Shit they don’t tell you in the baby books

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You guys! It’s ALMOST the end of term 1 (well for those of us not in VIC who are already on holidays the lucky buggers!). And if you have had a Kinder start school this term, and if you have had an anxious Kinder kid start you will be feeling a little like we are: emotionally, and physically EXHAUSTED. But we’ve done it! The very hard work that goes into getting a kid into School and doing all the stuff they need to be doing, as well as learning the ropes, navigating school lunch boxes and notes and other Mum’s is done. Next term will be a breeze! Ish. Unless you have a kid like we did with Daisy who completely flaked in term 2 of Kinder because what? Hadn’t she done school? She did a term, she was DONE?! Besides all that, we are done for term 1. Thank GOD.

And well bloody done is what I have to say to you both!

Harper has done SO well at School. I am so completely and entirely proud of all she has achieved I could burst. This kid that sits in bed (her own bed at that!!!) at night and reads to me proper books, writes stuff down, adds things up, sings the National Anthem at assembly SOLO, gets Awards, who is confident and happy. Wow. And Daisy and all she has achieved. She has had a huge term in the “big class (years 3-6) and having no other girls in her year. She has done amazingly well.

I could burst.Β And this morning, I just may have.

You see it was cross country and so I was there to watch the girls race: Harps for her first and Daisy her 4th time running. I watched the 6 year division line up, I watched that nerfous little face look at the line and see NO ONE that she knew. I saw her ready, and then as the minutes past, a little more uncertain, until just before we started that inevitable tremble and run to safety. SHIT. I got her back out there, knew she wanted to run SO much, saw the tears of disappointment once they all ran off without her and told her, “NO, we can do this! If you want to do this, WE WILL DO THIS.” And so I grabbed her hand and off we ran. The two of us. I didn’t care who was watching I didn’t care about anything, only getting her into that race because once she started, we would be OK. We had at least tried. We ran into the forest, by ample breasts and guts jiggling away as I cursed my lack of pelvic floor exercising and the fact I haven’t been running for well over 6 months anyway. I wouldn’t hear her “I will come last!” we were in it, trying, so we went on. She let go and she was off, I watched her run down, occasionally look behind for me, and then she was gone. I cursed the fact that the 6 year division had 2 bloody laps to do and wasn’t going to risk giving up myself knowing that if she looked around and I was gone that she might give up. So on I ran (or Cliffy Young shuffled) taking on the cheers from the parents who were marking the course, I ran down to the finish line as the rest of our tiny School cheered me on and almost collapsed into our school tent as I saw a little red faced Harps proud as punch not even bloody checking in on me…too busy getting a drink and accepting the praise from the other kids that she had finished. She did it. We did it.

Bloody hell.

They don’t tell you about this shit in any parenting books do they? That each kid is SO different. What one finds easy, others will struggle with. They don’t tell you the right way to go about parenting them, that it’s a combination of intuition and sheer determination and just plain love and understanding. Knowing what your kid needs and giving it. Running a bloody cross country course whilst 8 months pregnant just because.

They also don’t tell you that you will look like this after giving birth, or that the screaming kid will somehow turn into this big girl who is strong and fast and confident and happy who will make your heart burst with pride.

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Or that you have to just somehow know when you get asked to do “three braids into one big braid because I have public speaking today and I need it to look fancy” that you just jane to know what that even means and that you sure as shit have to deliver on that because a photo will be demanded for final checks before you leave for school.

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Or that drawers in your kids room will be filled with so much shit, plastic shit, beads, leaves, rocks, so much CRAP THAT YOU CANNOT THROW AWAY.

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That seeing baby clothes drying on a line for the first time will actually make you cry tears of joy and make you take photos of it to keep as a memory forever (this was Daisy’s room over 8 years ago).

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Or that you will stay up until after midnight making impossible birthday cakes and treats from the Women’s Weekly Cookbook and know that your kid doesn’t give a shit how it looks, you MADE IT.

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Or that one day your baby will do this.

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And some day not need you at all.

But until then, I will continue to hold hands, run bloody cross country courses, hold my heart in my mouth as I watch them stand up and speak and burst with love and pride at all these girls are.

And next week, I will relish the sleep ins and no lunch box making and the very last holiday we will have as a family of 4, getting my hands ready for a whole new little one to hold onto.

Comments

  1. You’ve made me cry on my keyboard Beth.
    I can completely picture you running the cross country, you crazy wonderful woman! xx

  2. Indeed! The other evening, I was making a Roman costume for Roman day for the 8yo, finding things to put on a poster ‘About your home country’ for the 6yo and trying to find something appropriate for preschool ‘show’n’tell’ and satisfactory for the 3yo. Phew!

    The biggest surprise for me is how each of my kids needs to be parented completely differently, the respond to different things. That has shocked the hell out of me. I sometimes feel guilty that I do parent them differently but you’ve gotta do what works!

    And a big congrats to you for getting out there and running! That is fantastic! xx

  3. Beth! What a mum!
    I’m not a parent but your stories of your parenting, the ups and downs and joy through the seemingly small things are inspiring, funny and encouraging!
    Thank you πŸ™‚

  4. Sob.

  5. And I am crying.
    My little guy is going through some challenging stuff at at the moment and my heart constantly breaks for him…it breaks when he is faced with something that is difficult and then it breaks again when he overcomes that difficulty.

    And I hope you got a medal for finishing!

  6. Tears Beth, just tears. Feeling all the feels with you (apart from the preggie ones). Enjoy the school holidays, I know I am going to!

  7. Now you’ve got me tearing up at work Beth..
    I’m about to turn 41 in a couple of weeks, so I’m still just a baby myself ( insert wishful thinking here πŸ™‚
    My 3 ‘babies’ are now 10, 15 and 20..
    And no, they don’t tell you any of this shit, before you jump on the neverending rollercoaster called motherhood.

    They especially don’t tell you about how when your first baby (20 year old) goes overseas for the first time, and you’re left sitting in the airport carpark for an hour after takeoff, blubbering like a fool.
    They don’t tell you about watching your MC (middle child) performing in a play, and nailing it so well that you’re sitting in the audience blubbering like a fool.
    And they especially don’t tell you that when your youngest baby still wants to hold your hand when you cross the road, that you really want to blubber like a fool.

    Motherhood is awesome.
    Much love to you, and good luck with the impending bundle of joy.
    xx

    • Thanks Debra xx

    • Your comment made me cry. Hand holding always tears me up. I remember taking my son to the dentist when he was just 3, a few weeks before he started kindy/preschool. It was in the middle of a work day and I remember thinking that most appointments will be made early in the day or close to end of day and holding his squishy fleshy hand and thinking it was an end of an era. I’m glad I committed that moment to memory. & I’ve been known to cry at other people’s children doing well and finding joy in their performance. As far as kids going overseas by themselves….. that’s a while off for me, but I will more than likely not cope AT ALL. Hope yours is home safe & sound now or soon will be.

  8. sandra jennings says

    I cried WA WA WA!!
    But good tears. Just loved it, cos its so true! Man the things I have done with our 3 boys…never ever in my dreams did I think I would have so many box constructions, endless scraps of papers and sticks, a pile of sticks that could be a bonfire in my back yard! Love it all.
    The best thing I did was have babies, but without a doubt my 3rd just completed me and our family and it was just different somehow. You really just don’t give a shit…haha, in a good way! Best wishes with your baby business! xox

  9. Oh bless running at 8 months pregnant, shit those poor pelvic floors. My girl has a drawer full of crap that want to throw out but just can’t. I’m so ready for school holidays, my schoolie has had a massive term and is now settling in to it all and now writing sight words!

  10. I was holding on to my non-preggers gut and my pelvic floor just reading that Beth!! Beautiful xx

  11. Oh Beth, you deserve a trophy for your efforts! Go you AND 8 months pregnant! It really is amazing how much we love them and the lengths we would go to for them. Real love right there! You are a most awesome mum.

  12. Holy crap you make me smile and cry!! Your words get me every time. I hope you’re ok after your run. Happy Holidays and congrats to all for making it through term 1!!!

  13. A beautifully written account of motherhood. How lucky are Daisy, Harper, Rob, Frank and the baby to have a woman like you in their lives? I can see it is going to become mandatory to have a box of tissues next to me when I read your posts. PS I am so in awe of your photos (and now your hair braids!)

  14. You’re a bloody awesome mum, Beth. x

  15. Wow. What a mumma!
    This made me emotional in the best kind of way.
    My little miss is also about to finish term 1 of kinder. Seeing how far they have come in just 1 term is quite incredible.
    The thought of you being a family of 4 for only a wee bit longer. Oh my… Tears. Happy tears though! And you’ve reminded me to do more Kegels so thank you πŸ˜‰
    Xx

  16. You are a damn fine mama Beth & a bloody good blogger. Tears, nodding of head & nostalgia all in one post. Well done lady. I would have wet my pants running x

  17. What a beautiful post, Beth. In those moments of doubt as a mum, these are the kind of posts that you can come back to and know that you’re a great mum.

  18. Fiona Guglielmi says

    Lovely words Beth. We only have them for such a short time. Enjoy the next phase of your life as a family of 5. Gorgeous photos of very small cloths, also when are you due?????xx

  19. Beth my big boy turns 6 this year. In less than a month now. I’m really struggling with that concept at the same time as being so excited about his future. Totally getting that pride thing. Motherhood is one big FAST roller coaster of highs and lows. He is sitting down writing stories as his little brother runs around pretending he is Batman. <3

  20. How clever is Harper writing those beautiful numbers AND in perfect order!! Well done. Small schools are the BOMB!

  21. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Beth they don’t tell you cause I don’t think we would believe it,really we would shake our heads and go no way!You did good Beth and you know what You will remember this forever that’s what mums do,anything for their children.
    I do hope a big rest is in order for you for the last bit of your pregnancy,and for those girls Xx

  22. This made me teary! Such love! I am a child myself (23) but I know exactly what you mean. I work at after school care and I have lived the highs and lows with 60 kids every afternoon. Some of them since they started school and others just starting. I have had the tears, the smiles and laughs. It is the most rewarding job. I cannot wait to be a teacher and a mum someday.

  23. Yvonne Duke says

    That’s lovely !! And they do still need you sometimes when they are older, as I had to buy square sausage, rolls and Irn Bru for my Year 12 School Captain son to cook and serve for a Harmony Day Bbq tomorrow representing Scotland !!

  24. Cherish every little moment as it is over in a “flash”. Happy tears flowed as I read your blog today. Beautiful memories of a being a “hands on” mum to my beautiful two boys who are now 29 and 26. The best time of your life!!

  25. What lucky girls to have you as their mum and also the little one that is nearly here.
    You are too cool for school Beth!
    You rock keep on being you and thanks for letting us in on your life and the trials and tribulations of being a mother!
    I am feeling it too with my 7 year old and his dislike of homework and anarchy to anything to do with it, and my four year old who is attending schools morning and afternoon and is so hands on, all that plus their daddy who is still all the way in Australia working. It’s a hard gig and I do get cranky but I think I may love it ( at times) being a mother.for example last nights dinner was sardines in tomato sauce with bread and butter. They love it. Plus I had made chocolate and penut butter biscuits. Take it easy Beth and have a great Easter break!

  26. just gorgeous beth!
    you are a good mother!
    now, what would kate say?
    no more running before the birth, beth!
    all good! love m:)X

  27. Oh Beth! I read this with Martha Stewart making focaccia in the background and I just WELLED UP with all the feelings.
    You write so beautifully about your love for your family. It’s so obvious that you’re engaged and grateful and proud!
    And you effing RAN that race. You need a MEDAL pronto lady.
    How I hope, hope, HOPE your girls will be able to internalise and KNOW in the marrow of their bones that they are adored, and that always and for every, they have only to look over their shoulders to see you running behind them.
    Gawd lady, you bloody well rock.

  28. oh mate – you ran the cross country while 8 months pregnant, you SO win today, take a bow sister! My baby came off after his first lap at that age bawling his eyes out – I scooped him up and cradled him in my lap and kissed his tears always, we both didn’t give a shit who was watching! Then I took him home cos fuck it. He ran his 5th one today, I wasn’t even there, was working. He got in the car and gave me the lowdown this big little guy of mine whose so big but so little. I LOVE that you ran the cross mofo country – rock on Babymac ✌️

  29. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Sharing it everywhere, beautiful. xxx

  30. Beth you crazy wonderfull mumma!!

  31. You are going to have a great well behaved baby and a wonderful time with the new addition!

    Can’t wait for you

    M

  32. My new favourite BabyMac post.

    Just beautiful. I had tears. Thank you. x

  33. There are no words for how beautiful this is. xxx

  34. Wow. You made me cry big time!!! At 8 months pregnant myself, part of it was in pain for the thought of running but mostly it was because – sigh – so beautiful!!!! This is my first – so I really have no idea what to expect about motherhood, but this post reminded me that there will be SO many amazing adventures ahead. Thank you. You are an amazing mum x

  35. OMG BETH… I am bawling my eyes out, and so so happy that I’m working from home today and that my 3 gorgeous kids will walk in that door in about 10 minutes and be absolutely attacked with cuddles from me and when they say “What the?” I’ll say – Its Beth’s fault… love you kids xo.

  36. Wow this is such a beautiful post and you brought tears to my eyes. The love you have for your girls is so very touching. I hope to have this one day. X

  37. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Beth they will always need you ,I got a text last night from my daughter saying “Mum guess what ? I’ve got white stuff coming outta my nips,my body knows what to do ” I cried cause she will feed her baby like I fed her and I told her its her boobs getting ready to make milk.Do NOT tell anyone this she’d kill me Beth ?But I was so proud!
    Good on you Beth your second cross country,yep the baby books tell you nothing,someone should write a new baby book with all the things.I’m looking at you Beth.Beautiful post ??

  38. You are one amazing Mummy! I did the ‘cross country run’ last year with my beautiful, sensitive, grade 3 girl and we are currently ‘in training’ for this years. Motherhood is so bloody hard to navigate. We have spent the last 4 years navigating our way through massive anxiety attacks about school. It’s such a lonely and misunderstood road. I love your posts and LOVE your honesty. πŸ˜‰

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  1. […] I say high five! And I can assure you that I did NOT look like this when I ended up running the cross country a few weeks […]

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