Today’s post is from Mum of four, Mel Greenhalgh. When Mel began to share the story of her unique family I was intrigued and wanted to know more.
Life can change in an instant.
Here is the how her beautiful family come to be and how this leading lady has adapted to life as she now knows it.
I distinctly remember a conversation with some girlfriends about having more kids – they were encouraging me to push on with comments like – “you need three Mel”. My reaction was always the same “My tap is turned off – two is enough, if I ever had any more kids I’d be suicidal”. Little did I know what was coming my way?
The Milko (that’s my hubby) and I had a pigeon pair, a little girl called Analise Margaret and a little boy called Tyler Jack. Then life took an interesting turn.
The phone rang at 5.54am on a Tuesday morning and that phone call changed the trajectory of a family’s life forever more. My sister passed away aged 24 from a pulmonary embolism, she had the flu and had some trouble breathing – the paramedics asked her to walk to the front door as her townhouse was too small for a gurney. This threw the clot to her lung and two little boys aged 14 months and 5 years of age lost their mum.
Nothing felt like it would ever be funny again.
Granted, it took a while but looking back now we giggle at how we must have looked. That same morning of the horror phone call, I brought the boys home and the Milko left me and headed to Woollies. He subsequently turned up with nappies, bottles, dummies, wipes, baby food and every other baby accessory known to man. He reckons he looked like a shopper on speed that morning or a contestant on that old game show Supermarket Sweep.
The first year was a complete blur and I don’t really remember a lot of detail. What I do remember was that when the long winter came to an end, there was an announcement on the radio that daylight savings was scheduled to start. I remember feeling like I had won the lottery. The long winter days and the piles of washing that never seemed to end, felt like it might be controllable with more daylight hours available to me. I still feel like that each and every year.
There were so many things to learn about being a larger family. There was the need for a larger car as we all traipsed around in two vehicles everywhere (think we might have been in heavy state of denial) and under no circumstances was I going to become a mum with a car that had a sliding door (no offence to the van drivers out there – just not for me). So an 8-seater Prado we cruised in. I also needed to learn about cooking for 6 – suddenly there were no leftovers anymore, and in the beginning we often had to supplement the evening meal with a bowl of cereal as I was so crap at getting portions right.
There was the time we accidently left the baby in the car parked in our driveway during winter, not because I thought the Milko had him or that the Milko thought I had him – we both forgot that we had 4 kids and he was strapped into his car seat! Luckily, no children were harmed in this monumental stuff up.
There were the times that I couldn’t recall the birthdays quickly enough because they go, 20 November 2003, 25 November 2004, 10 January 2003 and 16 January 2008. You try recalling that at a moment’s notice. I have also really cemented my place in the mothers club of women that use every name under the sun including the dog, the cat and then each kid’s name, before remembering which child she actually wants. I have also been known to ask a child directly – what their name is. I never thought I would be that woman.
But amongst all of that we have learnt to laugh again as a family. Just recently one of our boys was in a rush to get a sausage sandwich and as a result a couple of slices of bread fell on the ground – we made a joke that he would have to eat those pieces next. He commented that the bread would have dirt on it and that he doesn’t eat crunchy bread. The baby (now 5 years 11 months) cool as a cucumber, dry as a desert, says straight up – “well you eat toast don’t you?” Well everyone burst into laughter with cries of “BOOM” and “OWNED IT”.
On those days I realise that the girls were right – in this life I was meant to have no less than 2 and no more than 4!
That makes me a good enough parent for today.
Meet Mel Greenhalgh.
I’m a mum to 4 and work part-time. My life is a constant state of planning. We usually have plan A-Z ready in waiting and most days see me get to plan M, N or O! Lifes a bit crazy but I’m working on being a good enough parent by letting go of perfection! I have recently started blogging to give people a laugh and brighten a day along the way.
You can find more from Mel over at her blog.
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