Mum ready to answer the call at any moment
"I AM your ultimate defence weapon,” I said, not feeling as confident as I sounded.
Having a serious chat with the kids about sharing their problems with their mum had suddenly sounded more like Optimus Prime preparing to battle the Decepticons.
It was not even two weeks into single parenthood that I found myself sitting with the kids, practically begging them to tell me what's going on in their lives.
Under the mountains of laundry (broken washing machine) and dirty dishes (because I hate washing up), some important things cropped up in the lives of my little people that I was completely blindsided by.
I had no idea we were anywhere near this stage of development. I generally consider them just out of nappies, even though they're close to finishing primary school.
Not naming names, but some don't know how to run a bath. You see what I'm saying?
Anything beyond homework and sibling rivalry was surely years away, right? Apparently not.
Once I stopped feeling shocked and got out from under my doona, I decided there was just one way to tackle this - upfront honesty.
Not theirs. Mine.
I am struggling to keep up with the daily minutiae of life, let alone sniffing out the problems that kids keep a lid on.
I need their help. I need them to come to me in times of strife because I could potentially be too busy finding permission slips and packing lunches and working to notice someone looking down in the dumps.
I mean, I would hope I'd notice, but the chance it might go unchecked is a very distinct possibility.
The chance I do notice but say something like "What's wrong with you now? Never mind, hurry up and get in the car”, is practically guaranteed at this point in my life.
Which brings me to my Transformers battle cry from the floor of the living room.
Because even if I'm busy, I'm always there for them.
Even if I'm busy and cranky, I'm still going to drop what I'm doing to help them in a crisis.
Until I master this new life, some things might escape my radar, but that doesn't mean I have stopped caring.
If they find themselves in a difficult situation, I can be deployed at a moment's notice.
And I will always, hand-on-my-heart, choose a deep and meaningful chat with them over the dishes. Every time.
Peta Jo is an author and mother of three. Find her on Facebook.