Well, here it is. My birthday. Today I am sprightly 34 year old woman. I remember thinking as a teenager that anything after 30 sounded so old it was practically decrepit and yet here I am! Another year older, another year, well not not wiser really. I’m not sure this year has made me the smarter, more organised, non-shouty mum I imagined myself being. And yet I feel like this year has been definitely been better than the one before it with far more reasons for gratitude.
I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve managed to hold down my job given the amount of carer’s leave I’ve been forced to take. The balancing act has been stressful and I’ve had to endure some truly moronic comments but Bear is better with a working mum. It wouldn’t work for everyone, but I’m finally accepting that this arrangement is definitely working for us. Having both of us working gives us financial security and watching him blossom and develop thanks to his wonderful teachers has helped me to have at least 5 minutes a day where I don’t feel intense working mother guilt. Which as most mothers would tell you is about as good as it gets!
I’m grateful that Bear has now grown from a baby to a toddler. I wasn’t much chop at newborn mothering but I am rocking this toddler thing. I hated the lack of communication with a newborn. The whole idea of working through a flowchart to figure out what they needed made me anxious. While Bear has begun tantrumming at an international level, he can also tell me whether he needs changing, or his tummy hurts, or if he needs a hug. I’ve been waiting his whole life for that level of communication. Sure he Hulks out when you turn off the Lego Batman trailer but he can tell me the important things. Toddlermumhood is definitely my jam.
While this year has brought the rage, it’s also brought love. Toddlers also have this amazing ability to love unreservedly in a way that can’t fail but to make you feel like the most important person in the room. They demand cuddles, give kisses and tickle you with such glee that it’s hard to ever feel unloved with one around. Bear has always been an affectionate little soul but toddlerhood has turned him into this gorgeously demonstrative little person who manages to tell everyone around him just how he feels. I hope he stays this way forever (though I know we all lose that as we get older).
I’m grateful for my mother’s group. I don’t get to spend as much time with you all as I would like, but the way you continually still try to include me in everything is incredibly lovely. I was blessed that Queensland Health saw fit to place us all together on this crazy journey called motherhood and I could not have done this year without your support (albeit on Facebook).
Most of all I am grateful for my long suffering husband, who has stood by me through endometriosis and EEGs and anaemia. You never forget to comb Bear’s hair and always remember his comfort apple in the mornings. You cope with the evening arsenic hour every day while I am commuting home, which I would challenge anyone else to do with your patience. M is my editorial soundboard, my proof reader and my best friend. There is absolutely no way I would have come through this year unscathed except for you. I couldn’t be the person I am or do the things I do without you being the hand in the small of my back, gently pushing me forward. You inspire me. Constantly. Always.
My birthday wish is for me to have more patience. Not every day patience like snapping at my son for taking seven hours to put his toys away (although I need that too). I have a tendency to run before I walk, or worry about things that are very unlikely to actually occur. Like my husband dying in a car accident. Or my son being one of those kids on the news that’s done something awful. So as a 34 year old I want to be peaceful. I want to be in the moment more than I was at 33.