***disclaimer – I originally wrote this post 18 months or so ago when I first thought about writing a blog. For whatever reason I didn’t hit publish and have only started the blog up now. But I felt I owed it to the me 18 months ago to stick this up***
It was approximately 3am this morning the thought occurred to me that my children own me.
I have a 3.5 yr old boy and an almost 2 yr old girl, so I probably should have come to this conclusion much, much sooner, but the epiphany came when, at 3am, I had been lying in the dark, twitching with every noise I could hear for fear that one of them was up (again) with the nasty coughs they’ve both been suffering with this week. I couldn’t sleep. Not because they were awake, but because they MIGHT wake up, at some point. Any mother will recognise this, the tremor of fear which pulsates through your heart and into your stomach as soon as you hear your child. We’ve experienced it since we brought them home from the hospital. What I hadn’t realised was that it would continue past infancy.
My children own my sleep. They dictate when I wake up (early), they therefore dictate when I go to bed (early). They also dictate whether I get up in the night to tend to whatever pressing need they have at 2am (misplaced toy, cough, water – that was just last night). I have no control over my sleep.
My children own my days. I don’t ‘choose’ when I have my lunch, it isn’t when I’m hungry. It’s at midday, when they have been so ‘routined’ by me, they get fed.. You see it at all parks, groups or any other place mums and kids migrate to. Midday chimes, and the lunchboxes come out.
My children own my clothes. I have never got to the end of a day since the birth of my first born, that I haven’t had to put my top in the wash. Snot on my shoulder is a regular one, or sick, or food.. I have recently taken to wearing leather look leggings, not for any fashion statement, it’s because they wipe clean, which in a day where I’ve already dodged jam, poo and sticky fingers, is a godsend.
My children own my social life. I don’t have one.
My children have total ownership over my privacy. I don’t have any. I’m in the loo, B is sat on a stool with her doll, chatting to me about ‘noo-noos’ whilst D has brought in half a dozen cars for my entertainment. I’m in the shower? I get serenaded by my son. Then, my daughter will ‘help’ me dry.
Perhaps I should start wearing a dog tag ‘If lost, please return to…’