Parenthood, another term for ‘losing all control of your life’. Every parent scrambles to find at least some resemblance of a routine or order in their new lives, but just when they think they’ve got it: it changes again. We go from being trapped at home with nappies, feeding and power naps to being able to plan social outings with the other parents in the hood. Just as we get comfy in our new active wear, a funky reusable coffee mug and the hottest pram in the blogosphere…BAM! Back to work, childcare, packing, unpacking, rushing from work to avoid being ‘that parent’ who leaves their kid past the closing time EVERY day. Soon enough, the kids become settled in their new daycare, so we manage to squeeze in an occasional hair appointment or longer lunch at work… even a sneaky day off on our own. Life’s good, busy, but I got this…then..BAM! School starts, OMG, 9 to 3? What? Packed lunches and morning tea? Hats, homework, readers, sports days, special assemblies, discos, camps. We start feeling guilty we’re not a part of it all so we start to mess with our work days, chop and change, work from home, work from the car, work from the toilet, whenever no one’s looking, just so we can be ‘there’ for them… I lost it again. Now we spend more time with our precious little one, but also more time stressing about work we squeeze into half the days and have less time for those brief moments we had on our own. We collapse in bed at 8:30 feeling so chuffed we got the kids into bed on time, but with an empty tank and a head full of things to remember- and I guarantee you, flossing doesn’t even make the list. Dentist appointment? Are you kidding me? I just took the kids last week, ticked that box, that is now the last place I want to go back to. What’s next on that list?
And so it goes, before we know it, we missed out on our appointments, our gym sessions, our date nights… and we can barely recognise the face we see in the mirror. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of beauty in a face that has been ‘made over’ by 5 year old make up artists and kissed and hugged to death by sticky toddler mouths and fingers, there is a lot of beauty in the wrinkles and the grey hair of parents of teenagers who have experienced fear and anger and pride and love and joy… but not everything has to go, you don’t have to make yourself smaller to make more room for them. Your smile is what they love to see when you wake them up, pick them up, wave them goodbye. So, look after it and make sure it stays healthy, bright and wide, you owe it to them and you owe it to you!