Leader of the pack to seven children, one man child husband, two dogs, four cats and two birds.
Creator of The Reverse Housewife www.facebook.com/TheReverseHousewife/ .
Writer at WeekendNotes.
We all begin our parenting journey with the high hope that we will nail it first go.
Meal preps are written up for the first year of your baby’s life before they have even made their appearance; their clothing is washed and sorted by size, season and patterns; you have every book by every parenting expert on your shelf ordered alphabetically, because you fear the day someone walks in and tries to tell you how unprepared for parenthood you are; and you have your local Mothers Group on speed dial because the second that baby is born you get to be part of the in-group.
Parenthood, despite what some would have you believe, is not easy.
You can’t ever prepare for the number of projectile vomits, snotty noses or mushed up and spat out food piles you will spend your time cleaning up. The clothes that you so lovingly washed, folded and sorted are suddenly found crumpled in the wash basket because even though you did wash them, folding them seems like a military exercise you just aren't fit enough to take part in.
It is at this point, you suddenly find your local Mothers Group your life saver and sanity preserver.
Since the beginning of time when women huddled in the corner of caves around a fire muttering about secret ways to sneak extra vegetables into their little ones mammoth stew, the local Mothers Group has been a rite of passage for every new parent.
Today mothers have progressed from caves to lounge rooms and play centres. The conversation though has stood the test of time and women still ask the million dollar question, “How do I sneak more vegetables into my child’s meals?”.
Weekly or fortnightly get-togethers become a welcome relief where you no longer have to ask questions that begin with “Who’s got a stinky bum?” , at least not for a few hours.
The excitement of seeing a grown up is only doubled when you discover that you are not the only sleep deprived parent who put the milk in the washing machine and has a special shirt just for wearing at baby meal times (because let’s face the reality of the situation, it is better to have one shirt stained with carrot than all of them) and it suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad Mummy moment that you let your child eat chocolate custard for breakfast last week because the lady across the room from you did the same thing twice in that same week.
Watching your baby grow is exciting and heart breaking at the same time. The day you bring your child into the world they are squishy and dependent on you for every little thing they need and by the end of the week they are independent, moving out and forgetting to kiss you goodbye. Okay, the transition isn’t that quick but it feels like it. Your conversations turn from “I can’t wait until...” to “Please just slow down a little” and your group gatherings become a meeting of joyfully, sad reminders.
Then one day you suddenly stop and look back at the time that has passed. You recall the poo talk conversations, the sneaky vegetable recipes, the number of times you cried onto someone’s shoulder because you forgot to bath your child or sent them to bed with a beef and vegetable purée covered jumpsuit and you realise that your days at a Mothers Group have long passed.
There is always a little sadness at the thought of never experiencing that first Mothers Group jitters or the first day 'do I, don’t I?' as you drive yourself to meet a room of strangers. The moment passes quickly as a smile plays at your lips and you realise you no longer need the Mothers Group because each of those women became a friend and friends don’t need a reason to come together.