The terrible two.
My life is so much improved by having had a child. I am the sort of person that always needed someone else to worry about in order to be content. I wasn't very good at looking after myself for myself. But for him; he's worth it. I have to look after myself now because he needs me. Plus it's just great fun and the overwhelming love is as amazing as you've heard. Now here comes the but...
That doesn't mean that it isn't the most exhausting lifestyle choice you can make.
I hated my job and it caused me endless stress and issues so I am glad to be away from it. I now work in the evenings and at weekends to help pay the bills but I most definitely would not work at all if not entirely necessary. This is because childcare is exhausting.
I guess to some who have not done it that child care may seem like a lovely lifestyle. Coffee mornings and play groups, singing nursery rhymes and doing some housework during nap time. No job-related stress and demands from a boss. Just spending time with your bundle of joy; watching them grow and develop - how exciting! And all those things are great.
The 'but' comes in when you consider this.
Having a child is like having an extra body that you cannot control; another set of arms, legs, another stomach, and another bum to worry about. Even though you are so intimately connected to this little person that you feel they are as important, if not more important than your own body parts, you have no idea what the brain is doing. No idea what this little extension of you wants or needs; most of the time it's just a guess. It get easier. Of course it does. But the seemingly simple task of taking care of children is a minefield of trial and error.
Then there's all the guilt. Such a massive drain in itself. Should I feed him more? Should I feed him real food or jars, because that's all he'll eat? Is he too hot or too cold? Is he comfortable sitting there? Has he just eaten something dangerous? Choking. Falling. Hitting. Grabbing. Cutting. They are a whirlwind of danger to themselves. They are like happy little suicidal drunks. Children can't control their limbs properly but they are determined to use them with gusto. They are attracted to danger over and over and they think being told off is hilarious fun. 'No' 'hot' 'dirty' don't mean a thing to them for quite some time. They cannot walk but are determined to try no matter how many times they fall over and bash their heads.
When they do fall over there is the possibility of crying. Oh the crying. They can go from laughing to crying faster than a drunken single bridesmaid at her best mate's wedding. For the parent of a crying child, it is torture. And they don't just do it when they're in need of something life-sustaining. For quite a while, they do it for EVERYTHING. If they're bored. If they want your crisps. If they want a toy turned on. If they've thrown their own dummy on the floor and they can't sleep without it so you have to go and pick it up for the FIFTIETH time. And every time they are upset you feel that inside, even if you know there's nothing 'wrong' with them. That in itself is so draining you just want to have a nap after a particularly whiny dinner time.
All of these things make them joyous and exhausting in equal measure. I realise that this is nothing new that hasn't been written about before but I just needed to share my version of it. Because even being in a room with my son is exhausting, let alone having to work, clean or cook. And he hasn't even started walking yet. And I have my eyes on 4 kids...
We'll see how crazy two makes me and go from there...
So, in short, children are exhausting because you're so damn fond of them. If you didn't care as much about them they would probably still survive, but you'd be more relaxed. But I wouldn't change it for the world; there would be no point having them if you didn't love them so much you go a little bit insane
. There is some fun involved...