I have been sitting quietly at Mum ‘Base Camp’ for about seven years now.
Let me tell you something. The sight is breathtaking and my heart often swells from its sheer beauty.
My kids, my husband, my home, my family; absolutely stunning.
Mind you, it was incredibly difficult just to reach this point, and although the climb was at times heartbreaking it was an epic achievement to finally reach this spot. This is precisely where I want to be.
I cannot quite see the summit from here.
Oh I know it’s there. It tempts me, teases me, but always provides me with a direction, a goal, a pinnacle. On top of the mummy mountain, life is perfect. At the peak, I will have it all. The perfect children, the fairy tale relationship, the showroom house, the satisfying, high paying career with all the perks and trimmings, his and her cars in the driveway; all ‘the things’.
Of course, in all families, life is full of ups and downs.
Sometimes the unpredictable weather sets in. My plans for summit are dashed and I am once again back here, plotting, wondering, waiting. Everyone tells me that just making it this far is a gift. That I should stop, relax and breathe it all in. Some people would give anything for the scenery I have right now.
Oh but sometimes it ‘s too hard to see past those washing piles, unpaid bills and constant meal-time battles.
It can be numbing against my cheeks and I need to pinch myself and remember to ‘enjoy this moment’. “It will go so fast,” they say.
The sky clears. That view returns. My energy flows and I feel invigorated. My Base Camp home is full of love and laughter and Disney movies and spaghetti hoops. We do a lot of trekking; birthday parties, sports activities, school drop offs, kinder volunteering. Life here is busy and constant.
Here at Base Camp, the air is thin.
I feel that I, too, am spreading myself incredibly thin. I am pulled this way and that. I am desperately trying to keep my kids healthy and happy, maintain a loving relationship with my husband, forge on in my career, and yet somehow make time for myself, friends and extended family. Apparently the summit does not come easily.
In fact, most of us will never make it to the top of Mummy Mountain.
There will always be another mountain, another goal, another challenge.
But what I have learnt is that every day I exhibit grit and determination. I aim for the very top for my children, even if it is by sometimes denying myself. Sure, I try to take a day trip away from Base Camp. You know, take some ‘me’ time.
Sometimes I want to be anywhere but stuck on this damned mountainside, and that’s OK.
For now, this is simply where I am.
And quite frankly, I never quite imagined I could ever reach even these incredible heights. I have become a wife and a mother, and I have tried to keep challenging myself whilst remaining ‘me’ through it all. I must remember to sit back and take a good long look at what I have here, right in front of me, right at this very moment.
It ain’t Everest, my friends, but my Base Camp is one hell of a place.
Want more tales from the parenting trenches? Take another look at our article about how it feels to realise your babies are all grown up. Warning: bring tissues!