I find this whole parenting job fascinating. Some days it’s a breeze, our children respond instantly to our reminders and warnings about behaviour. They are fun and loving and it all just feels easy, like we’re finally getting on top of this parenting thing. And then other days… well you feel like it’s an endless cycle of setting boundaries and them being crossed, crying out to God for wisdom, phoning friends for advice, constant battles with a toddler that could so easily be resolved if they just listened the first time and by about 3pm you’re desperate for your husband to come through the door.
Parenting has to be the toughest job and like a friend of mine once said:
if you’re doing it right, it’s hard
Sometimes wouldn’t it be easier to just back down on the warnings and let them have that toy they just snatched, to let them have that chocolate bar even when their behaviour quite frankly doesn’t deserve it or to let TV do more childcare than you think it should, but we press on.
Well these last few weeks have been a bit like this for us. We’ve been toilet training our son and although in the main he has got it, his behaviour during has been, well, how can I put it, not his most angelic! There have been tears, tantrums, pushing boundaries again and again and again and just when you think there can’t be any more…. again! If I’m honest at nearly 30 weeks pregnant with depleted energy some days have felt like survival rather than blissful motherhood.
But one thing I have learnt over these last few years of being a mummy is that there are always seasons. Things change. Our children go through phases which at the time seem impossible and like they’ll never change and yet they always do.
Last week I went out with a close friend for a girlie evening and relayed the events of the last few weeks to her. I was kind of wanting advice on how I could instantly resolve the issues we were experiencing in our sons behaviour and yet she told me something which was probably the best thing I could have heard. Her child was going through a very similar phase. Maybe it was their age, perhaps the increased hours they had started doing at playschool, most probably with our son a result of him finding the whole toilet training thing hard, but it was most certainly normal.
It was a phase. A phase that would pass and one that we just have to ride out, but it’s normal. How comforting to know others are going through those same ‘just gotta survive until 6pm when my husband gets home’ phases.
When I look back over the last three years I can see just how many of those little phases we’ve gone through. Things that at the time seem impossible. Like no matter what encouragement, discipline, consistency or methods of parenting we tried, nothing seemed to work. And then roll on a few weeks and it’s all sorted. Somehow, somewhere along the line those things we believed must one day work, suddenly do.
Perhaps you’re in one of those phases now. Maybe you feel like you’re surviving too. But remember, it’s normal. Parenting is sometimes just plain hard but it’s all phases that they (and you!) will come through. x