cass deller, real mum talk, motherhood

Guest Column: Cass Deller – Life With Young Kids Is Hard AF

By Cass Deller, Surface Pattern Designer + Mama of 2

My kids are almost seven and almost three. And I will honestly say that this is probably the most challenging time with my kids (so far – in a good way).

If you are a mum of teens, then you’re probably saying “oh, you have no idea of what’s to come”, and you’re right, I have NO idea, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I say “challenging” with SO much love. I love my kids to death, they are always my number one and I bend over backwards for them… to a fault, ask my husband.

Our son is the most beautiful, funny, LOUD, caring, creative and artistic little guy. He is the biggest mummy’s boy, we have an incredible bond. He is a born entertainer (he’ll tell you those exact words) and it is such an honor to witness him come out of his shell and bring light to the world through his singing, dancing and endless jokes.

It’s a dress up party every night at our place (not even exaggerating) and his sister is his little back up dancer. I’ve never laughed so much since having my babes. He’ll sit for hours drawing and painting (always for others) yet he has energy for days. He’s a special kid and a soul I’ve spent many lifetimes with.

“The reason I’m finding this age so challenging at the moment is that the neediness seems SO high right now.”

Our beautiful daughter, I could honestly stare at her all day, her beauty is beyond. She’s 2 going on 12, and I’m not even kidding. She has the vocabulary and articulation of a pre-schooler and has the most nurturing little mama soul.

She’s little miss chatterbox and will tell you nonsense stories all day long. She goes one hundred percent at everything she does and doesn’t hold back. She’s impatient, funny as hell and the most annoyingly independent little human I’ve ever met.

To be honest I never thought we would have a girl. She entered this world in the most beautiful (and very quick) way possible (thanks hypnobirthing) and she’s blessed our family with even more pure love than I could ever imagine. She’s my angel and I am forever thankful for her.

I love these two little souls with absolutely everything I have.

I am beyond grateful everyday that they chose me to be their mama.

But, I’ve always known that I would never be that stay at home mum.

Drop the judgement

Even when I was pregnant with my son, the thought of mother’s groups made me cringe. And talk of baby books and the best nappy wipes had me yawning. I’ve just never been one for small talk, I actually hate it. I’ve always had my really close friends, but never felt the ‘girl group’ connections, let alone with strangers.

But I’m not one to judge, as plenty of my friends had amazing mother’s groups which they loved, and is amazing for them, just not for me.

I was lucky enough to have my parents close by when we had kids, and so I didn’t send my little boy to daycare until he was 18months old. He went two days a week, but god it was hard. The hard drop off days and the mum guilt, holy moly, it’s frigin hard!

Even with Isla going to daycare now, it’s getting easier as they get older and make some good friends, but there is still that voice questioning if you’re doing the right thing.

“Are you really a good mum if you are sending your kid to daycare”?

“They’re only little once”

Blah Blah Blah

F*ck off stupid voice, I need a bloody break! Am I right though?

This season of motherhood is really tough

The reason I’m finding this age so challenging at the moment is that the neediness seems SO high right now. I mean one kid, sure no worries, walk in the park, too easy, but TWO KIDS, I mean… if you have three or more kids, I literally don’t know how you do it.

The Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum x a trillion (yep, they only want Mum)

The whinging, wining, clinginess. OMFG.

If you’ve got older kids, I know what you are going to say – we all know they are only little once – and I get it. But it’s bloody tiring when you are in the thick of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am GRATEFUL everyday!!! I mean it’s FUN, it’s EXCITING, it’s REWARDING, and the LOVE is next level – it’s just A LOT.

We have the early adolescence of a 6.5 year old boy in full swing.

And the almost threenager – yep, it’s real.

In saying that, I do love every stage they go through. I’m not that mum that says, “Oh, I wish they were little again” (like babies) because I don’t. I love and enjoy where they are at, and don’t think too deeply about the past or the future.

Holding onto that little piece of myself

But the piece that’s hard right now is self-care. It’s almost not there. It’s something that is very front of mind, but carving the time is VERY HARD right now. I’m aware, and it’s ok. I find my pockets of time, and that’s ok for now. It’s just the season, right?

It’s funny, I said to my designer the other day, “work is my self-care”. And it kind of is. It’s where I am ME. It is where I feel the most ME. It’s where I can be in my special studio space and be in my own company and just create and be free. If that’s all I have for now, plus a walk here and there, then I’m ok with that.

Friday has become my painting day. My art date with myself.

Last Friday I had my first date with myself and I painted for about four hours straight. It was magic.

At the end of that day when I picked up my kids I was sooo happy and fulfilled! Like I had a spring in my step and my soul had been nourished.

This is the best version of me (right now).

And this is really the answer to everything when I think about it.

Life with kids isn’t easy.

It’s tiring. I feel tired ALLL the time.

My Day

The day starts early (for me) around 6am.

I get the kids out of bed – let’s be real, one or both are usually in my bed. Ready for daycare / school (depending on the day), we do breakfast etc and we’re out the door before 8am. Sometimes hubby does drop off when he’s home.

I’m back to my home studio by 9-9:30am and then work through to 2:30/3ish.

We spend the afternoon together, have dinner together (my husband cooks – I know, GO ME!) and then the TWO HOUR bedtime routine starts (don’t even ask).

I want to sleep just thinking about putting my kids to bed. They only want me right now, not Dad (wahhhh). The negotiating skills of a mother putting their kids to bed would talk any idiot off a ledge!

By 8:30/9pm both my kids are asleep (again, don’t ask – no judgment remember) so I then take some time to relax (or paint) and I’m in bed by 10/10:30pm.

I don’t work everyday.

To be honest, I don’t think I’d know how to do that anymore – I work either three or four days per week (18-24hrs a week) depending on grandparents, public holidays, sick kids, etc.

I NEVER work weekends or on Wednesdays, that’s my rule.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt (if you’re a mama reading this) is that I 200% switch off from work when I’m with my kids.

Yeah, I still think about it, but I don’t ever check emails on my phone or quickly sneak to my computer when I’m with my family. My brain actually can’t handle doing two things at once (I’m a generator in Human Design – IYKYK). If you’ve emailed me over a weekend I would never even know about it until Monday morning.

Being present is so important to me, work can ALWAYS wait.

Finding my why

Some days I ask myself “why”? “Why the hell do I try to do so much”? “Why do I have to be so ambitious, why can’t I live a slow and simple life”?

But when I ask myself that time and time again, I know that what I do, ALL that I do, truly makes me happy. I follow my gut, I’m led by my intuition. I know when things get too much and I need to slow down, and I know when I’m uninspired and need to be creative again. When I listen to myself and what I truly want, that’s not being selfish, that’s teaching my kids to listen to their inner wisdom and trust themselves.

That’s the biggest lesson I want to teach my kids.

– TO TRUST THEMSELVES

– TO BACK THEMSELVES

– TO BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES.

At the end of the day I can say that I’m really proud of myself.

That I’ve been an (almost) full time mum whilst building this creative business of mine.

That I can work my business hours AROUND my family and not the other way around.

That I’ve been able to find what lights me up and make bloody good money whilst doing so.

That I can help others to do the same.

And do you know what…

I GET TO DO THIS.

This is all my choice.

I chose every part of this life, and I’m so grateful everyday.

And I get to choose the future.

I get to choose a fun and fulfilling life, earning what I WANT to earn in a way that I WANT to do it.

And for you my love…

Let go of ALL those limiting beliefs and old stories.

You get to do life the way you want to do life, in a way that FEELS good to you.

And when you do life in a way that FEELS good to you (NOT to anyone else’s judgemental standards) then that is when the ripple effect happens and everyone (even your kids) benefits from YOU BEING the best version of YOU.

Follow Cass’s journey at cassdeller.com or on insta at @cassdellerdesign.


 

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