You know what is weird about parenthood? Ok, so once you have kids many, many, MANY things are weird, like what you find under your fingernails in the dead of night. Or whether you should scrub your tongue hysterically … or just swallow … after a baby milk spews in your mouth. #EwNoThanks
But those aren’t the weird things that I am talking about.
THIS weird thing happens sneakily once you have birthed a teeny tiny little person, or a couple of multiple tiny people in fact, and it is when there is this is a sudden shift in your life. Do YOU know what shift I mean? Well, you probably should if you read the title of this post lol, but if you don’t then don’t worry because I don’t usually know what I mean either #SOML, so let me explain.
Now this really sounds crazily obvious, but when I was a child, a teenager and even after I became a childless adult, I was part of the younger generation. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t touch it. I couldn’t feel it. But I was a child, and just knew it.
And AS a child although I wasn’t spoiled in any way, I was taken care of. I was (mostly) listened to, and I was catered for purely because I was a child. Our parents and our grandparents essentially lived for us… not that I realised it back then. #ThanksYouBloodyLegendsYou
Now, at the time I knew that there were generations above me that stretched on forever but it never felt like a tangible thing. It was just simply knowledge floating around in the back of my head. I saw my parents all the time, I saw my grandparents every school holidays so they were a massive part of my life.
But I never thought about the rolling generation SHIFT that occurs every time a new generation of babies born. And I never knew about how much the previous generations do for the younger generations. How much our parents did for us and theirs for them. And why would you? You are carefree and innocent, and just learning about the world whilst the adults around you strive to create the best environment possible for you to do so.
Looking back now, I can see it all. I can see my life created by my parents. How their joy would have been put aside for our joy. In fact, I can see the selflessness of all parents that have ever existed around the world.
As one example, we used to go on holidays, not necessarily to destinations that my dad wanted to take us, but to places that would create experiences and wonderful memories for us, his children. We used to go to Dreamworld every single time we visited the Gold Coast where my grandparents, and some aunty’s and uncles lived.
And when we went to Dreamworld, he would never go on any of the rides. He would always wait for my sister and I whilst we went on ride after ride after ride. Holding the bags… and highly likely also holding some food for us. He was probably hungry, over it, and exhausted, but never once did he let it show.
And because we were the kids and errrrrrm therefore completely egocentric, NOT ONCE did we ever think (not even for a single second) how boring that may have been for him. We just assumed that because we were happy, HE was happy….
Now, these trips, these memories, and these experiences were enjoyed but looking back they really were taken for granted. Because that’s just what we would do on our holidays and we knew that our holidays would always be FUN! What a life for a kid…
But then I grew up. And once I grew up into a, well, sort of adulty-adult, my husband and I decided to have our own kids. And when when we entered parenthood and THOSE kids were actually here, we naturally started putting THEM first, as I know all parents do.
And then… it happened.
One day I was out for a walk, sweating and exhausted pushing the two kids in our heavy pram up a steep-ass hill in our neighbourhood, whilst dragging the dog along with us, and as I was walking I felt something click into place around me.
What the heck was that I wondered? What did the universe just do to me? Errmmm, did something just poo on me?
By the end of the walk, I realised what it was that I had felt. It sounds strange, but I had literally just FELT the generations shift over, just like the clock clicking over to a new day.
It was a weird almost tangible/physical sensation of me sliding into second place in the world. To me taking a back step in life. To me no longer being the future of the world. To me no longer being taken care of and protected, but instead doing the caring and protecting for others. To us living for our kids now instead of living for ourselves. Does that make sense? I honestly FELT it.
Yes, I felt the generations shift like a slap in the face, and all of a sudden I felt SO SUPER OLD. Sigh. #ErrrrmThirtySevenIsTheNewTwentyOneRight? And even stranger than that, all of a sudden I also felt a little bit lost, and… well… kind of irrelevant, because this world wasn’t for me any longer, it was for my kids.
It was almost like the someone was telling me that I’d had my time and now I had to move over girlfriend because it was time for the next generation to come on through. Sigh.
I felt all the cracks and creaks in my bones. I felt tired. I felt overwhelmed. And selfishly, I felt sad that I would never again get to put myself first really…
I wonder if my parents ever felt like this… Or my grandparents. I would love to know what they thought, and how they got past that… They probably just did it. Like we do. You just do it and it becomes the new normal.
So, going forward, all I can do to prove my own relevance is be the best version of myself that I can be. To take the time to really focus on taking care of myself. To give myself time to still be “relevant”, to make myself happy, to put myself first, and to say “its ok, I still matter”. Because I bloody well do.
And you do too.
Did you feel this generational shift once you journeyed into parenthood? How do you feel about it, did it make you feel old? Otherwise what DID it feel like to you, and what did it make you realise? Leave me a comment below as I would love to hear all about it xx