Parenthood is such an interesting contrast.
There are beautiful moments which make you go “aww” and think about making another one. And then, there are times when you look at your co-parent and go, WHAT WAS I SAYING ABOUT A SECOND CHILD OH MY GOD AM COMPLETELY NUTS.
See, the little man turns 19 months in a couple of days. He is no longer a baby but a full-fledged toddler.
No, strike that. He is a full-fledged toddler with a (stubborn) mind of his own. When he tells you “no”, he means NONONONONO, even if the rejection was said in that utterly sweet and lovable baby voice of his. And that can be extremely frustrating when this is with regards to dinner, bath, diaper change and that electrical outlet teeming with plugs in that little corner between the bed and the bedside table that he somehow enjoys wriggling into. (Woah, that was a mouthful of words.)
Coupled with the crazy lack of sleep (up every hour last night, mmmkay), it means that mama here can lose her plot very quickly.
And then I wonder, can I handle two? Worse, what if number two is just as stubborn (and sleeps like crap) like older brother here?
But when I saw this video for the first time during a little session among other parents (many of whom had 3!! kids), it reminded me that all the hardship we had gone through was more than worth it.
We didn’t want to have kids because we craved the insurance of a child looking after us when we are old. We didn’t have kids because my mother-in-law insisted. We didn’t have kids so that we can have six extra days of childcare leave.
We wanted to have kids because we just wanted to. I had a hunch that it would be rewarding, enriching and crazy amazing.
And I was right.
Having gone through two years of fertility treatments, dashed hopes and broken hearts, I daresay that the journey is worth it. Every tear that fell, every injection that pierced through my skin, every drop of blood that I had shed – everything is worth it.
And because of what I have gone through, I see parenthood as a privilege. Witnessing the growth of my baby, seeing him do and say things that he could not previously, being the recipient of his love, hugs and slobbery kisses: all these make for a most beautiful and immensely humbling experience.
Yes, there are hard times. When I am pseudo-solo parenting because the husband is working late (again) and the kid is being difficult. When husband snores contentedly next to me while I am up for the nth time, placating a crying baby (may or may not have contemplated stabbing said husband with a blunt butter knife – not premeditated at all). When I have to drag myself out of the bed to send the kid to my mother’s and still get to work by 830am. When I am sick as a dog and there is a baby waiting to be picked up, fed, changed and put to bed.
The tough times are tough, no shit. Wine and chocolates have been consumed copiously during these times.
BUT – and this is the biggest BUT you will ever get from skinny bones here – it’s all worth it. When he says “MAMA”. When he runs to me for reassurance. When he signs love after I tell him that I love him. When he shouts “OH OH OH TWAIN! WOW TWAIN! BYE BYE TWAIN!” from the backseat. When he leans into me – and ONLY me – for a hug.
So yes, the moments of “thou shalt remain an only child” pop up regularly. VERY regularly. But at the end of the day, we are very glad that he is here with us.
I’m not being paid to say this, but I am doing this because I believe in it. Check out the HeyBaby Singapore Facebook page, which has been set up to facilitate conversations about parenting.