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My Three Ringed Circus - a Whinge about Motherhood and Life

By Rebecca Robinson - 12th July 2011

I'm at home with a three year old and 11 month old twins.

Whilst the dark side of the last year is of course important to acknowledge, it doesn’t make entertaining reading.  So acknowledge it I will; yes, the last year has brought me to my knees in a way I never thought possible.  It has strained my relationship in a way I never thought possible.  It broke my heart into a million un-fixable pieces watching my little boy stare as we held the offending sisters in our arms - confused, hurt and utterly betrayed by not only one parent but two.  There were not enough arms to go around. But heal we have, and I have learnt a few lessons.  

I have let go of clean clothes, hair appointments and some areas of well, okay, hygiene, and no one has died or caught anything too gross.  This is my new standard and a mantra I mutter to myself as I divert my eyes from whatever is mushed into the carpet:  "Gross I can live with - too gross warrants action."

I drink coffee.  I suggest you find a vice.  Something that you can look forward too.  I look forward to my cup of coffee.  I create ceremony around it – I walk the pram to get it, I load up the car with children and prams to get it and I text message whoever might be on their way to collect one for me.  Somehow a take-away coffee feels special.  As I wrap my fingers around the paper cup, it's like I still get to partake in this one small part of the outside world before the lockdown of naps and meals take over.

When I have all three kids, all day, it's five naps, nine meals, and endless snacks and bottles.  And all of this has to fit around the clock, each other and my own physical limitations.  I just can’t be in two places at once.  Trust me.  I’ve tried.  Sometimes tiredness plays tricks on me and I pretend I’m Samantha from Bewitched.  I wiggle my nose – no hands.  I don’t know what’s worse: the fact I’m wasting my time wiggling my nose or that there's a small part of me actually believing, hoping, it just might work.  

Motherhood is exhausting.  Three is a joke.  I lie in the middle of loving and hating the job.  One moment I’m smiling as I muse how good I am at it, only to feel like a complete failure the next, as all three kids wake early from naps – each creating a cascading effect of overtiredness and an afternoon of torturing grizzling.  I hold back tears, nearly choking, as there is no time for them.  

Twins are hard work.  There is a never-ending list of completely boring, tiring, mind numbing tasks that have to be done.  I am lazy by nature.  I like to mooch.  With a coffee.  There is no mooching with twins.  Even with all the help I get with my kids I still find the moments of mooch-ability incredibly hard to find and take advantage of.  

Tiredness has had me burning pots until they are only cleanable by my German nanny who has some secret recipe for removing such things, and is the only one in the house who has the inclination to get the stuff off in the first place.  I vacuum and then the girls grizzle so I give them a rusk – and so the cleaning cycle completes itself.  Unless I give my three year old the vacuum for the day, it's impossible to stand in my home and think "wow – nice and clean".  It is a perpetual mess.  I feel crumbs and those bloody mum-mum rusks between my toes when I crawl into bed. Shower? As I explained, gross, but not too gross. No action required.

The day does end, as promised.  I embrace the horizontal position (never think, wish or say the word 'sleep'; they know, and will then ruin it for you). My nerves slow down as the coffee runs out and I think to myself - as soon as these kids can cook, clean and take themselves for a walk, I don’t think I will get out of bed for a very long time.  I mean a really long time.  A really, really, really, long time…

Image freedigitalphotos.net Dino de Luca

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