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So Far, There’s Been A Bloody Lip.

I don’t think I quite knew what I was getting into when I agreed to watch my best friend’s two kids (3 ½ and 1 ½) for an entire week. I mean, I’ve nannied. I’ve babysat. I’ve spent time with her kids, but man oh man, is living the life, day in and day out quite different. So far, there’s been a bloody lip and a couple tumbles. (Mom already knows…don’t worry. Teeth are still intact and all limbs are still there, as of 9:00 pm last night) I’m sure that most parents have an adjustment period. A freak out time for awhile where it’s all new and challenging, but here I am, at the bottom of day four, feeling depleted. Exhausted. Frustrated. Trying to juggle my business, my life, my dog, and the needs of the kiddos, and it has proved a bit more challenging than I expected.

And I just want to say, to all the moms and dads out there…THANK YOU. I knew how much work you did, theoretically, but I’ve tasted it first hand now. You all are loving, giving, compassionate beings. To raise, even half-way decent humans takes A LOT of time and care and hard work. I’m grateful to you. To MY mom. To ALL moms and dads.

And of course, this got me thinking about love. About how much the heart is able to grow and stretch. How fully and all encompassing love can be on so many levels. As cereal is being thrown on the floor and tantrums being had and not-going-to-bed happening, LOVE is still there. And then while all this is happening, and the dog needs to go out and my family is expecting an email, and my email inbox is overflowing, and plans are needing to be re-arranged. There is still LOVE. It might be wearing a “frustration suit,” but it’s still love.

It’s complicated. As I was thinking about it. Because a lot of times, I haven’t been enjoying myself, to be honest. And I just sit here and wonder how parents do it. How you make us feel so loved and warm and secure, while at the same time being tired and hungry and frustrated and up to your eyeballs in dishes and laundry. That must be a whole other level of love.

And I’m grateful for it. For you.

For all the moms out there, or anyone who resonates with this, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How DO you continue to love even when you don’t feel like it? What does this kind of love feel like to you? What makes it all worth it? Leave a comment below and share whatever pops in your mind about this.

And if you like what you read here, make sure you get on my mailing list so I can tell you when new stuff is happening. And if you really REALLY like what you read here, sign up for a free coaching consultation.

Much Love.
Xo, S

20 Responses to So Far, There’s Been A Bloody Lip.

  1. Lynn says:

    It’s true, a lot about the actual daily parenting stuff is really no fun. It’s hard. I have 2 kids and love them to bits but taking care of 2 other human beings’ needs and taking on their emotions is f’n hard.
    The flip side is that getting to know these 2 young people and seeing them figure things out for themselves is phenomenal.
    My heart bursts with love and I am privileged to be a vital part of that ‘coming into themselves’.
    It’s hard to put into words and I don’t think I’ve done a great job here. You say it well, no matter what is happening “LOVE is there”.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Lynn…thank you so much for sharing. I love the imagery of the heart bursting. Like it’s so full of love that there is nothing left to do. Thank you for commenting. :)

  2. So wait a second…is the bloody lip and tumbles YOURS or THEIRS???

  3. Wow you are brave! I think all mothers somewhere along the line pick up world class Fortune 500 organisation skills. Or they outsource, lol. Either way I think it should be mandatory for all ‘parents to be’ to do what you did. Maybe that way when or if they do decide to have their own children its not as much of a shock…

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey John! Thanks. Yeah I think maybe I might have made another choice had I known. Hahha. Nah but I love my best friend and am having to have given her the opportunity for a vacation. But YES! I think a mandatory prep course in parenting would be awesome. I mean it take us about a year of classes and practice driving in order to get a drivers license, but any old person can have kids. Seems silly. (I feel a sci-fi movie plot coming on). :) Thanks so much for writing in.

      • When I was 7 I read about the people from Atlantis. Apparently before they had kids they needed to come before a council and show they were emotionally, finacially, physically, mentally, etc ready to support them. The council would make a decision based on their case. As a child who grew up in an abusive home that really resonated with me and it’s stuck with me as I grew up. Though there may not be a council like this in existence I consider myself my own council. And according to this council I’ve still got a few years left!

        • Sallyhope says:

          OH MY GOODNESS!! YESSSS! That is the best idea ever. I mean seriously…it takes training for us to do anything else in our lives, except one of the most important things we could ever do. I’m down for a council. And seriously girl…I’ve got some years left too. Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Helen says:

    You’re a brave and generous friend! The good news about most babies is that they usually nap a lot in the beginning. That gives us parents a chance to build up our stamina! By the time we’re knee deep in diapers, Tonka trucks, and catching them smoking behind the garage, we don’t even know what hit us!

    A friend of mine once said, “Each child needs 7 adults, so when they wear one out, there’s always a fresh one nearby.” I think she’s brilliant. As a single mom, there are times when I could really use another adult to stand in for me. And, as a divorced single mom with the kid’s dad relatively nearby, I’m grateful every time they go to his house so I can regroup… even at ages 17 and 20! If you ever have kids of your own, be sure to line up another 6 adults for back-up as soon as you know parenting is imminent! This, along with the ‘how to primer class’ you suggest, should both be mandatory :)

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hi Helen. :) I TOTALLY agree about the 7 adults thing. Wouldn’t it be amazing if our society was built that way? I mean, anthropologically speaking it WAS that way. A village raised a family. And then in the 60’s and 70’s there were communes. I mean, I’m pretty sure that in the grand design, parents weren’t supposed to both be working 40 plus hours a week and then having the other full time job of raising the family, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and making sure their kids are decent little humans, all the while TRYING to have some kind of fulfillment and satisfaction in their own personal lives. Faulty system.

  5. Kimberley says:

    I am constantly in awe of what parents do and simply can’t imagine doing it myself. I loved working with children as a nanny but 3 hours in the afternoon was about my limit. There’s a lot of responsibility when looking after children and parents must constantly be over-thinking all their actions and word choice. I’m exhausted just thinking about it – serious appreciation to the parents out there kicking ass!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Kimberley…seriously!! I’ve nannied for three different families and it was the same thing! Awesome for awhile and then you get to go home. Living it is SO different. Three cheers to the parents…eh?? :)

  6. Caitlin Gardan says:

    Hi Sally! Great blog post today and couldn’t be more timely for me. I had to have a cmpassionate giggle when I read about cereral on the floor, I get it! I just did what you did, only ad one more kid to the mix and times it by three more weeks! Just nannied my brother’s 2, 4 and 7 year olds while their Mum was away for a month and wow! I am totally exhausted. But I want to say THANK YOU for this post because I was at times feel ing guilty and frustrated about the situation, beating myself up for getting pissed off at them or not totally loving the whole experience. I was expecting it to be a challenge but not totally, in over my head, full on HARD WORK!
    The first thing I thought of in the first few days was KUDOS to all those parents out there, especially the sinlgle ones. I asked my brother to get another nanny in after that first week but she wasn’t available and I knew at that time, this was to be my job and a challenge sent in from the universe so I committed and just said, bring it on! But I did ask for a lot of angelic assistance!
    I just did a Yoga Teacher Training a couple of months ago, 12 hr days, 6 days a week and was thinking how easy it was in comparison! And yet, inside this circus of kids, clothes, food on floor, tantrums, toys being flown around, there is this deeeply rewarding part to it all. I wasn’t really sure how to describe it to others but you nailed it in saying, its a whole other level of love that is tricky to descibe…the love that makes parents say, it’s HARD work but SO worth it. Now, a few days after the month tied up, I am left with little flashes of the super cute moments, the funny times, some of the things the kids said or the cuddles and the love. I miss that 2 year old’s determination and insistence to do things her own way, giggling to myself today about her simply saying, ‘Don’t want to’, when she didn’t want to do anything. Imagine doing that in adult life, so clearly and bodly…’Don’t want to’, no umming and ahhing or ‘sorry’ or ”maybe’ or pros and cons lists…she really makes things kinda simple…for herself anyway. I love those kids dearly but just want say how relieved I felt, reading your story, knowing my situation was a universal one and I was not alone in feeling overwhelmed or stressed in the realm of parethood. And to give myself a good few pats or a big fat rub on the back for making it through the month and surviving, in tact!
    P.S. I have been listening to the calls for the Love series with a 2 year old in the background and me praying to Archangels that she won’t be disruptive! And she was an angel herslelf.
    xxx C

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oh girl…thank you so much for sharing this and oh my gosh!! THREE!? For a MONTH!?!?! Damn. You’re a real nice sister. Yeah it’s much harder than we all think. And it’s hard to not beat ourselves up because society values compassion and children and patience and kindness when all I wanted to do sometimes was curse and scream. It’s tough. And parents do it all the time and make it look so easy. But we know it’s not. And I LOVE that perspective of being a child in adult life. The simplicities of our desires and needs. Very interesting. And yes…today is my last day here and already last night I was thinking how sweet the little girl’s giggle is and how lovely the little boy’s smile is. Oh life. The ups and downs. Thank you so much for writing in.

  7. Andreea says:

    What a great post! I just read this right before starting some work for the night after the kids (all three) are finally in bed! Was planning on them being in bed and STAYING in bed at 7, but at 9:10 they finally fell asleep and I am now able to do a bit of work. I’ve learned to be ok with being in the moment and not think too much about my to do list, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking and the business I have to run. I’ve learned to let all of that go and just be in the moment (and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t). A vacation away from the kids for a week sounds awesome! Will you come to my house and babysit now that you have some experience? I have 1, 3 and 5 yr olds :)

  8. Mariah says:

    This made me giggle. I have two boys age 5 and 8. My husband has been away for three months and I have been single parenting. My oldest is super challenging, we call them sprited children in mothering land. Every day they challenge the hell out of me, push me and stretch my limits. Sometimes I want to lock them away and I have certainly threatened boarding school. However, when the day is done, everything I do is for them. Every breath I take is for them. Even when I am with my girls getting some much needed me time, that is for them, so I can be a better mom a more loving woman. The love I feel for them goes so deep. Deeper than anything I have ever experienced before. Even when I am ready to scream, my youngest is there to say, ‘mom, you’re cute. I love you.’
    So yes, they are awful and they can be monsters and sometimes down right embarrassing but I roll with it, and sometimes I shout too I’m only human! But all in all I love my children fiercely!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Mariah…hahha your comment reminds me of something my mom has always told me. Something like before she had me and my sister, she always thought that kids were annoying, manipulative little monsters. And then when you have your own, you just love in such a way you never knew possible. All moms say this. And it must just be one of those things you have to experience to understand. I have it a little bit with my dog. before him I thought dogs were annoying, slobbering, monsters. And now, the love I feel for him is so great, and how my heart has expanded with him in my life is pretty incredible. Three cheers to all you moms out there. Thank you for all you do.

  9. Lisa Berg says:

    The scam is the adjustment period. You’re just so happy having survived labor and delivery – to have a cute little wrinkled up thing that produces awe – and then you’re too exhausted to know any better!!! Those who adopt have only seen pictures and still think they’re cute but the little hooligans know how to fool us all! Except aunties and grandparents who promptly deliver them back to their parents. Don’t be fooled children are mischievous and brilliant. Parents and caregivers don’t stand a chance. thanks for the great blog! MAM BAM!!!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oh girl…you KNOW I was thinking about you during this. And I had some new ideas for MAM. :) Call me soon. Love you.

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