Let’s be real here. Sometimes, being a mum if a big pile of suck.
The toddler who thinks climbing furniture is an Olympic sport and she has to practice all the time to ensure her gold medal. And while she may be the cutest child ever, her amazing ability to create destruction everywhere she goes leaves you wondering whether she’s going to turn into the mighty Hulk when she’s four.
The 8-year-old who knows better than you and will argue about anything and everything, whose selective hearing has you wondering whether you need to book an appointment to get his hearing checked, and whose meltdowns rival his sister’s.
The endless morning drama that leaves you sprinting into nursery, school and work every day, and the bedtimes that are anything but calm and relaxing. Why are they the only kids with a sleep aversion? Don’t they realise just how precious sleep is?
The fighting between the two kids. Oh my word, does it ever end? Why can’t they share the same oxygen just once?
And the house. Let’s not even go there. Every room you go into you force out a smile (you need to be positive, right?) and repeat, “It’s not mess, we’re just creating memories.”
Every day feels so hard and endless that you wish you could go on strike. When it all gets too much, you see yourself on your own on a deserted island.
Sorry kids, no more mummy here. From now on you can find her on an island far away with other striking mummies. You’ve got enough clean clothes and food to last you a week. Have fun, daddy’s in charge. I’ll send you a postcard.
Maybe. If I feel like it.
Parenting is harder than you expected
Pre-children you had visions of cuddly bedtimes, laughter over family meals, and lots of fun family activities. Oh, this dream happens now and then, but the reality is that every day is totally unpredictable.
Good days are amazing, and you feel on top of the world. But then, as bedtime nears, you remember that you’re not living your dream family life and the bedtime anxiety kicks in (as does the bargaining to the bedtime Gods: please, please make them be both asleep by 9 pm).
These tiny humans need you all the time. Even the not so small humans need you all the time. You thought for sure that by 8 years of age, your son would be able to do things for himself. He can, but only when he wants to.
Perhaps the most surprising thing is that parenting is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year job. Sleepless nights aren’t just in the early days. Illness, nightmares, toilet trips, all mean you need to be at the ready at the drop of the hat to resume mum duty.
Parenting is confusing and overwhelming
Parenting is the most confusing and overwhelming role you have. Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing sussed, things change, and you’re again none the wiser.
You know you shouldn’t compare, but other people’s kids sleep and eat better than yours, and they’re so much better behaved. Everyone seems to be doing this parenting thing better than you
Everyone has their opinions on what you should do, and every book you read seems to contradict themselves. What’s a parent to do but contemplate running away to paradise?
Parenting is hard, and we just need to accept it
There’s no doubt about it. Parenting is hard. As parents, we’re raising living, breathing, humans. We’re raising our future adults. And that’s a mighty big job.
A mighty big job that we have to struggle through until we come out the other end. The end being when our tiny humans are no longer our responsibility, but they are now full grown adults. We just need to hope and pray that our kids’ ‘phases’ pass as soon as possible and we can then enjoy a bit of calm and joy.
Or do we?
I believe that parenting is difficult, but I don’t think it’s something that we just need to accept and wait for things to get better. I believe that what makes parenting so confusing, hard, and overwhelming is that we’re not being told the truth. Instead, we’re being bombarded with a bunch of myths and lies that make us feel like our children are broken and keep us looking for the next quick fix.
We spend most of our days doubting ourselves, comparing ourselves to others, and we feel like we’re failing at parenting. This isn’t what parenting should feel like.
What if you began to let go of some of these parenting myths?
Maybe, just maybe, you’d start to see that you while challenging, parenting doesn’t have to be something hard that we all just need to wait out.
Tune in next week as I share some of the biggest parenting myths and lies that make raising kids harder than it needs to be.
In the meantime, what’s the biggest parenting struggle you’re facing right now? Share in the comments. I bet you’ll find that you’re not alone!