Parenthood refers to ‘the state of being a parent and the responsibilities involved’.
For me, becoming a parent was something I craved from a young age. I knew I wanted to be a mum, without a shadow of a doubt. I was aware of the financial responsibility of bringing a baby into this world, as well as the emotional responsibility of raising them to be well adjusted, happy individuals.
I became a mum when I was 21. I think I had a rose tinted idea of what parenthood would be like. I knew there would be challenges with sleepless nights, teething, temper tantrums and nappy changes. You are prepared for this through the advice given by fellow parents, from books and from health practitioners.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the intense emotional rollercoaster that occurs when you become a parent and meander your way through the early years, middle childhood and then into adolescence.
And what a rollercoaster it is! I was absolutely not prepared for the teenage years. For hormones raging, tears flowing and verbal battles. Parenting two teenagers of different genders, both at different stages of development also meant balancing theory with winging it. What worked for one, did not work for the other. What happened at a certain age for one, happened later for the other. And that made me feel lost, unsure and floundering in my parenting abilities. As a parent, I just wanted to be able to fix anything that caused upset. But as teenagers who were developing into adults, that became less and less possible, as they became more independent and aware of their own minds.
However, there are so many incredible highs when you are a parent! It’s not all poo explosions, thrown food, he said/she said, spots and boyfriend trouble. Seeing your child grow and develop, becoming more independent, interacting with others around them, achieving their goals and smiling is immensely rewarding. Being proud of who they are in that moment and seeing a glimpse of who they will be in the future is…..well put it this way, it’s simply amazing!
So what are your thoughts on parenthood? Challenging, rewarding, exhausting, amazing?? Parenthood is so many things that it’s hard to encapsulate it all in just a few words! It will be different for us all. Sometimes we will feel like we are doing it all wrong, that we are bad parents and that our children don’t stand a chance. Other times we will be awed by the little people we have helped to develop. We will be so pleased with little wins, like remembering it’s show and tell at school, or having an empty washing basket with all the school uniforms ready for the week.
What I do know for sure is that I am so unbelievably grateful to be a parent.
📷 by Ricardo Moura by Unsplash