What happens when parents drop a ball?

4 Feb

Each day my alarm goes off  at 6am. I hit snooze but I don’t fall back asleep. Those fifteen minutes are spent organising my day. I used to work in radio so my life has a soundtrack and circus music is what I hear during this time. Or that music at the end of Benny Hill. It’s the music of the insanely busy, it’s the music of fun and chaos. The music sounds funny but it’s ominous. What if today is the day that I drop a ball?

Mothers are skilled jugglers. Our brains are designed to allow us to multitask successfully. The male brain is larger than the brain of a woman but the connective tissue between the two sides is larger in a woman. That’s why we can do several things at once. Based on these findings it has been suggested that female children can do a good job of their homework in front of the TV where as male children benefit from silence and space in which to focus and concentrate. I totally agree with this. I do my best work in front of the TV.

School has only been back for one week and I feel like I have been sucked up in a tornado and spat out the other side. And I have help in the form of my amazing older sister. She and I joke that together we make up one complete, functioning person. Our husbands work very long hours and when mine is home it’s like he’s in some sort of stupor. He helps every now and then but without consistency. So out of necessity we have created a schedule that balances perfectly where we share child care, activities, shopping for supplies…we remind each other about mufti days and cake stalls and between us we get everything done and manage to work a little too.

We’ve had slip ups. I crashed her car with our children in it driving back in torrential rain from my son’s birthday party. She and her husband were so calm and forgiving. She started backing out of the driveway once before my son had a chance to climb into her car. I yelled, she braked and we were both left laughing because trying to get my son to climb in the car before starting a conversation with his cousins via the open window is always a challenge. I once forgot my son in my car at her house. We do this thing where we count our kids quickly and often to make sure they are all accounted for. I did the count as we started making coffee and realised what I had done. He’d only been in the car for two minutes but I felt dreadful. My daughter managed to wrap herself up is a tube in the backyard around her neck and I found her when I arrived to pick the kids up. Each day after they are in bed I am surprised and relieved they are all happy, safe and in one piece.

My sister and I have become really good at moving forward when it comes to the kids. Some days we yell, some days were are disorganised, some days we buy fast food for dinner and some days we feel resentful. These are our feelings, they are normal and they are fleeting because we mostly feel so blessed and lucky to have our families and each other. I love how close I am to my niece and nephews. I love how I go to work knowing my children are with her and are being cared for just as good if not better than they would be with me. I would give up everything for my children and my niece and nephews but thanks to my sister I don’t have to. She is the reason all my balls are still in the air and I hope I help her with hers.

Motherhood is a juggling act. I always thought my husband would be standing next to me catching the balls I dropped but he is one of the balls I am juggling, and the person catching the balls I drop is my sister.

Oh my gosh I feel like crying. This blog was meant to be a witty insight into the chaos of motherhood and has turned into an ode to my sister. I have two sisters and my other sister is about to have her first baby. I look at her and I am so happy for her but so relieved it’s not me. It was so hard in the beginning. Motherhood is now a well-oiled machine for me. It will be for her eventually and luckily we can help her figure it out…if she wants us to. The best advice I have for her eight years after becoming a mother is…may the force be with you!

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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