How To: Survive Parenthood
13 July 2015 at 14:49 0
Parenthood is bloody hard. It's less "skipping happily in a field", and more wiping noses and bums (in that order). Some days, especially when I need to juggle two small kiddies alone, it feels like life as I know it is over. So I have come up with a 12 step survival survival:
  1. Admit that you are powerless ...especially when you are outnumbered. They need to be fed, and changed, redirected and entertained. You can do nothing about it but surrender to their will.
  2. Only God can restore your sanity The days that never want to end, will. God will grant precious moments to keep you going. There's also wine.
  3. When things get really tough, play dead. This includes sleeping while they sleep, if possible. I got the baby and Liya to sleep at the same time. Miracle, I know.
  4. Take inventory of your life Do you have both kids? Do you have both kids bags, and nappies, and food, and juice, and snacks, and extra clothes, and something to keep them busy and a backpack 'lead' to keep the walking ones within reach?
  5. Admit to other moms that you are struggling No one likes a goody-two-shoes mommy with the perfect child/brat. Share the struggles with the mamas/papas. Share the wine.
  6. Remove any dreams and hopes pre-parenthood At least until you're 50. There's no going back. You are a parent forever and theres nothing you can (legally) do about it.
  7. Pray to God to remove any shortcomings you battle to overcome You need to keep them alive. You can't forget them anywhere. You gotta love them (but not always like)
  8. Make a list of any friends/family caught in the cross fire Tantrum in the grocery store/at your best friends house? Threw food at your mother-in-law? Baby got diarrhoea the one time you got a baby sitter? Make a list.
  9. Make amends with those people Making (buying) a cake. Don't visit again. Pay the babysitter extra.
  10. Continue to keep inventory of your life Learn from your mistakes, like that one time you forgot the nappies and tooting toddler exploded at the grocery store.
  11. Trust God to get you and your kids through their adolescence.  If there's one thing I've learnt, we all suck at this. I've had no choice but to believe that anything good that comes out of them will be because of Him.
  12. Having survived parenthood, support and love other parents struggling.  It's only 18 years (30 if you have more kids/kids that won't move out). Share the love, but hold off on the advice and scary stories.
That is my 12 step survival guide. I may have stolen some pointers. Keep at it moms and dads. You can do it!
I’m No Instant-Mom
17 July 2014 at 23:32 1
"Growing up" is such a phenomenal experience: it's slow but we're aware of it, yet it still sneaks up on us. I, of course, have been 'growing up' for the last 27 years, every decade being WAY different to the last. However, today really made me realise how different I am, compared to how I assumed I would be (before I knew better). I couldn't grasp or understand how quickly your life can change, until this last year. Those who are close to me know I am really not a neurotic mother (or as my friend calls it "Helicopter Mom"). I naturally learn to relax about most things, be loving but firm, and make good decisions for my Liya. I choose my battles - for example, I would really prefer Liya not have sweets. She's just too little, and I am responsible for taking care of her and her health, until she can do so herself. I need to make good calls when I can. That said, it's almost impossible if we want to attend birthday parties, let ouma spoil her or let US spoil her. I just love giving her a treat on occasion, like marshmallows, lollies or sharing a bit of what I'm having. This sounds so mundane, but it is so hard finding a nice balance that doesn't push our boundaries too much while trying to not step on others' toes. Anyway, we loved the nursery school we put Liya into first. She would have been there a whole year in August, but the last couple of months it just hasn't been good enough for my daughter. They were too relaxed, couldn't say no to her and worst of all, the principal blatantly ignored my requests to do basic things: watch her more (should I really have to ask this of people watching my 1 year old?), don't let her put sand in her hair, don't let her have sweets... They never asked my permission to give her sweets, but all the other kids get, so how can they? Uhm, how about no sweets at school like most nursery schools?? Anyway, the whole point of my rant today is: I suddenly feel like a real mom. Of course it wasn't sudden; it's been building over the last year. But today it really hit me, as I stormed out of Liya's creche, clutching her and forcing back tears because I was so upset. I wanted with all my heart to protect her and give her the best. It felt like I needed to be angry about this, after I spoke to a principal who was giving me attitude about asking for simple requests for my child. As if it's not my prerogative. As if I was being completely irrational. I specially spoke to other mom's the day before to see if I was being absolute ridiculous asking our creche not to give my child a sucker that she could choke on. Most mom's were horrified she had sweets at all. Some don't even give their kids juice. Do you think I overreacted? There is a very good ending to my story today. It forced Bryan and I to go 'creche' shopping, which I had wanted to do for weeks, and God lead us right to the place we needed to be. I just really wanted to share today how 'mommy' I suddenly feel, and how it's not "instant" like I assumed it would be. I think a lot of mom's feel the same - we assume natural instincts and motherly... things will just magically kick in. But that's not the reality. It's just another experience we have to grow in. I want to protect and fight for Liya, no matter what. We will have many battles, but at least I know I want the best for her, even now when she doesn't understand and won't even remember. Even now.