Today has been a really rough and tough day. I feel so drained, that I could honestly sit and cry, then sleep for a month (or two!). It’s been a relentless day of tantrums, whining, chaos and moments where I’ve felt so overwhelmed and out of my depth.
Parenting is HARD. There’s no doubt about that, it’s most certainly not all cupcakes and rainbows, and there are rough times and days that you feel will never end. You long for bedtime to come around just so you can get some peace and headspace. Today has definitely been one of those days. It has taken everything I have, to get through it. But yet, there’s still that niggling doubt that I didn’t do enough; or I should have handled things better or differently. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way too. As parents, we always strive to do our best, and often, on days like today, it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough. We worry about literally everything! From whether or not our children are happy, had enough to eat and drink, if we’ve interacted with them enough and shown them enough love and attention. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to our children, and it’s simply unrealistic. We’re human and can only do so much. We’re not perfect, and we shouldn’t try to be. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and anyone who claims to be is lying! We’re all winging it and hoping for the best.
When I was pregnant, everyone told me that the newborn stage was the hardest and that it got easier as they got older. I can see the reasoning behind that, however, I feel that the newborn stage was actually easier for us! I’ve been called crazy for that, but I honestly feel the stage we’re at right now, is harder! Our daughter is very defiant, strong-willed and stubborn! Patience is definitely not something she’s got to grips with yet. She certainly knows how to test us and push the limits to the max. I know she gets a lot of that from me haha! I can be very impatient at times, and most certainly stubborn! Her attitude can be a challenge sometimes, and she gets frustrated very easily. If something isn’t going her way, she is one to stamp her feet and get very cross! To be honest, she is literally a mini-me! I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing though really!
But for all the rough times, there are a million more amazing times that make up for it and the rough times fizzle out into distant times (even if it was only yesterday!). Moments when your child learns something new, and your heart bursts with pride. Or when they’re so loving and affectionate, giving lots of cuddles and kisses, and telling you they love you. When they laugh because of you. When you can reassure them and make them feel safe and loved, and whatever upset them doesn’t do so anymore. When you have lots of fun together, making memories, and spending time doing things as a family. There’s so much more than just those few examples, and it makes it all worth it. Even when you’re sleep deprived or not feeling that great, even just a little smile up at you from your child, can melt your heart and make you feel on top of the world.
So whilst parenting is hard, it’s also the most incredible, amazing, wonderful and rewarding thing in the world. I wouldn’t change my life for anything, because it encompasses everything I’ve ever wanted it and dreamed of. I wanted to be a mum for so long and felt like it wasn’t ever going to happen. So I feel thankful and blessed every single day, for being able to have my beautiful daughter. I am so so lucky to have what I do. A loving husband, who takes care of us, is my rock and my best friend. Yes, he drives me crazy sometimes, but I’m sure I do that to him too! If everything was smooth and easy, it would make life pretty boring. I guess in a way, we need the challenges and the rough times, as they help us to learn and grow. Every challenge we face, and every battle we win, makes us that little bit stronger. So when the next one comes along, we feel more prepared and ready to take it on. Parenting is a constant journey of learning, appreciating, responding and adapting. The path may not be straightforward, but it’s one hell of an adventure! I love being a mum.
It’s perfectly okay, and normal, to struggle as a parent. There’s no need to feel ashamed or admit that you need help and support. We don’t need to face things on our own, and we don’t have to struggle in silence. It’s okay to not be okay, and it’s also okay to ask for help. Anyone that judges or criticises you for doing that, is probably struggling just as much, but just won’t admit it. There are many people who don’t like to make a fuss or show vulnerability. Everyone deals with things in their own way. But if you’re reading this, and are feeling overwhelmed or like everything is against you, please reach out and get support. Please don’t feel like you’re making a fuss because you’re not. In order to be a good parent, you also need to take care of yourself. Self-care needs to be made a priority because if we don’t, we end up burning out and things can spiral out of control very quickly. Our children need us, they depend on us, and we need to take care of ourselves, in order to take care of them.
I feel like I’m just rambling on now, so I think I’ll leave it there! I need my bed so desperately right now, to recharge and get ready for another day tomorrow! Good night all x