Lately, I have been seen ‘perfect’ parenting splashed all over social media. Pictures of kids dressed in beautiful outfits, posing with huge smiles, tweets about how amazing their children are, how much parents have sobbed over the thought of them going to school, all the fun things they do together on a daily basis.
It seems like it’s just me, sat here, crying my eyes out in frustration almost daily. Pleading with my children for just one minute of peace, a moment where they aren’t screaming at each other or me, slapping, fighting, shoving. Traipsing up and down the stairs several times a night, arguing over which car seat they’re going to sit in, forcing them to put clothes or shoes on and keep them on. Picking up sweetcorn happily thrown across the carpet, mopping up spilt diffuser oil from my newly cleaned sofa or cleaning up daddy’s hair gel they’ve smeared all over their heads. And the list goes on. And on.
Sometimes, quite often, even regularly, it is just all too damn much. I just want a time out, a pause button. Not to pause those beautiful memories with my precious offspring, to freeze their antics so I can finish a brew. Or that TV show. Or get dressed.
Things were supposed to get easier, they said. After six months, no make that one year, no wait two years. But three years on and that eighteen months age gap is proving challenge after challenge, most of which I seem to fail.
Yes the kids are flourishing, yes they are happy, well fed and of course loved. But damn it if I don’t feel like a failure so often. I’ll pose those perfect photos, instagramming the hell out of them. I’ll blog those sickly sweet letters to my babies who I adore so much. I’ll shed a little tear as my big girl starts school. But I know in the back of my head there’s the big looming of question of, have I got it all wrong? Am I really cut out to be a parent? Will I make it through the other side?
By god, I hope so. But on days like these, I just don’t know.