Sideliner Siblings

With each day that passes in our hectic lives it’s all too easy to overlook how things are changing at a rate of knots. Days turn to weeks, weeks to months and months to years, with a seamless transition through the phases of having a young family. And then, every now and again something stops you in your tracks and makes you look back at how far you’ve come. 

Each week the girls have swimming and gymnastics. These after school clubs seems such a part of our lives now and the stress seems to have faded into the background a little. Perhaps that’s because we have this routine nailed now, or perhaps that’s because the hardest part is done.

At pre-school gymnastics this week, whilst Tigs was at school, I watched the Mouse through the viewing area window. Whilst chatting to friends, drinking a coffee and ordering a couple of things on Amazon prime, a familiar sound filled the room. The sound of toddlers crying, Mums telling them off and comforting them when they’ve fallen over. Rummaging to find snacks and trying to keep them under control for a 45 minutes which for them, seems like an eternity.

And yet in that moment of offering them a smile of empathy, I saw my own reflection in them, but one that has passed. The Mum, Muddling through, just 24, 36 months ago who hadn’t given her hair or her outfit a second thought in days. Who was sweating through stress and feeling like the only one in the room struggling to get it together.

Because life as a Mum to two (or more!) kids isn’t always easy – that stage of accommodating the needs and wants of the eldest child, with a small and erratic sibling trailing along for the ride. A small sibling who would rather be at home watching Hey Duggee than having to agonise watching some activity that they aren’t allowed to join in with. Running onto the football pitch, slipping over on poolside, having a meltdown at dancing, the tears because it isn’t fair; it’s no fun for anyone.

A time when going to these classes involved packing a survival kit packed with tablets, colouring books and pens, drinks and snacks (always, always raisins) and a whole bundle of pair clothes / changing gear for the dreaded code brown situation which would almost always happen at the moment you wanted it least.

It’s a fleeting moment in time, and one that during it’s height, although probably small fry compared to other problems in life, doesn’t make it less tough for the one living the dream week in, week out.

And as the saying goes, this too shall pass; and pass it has for us, in the blink of an eye. With time comes the inevitability of school reducing you back down to one child again, the drop and go and the classes at the same time (the nirvana state?). And, of course, the unpredictability of small children fades too, with an ability to engage in a book, sit and talk for a while, or even dare I say it, enjoy watching the other child. Stranger things have happened.

So Mums with sideliner siblings, take a breath, ride this wave, and until then…raisins.


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