Jump to content

Amity Dry: Parenting is harder than The Block


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 EBeditor

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

Posted on behalf of Amity.

--------------------------------------
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The Block All Stars was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, mentally, physically and emotionally. It pushed me to my limits, frustrated me, challenged me and exhausted me.

But it was still easier than motherhood.

That was the realisation I came to just three days after returning home from the epic renovation process, when I was thrust back into the small but relentless production that is day-to-day family life. As I fell back into the routine of grocery shopping, clothes washing, toddler tantrums, dinner, bath and bedtime, it dawned on me that there’s nothing more all-consuming and relentless as raising kids. Not even The Block. There’s nothing that tests your marriage or your sanity as much, nothing as completely wearying yet ultimately rewarding, as parenthood.

Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Painting is boring, yet quite relaxing
Almost every night on The Block was spent with a paintbrush in hand, a tedious and messy job we toiled through for hours on end. Yet compared to the nightly struggle of dinner, bath, homework and the never-ending battle to get my kids to sleep, it was actually quite relaxing. No one needed anything from me, no one whined at me (well, Phil did whine a bit) and no one interrupted what I was doing. I put the radio on, got into a rhythm, and in a strange way enjoyed the calm of it all.

2. No nighttime waking
Granted, there wasn’t a lot of sleep doing The Block All Stars. In fact, some nights before room reveal we would get less than an hour of sleep (probably a good reason why couples end up losing their minds at each other). But I may have been the only person there who found most nights easier than my normal life, for one simple reason: once I lay my weary body down and went to sleep, I STAYED THERE! There was no getting up to replace dummies, pat backs or get drinks of water. No little person finding their way into my bed in the middle of the night, and no toddler kicking me in the stomach (because they always sleep horizontally). No, once I was finally asleep I slept like I was in a coma. And it was AWESOME.

3. Focusing on only one thing
Yes, the project management of a house rebuild takes a huge amount of thought and effort, and I had to juggle a lot of issues. But I never had to interrupt that train of thought with any of the following: school pick-up, buying milk, changing a nappy, making someone lunch, getting someone to bed, and so on. I’d forgotten what it was like to focus on only one thing at a time for a whole day at a time, because until then I hadn’t done so for six years.

4. Time as a couple
Until we did The Block All Stars my husband and I had only enjoyed two nights alone together in six years. In a way, this was somewhat of a romantic holiday … well, without any romance whatsoever. But it was kind of nice to have time together again, to finish a sentence or have a conversation that doesn’t involve a negotiation (read: argument) about who’s going to pick the kids up, make dinner, do the dishes, get up in the night, be the designated driver, put the washing out, etc. Family life is full of endless tasks that on their own are small, but combined together are exhausting in their tedium. So even when we were shoveling bricks and sanding walls, just to escape the monotony of domestic chores felt like a holiday.

5. Recognition of effort
The best part of each week on The Block was the feeling we’d get when a room was done and the judges would give us feedback – particularly when it was good. This reward for effort is something that’s severely lacking in parenthood. It’s just one long effort, in which you’re trying your absolute hardest to do a good job, with the hope that when your kids are adults they’ll turn out okay and maybe even thank you one day. Basically we’re looking at 25 years between reveals. There’s no congratulations and pats on the back for a successful week, and certainly no cash bonus when you’ve done a particularly good job. I feel this should be rectified immediately and am considering which parenting experts to appoint on my judging panel.

So parents out there, remember this: we are truly doing the hardest job in the world, the one that has no reward but the smiles on our precious children’s faces, and the knowledge that their happiness is the greatest reward there is. But let’s admit, it’s bloody hard work.

And to those of you who are raising a family while living through a house renovation at the same time - take a bow. You are the all stars!

#2 jm3

Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

I didn't have an opinion about Amity prior to The Block All Stars.  I hated the shabby chic thing so I guess I wasn't that into her.  I read her posts on EB over the years and thought she sounded like my kind of person and now watching her and Phil on The Block I've decided that I LOVE her!  She is just so damn normal! original.gif

#3 *~dee~*

Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:08 PM

Loved you and Phil on The Block! So glad you won, you guys deserved it.

#4 Poss and Soss

Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

Had no idea Amity was on here.

So glad you guys won. Love your style original.gif

#5 AryaStar

Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

Great article Amity. Congratulations on your well-deserved win, the amazing work you guys did and the dignity with which you played the game.

#6 KirstenMc

Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:55 PM

I didn't see The Block, but everything you said makes sense. Especially sleeping with no interruptions! Bliss! I get that quite a lot now, with my youngest being 3 and my husband now doing most of the night wakings with her. But, the years of going to sleep knowing you would have to wake up again soon - oh yes, they left a scar!

Congrats on winning the block. may you have an actual romantic weekend away sometime soon (and me too original.gif )




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you?ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

The 'no children' wedding invite

It was the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends, and she had invited me to be her bridesmaid. It was quite an honour. But there was one problem.

Baby Dylan recovering well after spending five days alone

 For up to five days he lay alone after his mother died of a suspected drug overdose, but eight-month-old Dylan Micallef has made an incredible recovery.

The mystery of William Tyrell, little boy lost

The question remains: How does a little boy simply vanish without a trace?

Woman fights off robber, then gives birth

A thief in the US got more than he bargained for when he try to rob a woman who was nine months pregnant because he figured she would be an easy target.

Video: Two-year-old tells mum off for laughing at her

This little girl is not happy that her mum started laughing during her performance - so she tells her exactly how she feels about it.

Coping with a bolter

My 15-month-old has suddenly added a burst of real speed to her toddle. She should be classed a flight risk.

Single, 51 and pregnant

Tracey Kahn didn't realise she wanted to become a mother until she was well into her 40s. Now 51, she is pregnant with her second child.

An open letter to Tony Abbott: please salvage our super

We face financial ruin, but most of us don?t realise it. If we don?t act together to salvage our superannuation, I have no doubt the new GFC will be the Girls? Financial Crisis.

'I'm happy to know I'm changing lives': surrogate mum of two

I know that once the baby is born, I will focus on the gift I have given, and watch the parents with their new child. I can't wait for that day.

Birth trauma and the issue of informed consent

There is a perception that women should just be happy they have a healthy baby in their arms. But for women who experienced birth trauma, there's a lot more to it.

Tips for managing pollen allergies and hayfever

They're simple tips, but they can have a big impact on those who suffer from hayfever and pollen allergies.

Ada Nicodemou shares tribute to her stillborn baby

Just over one month since Ada Nicodemou and her husband lost their second son, the Home and Away star has shared a touching poem for her baby.

Mum causes stir breastfeeding on train

?To the woman breastfeeding her kid on the train. Seriously! On the train?" began the letter of complaint.

10 things they don?t tell you about being pregnant

As I slowly waddle my ever-changing pregnant body towards the finishing line of my due date, it?s becoming increasingly clear there are a lot of things they just don?t tell you about pregnancy.

Overcoming a fear of the dark

A toddler's fear of the dark is very normal, but there are ways parents can help children through this stage in their development.

Kids, TV and movies: how young is too young?

It seems you don't have to throw the TV and iPad out the window - it all boils down to moderation, supervision and interaction.

Video: Baby's first birthday is a special day for mum, too

?A baby?s first birthday is also mum?s first birthday.?

The day Supernanny came to tea

Prince William's favourite celebrity child trainer Jo Frost puts Bryony Gordon and her toddler through their paces.

The words I hated hearing as new mum

It was less than a week after my son was born that I first heard it - from my mother.

To the pharmacist who sold me baby formula

On the rare occasion I catch sight of you at school, or around town, I think back to our earliest exchange. I?m sure you have no recollection of it at all.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Special offer: The Baby & Toddler Show 2014

At The Baby & Toddler Show, you?ll find everything you need to get ready for your new arrival and guide you through the early weeks and years of parenting.

Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else?s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Tearing during delivery: the facts

Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women?s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

The 'no children' wedding invite

"It's her wedding, so the day is all about her, not your baby." How major fall-out can occur over a simple wedding invitation.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Reader offer

2 FOR 1 TICKET OFFER

For Shopping, For Advice, For Baby & You. Enjoy a special day out with fabulous shopping from over 200 brands, leading parenting experts offering advice on a range of topics, and amazing children?s entertainment

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.