Thursday 30 August 2018

The Hard Side of Parenting

When you first plan on having children, it's easy to think of your life with a cute, little baby to cuddle, kiss and dress, teach it new things and help it explore the world. The thought of unconditional love between you both is second to none but although you do get all the lovely stuff, there are definitely some harder times too.

I have been a parent for close to six years now, with my eldest being four so we are well out of our "baby" days. I would like to think that I am experienced enough at all aspects of parenting (minus teenage years of course, I imagine that's a whole new kettle of fish) and I'd like to share some things that, in my eyes, can be tough and have you reaching for a glass of wine on an evening. Life isn't always as it's portrayed on Instagram!

Illnesses and Ailments
This is something that will be ongoing from newborn right up to teenage years and it is the one thing that I still struggle with now. Both of my children had colic as newborns and if you haven't had a child with colic, you are lucky! It was probably the first time that I thought, "This parenting thing can be kind of tough" and I'm not ashamed to admit that I did cry on occasion both out of frustration of not being able to settle the baby to sleep so that I could get some sleep, but also because I felt bad that I couldn't take that pain away quick enough. It's a lot harder when they can't speak and tell you what's wrong too.

As the children get older, you have many other things to contend with, especially when they start school. Threadworms and nits are always lovely, especially when you have to disinfect your entire house and my absolute favourite, sickness bugs where you are the parent so if your child is up in the night vomiting all over the bed and floor, guess who's gotta clean that up?

Of course your child may have skin condition such as eczema, or like my daughter E, keratosis pilaris (sorry kid, you got that from me!) but all I can say is, thank heavens for online stores like The Independent Pharmacy where you can browse and buy in the middle of the night when you're up comforting a child with sore skin.

I am all for letting my children make their own decisions, know their own minds but sometimes it comes back and bites me in the @$$. I've written before about how C has ASD and one thing that he does a lot is question authority. If myself or his daddy give him an instruction or tell him to do something, he will challenge it a lot and "answer back" (we get a lot of "You can't control me"). A lot of the time he doesn't realise that he is doing it, he's mostly mimicking us and as much as it gives us The Rage, we have to acknowledge that it stems from the ASD and try and explain why he can't do that as the last thing we want is him getting in trouble at school.

E, on the other hand, is the definition of a Sassy Diva who thinks she can do what she wants, when she wants. Now, after four years of parenting her compared to six years with her brother, I'm willing to bet that this is a girl thing and will only get worse as time goes on. Lord, help us with the tween/teen stage!

Potty training
Those words almost give me shivers and I am so glad that I will never have to potty train again. There is so much to think about; is my child ready? How do I introduce a potty? Are they too young/old? Should I use pull ups or go straight to pants? And don't even get me started on night time!

C was a late bloomer and didn't train until he was around 3 and was out of bedtime pull ups by 3.5, just before nursery started. Although he took his time getting there, it was relatively easy and it only took us around a week to be dry in the day. I went in feeling optimistic with E because I'd done it before. Wrong. She was terrified of the toilet, would keep having accidents even though she knew where the toilet or potty was but I knew that it was just because she liked the security of a nappy and introducing a potty was daunting. Obviously, we got there in the end and it was like a switch had been flipped. 

Mum Guilt
This is something that I get a lot and it's usually over the silliest of things. I didn't spend a lot of one on one time with the kids because I had a ton of cleaning to do, we didn't leave the house for two days because it was pouring down, we had a busy day so it was McDonald's on the way home rather than a nutritious home cooked meal, I lost my £%$& because E kept kicking her brother and C hit her back so I was a bit of a shouty mum. It happens and that's okay

Would you add anything else to my list? What do you struggle with?

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