Being a parent is tough!
It’s great, I love it, it is rewarding, it is filled with joy, giggles, love and twinkly sparkly fairy lights most days. It’s garnished with glitter, mud, unicorns, the Tardis, Minecraft, rainbows and frogs.
Then other days, it is bloody hard work.
It’s helping your kid through a break up theirs or yours, exams, a friendship fall out, a friends suicide attempt, working through diagnoses for things, making a bad financial decision, getting a job, loosing a job, choosing a school, gender issues, choosing a university, choosing a pair of socks that don’t irritate them. Dealing with depression and anxiety. Death, grief, loss. Trying not to stop them from licking every car as you walk past just to see how it tastes – because that brings them happiness but makes you anxious as hell. Watching them climb too high in trees, or be in pain with illness or after an accident. Giving time to the monsters under the bed, to cuddle long enough when you’re busy, dealing with parent guilt, mother guilt and just plain old guilt. Providing a bed for a friend in need, listening to their stories, watching them learn to do things you know you could do quicker. Dealing with addiction, watching the consequences of actions come rolling home, both big and small.
These are the things, that they don’t cover in What to Expect when You’re Expecting.
There is no road map or pre-pregnancy guide for how to muddle through those things. But they are there, and they are real and they happen.
I sit here typing, and don’t feel like I have any answers for you, just empathy for those of you who are in that place. I have been there several times this week in different ways. And it is really, really hard work.
It’s hard to be in that space and not know what to do, or how to help.
So you just be there. But at least you are there.
These are the days, I feel a deepening love for my own parents, and can identify with new and fresh eyes as to how they must have felt that way with me. Not always knowing what to do, but doing the best they could in that moment, at that time.
I don’ have answers, just space in my heart for others on the same journey.
Parenting can be bloody tough.