I recently went out for coffee with a friend, and she shared how she felt that mums often aren’t honest enough about parenting – I mean what a shock. In a world where social media portrays perfection, and some mums and dads act like they have it all together and put on the façade of super-parent I doubt if you yourself haven’t been subject to the curse of comparison.
I think I’m pretty open about my parenting challenges, as I feel it’s important as you don’t know who might find relief in imperfection and as someone wonderful once said “in a world where you can be anything, be real, be kind”.
So, whether you’re a parent, a parent to be or fancy some entertainment or absolute confirmation that it’s not for you, I thought I would share a few harsh truths about parenting, that no one else will tell you.
Sometimes you don’t like your kids
OK, not all the time of course, but there are times when your kids get on your nerves, and you look at them like argh!! Often, it’s because they are like you and you're just like OH! Like my youngest, she is so bossy and impatient – can’t think of who she takes after (cough cough).
Not all mum and dads want to be your friend
Finding your tribe once becoming a parent isn’t that different to dating. Some people you gel with some you don’t, sometimes you think omg we are totally going to be mates and then are ghosted and left thinking, was it my hair? Is it because we don’t have a kitchen island? The truth is it’s just life and people just don’t get on sometimes.
There will be days you wish you could hand in your notice
It's OK, well it’s not as if the employer is a child and will not accept your resignation letter. Back to work with zero holiday pay, pfft.
There truly is no love like it
No boyfriend, girlfriend, new car, person or material possession is like the love you feel when your little ones snuggle in, or your older one who thinks he doesn’t need you comes to you for help and comfort, oh my heart - if I could bottle that feeling and sell it I would be a billionaire.
You might one day feel as if your child is a stranger
It might be that first time they utter, "I hate you." The moments when they disappoint you. The realization that they have gone off and developed friends of their own, interests of their own, and don’t want you to ruin their street cred - umm how dare they. Sometimes the strangeness is quite beautiful. Other times, it's frightening.
You will happily take someone down if they mess with your kid (well… most parents)
I have a friend, she’s the gentlest and most softly spoken woman ever but one day after school pick up at the park, another child whacked hers on purpose and made her boy sob his heart out and calm and chilled Barbara (let’s call her Barbara for fun) got up quicker than a cheetah going for its prey and if looks and gobbing off could kill, well it would have. I almost choked on my Costa. We really are just animals protecting our young.
A lock on your bathroom doesn’t save you
They will still find a way to torture you with the art of sound, banging and of course, the smell of something burning or a clunking on the kitchen floor – grab the towel, you’re going downstairs, alone time is over, who needs to wash anyway?
You might face hard, impossible truths about your own parents
Becoming a parent has fashioned both a mirror and a magnifying glass in front of me. I can see in sharper focus all the mistakes that my own parents made when I was a child. But I can also see myself making some of those same mistakes, and new mistakes of my own, now that I am a parent.
You lose yourself for a while
Some parents might not have lost themselves at all, some may have found their calling and feel complete and whole, but for many, you go on this blind adventure not knowing what it will turn out like and at some point, down the road you look at yourself and think who the heck is the person staring at me, it's OK you are normal – just no one told you about it. I certainly didn’t come across it in my hospital Bounty care package.
Your ability to soothe your child’s pain with a kiss and a snuggle is magical
It is though, right? Mother nature had to give us something to counteract all the rest of the trials and tribulations that come with being a parent and it does feel great when all they want is you. It’s like being a VIP at a red-carpet event, but the person screaming your name isn’t even fully grown yet and isn’t dressed in clean clothes.
And finally …
Someday, you will laugh. It just may not be today. Those hard days? You’ll remember those. The days when you’re crying, and you can’t remember the last time you saw a glimpse of hope and you’re sure you didn’t up sign for this rubbish! Someday… you will look back and laugh and if it’s not today that’s OK, give yourself a break and force them to hug you and snigger smugly to yourself because someday they will probably become parents too!
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