shoot. Unimaginable things happen before that one perfect photo. “Come here!”, “Sit down here!”, “No, stop it!” “I will beat you!” “Ohhhhh, this boy!”, and then one single perfect shot ends up on social media and people are like aww! Awww what?
It’s not always all rosy behind the scenes, I must tell you. Here are 9 behind the scene moments mothers usually face:
- Invasion of privacy. This is standard. You can’t take a decent shower in peace. You can’t poop in peace. Sometimes you dress up in bits and pieces while handling “urgent” baby/toddler crisis. Even if you lock your door, they will bang on that door till you open it.
- Exhaustion. Am I even supposed to add this to the list? Isn’t exhaustion like the synonym for mother? You sleep tired and wake up tired.
- Can you stop doing that? Can you stop playing with the drawers? Would you stop tossing the decor on the floor? Leave that tissue alone. Can you stop hugging the TV? Don’t go close to that. Stop it, stop it, stop it.
- Bedtime crisis. That time you look forward too. You already envision how it’ll go. They eat their dinner, you give them their bath, brush their teeth, tuck them in bed, read the bedtime story, pray and they sleep off. You give a sigh of relief and catch up on all the stuff you need to catch up on in peace before you go to bed as well. Well, it doesn’t always go that way. It’s not always that smooth. It’s often a struggle. Sometimes, they eat into your “alone” time. Like my son, after he goes to bed and I’m enjoying my alone time, he just shows up again and he wants me to scratch his back or stay in the room with him while he sleeps.
- Ask your daddy. Why do all your questions have to begin with “mummy”? Go and ask your daddy, please. I think the word “mummy” needs to have daily limits so that when it gets exhausted, you can switch to using “daddy”.
- What’s a hot meal? I don’t know why but there is always something to quickly attend to when it’s time to eat. Most times, that’s when they have to go the bathroom or when they want to eat too. They want something or they do something and you just have to get up. Hot meals are luxury.
- The questions. Be careful what you do or say because every bit of it will be questioned. Your answers will be followed up by more questions. It never stops. You get questioned about everything including things and people you know nothing about. But trust mothers, they always have the most creative answers.
- The cartoon songs. Mothers know all the cartoon songs and all the cartoon characters and the right voice to use while singing each cartoon song.
- But I really wanted that candy. You relax, take a deep breath, unwrap the last candy or chocolate, you are salivating at this moment and already imagined the taste. As you’re about to throw it in your mouth you hear, “Mummy, please can I have it?” You are about saying no and then you see those big white eyes staring at you. We all know who ends up eating the candy here. All you are left with is the thought of really wanting that candy and a tiny mouth chewing away.
Sometimes you can’t wait for them to go to school or go for a holiday somewhere. But when they are off to school or on a holiday, you miss them. Everywhere is quiet and everything seems organized and it doesn’t feel normal. You just want them back. You can’t wait for them to get back so you can continue from where you left off.
All these things listed up there, that’s the joy. It’s what makes it fun and I can’t have it any other way. There was a day I was telling a friend how hyperactive Gamal was and she reminded me of what I used to say back then in school. I used to say that I wanted hyperactive and noisy kids just for the fun of it. I said it was going to be boring if they were too composed.
Well, I have created my own reality with my words. It’s exhausting but I LOVE being a very happy and thankful exhausted mother with a lot of behind the scene memories being created daily.
For my friends who are still waiting for their miracle to be mothers, I stand in faith with you and I pray for you. Very soon, this will be your experience.
Do you go through any of the stuff listed above or have you seen someone who does? I would really love to hear from you. The comment box is right below.