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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Make amends with those people
Making (buying) a cake. Don't visit again. Pay the babysitter extra.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!