I can still remember the day my first child was born, almost 15 years ago. I was in mummy heaven. I had a beautiful, healthy girl ( 7pounds) with gorgeous blond wavy hair and I was totally in love. Ashlea arrived on her due date, she took to the breast first time, she sleep through the night at 6 weeks old, never required a dummy and life just couldn’t be more perfect. This child squashed all the myths about parenting….
Oh what a load of crap. I’m not sure about you but I ventured into parenting thinking it would be exactly that. I would sit around happily breast-feeding my perfect baby. She would sleep contentedly every night. She would grow at the perfect rate and never miss a milestone. Every meal placed in front of her as she grew would be happily eaten, never complaining. This is just NOT TRUE.
Today we are going to show how parenting really is – not how we perceive it.
Myths about Parenting
- Parenting does not come naturally. Some aspects of parenting may come naturally but the further along you get into this job you will hold for the rest of your life, the more you realise how unnatural it is. How many people start a new job and know exactly what they are meant to do?
Newborn babies cry and cry and cry. The term ‘sleeping like a baby’ was made up by someone who once looked at a baby and thought that is what normally happens. It just doesn’t. They have a strong set of lungs too and often cry for a reason you need to work out yourself.
- How many times have you seen a parent at the supermarket with a screaming toddler? All attention is placed on the parent (some looks are of sympathy or of ‘bad parenting’) but either way, you are embarrassed because you didn’t sign up for this when you had a beautiful newborn – did you?
- There is nothing wrong with saying NO to your child. Come on say it with me – NO NO NO NO. Mum can I have a biscuit? NO it’s nearly dinner time. Mum can I go to my friend’s house after school? NO because I have a meeting and can’t pick you up. Mum can I empty the dishwasher? NO – hang on what are you really after? (for those who have young children, this never actually happens)
- Bribery is a parents best friend. Use and abuse it I say. Some children are happy to go along with whatever your suggest. While others need a little more convincing. In a world where we are so busy and juggling so many balls, don’t stress over a little bribery to either keep the peace or to get your own way.
- One of the great myths about parenting is that parents can’t make mistakes. This is where I fail miserably and I am proud of it. There is no rule book when you sign up to become a parent so it is only natural that we get things wrong. Learn from the mistakes and by the time you are raising your 4th child like me, you are mistake free (once again for those who have younger children, this too is not true).
- Disagreeing with your partner in front of the children will not scar them. In fact, when your children see you argue ( and I don’t mean a screaming match with plates being thrown around the room) and then see you compromise and become friends again, they realise that is a natural part of sharing someones life. Children can then understand how to handle a disagreement with friends and every argument doesn’t mean the end.
- The kids don’t always have to come first. This one I struggle with the most but I am lucky I have a partner who reminds me that WE need to work too so the family functions. Children take over our lives – this is a given. But they do not have to take over everything. Sometimes, you need to come first and so too does your relationship with your partner. Trust me, the kids might complain when you leave them with a sitter, but they forget the moment you leave the house.
- Parenting children differently is essential. When children are little, their needs are mainly physical and more often than not you can bundle them together. As your children grow, so do their emotional, physical and psychological needs and each child requires something different. YOU know your child best and what suits them, so don’t let others make you feel guilty by treating your children differently.
- Every parent has a break down, losing it and then regretting their poor behaviour. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost the plot, and I don’t think my kids are too scarred by it.
Remember, every new experience you share with your child is YOUR FIRST TIME TOO. Some areas of parenting get easier the longer you are doing it but then they are replaced by other facets of parenting that you may not be ready for.
Good luck beautiful parents out there… stay strong.
linking up Essentially Jess