Blast From The Past – Work In Progress

When you are out and about you will see them. People. Doing stuff. Things you would do differently. Maybe you even judge. Because it’s oh so in our nature to do so. You watch and you might think “I’d never to this”, “I’d say that”. And then one day it dawns to you: You just did!

Or you ear drop on people making remarks about others in regards to how they do things wrong and how they, of course, would never do that…

Happens to me all the time. And actually just recently again. So I thought I share my thoughts in form of a Blast From The Past and hope you enjoy…

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We are all a work in progress. As much as some might think they are, nobody is born perfect. This applies to all layers of life, especially parenting.

We’ve all been there, childless, watching parents with their kids and either saying it out loud or only thinking that we will never to this or that. We might even have been brave (or shall I say overconfident) enough to lend advise. Advised that was based on how we THOUGHT things should be rather than what we KNEW worked for us.

I’ve been there too. I’m no saint. I watched parents and shook my head, thinking how much better I would handle the situation. I judged parents for “parking” their kids, little kids, in front of a portable DVD player or some other device in order to have a conversation under adults. It made angry to see parents give in when the child was having a fit and buying that lollie at the cashier. It made me feel sick in the stomach watching parents feeding their child junk food because it was refusing to eat the healthy vegetables.

I’m still no saint. But today I’m a wiser no-saint than I was back then. Parenting is actually so much more about learning than what I would have thought. It taught me. Life taught me. Parenting taught me. Trying hard to be a good parent taught me.

The lesson I learned as a parent is that sometimes all the good intentions you had, all the plans you made are faster out the window than lightning strikes.

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My first born was an extremely picky eater and he did not eat much. It drove me crazy, especially being my first child. So more often than I’d like to admit I let him have the fries instead of standing my ground. I took him out of his bed and cuddled with him until he was asleep so many times instead of letting him cry (something I still don’t agree on). We let him watch his favorite TV shows on whatever device in order for us both to sit down and enjoy a meal together. A meal that was still hot when eating it. We let him watch his TV show so we could end our conversation. A conversation we had started so many times but never managed to get to the point.

Both of my kids brought me to the point I gave in more than once. And sometimes I still cave in from time to time.

I bought them their lollies at the cashier. Not because they were throwing a tantrum for not getting it but because they kept asking. And asking. And asking. And asking why not. And asking again. And at one point, on a day you don’t feel up for telling no over and over again, you give in. It might be the only day you ever give in.

Then, in that very moment, the only moment you give in, the one day you can’t keep saying no, the day you are just too tired of arguing, you get judged. Judged by the woman behind you in the queue. That woman who is yet to become a mother but thinks she knows everything. The woman who thinks it’s all a walk in the park. The woman who thinks she will walk out the hospital ready to exercise again, fitting in her pre-pregnancy cloths right after giving birth. The woman who thinks she will never be exhausted, never not manage to shower, never cry, never have vomit all over her or will never have to deal with a tantrum. The woman who thinks she will never “let herself down” to the level she looks like she just escaped a train wreck…

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On a good day, you just look at that woman and smile at her with that knowing smile. Maybe even with a feel sorry smile. Knowing that you once were that woman too.

But, wow, life taught you differently!

There is no manual for parenting. Just like education there is no right or wrong. No one way fits all. Every child is different. Every adult is different. Every combination of parent and child is different. So it needs a different approach. And believe me: Sometimes you just don’t want to argue anymore. Not over lollies, not over broccoli, not over fries, chocolate or ice cream. Not over fruit, not over cloths or shoes or socks. Sometimes the time is right to just give in. Sometimes the time is right for that device, to “park” the children in front of a TV. Just for keeping you marbles in line. Just to finish a conversation for once. Just to know they ate something.

Will it do any harm? I doubt it.

My children know their limits. They know that a “no” is a “no” even if I gave in at times. They love eating vegetables and fruits, they enjoy a balanced diet. They play, they are outside, they read, they have good teeth and they are healthy. So far, so good.

What they also learned over the years is, that parents are no super humans. They learned that we have our flaws too, that we reach limits as well and that sometimes we crash land. I believe it’s not a bad lesson for them to learn.

So to all you wonderful people out there who have not had the pleasure yet to become a parent, to be a mother or a father: Consider that the situation will feel completely different once you are actually in it. Things look so much easier from the outside. If you actually manage one day to raise your children without giving in on occasions and without once admit to yourself that you would have never thought parenting will push you over that point, then let me know…

For all you moms out there that have caved in, made mistakes, felt bad about it on occasions but learned your lesson and all your kids and yourself survived anyway: High five, sister!

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5 thoughts on “Blast From The Past – Work In Progress

  1. Thanks for sharing this post, it’s great!
    My giving in are countless!
    But sometimes i give in because I think why not? Why insisting on what will upset us all if there will be no such harm. Why i insist that my son put on his jacket in a rainy day or else not to go out while he just wants his light jumper because the rain does not bother him that much! I was like him when i was young so why not giving in?
    Wishing you all the best,
    Nahla

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t think I liked Dr. Spock but that quote puts him back on the maybe list. πŸ™‚ I only had 2 children. One is now 50 and the other heading to 45. Same 2 parents, very different children in every single way other than they are both honest beyond imagination and both caring and giving humans. Each thinks the other is an idiot but I know they are both right sometimes and wrong sometimes. πŸ™‚ I ask nothing else from them. They treat everyone they meet with respect and I’m at the top of their list in that department. None of the rest matters. When I see a mother struggling with her child, I smile that knowing smile that says I understand. I had to put my daughter in a harness for her own safety for awhile until she learned to stay with me when we shopped. Didn’t take long but the alternative was not an option where we were living. Ignore those judging and always, always trust your own instincts about your own child. My son didn’t understand why his sister got away with things he didn’t. I had to pick my battles with her more. And they change so much from childhood to adulthood. The picky, eat nothing child eats any kind of food now. Stuff I would never try. The one that ate well, is picky and rigid now. Go figure! You just do the best you can and love the heck out of them praying Angels are watching and helping. It’s an interesting journey. Enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This single thought made me, too, appreciate Dr. Spock more than I had before. Of course, the thought really only applies to babies because after that they will be able to fight you every step of the way!

      Liked by 2 people

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