You get through the night feeds and the nappies and the relentless grind. Getting up in the night AGAIN and not even having the energy to feel sorry for yourself. You survive the lines of snot and the tantrums, the far too early mornings and monotony of toys out, tidy away, toys out, tidy away. You rock bath time and story time, because the end, for just a few hours, may possibly be in sight (or not). You might even get a chance to eat dinner with another adult and have a glass of wine to
toast drown the day and to tell each other: we will survive.
You do survive. You are in control. It may not feel that way, but you are controlling your world and that of the little people who live in it. Whilst you spend many days feeling out of control and feeling as if you are hostage to a band of toddlers, ultimately you are the superhero.
I am now an observer. I am detached and no longer have complete control. They have a phone and then a key. They have freedom, to a degree. Their world is no longer my world and I struggle to understand it, or to keep up. Yes, I am now an incredulous voyeur, who is looking at the number of make-up brushes and phone cases that make their way from China, with surprise. They have bank cards and money from their work. Clothes appear in the wash that I have no longer bought. Perhaps, that I don’t like. ‘Like’ becomes a loaded word. ‘Like for a like’, ‘gorge’, ‘stunning’, ‘hotty’, ‘beaut’, ‘get ugly’ on your 12 year old’s Instagram account. I am at an arm’s length in disbelief. At first you are astonished at their selfies. How can they possibly keep it up? It’s relentless. Every time you look at your daughter her phone is out and a Snapchat story is being written. You worry – is there actually enough time in their day for them to get their grades that will lead them to their goals and to their dreams? Do they have sight of goals? Do they dream?
You are a spectator. You are not totally in control. Control is now an art form and you must become a master of negotiation. You can’t slip up or you will now be found out. Gone are the days when you could lie and bribe. You have entered the realms of Secret Service tactics and so have they. It is now a battle of wits, where both sides have the ability to see the bigger picture and to fight for control of their territory and as you don’t fully understand this territory that you are now in, you struggle.
You do survive. Through unconditional love. With tears of laughter and of heartache and with the help of tissues and of hugs. You get through the differences with understanding, communicating and by a bit of letting go. You are an observer. You might even get a chance to eat dinner with another adult and have a glass of wine to
toast drown the day and to tell yourself: I will survive, and you do.