I’m fairly certain we will all have memories from parents, guardians or loved ones in which they commented about the passing of time. How it seemed to go in the blink of an eye and ‘weren’t you just 6 years old and sweetly pottering around my garden just a moment ago?’, usually said to a not very pleased 16 year old who just wants to roll their eyes and escape the conversation!
But it’s crazy how, now that I am on the precipice of being mother to a 9 and 7 year old, how true those remarks have started to seem. For one thing, I simply don’t feel old enough to have children of that age, never mind anything else. But that isn’t really what this post is about!
I wanted to write something, to put my thoughts down somewhere, for all those parents who are perhaps going through a difficult time. Whether it’s children not sleeping (come and talk to me about that any day of the week, as I am still the owner of a 6 soon to be 7 year old who wakes at the crack of dawn no matter what time he goes to bed…), difficulty in potty training, trouble with weaning, listening to children with a bad attitude…whatever the parenting troubles, I wanted to write a post to say that this season too shall end.
Just like the fug of the newborn days slowly lifted and you emerged at the other side to realise that you were still alive and able to function as a semi-normal human being (let’s face it, nothing ever really goes back to being quite the same afterwards) so whatever issue you are currently working your way through will come to an end. The trick is to not let it defeat you but to hold on, make plans and know that it will be alright in the end!
We went away over the weekend and I was struck by how much Meg and Eli have changed in such a short period of time. I don’t know why it constantly catches me off guard, and yet it does. They will be 7 and 9 in a few months and although the thought blows my mind, in some small corner of my logic, I can see it. They are ready for the next year. I just hope that James and I are too!
Not too long ago I filmed a vlog which was quite tricky for me to do; I sat down and talked about the difficulty we were having with Meg’s attitude. How I was finding it hard to know how to deal with her and we were getting increasingly frustrated and concerned that our loving little girl was being swallowed whole by a fiesty and sassy tweenager. I received floods of comments and direct messages telling me to hold on, to keep my head up, that Meg was still Meg just going through some changes and you know what? All those people were right. A couple of months later and things seemed to have returned to normal.
Or the new normal.
Because let’s face it, parenting is a constant learning journey.
Not only are you entering into new territories with your oldest child but even if you have more than one, no two children are the same. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another, and so you have to continually adapt and shift your mind-set to accommodate the newness of everything. As a person who solidly dislikes change, this has been a HUGE journey for me and continues to be so. Just when we think we have everything figured out…you realise that actually it’s all up and altered again.
The great thing is that you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you have friends and family close by who can listen with a sympathetic ear or you reach out to the many communities online…and I would highly recommend that you do so…there will be someone who has been through a similar situation before. Who can listen, offer advice, hold your hand, and reassure you that this season too shall end. If you don’t have that person, find them! The internet is such a vast and varied place and although I was terrified to initially post my video about Meg, thinking it would make me seem like a bad parent, I am so pleased that I popped my head up and admitted we needed help. Help is what I got and when we came out of the other side it was perhaps as slightly less frazzled parents then we might have otherwise been.
We are never going to have all the answers but if you are going through a tough time and need to hear today that you have got this then MAMA YOU HAVE GOT THIS.
It might not seem like it, and you might feel as though you are stuck on a never-ending cycle but I promise you, one day you will wake up and slowly realise that things aren’t quite as they have been. And you soak up that respite time and allow that knowledge to sit with you so that when the next wave comes, you will be ready for it.
Mamas (Daddys, Grandmas, Nanas, Grandads…) YOU GOT THIS.