Before my first child was born, I had no idea how much work parenting involved, how much time and effort was needed and even how exhausted I’d be as a result of having a baby – and I thought working full time was hard work!
I had no idea what to expect when I became a mum. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement, as I did lots of preparation reading and talking to others. It still didn’t adequately prepare me for the months ahead. I wasn’t trained to be a parent! So I wondered, how could I parent successfully in a way that worked for me?
I knew through my own experiences as a teacher how demanding, selfish, badly behaved and time consuming children could be, and also, with the right prompts, words and support they could be absolutely brilliant too.
I found parenting could be like an emotional roller coaster ride, one minute I could be flying high with excitement, delighted with what I’d achieved and be really ‘in the flow’. The next minute I could be skidding down to the dark, murky depths of exhaustion, frustration and horror-filled scenes. I was spent emotionally and physically. There had to be a better way to balance out the extremes.
I read a lot of books, I talked to friends whose opinion I valued and most importantly, for me, I loved to watch other parents with their children, and still do. I also still have a huge appetite for learning about parenting.
What I Love
I love being a parent.
Parenting is a journey with endless trips ‘off the beaten track’ and I’m constantly learning. Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs like any family and we’ve been able to talk about what’s happened, learn from it and move on.
I’m not saying I’m a perfect parent or all four of my children are perfect either. It’s all still ‘work in progress’.