Now there’s a question!
It makes me.....happy, sad, excited, worried, proud and even panic stricken sometimes and I think that I’m fairly stable, emotionally, well mostly!!😳
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual or a how to guide, it just happens and we all muddle through the best we can!
What I have learned over my 26 years of being a parent is that, if it did come with a book, it wouldn’t be particularly useful, as kids just aren’t all the same! What one loves another hates, what suits one doesn’t suit another and that to get the best out of one means treating them in a completely different ways to their sibling(S)!
I’ve discovered this after having 3 completely unique kids!
This always makes days out and holidays particularly complicated because, 1 wants to be active 24/7, another wants to read, listen to music and watch the world go by, and the other wants to be quietly creative and contemplate the meaning of life! None of them can understand how the others don’t want to do the same thing!
I have tried everything! “Let’s take it in turns to choose something we want to do and everyone has join in, with no moaning!” That didn’t really work, because someone usually moaned and spoilt it for the rest. “Ok, I’ll do something with each of you, separately” This never went down too well either. I would feel guilty about not being with the others or they’d be bored and a little bit jealous! I spent years trying to please everyone and not really succeeding!
What I eventually learnt was that, if you give them space, let them figure things out together and back off a little, tensions lessened and with the parent not being at the centre of it all meant that the dynamic changed. There were no “buttons to press”, no vying for attention. I don’t mean disappear and leave them to it, just give them space.
The best advice I was given was “ don’t sweat the small stuff!”. There’ll always be something “big” to sort out so just enjoy the bits in between and if you say “no”, mean it! I hardly ever said/say “no” unless they could hurt themselves or others, if I didn’t! I think that the “no you can’t have a biscuit/ do that/ go there” parents, who the next minute let their kids do whatever it was they’d said “no” to, just make life difficult for themselves and it’s all too tiring to do that! 😴
So enjoy the happy, excited moments, whatever they are for you. Learn from the sad, worried ones, it won’t last and know that the worst thing doesn’t usually happen when the panic hits!! My sister always says “remember it’s only a phase,” whatever it is and annoyingly she’s usually right! 😘
Just keep up the amazing work all you lovely parents, step parents, grandparents, foster parents and every other kind of looker afterer there could possible be! You’ve got this! 💕💕