25/07/2016 6:48 AM AEST | Updated 30/07/2016 6:48 AM AEST

I Thought I Knew Parenting Would Be Hard

The baby book didn't mention reflux and constipation.

This is nothing.
Ivy Reynolds
This is nothing.

You knew parenting would be hard right?

After I gave birth to my first child I knew my world would change. However, I was very naive to think after a very difficult delivery I would have a few months to recover. My baby will just sleep and eat for a while, won't he? Um. No.

The baby book didn't mention reflux and constipation. When your baby gets sick, it's your job to siphon the snot out of them. They cry when they want you. They want you a lot. They don't come with a sleep guarantee and you may even get the added price tag of postnatal depression. My parenting woes didn't end there.

Hard-core parenting and coffee for breakfast. This is how I best describe my first two years as a parent. Starting with the devastating news my first born had cancer. This meant being in parent mode 24/7. No holidays. No sleep. No feeling sorry for yourself. We are off that roller coaster now but the gift of perspective will be with me forever.

If I roll over at night and find a piece of half-eaten Vegemite toast in my bed, it seems pretty irrelevant in comparison. My daughter's dress code at home is often 'naked'. I frequently do the school drop off with my shirt on inside-out. I have nightmares about the time I found a poo nugget in my washing machine. The principal probably has my number on speed dial. Yet I am continually complemented on what lovely kids I have so I must be winning at something.

Some things have become a luxury now that I'm raising three children.

  • Finishing a cup of coffee in the morning before it's cold.
  • Having a shower alone, in silence with the door shut.
  • Being able to stay up past midnight without having to plan my own funeral in advance.
  • Locating my car keys without launching a full operative mission before leaving home.
  • Having a haircut and shaving my legs whenever I choose. Preferably before I look like Chewbacca.

But would I want my "before children" life back? No way. Although sometimes my legs look like a national park and I celebrate the disgusting things I find in my washing machine, I love being a mother.

Every hard day, every challenge, every heartbreaking situation has been worth it.