“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body”
― Elizabeth Stone
If only it came with a manual…
The journey along parenthood is never easy or calm as portrayed by many of the self help manuals.
If only all our kids could fall asleep like clockwork, eat exactly what was good for them and never have tantrums.
Our kids are our teachers
There’s absolutely no doubt that I have learnt much from parenting books, courses and talks but where I have learnt the most is from the teachers that have given me the title of parent… my children! When I slow down long enough, I see the lessons I’m being taught and every day has become a new lesson, a new chapter, a new test.. for me!
No one is perfect
I am far from being the perfect mum. If anything I am flawed to the core! I have bought baking for bake sales (tsk tsk), I have done mercy rounds for forgotten items in the mad rush to school and I’ve been late for ballet exams. I have often forgotten the right coloured ribbon and picked up a birthday present a little after the party has happened. I have too often forgotten names of parents which by now I should know. All parents should have a badge stating who they belong to, in order to make it easy for the rest of us! Flawed but isn’t that what parenthood is? A series of steps in order to truly earn the value of our title which will have many obstacles, trips and falls along the way to victory!
And yet in being flawed I have been loved and accepted as an awesome mum by three little individuals whose acknowledgement means more to me than anything else in the world. Even when I run in late for their school assemblies, I have these big sparkly eyes beaming at me. When I offer to help sew for class plays even though I don’t even know how to thread a needle, there are three proud little faces sitting close by trying to help, even if it means offering glue as a last resort!
Nothing replaces being present
In our efforts to create this “perfect” life for them, we have forgotten how to slow down and to enjoy the imperfections that pervade our daily life. We have forgotten to just “enjoy” and “be” in the moment. These are the moments that we don’t need to create or manufacture- they are the ones that just happen without cameras or selfie sticks.
As a parent it’s my job to ensure that I give back to the world, three beautifully spirited individuals who will understand their purpose in touching the lives of all those that come across them and to make a difference in whichever way they can.
Parents are human too
As mums we seldom cut ourselves any slack. There’s a constant need to portray perfection and its tiring! We need less pretences They need to see the flaws, the mistakes, the hiccups and that it’s OK to fail and to get up and to do it again.
My biggest fear has always been failure but I have realised that it is an intrinsic part of who we are and when we realise this, we can embrace it.
Ask for help
“It takes a village!” to raise a child. I am no longer afraid to ask for help as I have realised it takes nothing away from me as a parent. . It means I have entrusted all those around me with the job of helping to raise my girls. I have learnt to ask for physical help when I need it, emotional help when all I want to do is cry (yes mums do this a lot) , spiritual help when I feel I am deeply at the bottom of the barrel and mental help when I feel completely challenged by all that is around me.
It’s tough juggling it all and its absolutely fine if one or two balls fall down along the way. What matters most is that we keep moving forward so that when we stumble, we get back up and carry on. All the time knowing that we keep our eyes on the end goal – that we can do the best we can and at the end of the day we are able to say to our children and to our Creator “we tried!”