The cost of parenting

Now don’t get me wrong I am one of the most positive people that I know and see the beauty in all hardships but I have to say that parenting is the hardest job that I have ever had. For a woman who never wanted children and now has four to rear, life can certainly be challenging! Life before kids was free and easy. I travelled the world, had great conversations with adults, ate dinner without interruptions, had naps when I wanted, slept in when I could and enjoyed the silence when I demanded. I worked full-time, had money in the bank and was free. To be honest, I had children because I was female, 33 and thought I should. It was the only time I could have them without it becoming ‘too late’. I am now 44 years of age and still up through the nights with an unsettled baby who rarely eats and sleeps. I am sleep deprived and have developed a caffeine addiction. Not only do I have three other children to care for in this state, I also have a non empathetic partner who throws everything in the ‘too hard’ basket and leaves all the hard work up to me. Would it be fair to say that I have in fact 5 children?

My social life has gone to shit, I used to enjoy dancing, drinking and have deep and meaningful conversations at 2am about ‘life’ but now I am up consoling a baby that needs a top up feed or a burp. Weekends were times to relax and unwind after a busy week working; exploring markets, shopping or going away exploring. Now they are filled with catching up on washing, cleaning up bedrooms, throwing out food that hasn't been eaten or entertaining the children for the day and then being told ‘you’re the worst mum in the world’!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and do enjoy the fun things that we do which include; baking, picnics in nature, walking the beach tracks, bike riding, playing cards and board games, going away to cabins for holidays and weekends and cuddling. Its just that it seems to be more hard work than reward. Am I asking too much in relation to reward? Am I seeing parenting as being a job rather than a privilege? Am I being selfish and negative having these thoughts about my parenting experience?

I also wonder if my struggle is related to a lack of family support? Where are the mothers, sisters and aunties that are around for other families that I see? Why isn't grandma here? Well grandma is 80 and enjoying retirement on the Gold Coast. She has no patience or tolerance for children and they are scared of her. It seems other family members like to spend ‘good family times’ with you but not be around to ‘help’ out. I mean really who would like to look after other peoples children for ‘free’ when they are enjoying their life without children??!! Does that mean when I become a grandparent I will hang around to help out my children or will I take off in my Winnebago and travel around Australia reliving my ‘freedom days’?! Who knows?

Ooops better go! It’s time to get the kids and start cooking dinner! Maybe tonight the baby will sleep through so I can get some rest and function better tomorrow!

p.s. I really do love being a mum! x