How’s parenting been treating you lately?
It’s been a bit tricky at our place.
Parenting is a tough gig.
There are so many beautiful, wonderful, incredible moments – but it’s also a lot of hard work!
When I was pregnant with Ava, one of the midwives described parenting as the hardest job you’ll ever love.
And it’s so true.
I’ve recently had chats with friends and school mums who told me they are finding parenting challenging for all sorts of reasons.
It seems that the moment you feel like you’ve finally got it figured out – everything changes.
Parenting has been a massive challenge for me.
Since Ava was a baby she didn’t sleep well and still often wakes during the night (at five years old).
She had undiagnosed reflux for the first four months, would cry and be sick over everything. ALL the time.
In the car, in the pram, over her clothes, over my clothes, on the carpet.
I ended up feeling like I couldn’t go anywhere as she would get so upset which would make me completely frazzled and anxious.
I felt so exhausted and indecisive and not like myself.
I also felt really isolated – especially when I saw other people seemingly breezing through motherhood with babies who slept, ate and were happy going for walks in the pram or for drives in the car.
I thought I was doing something wrong, especially with all the well meaning but ultimately not very helpful advice that people love to give you.
Fast forward five years and it’s been a roller coaster ride, but one I wouldn’t change for the world.
There are nights when the girls and I are laying in bed, chatting, reading a bedtime story – and after being a little monkey all day (refusing to wear shoes and throwing groceries out of the trolley), Chloe says ‘Bewdiful Mummy’ and I ask ‘Who is beautiful?’ and she says ‘You Mummy’ before smothering me in kisses… then trying to poke my eyes out. (Ha ha, just to remind me you can’t have it all!).
This morning she toddled into my room, climbed into bed, hugged me and said ‘Love you Mummy’.
Moments like these I feel so completely happy and content and like there’s no where else I ‘d rather be.
Motherhood has taught me so much.
It’s toughened me up. Made me look for the good in every situation.
Enjoying watching the sunrise being awake in the very early hours of the morning.
Learning to let go.
To be humble.
To stop being judgy.
To be more understanding and compassionate.
I still have days where I feel defeated.
Where I’ve been impatient or shouty or haven’t listened to my kids, and skipped the bedtime story so they would just GO TO BED.
But I always think to myself, tomorrow is a brand new day!
So after five years of parenting what have I found most helpful along the way?
I’ve learnt that often times the happiest mums aren’t afraid to outsource, are happy to accept help, factor in ‘me’ time and still know how to have fun.
How important it is to have a Mumma tribe and love them hard.
To have a support system – whether it’s family or friends or neighbours or one you create yourself with great babysitters or someone who comes and pitches in for a few hours every week with washing / folding / tidying – whatever!
To be kind to yourself – it’s not the end of the world to get takeaway or pack dinner up and take it to the park if you’re having a rough day.
To laugh and have fun and not take everything so seriously!
One of the very best books I read about parenting is ‘Bringing Up Bébé‘ by Pamela Druckerman.
I also love Maggie Dent’s very practical approach to parenting.
Parenting has taught me to accept the not so great days, enjoy every minute of the good ones and be grateful for every moment in between.
Massive respect to all parents everywhere – and a special shout out to those of you who are solo parents.
With a hubby who is often away for work – I think about you all the time.
For anyone who is struggling, having a bad day or week or even year – I leave you with this beautiful song my parents sent to me when I was having an especially tricky day.
‘It Won’t Be Like This For Long’ by Darius Rucker.
Because it really won’t be like this for long….
Happy parenting lovely ones! You’re doing a great job.
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What are your parenting challenges ?
Who are your biggest supporters on your parenting journey?
What’s your best parenting advice?0