Saturday, 11 June 2011

For better or for worse

I'm still coming to terms with being a mother and a wife - in that order. Sometimes I think I'm really, really bad at both and sometimes I feel like I have it down to a tee. But the the truth is, I do tend to doubt my abilities and live in perpetual guilt. I think if we were all honest, most of us mums would admit to this - bar a few perfecto's out there who were literally born to serve their husbands and offspring and begrudge nothing.
I think upbringing has a lot to do with how we adapt to our roles as mother and wife. Our mothers set the precedent and either we blindly follow their conditioning or one day we wake up and decide to try it our way. My mother wasn't the "tea and cookie" type of mom - if you know what I mean.
And I would actually like to be more of a "tea and cookie" type of mom because I know it brings a certain amount of security to small children, and I have a tendency to be quite boring at times. But I can't seem to keep it up because I also have a burning desire to experience my own life to the fullest, which makes me quite selfish and often very frustrated. Basically I want everything all of the time...!
So you can imagine the push-pull experience I have had raising twins. Twins don't allow you to parent on the side while you get on with your life as before. I see some moms doing this - they seem to carry on with their lives as it was before except now they just fit in a couple extra cooked meals and a vague bedtime routine! Not I.
From the day we brought the girls home I felt like my life made a complete 180 degree turn as they simultaneously created order and chaos and I felt (for the first 2 1/2 years) like I was literally running at full speed to keep up with their incessant demands and streamline 'the routine'. What I think made it such a radical experience for me - the unsuspecting freedom lover - was that I wasn't nicely primed with the civilised arrival of one planned first baby, just to get a taste of mothering before more descended upon me! I truly had not an ounce of an idea of what I was getting into. And I only now, 3 1/2 years later feel like I'm starting to get a handle on it.
Marriage is another subject entirely. Lets just say I am deeply satisfied with my marriage but it is no walk in the park. I regularly need to remind myself that I'm doing alright juggling twins and waves - because whether I choose to accept it or not Charles' will never begin his day, or plan any event great or small, without knowing first when and how he is going to fit in his surf. But if you see this man's performance in the water, all inconveniences caused are forgiven, as he truly is an artist. I just need to get over the fact that being a mother of two automatically cuts into one's own surf time and soon, very soon, we will all be paddling out together!
Having said all the above, for better or for worse I would not trade my children, my husband or my idyllic farmlife for anything else in the world.

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