There, I said it! Do I feel better having admitted it? That one is a bit harder to answer. It depends on a wide selection of variants, including, but not limited to random little ankle biters, like whether:
- I got enough sleep last night (to which the answer is probably NO);
- My toddler turned up his nose to all the food today that he so happily scoffed down just last week (also, most probably NO);
- I shouted, cried, cursed or otherwise miserably failed as a parent who is supposed to set an example on any given day (definitely YES);
- I compared myself to all the other moms I know who just seem to have everything so together (PROBABLY).
The list can be as endless as your insecurities really.
There are hundreds of blogs on parenting, each mirroring the good, the bad and the ugly parts of parenting, and I found myself thinking the other day that if anyone really took any of it seriously, no person in their right frame of mind would proceed with the decision to start a family, OR better yet, decide to have another child after the first, which leads me to my next point.
…nothing like you imagined it would be
One day, when first becoming a parent, you will look back on all the well-meaning advice you so generously dished out to your friends who already at that stage had children, and you will feel like a real certified idiot for ever thinking you had the right to do so, before donning the proverbial “been there, done that T-shirt’’ yourself.
Each and every parenting journey is as unique as the very fingerprints that identify us. There might be some fundamental underlining truths to parenting that apply across the board, but there simply is not a one-size-fits-all approach to anything when it comes to raising kids.
For this reason, I’ve learned not to compare, judge or pretend to have all the answers, but I also had to learn to ask for advice when I don’t have the answers.
….exhausting, rewarding, confusing and gratifying (on any given day)
To some parenting will come naturally, to others it will take some daily dying to self and a whole lot of patience. But I am pretty convinced that nobody has all of it together all of the time. In between cleaning poop, wiping (and sometimes not wiping) food off the floor, juggling day-to-day responsibilities, falling over toys, managing a household, keeping your relationships intact and remembering/finding the energy to brush your teeth and feeding the pets, somewhere along the line, even the most composed among us, will turn into a puddle of self-pitying, runny, muddy, mush!
And do you know what? That’s okay. As long as you don’t pretend you are all good, when you are actually on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You are not doing anybody any favours, least of all your children. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. If you are going to try to go at it yourself for too long, it will suck all of the potential joy from parenthood out of you little by little, until you are THAT parent you swore you would never become.
But on any given day, no matter what the challenges, you will also feel needed, loved, in charge, accomplished and deeply fulfilled. Knowing that you have been there for your sickly child; could dramatically appreciate your toddler’s latest (disgusting find) in the garden or the shoddy, but enthusiastic artwork created by their little hands; could nurture, cuddle, love and hear the laughter of a happy little person; and had the privilege of being called ‘’mom’’ or ‘’dad’’, is more fulfilling than the highest paid job in the universe.
….not supposed to be a lonely journey
For everything else in life, we prepare ourselves by reading up, learning from and seeking out the experts (aka those who have gone before us). Why is it then that so many of us refuse to admit that we feel like we are miserably failing at one of the most important things anyone could ever be tasked with?
Google is a great resource, but it can never replace the value of meaningful reciprocal relationships and friendships – a safe environment where you can both encourage and be encouraged. Do not neglect getting together with such a friend or social group regularly. It will really make all the difference, and you will probably find that most other moms are also struggling through similar daily challenges, which you can then rather tackle together.
Make Munchkins part of your village
Munchkins was developed with this exact thought in mind.
Every parent needs to fill their toolboxes with suitable equipment to tackle everyday parenting challenges. Our experienced coaches do not only include an Occupational Therapist, but they are all also mothers, who each bring with them a unique background and set of skills to guide you through even the toughest of times.
They all have a passion and hearts for parents who are struggling and are equipped to help you with a wide range of parenting challenges, including (but not limited to):
- Eating, sleeping and tantrums
- Nutrition, and how it relates to discipline
- Special needs children
Andalene Salvesen (aka Super Granny), Founder of Munchkins is also available for hosting fun and interactive Healthy Lunchbox Sessions with you and your friends in the comfort of your own kitchen!
*Depending on area and coach availability.