Mothering three boys is a wild ride of everything, every sense is attacked, smothered and then heightened from all sides, at all times. Clearly no one tells you how your boy mother journey will be or how the adventure unfolds. The beauty of the boy is comparable to a shooting star, spiraling out of control, poised to collide with a planet and be obliterated or avoid it and soar on wards, faster and brighter than it was before. You just know you can never catch it or quash its fire, but merely watch, hope and guide it on to a path of happiness and success.
My boys are young, my boys are complicated, they are so very different, but all willful, amazingly energetic and all have the selfish opinions of the young. Currently coming in at 8, 5 and 2 years old, I am still neck deep in bodily fluids, tantrums and copious amounts of dirt. To them I am mere maker of snacks, a huge hug and a crash test dummy that all their anger and frustrations can be hurled at. I am exhausted and elated everyday by these three amigos. Together they fight hard, play hard and love hard, all in very equal measures.
So it comes to no surprise that when, as a parent I have to provide guidelines, boundaries and limit the play they have due to bed time, food and homework, I very often become the target of all their anger and frustrations. I get screamed at, shouted at, I have been hit, bit and kicked. I have been told I am hated and wished I was not here and I that “I am the worst mummy ever”. Note, that this can occur not just once, but multiple times a day, as their young vulnerable bodies and minds figure out what the hell they are feeling and experiencing, hence I am their emotional punch bag of everything and referee of sibling jealously and punch ups.
My wildly individual, rule ignorer/breaker eldest is a huge ball of no emotion vs wild emotion, we have no middle ground. My sweet, kind 5 yr old, is also a raging maniac of aggression and eye rolling when he doesn’t get his way or gets broccoli for dinner. Then there is our fire cracker, I will never walk toddler, who thinks he can keep up with the other two and hence is going in with fists flying, teeth gnashing and will claw his way into the sibling mix. Our house is a cacophony of ball bouncing, fart noises, wild laughter and name calling.
Hence at the end of each day and each emotional episode I am spent, with each scream and hateful word thrown at me, I feel a little smaller, a little less sure of the correct path I must take with them. I understand they are children and I respond with a soft voice if I can, as I fight the rising panic inside, pushing me to run from the attack, “but mummy always loves you, but she does not like what you are doing right now’. I will then ask them to calm down in their room until they are ready to talk. At that point I turn away and walk to my room, desperately fighting the suffocating pain and tears poised to overwhelm me. I quietly shut my door to the wails of anger, curl into a ball and secretly weep.