Each child is unique and amazing – as is each parent that raises and cares for them. We live on a planet of diversity and differences, yet, we all seem to encounter the same universal experience that is PARENTING.
While there is a vast amount of things parents have in common, here are 6 parenting truths I’m sure you can relate to:
1. They are miniature versions of you.
I have been blessed with a well-adjusted and behaved child but there are moments when I want to pull my hair out and lose my mind.
Those moments are the ones when she acts like me. I often say that when she opens her mouth I fall out.
Children learn through imitation so, needless to say, a lot of who they are they learn from us. While they do eventually develop their own unique personalities, likes and dislikes, the majority of their behaviours are modeled on how they see their parents behave.
So the next time you want to throw your child in the corner for pointing their finger in their face while seething, “Excuse me?” just remember where they get it from.
2. “What did I just say?” can either be a threat of a legit question.
This point sort of encompasses two parenting truths: your kids won’t listen and you’ll feel like your memory has taken an extended vacation from your brain.
There’s a common phenomenon called “Mom Brain” and, if you’re a mother like me, you’ve experienced it – walking into a room and immediately forgetting why you did, sitting something done only to “lose” it five seconds later, saying something and then having no idea what you just said. While there is probably some scientific explanation for why this occurs, I chalk it up to the fact that now, as a parent, you are in a constant mode of multitasking since becoming responsible not only for yourself but a tiny person as well.
On the other side of this, your children are not going to listen to you. Not always, but repeating yourself a million times before a task complete is going to become a natural part of your day. Not only do children learn through imitation, but they also learn through limit-testing. They are going to take the chance that you are going to stop asking them to clean their room by ignoring your requests for a solid 15 minutes. I mean, if they are going to do it anyway, why not chance that you will give up asking?
3. Alone time is frightening.
Your kids are at their grandparents, your spouse is out with his or her friends and all of a sudden you find yourself…alone. In the weeks, days and minutes leading up to this moment, you had a plan – have some me-time, read a book, take a bath, watch Netflix, drink some wine, etc. You excitedly anticipated that glorious moment where you would have your whole self to yourself.
But, like a deer caught in headlights, you freeze when the time finally comes. It’s like standing on the edge of chasm and looking out into the void. Here it is, yet you have no idea what to do with it. It’s too big, this alone time, and you panic at the thought of spending time with yourself.
It gets better, each time you have these moments to yourself.
4. You’ll catch puke with your bare hands.
I remember the first time my daughter vomited and it wasn’t a milk spit-up type vomit. She sat up and bed, heaved and…I caught it in my hands.
I think my initial reaction was that if I caught it then I wouldn’t have to strip the bed and changing the bedding. At the time it seemed like a logical choice that would have saved us time and allowed us to go right back to sleep.
In retrospect, that was gross and I can’t believe I did it.
Guaranteed you will do it too – and whether it is a natural reflex or a proactive move to avoid cleaning up, it’s still gross.
5. Someday you’ll put your child down and never pick them up again.
I read this once on the internet and cried. At the time my daughter was just a wee thing and I couldn’t imagine not ever holding her in my arms.
She is now 5 and I still carry her at any opportunity I get.
It’s a depressing thought but it is also a beautiful reminder to hold them while you can. Rest assured that even when they are too big to carry in your arms, they will never be to big to hold in your arms.
6. You’re going to miss it all.
The puke, the tantrums, the poop-blasts, the tears, the projectile objects aimed at your face – we all struggle with parenting but, at some point, you will miss it. And not that you will miss the stress and anxiety, but you will miss those amazing moments where your child moves past one phase of their maturity into the next.
The “bad” moments are simply reminders of what the good moments are. You may not want to re-live them, but you will miss them.