Live, Yours Truly

Being a parent is HARD

January 22, 2013

Before I had children, when I thought about what it would be like I thought about being a mum.

Someone to hold, to soothe, to cuddle. Someone to kiss and hug and smile with. Someone who would hold hands and tickle tummies. Someone who would read books and share the things I love.

What has shocked me the most over the past three and a half years is how bloody hard it is to be a parent. In the early days it was quite easy, decide how to feed and what to feed them. Pick the milk, pick the bottles (in our case). Make sure that they have a coat on if it is cold. Add an extra blanket and feel that I am doing well.

As they get older the questions become more frequent and harder. Immunisations, which nursery, how they spend their days. Tv or no TV. Chocolate, treats, junk food, organic. Every minute of every day now I have two children I feel that I am making decisions. And it all rests on me. Mr C is there as a sounding board and to help me decide but as I am the main carer for our children day to day I am the one making most of the decisions.

Suddenly, it isn’t just about the here and now it is about next year, and the next seven / eight years. Looking at schools, trying to understand what is best for my child, mixed with how I feel about a place. Submitting forms and having to wait to know if we get to send him to the school we want to or the one closest.

And it isn’t just the decisions, I have to deal with the reactions to my choices. In my children’s case that can be a 30 minute tantrum because I won’t let them have the second cup of chocolate milk, or it might be the flailing, yelling Kate that I have to physically remove from something I deem as too risky or dangerous. In other people’s case it is the look in their eyes when I explain a choice I have made. Or comments from well meaning parents when they find out that we have solved our sleeping issues by temporarily moving Piran’s mattress to the floor in our room.

A friend commented recently that making these decisions is scary, that looking into our future there are just so many ways that we can fuck our children up. I agree at times but I get by by just looking at the smallest amount of time I can. And yes, I am certain that I will make the wrong choice for my children at some point. But before I am ready they will start making their own decisions and I will have to learn to bite my tongue and say nothing and stand back and let their choices play out. I hope that we will manage to provide a warm and happy home that they feel that they can be themselves in. We have to provide comfort and understanding and stability and let them make their choices and find their way in the world.

But, for now, we are still up to our necks in questions like, how can we be consistent with our children? How can we get them to sleep at night? Where do I find the strength to say no and stick to it when it is 4pm and I am tired and we have been clashing all day long? Will we get some sleep tonight?

These questions and more were the subject of a talk that Mr C and I had this week, about adjusting to all being here all of the time, how we manage our children’s behaviour and the challenges that provides us with. We were both tired and fed up and as we talked the Apple Tv went to sleep and the screen saver appeared. Ours is photos picked up from my computer and as we spoke we saw images come up of our children. And one by one they made us smile. And one by one they made us share stories and start to laugh and after a few minutes we were both grinning and thinking, ‘Wow, being a parent is HARD. But it is also AMAZING and we wouldn’t change it for the world.’


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  • Reply Jen aka The Mad House January 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Parenting is a hard ever changing landscape and just when I think I have part of it cracked then something else comes along to try us! All I can so it my best and if that fucks them up so be it!

    • Reply Kelly January 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Those pesky kids eh? All we can do is our best I agree.

  • Reply Mollie January 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    What a wonderful post. And as I am very tired from feeding my newborn in the night and questioning my actions earlier in the day with my toddler, I find the timing of your post perfect. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Kelly January 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Tiredness makes it twice as HARD too. I had no idea what sleep deprivation could do to a person before I had children. This is what I love about blogs though, that there is always someone out there going through the same things. Hope you get some rest tonight x

  • Reply Katie January 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I hear you!

  • Reply Sue Bagworth January 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

    What a brilliant blog. I have 2 children and feel I am constantly battling with them as they don’t like the choices I make for them but I feel I’m doing for their own good. I’m always told it’s gets easier but sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. And then they bring you home a painting from school or just want to cuddle on the sette or do a jigsaw with you on the floor and then you realise how fantastic it is and how all your hard work is paying off.
    Fab blog xxx

    • Reply Kelly January 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It is a real rollercoaster isn’t it. You think you know what is best for them but it is so hard not to second guess yourself all of the time.

  • Reply @MTJAM January 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

    What a lovely post. It’s the hardest thing in the world and we parents beat ourselves up daily over whether we’re making the right choices. I found choosing schools an overwhelmingly difficult thing, even though all our local ones are excellent. It was just the sheer responsibility I found stressful – my decision would impact on his entire education, his entire LIFE! It was all too much. But I agree – I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for flagging this post to me, it’s lovely to read something so well written and thought-provoking.

    • Reply Kelly January 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I think also the school thing was a real shock because it seems so early. They are still so little and you are making decisions that affect forever.

      Thank you for your comment.

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