The other day a lovely family we follow on Instagram prompted me to share the fact I feel we are all winging it when it comes to parenting. There are norms and values we teach our children within the family and at school, but when it comes to parenting, we pretty much learn as we go along.
So often I see parents beating themselves up about decisions they have made or wondering what they did to deserve what ever has gone wrong, but really, we are all in this together, we are all winging it. We grow this little human over 9 months and really have no idea what to expect. Because the little person we are growing also has their own ways and own path and as soon as you feel you are on the same page, a new chapter starts. At least that is how I feel.
I had visions of the parent I would be, trust me not one of my visions came true. I imagined sitting down after school making cards or enjoying a lovely dinner at the table, but so far we have a boy that isn’t a fan of craft who has food anxieties.
Both Clara and I are quite strong willed, so it isn’t too much of a shock that we are raising a boy with a strong mind of his own, but trust me that has created quite the learning curve. I promised myself I would never bribe with sweets, spoil dinner with biscuits or get stressed over something small. But I broke my promises to myself because to be honest, I am learning as I go.
Now that M is 4 we are at a stage where I can reason with him. I can sit him down and ask him to explain what he is feeling so that I can help him. He gets frustrated easily and is quite hard on himself if he can’t get something right first time. This inspired an activity of ours where we get him to shout or scream as loud as he can when he feels angry, he usually ends up laughing at the shock of being allowed to scream and shout that loud, but it also gives us 5 to get ourselves on his level.
At times I am still surprised I am one of the adults. Someone that has to head into a storm to fix something if it’s needed or do serious things like sort a will or pay for life insurance. At 34 I still call my Mum or Dad to ask how you go about sorting a mortgage or ask about interest rates. I bet if you asked my Mum she would still say she is winging it and that she probably made mistakes, but I made it this far.
I know there is going to be something I say or do to M that will probably do some form of damage in his eyes, no matter how much I try not to. Even if it is disagreeing over our favourite Pokemon. But I am doing everything in my power to reassure other parents I know that if you are finding different stages tough, you can bet your very last pound that there is another parent sat pondering their abilities too.