The things I have learnt about parenting are many and varied. Learning on the job, the kids are constantly in ‘beta’, never fully bug free and as their parent you’re always trying to stop everything from crashing. Although this happens a lot and full scale meltdown is also highly likely.
It’s a hard job. When they’re babies it’s unrelenting sleep deprivation and constant worry, when they are toddler’s it’s the development of ‘mum-eye’ to assess any situation for sharp objects, potential death threats, or things they can destroy. Pre school is about dealing with their many frustrations and school is a whole different ball game, that I am currently learning.
There are many things that I have learnt. At the ages of 3 1/2 and 5 and 3 months here are ten that might make be helpful.
1. All children are different. This is a single most important thing I have learnt. You can treat both in the same way but they will react in different ways. Nature trumps nurture in this respect.
2. At 7am in the morning, pulling a sledge with 2 excited screaming children can actually be fun. Weird.
3. You will never stop worrying that they are safe. (Which has the unfortunate side effect of waking most nights to check they are in their beds.)
4. They have to make their own friendships. There’s just nothing you can do about that. Seeing them cry because so and so won’t let them join in the game is hard, but it’s life. I haven’t quite mastered dealing with this one this one yet.
5. While they are little they will always wake up early. Deal with it.
6. With kids come mess. And plastic. And glitter. Do NOT spend money on decorating the house.
7. The presence of their parents is worth more than any toys. Sentimental perhaps, but true.
8. If I’m stressed, they’re stressed. And their stress manifests in some pretty awful behaviour. Nurture trumps nature in this respect.
9. One day they will make me breakfast in bed.
10. I will always make mistakes. It’s human nature, there’s no point getting upset about that. See point 8.
I have also learnt that there are times when you have to let them try and battle out their own issues whether that’s trying to get dressed themselves or opening the lid of the marmite. They’ll just shout at you if you try and help and who likes being shouted at?
Oh and one REALLY important one.
11. Don’t ever think you’ve cracked it. From sleeping through the night (my kids did as babies, not so much now), to foods they like to clothes they want to wear, it’s an ever moving circus. Nothing really ever stays the same for long.
And that’s half the fun.