Today, I read about Labor MP Kate Ellis deciding to leave politics in favour of spending time with her little boy. She said, “I didn’t know that I was going to have the most adorable child that has ever been born.” What a legend! We all think it, I realise, what I admire is her saying it. Moreover, I admire her making the move, not because she is a woman, but because she, to quote her again, “doesn’t want to leave him.” For that, I’m giving her a super hero nod. Many of us wish we could do the same and can’t. Personally, I have to admit to loving going to work. I’m not sure I could be a stay-at-home parent, but I tip my hat to everyone who does it and lives to fight another day.
As parents, the super hero moments come in different forms. For me, just putting out a blog takes a super human effort after work sucks every last bit of brain power out of me before I make it home, only to be confronted with ongoing negotiations regarding dinner and baths and toileting, while attempting to fold washing and dry dishes in the hope that hubby and I might snatch five minutes together on the couch before we collapse in an exhausted heap – seriously, how do people manage to make second babies?
This week, I had the highlight of two super hero moments. Maybe this is a bit of a brag. It’s also an acknowledgement that sometimes we need to celebrate the small wins, because they can feel like a big deal. Parenting isn’t easy. So, here we go.
Super hero feat number one: Dinner on the table on a Tuesday night
Why is Tuesday any different to another day? Well, Tuesday is a childcare day. Childcare days usually involve a quick dinner from our pile of pre-cooked freezer meals for missy, and a very late dinner for hubby and I. We like to eat dinner as a family, but weekdays are tough, with both of us working, and missy often not getting home until 6.15 on childcare days. This week, hubby was on the Tuesday shift. My super hero effort was riding my bike home, getting in the door at 5.30pm, having enough time to cook a meal for the family and have it on the table by the time they got home (I also managed to water the garden and put a load of washing on, but that really is just bragging). Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing fancy. Sausages and mash if you must know! But sitting outside with my two favourite people and sharing a meal that we wouldn’t ordinarily get to share during the week made me feel like a culinary master!
Super hero feat number two: Rescuing bunny
There’s not much to this. I was heading out the door this morning, when I noticed a white, fluffy visitor to the shoe basket. Bunny. But Bunny was supposed to be under missy’s arm, on his way to childcare. “Never fear, Mummy is here!” I said, as I donned my cape (OK, helmet) and road Bunny in my basket to childcare, beating missy there so that Bunny was ready and waiting when she got there. Even hubby couldn’t resist calling me a legend when he realised what I had done – after he had endured a long tram ride with missy screaming for said Bunny. Super. Hero.
Pre-baby, I would have rolled my eyes at this self-congratulation. I would have said, “big deal” to picking up a toy and cooking a meal. Now, I realise that I need to celebrate these moments. We spend so much time berating ourselves: “I shouldn’t have lost my temper; I need to pay more attention to teaching her x, y and z (sometimes quite literally); I should show more patience.” Every now and then I don’t think it hurts to acknowledge all the super hero things we do on a daily basis. So, to all my fellow super heroes out there, I salute you. You are all amazing! I don’t think it hurts to celebrate that every once in a while.
Next: Today’s parenting fail