Updated: Dec 4, 2019
When I daydream about the sweet spot...
Living with three children under 7 years old, most of the time it feels as if I’m trapped in a permanent state of emergency. It’s not a metaphor, physically, I can feel the adrenalin flooding my veins and my senses are in overload.
I’m always on edge because most days, my oldest daughters are trying to kill each other while my baby girl is trying to kill herself. At any given waking moment, at least one is screaming at the top of their lungs. They all talk to me at the same time, pulling my arms in different directions, while I try to juggle the other million things that needed to be done yesterday.
On the days that are really hard, I find myself longing for the future. I’ve heard about the “sweet spot”, that stage between babyhood and teenagehood when being a Mum is much more enjoyable. Your children are still little and adorable but also less demanding and more independent, so you can relax, breathe, even sit down for a cup of tea, perhaps go to the toilet by yourself. All of this before your oldest becomes a pre-teen and things start getting much harder, much scarier, much faster.
I know that having babies and toddlers is a magical moment that cannot be repeated. I try to remind myself that I should enjoy this stage more. But some days are unbearable and I find myself daydreaming about the sweet spot.
What do you think, Therese? Does the sweet spot really exist or is it just a myth?
Be careful what you wish for….
Oh Anna. You had a baby, then another, then another and yes these are BIG moments. HUGE moments. You have your moment while everyone else in the world is having theirs. Yes, when you become pregnant you sort of feel a bit special as though there is a bit of magic in the air...Anna, There’s no such thing as magic or Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.
I grew up believing in the white picket fence, the husband and the kids. Prince Charming, my castle and a whole lot of little princes and princesses, the fairytale. And we all lived happily ever after.
But we know how it really ends. We grow up.
You made perhaps one of the most selfish decisions anyone could possibly make. “I want to bring a child into this world, so I will” and now you have your little princes or princesses and what? It isn't what you imagined… You want even more? This is your happy ever after. The end.
BUT Anna, when you begin to breathe again, if you reflect on the sacrifices instead of counting them, when you stop waiting for the sweet spot…around about when your kids leave home, you won’t be left with an empty nest. You will be …. more selfless, generous, respectful, responsible, empathetic and much more. It’s real, it doesn’t rely on magic, or fantasy but it’s truly wonderful. You become what you have overcome. It stops being about what you want, and starts being about what you can give.
The world needs more of that…
P.S: Hang on a minute, since writing this I have researched. Well, I asked my sister - and apparently, yes the sweet spot DOES exist. Have you heard of planking? Well she describes “carseat planking”. She says that the sweet spot is the moment between when you no longer have to bend or fold your rigid, battling children into their carseats and just before any of them begin to learn to drive. She says if you have your children close together, or fewer of them, the sweet spot lasts longer.
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Therese is from a large family with three children of her own. Mr 26, Miss 24 and Master 15. As an educator with many years of experience, she has collected plenty of stories, she uses these and family tales to inform her teaching practice.