Recently, I’ve noticed a trend of bloggers writing about how hard parenting can be, myself included. And whilst I think being a mum is the best job in the world, I also think that this trend is fantastic!
Why? No, not just because I love to complain. But because in those first few months, heck the first few years of parenting, I honestly felt like a failure.
My child didn’t sleep through the night, so people told me I had a ‘bad’ baby.
I was unable to breast feed, so the maternal health nurse told me I was poisoning my baby.
And James and I fought like crazy, no body warned me about that!
But do you know what got me through? Parenting blogs. Real mums covered in real baby poo after a night of no sleep. I knew I wasn’t alone- although at times it sure felt like it.
So here’s some of that truth they shared with me:
HEAPS of babies don’t sleep through. Wait what? I know! Oliver didn’t sleep through until he was about 2, and still sneaks into our bed a couple of times a week. Honestly, sleep deprivation SUCKS and it is really hard. But it’s not unusual, and your baby is not bad!
Plenty of Mum’s cannot breast feed. Some even choose not to. This advice is not even easy to come by at most hospitals unless you specifically ask for it. And nope, they are not bad parents- and they sure as shit aren’t poisoning their children.
And you know what, having a baby challenges your relationship like never before. It’s not all matching outfits! I mean it’s two people with individual thoughts and feelings who are probably very sleep deprived trying to find their way on this new and incredibly challenging journey. But you’ll also build your relationship in ways you never knew possible.
I think it’s so important we share our challenges. Parenting is bloody hard enough work without the added feeling of being the only one struggling.
I used to read some of these blogs and wonder how on earth could these women, and some men, be so honest about what they were going through? How could they openly tell the world wide web that they were actually struggling with this parenting gig?
And then I realised the unspoken truth, being a parent is the hardest job in the world. But it is the best job in the world.
Yep, despite all you read from us seriously sleep deprived parent bloggers, it truly is the best job in the world.
When you finally get your baby in bed, and you lie your head on the pillow and you think to yourself I hope they sleep all night tonight it’s likely you’ll still wake up several times to check on them- and it’s the most natural thing in the world.
When your child comes up to you with a toy, no matter how busy or tired you might find yourself, you will move mountains to spend a few minutes playing with your child just to make them happy. And when they do smile, that’s the true meaning of success.
And I can’t even put into words what it feels like when your child says the words ‘I love you’. Seriously, it’s like those first few seconds of chewing juicy fruit, there is nothing else like it.
Yes, the challenges can be overwhelming at times, but ALL parents feel overwhelmed. And if we all come together and talk about it, I feel like it will be a whole lot less overwhelming and we can really just spend out days focusing on all the good bits of parenting.
So, what do you find the most challenging as a parent? And what do you love the most?
*if you are struggling to find the joy at the end of the tunnel, you’re also not alone! Go have a chat to your GP, or call BeyondBlue and gain access to the help that is available to you x