Lows (thought it was better to start with these and ‘end on a high’ as they say)
1) Tiredness. Might seem like an obvious one or at least to all those parents out there, but it’s a biggie for me and tiredness levels in a word are unreal! Its tiredness like you’ve never known it before. To start with the adrenaline of the new baby vibes keep you going, even though you have only just had this tiny human! But for me it was around 4-6 weeks old with both my boys, that’s when I hit the wall and started to question whether I would ever get more than 2 hours solid sleep again? ( and that’s if I was lucky?!) but then you look at their tiny face and realise it won’t really be forever!
2) Worry. Constantly worrying about a whole host of things and I’m afraid this hasn’t changed much for me in the nearly 5 years since I became a parent. Every new phase brings on new worries and stresses but I’ve been told if your not worrying all the time you not doing this parenting thing right ! 🙂 So it’s normal to worry because they are my babies and always will be.
3) Mum guilt. And my God does it creep up on when you least expect it! For me it’s when I’m doing something for myself away from the boys, that it hits me. ‘I shouldn’t be enjoying myself this much’… ‘I wonder if they are okay, what are they doing, I should have played more before I left…the list goes on…. But the one thing that gets me the most though, when it comes to the dreaded ‘mum guilt’ is not spending enough time with them. Which is silly because apart from me going to work I’m with them both 95% of my free time either playing, feeding or taking them places.
4) Self care. Which kindly brings me onto my next point, not having enough or any time to yourself. Which may sound like a strange one but when you become a parent all of that ‘free time’ you never new you really had is gone. Now not for one minute would I want to swap that free time for my boys and have it all back, but ‘time for you’ is really in short supply. Especially when they are so tiny, and even going to the toilet is normally accompanied by another small person. However I’m learning that time away from each other, really does allow us all time to recharge and make the most of the time we do have together.
5) Self doubt. Something I’ve spoke about before in my posts but this is by far the biggest sticking point for me. It featured massively in my emotions with my first son in particular. First I’d ask myself what am I going to do? how am I going to do it? etc. I am a big planner and even after all that careful planning and consideration and often gathering of advice from others about feeding, sleeping, routines, I’d question myself am I doing this right? Could I be doing things better? Others are doing it differently to me maybe they are doing it right?…
Some of those questions still enter my head from time to time, but after having my second child I realised that we all do things differently because it’s all about us, our family and our parenting style and as long as my boys are happy and healthy I’m doing this Mum job right!
Now for my top 5 Highs of Parenting!
1) Overwhelming love. Very much just like the tiredness it’s love like you’ve never known before. That feeling of being in complete awe of every facial expression, giggle or mispronounced word. From the way they look at you, to the first time they call you ‘Mama’ or hold out those tiny arms for a cuddle. My boys make me melt daily, its a kind of love that is unconditional and strong beyond words.
2) Wearing that Mummy/Daddy badge. This badge of honour comes with its challenges for sure… but I feel truly privileged to be called someones Mummy. It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling (cheesy I know) but being a Mummy is the one thing I was certain of wanting to be and even though it’s a daily learning curve I feel a sense of accomplishment that we make it through these days together, learning as we go.
3) Watching them grow. There is no greater sight than seeing your baby takes those first few steps or capturing that first smile on camera. And watching them reach those big and little milestones is one of my favourites. Sometime my boys have surprised me with their new found skills, other times I too have felt their sense of accomplishment after they master something they have been so close to achieving for what seems like forever.
4) Teaching. Again this leads me onto the next point, even greater than that, is you yourself teaching them that skill, knowing that I’ve given them the tools to achieve something is a fab feeling! From how to fit that triangle into the shape sorter to forming the letters in their name. It all counts!
5) Pride. Along with love comes pride for me. And no matter how small their achievements I am nothing but proud of them. Gosh sometimes I’m just proud of them for being them! When they make me giggle without even meaning to, or random acts of kindness they perform when I least expect it. I think all parents out there can agree that they are proud of their children for just being them.
What would be your top highs and lows of parenting?