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 Nobody Cool

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 Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.