Here’s the thing. My life, overall, is way better with kids than it used to be without them. Not easier. Not more relaxing. Certainly not more carefree. But better nonetheless. And this is not some attack on women with no children or proclamation that motherhood in general rocks. This is simply me saying that my life as a mum rocks. I mean, sure, I’m only human, so there are bits of my pre-kids life that I used to enjoy and may not be able to enjoy nowadays (see below). But I am not quite sure that I actually miss many of them. Brainwashed by motherhood? Hm, maybe. But brainwashed or not, I love being a mum. More than anything in this world.
Few months ago, one of my friends said something interesting: ‘I am not ready for kids. I just don’t wanna stop having fun.’ There were few of us around the table, of which couple of us already had kids (I was also heavily pregnant with Ben). So at that moment, two things came to mind. 1. Wrong audience. 2. Define ‘fun’.
Look, I am not the person to judge people based on what comes out of their mouths. Truth be told, I myself say some things that are downright ridiculous. And as much as I try not to, I can generalize with the best of them. So at that very moment, went in one ear and out the other. But driving home, those words did echo in my head and I wondered if there was any truth in them. I had an almost 5 year old and another baby on the way, my life was about to change drastically once again, and for a few years now word ‘mum’ was used to describe me more than any other. And I was happy. Like truly happy. But was I having fun? So in those 10 minutes that it took me to get home, I ended up overanalysing my motherhood life and answering the dreaded question.
Pre kids. Going out. Staying up late. Sleeping in. Being spontaneous. Living in the moment. Having the sole ownership of one of the TVs. Or my phone. Or my life for that matter. I had fun. Andrew and I had fun. Traveling. Daydreaming. Pure freedom.
Post kids. Taking Ryan to the movies and watching him watch the movie cause I don’t wanna miss a single reaction. Being awoken at 6am, with him humming some ABC kids show jingle and me begrudgingly getting up to later find myself humming the same song while preparing breakfast. With a smile. Taking a day off from work and telling him there is no daycare that day and instead we are off to the Zoo. Seeing his smile light up his whole face. And my heart. Having to watch the same Thomas the Tank Engine or Dinosaur Train or Octonauts episode for the millionth time. Ryan screeching from happiness ‘watch this mum, watch’ and then watching me watch it so he can see my reaction. And be it the millionth time, I laugh. Genuinely. Chasing him on the beach in Fiji. Riding the San Fran cable car. Queenstown gondola. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree ride at Disneyland. Pure joy.
Telling him he’s going to be a big brother.
So yes, I am having fun as a mum. Rollercoaster, arms up in the air, screaming at the top of my lungs, kinda fun. But I could never explain that fun to my friend from the start of this story. Cause my ‘fun’ changed from hers over the last few years, making it impossible to relate. But making it easy to – whenever the question of fun comes up – just happily shrug.