As I switch off my car I can hear two little people roar like lions. I step out of my car and without being able to see them, I yell ‘I’m so scared of lions!” (Secretly I am really a bit scared of little people. But I face this fear every day. I am brave like that). I put my head around the corner and I see 21 stairs leading up to my two lions. They hang onto the safety gate in a way that will make even the most dopamine-deprived person cringe in fear and they give their best roar. This is how I am greeted every day after work. This homecoming is so sweet, so special, that it takes the suck right out of working. In the motherhood there are many things that suck, but at the same time also don’t suck.
It sucks being a working mom, but it doesn’t. I’m a better mom because I am a working mom. I get to hang out with alpha geeks from 8am to 3pm and then I get to spend the rest of my day with a pride of lions.
Suicide hour (referred to as homicide hour by my friend TT) sucks but it does not. At our zoo everything seems to come alive at this hour. The dogs bark, the kids bang their heads (literally) to indicate their desperate need for juice right now, the parents swear. But at the end of it I feel a sense of achievement. I feel as if I have navigated a very steep mountain or have swum through a dangerous river in the Amazon, and I came out ok on the other end.
Having little people come to your bed sucks, but it does not because you get more time to cuddle. In my last days of pregnancy I felt like massive loggerhead turtle who had to drag her body over sand and other objects before I could give birth. Lately I am a loggerhead turtle who lay her eggs on a hill and has to spend all night preventing her babies from rolling off the edge. Yes, my very tiny Queen-size bed does have a bed rail for this very purpose. But little people still somehow get around it. We cuddle. We protect. All night.
Antibiotics suck, but it does not because it is sometimes necessary and it works. Getting your child to actually swallow this bitter, grainy 5ml of yuk is an entirely different story worthy of its own blog post.
Your child being bitten at school sucks, but it does not. I would rather have my child being bitten than for him to be the biter. Wait, what? Did I just say that? To be honest I don’t really know how I feel about this one. Seeing those little teeth marks on your child’s arm makes you want to kick a toddler. But it’s life. It happens. These are the scars of bravery and learning.
Tantrums in Woolworths suck. Tantrums at home, at friends, at the park all suck. But they also don’t. They don’t suck because it is an opportunity to practice your wonderful skills of distraction. It is an opportunity to learn. It is your child expressing themselves. And sometimes it is a little funny. (I had to dig deep to find the bright side to this one).
Many parts of being a parent suck – when your child is sick (hand foot & mouth disease sucks especially hard), it sucks when they get hurt, and it sucks when you cannot help them. Teething sucks for the most part. But 75% of being a parent is awesomeness, a free ride directly into the magic, tiny arms around your neck. Just roar like a lion and embrace the suck.