If you have kids, you know what I mean when I say, “I love them more than anything AND my gosh, just for a moments peace”.
If you don’t have kids, you will no doubt have opinions on how best to parent, about how to take care of yourself about how to discipline, about what to feed them…I used to. I used to think it was a piece of cake this parenting thing. After all, I was the oldest of a few and I spent a lot of time in charge of other kids well-being!
Pft. If I thought that qualified me to know what being a parent was all about, I was completely delusional.
I personally had a tough time adjusting to parenthood. Not initially. Initially it was a challenge. It was an adventure. It was, well something new. But later. When the lights became dim and the crowd had dispersed…it got tough!
I, like many women my age, had done pretty ‘normal’ things…and some maybe not so culturally normal things as well. We want to get it ‘right’. We want to be seen to be ‘perfect parents’ and our poor kids shoulder the responsibility to be perfect so we might look perfect.
So we might be validated! We might get a gold star like at school. We might get a distinction or high distinction at university. Or a great performance review at work. Or get hired in a new role. Or a promotion. All external validation that we are OK!! Although often as a parent, no gold star, no distinction, no positive performance review…just a bunch of spew instead!
I like to do things well. Not just well, but really well.
As a parent, there really is no measure of well for many years. In all the things I had done before, I had been repeatedly reaffirmed. I had gotten report cards. I had gotten university grades. I had received promotions. I had been paid. I had a feeling of contribution and had feedback to support it.
Became a parent and for a lot of the time you wonder if you are doing anything right.
You don’t have a mentor other than maybe a mother. And my mother bless her, did the absolute best she could…but me…I wanted more!
I have this thing you are in full care of.
At times I find it challenging to finish a complete thought much less a sentence.
One of the fundamental needs of us all is connection. And when you have a bunch of buzzing children, connection is a toughy!
9 years on I have leant A LOT about mothering, about wifing (not wi-fiing although that too), I have learnt a LOT about Jenning.
My strength is to provide a space to get honest. To talk about the things that make us human. To get uncomfortable so we grow.
What is my point in all this?
Parenting is a journey of self discovery! It is a truth seeking journey. It is a ride like no other.
While parenting you are going to love like you have never loved. and hurt like you have never hurt. Felt connected to something so great you cannot describe its origin and yet disconnected from everything you know.
It can be lonely it can be fulfilling. It can be heartbreaking and it can be enlightening.
In all it’s pain and discomfort, there is so much joy…joy that I didn’t know accessible until I opened to the the truth of parenting pain. It’s tough. It’s messy. It’s stinky. It’s shit at times. And until we can have a true and honest talk about this gig, post natal depression is going to continue to exist. Isolation will continue. Judgement of ourselves will continue.
Lets be honest. Life is full of light and it is full of darkness. When we can be ok to experience both without judgement…there is freedom!
Lets talk about the real shit. The stuff that really gets in the way of us being the BEST versions of ourselves so we can be so we can be the BEST versions of ourselves as role models…no pressure 😉
Big, big, extreme love to all you parents!
Speak kindly to yourself