'Parenting is HARD'
One of my friends and colleagues @clementine.georgia from www.saltlaboratory.com wrote this amazing passage on her Instagram feed. I loved it and thought it was quite fitting for my blog today.
“Parenting is HARD! My days are often full of questioning myself as to whether I have challenged you enough, been gentle enough, been firm enough, worked on connecting your emotional and rational brains, been present enough…. The days can be so long, but the weeks and years feel so short. I realize now, I am not teaching you – we are forever teaching each other and for that I am forever grateful”
5 ½ years have passed for me as a ‘mum’ (I gulp at this thought daily) and boy have I grown more as a person in the last 5 ½ years than the 29 years before.
All the “experts” say this though, don’t they, you grow the most during times of struggle and hardship?
How many times have you heard “this too shall pass”. It is common one liner declared probably daily amongst my mum mates; we all roll our eyes and laugh at each other.
Therefore…. I say the rollercoaster of parenthood then gives us the opportunity for growth, every BLOODY DAY! We should be all over it!? Shouldn’t we? Know ourselves inside and out, be totally zen and at one with ourselves by the time our first is 1yr old! Ha!
How often do you recall though, when something sorts itself out, another thing pops up… There is always something testing you. I do not think it will ever end. The only constant is change.
I recall Matilda, my 5 ½ year old beautiful, now preppy, was 9 months old. I was at my whits end. I recall behaving like a 9 month old myself throwing myself around the room, full of anxiety and totally sleep deprived.
I am a controlling type, I like things organised and scheduled. I thrive on routine and knowing what is coming next. Matilda’s sleep did not represent such ‘structure’ and I had absolutely zero control over it. 9 months in to this new role and I was a mess.
In hindsight, Ed and I were too big for our boots; we’ve got this we thought, no need to ask for help. Maybe we considered if we were to ask for help it was a sign of weakness, a sign of giving up or a sign of failing.
Too many new parents think this way. It is bullshit and we need to surrender to the fact that we are not ‘superhuman’. Our expectations are grossly unrealistic parenthood. Period.
I found myself going to a psychologist working through my ‘expectations’ and it helped; a little. But it was not going to solve all my problems. I had a long way to go. It was just the beginning of starting to dive deeper in to my own inner BEING.
When I fell pregnant with twins, emotions rose through me light thunder. The fear of now having to ‘control’ two babies / kids at once scared the absolute shit out me. So, like all second timers, we instantly knew ‘what not to do’. We knew what we needed with to ensure we could get through the next stage of our parent journey. We needed to set realistic expectations and we needed HELP.
Before Flo and Chas were even born we did our research on one of our main difficulties with Matilda – sleep - we knew at some point we would have to call on a sleep consultant. I clearly remember when ‘that time’ came. Flo and Chas were about 3 ½ months. I found myself in the middle of the day, in between both of their cots, trying to settle both of them at once. Fair to say the neighbours knew it was time too….. they could not only hear Flo and Chas but they could also hear me.
Relinquishing control, surrendering, letting go and accepting imperfection is the most liberating feeling you can have. I have certainly not mastered this and to be honest I feel that it was probably only mid 2017 (last year) that I began to really surrender. At times over the last 5 ½ years we have made some really wonderful decisions as parents, we pulled back, we got help, we said no to things that would push us too much, we accepted help but most of the time we still pushed to ‘do it all’.
Through yoga, more psych appointments, kinesiology, amazing friendships and meditation but MOSTLY through the teachings of my children, I am learning more and more about myself each and every day. For this I am so, so grateful. Matilda, Florence and Charles, through my unconditional love for each of you, you have helped me to be more present, patient, compassionate, engaged, graceful, conscious and more purposeful. You are helping me learn, accept and love others and myself like I could never have imagined. You, are my greatest teachers. Thank you.
“It is through them that my heart walks outside of my body, vulnerable and open, ready to receive and feel on the deepest levels. @marcibaron