I was told a lot before having children that it would be hard work, and naively I thought I would be fine. "I understood what hard work was," I would say to myself. "I've had numerous jobs throughout the past years that have been extremely physically demanding. I can do this!"
During uni break one year I worked at a single person's quarters in Kambalda, Western Australia (where I grew up), in the middle of summer. We started early to beat the heat, but even at 6 a.m. you could feel the heat, and it only increased throughout the day. This was hard work. It was physically demanding - scrubbing floors, showers, toilets, changing beds, carrying linen - and all in the heat. Afterwards I would head home for a shower and spend the rest of the afternoon under the air conditioner.
After I finished uni, I worked various jobs which demanded me to be on my feet for hours. I would work at Coles in the morning from 5 a.m. - 2 p.m., then drive across town and work in the pool as a swimming instructor for the next three-four hours. Usually by the end of the day, and certainly by the end of the week, I was exhausted. Daniel would drive home in the evening, and I could barely hold a conversation. I would lean my head on the door, and feel the exhaustion wash over my body. I felt weak. However long and tiring these days were, I could cope, because I knew that at the end of it I would get a break and a chance to relax. Alone. Without anyone demanding anything from me. I also knew that the next day I would feel refreshed because I would be able to have a full nights sleep without any interruptions.
Before I became a parent I thought I knew what hard work was. I was wrong! Nothing could have prepared me for the daily exhaustion I feel as a parent. For the loneliness of motherhood I often feel while Daniel is at work. For the never ending list of chores that need to be done, and the never ending demands of a child. I thought I would be fine, but in all honesty I am constantly struggling. Sometimes it is even too difficult to even think about leaving the house. I know I am not alone in these feelings, but sometimes it feels that way.
This is why I am so blessed to have such a wonderful support system around me who I am so thankful for, because without them I just wouldn't survive. I have my Mum and Anne (mother-in-law) who are constantly there if I need them. Plus, I have awesome friends who are only a phone call away, and less than a five minute drive commute. And they are all extremely good at making me feel very special on my birthday.
I spent the morning and afternoon with these friends as we shared cups of tea, pizza, cake and chips. It was relaxing and just what I needed after a few difficult days. Shelley even baked me the best birthday cake.
Isn't it just wonderful!
As a child my mum used to bake cakes like these for our birthdays. However, I never asked for this cake in particular. It was just a bit 'girly'. I do remember my sister's having this cake though.
|Nicholas and I before blowing out the candle!|
The walk didn't last long before it started raining, but thankfully, we came prepared!
It was a great day and very relaxing. Thanks everyone for being there for me and helping me through the difficult times of parenthood.
And a song about babies that don't sleep... just for fun.