Parenting is bloody hard; especially at the beginning; especially as a new parent. It does get better though. I promise.
I struggled so much when I became a parent. Although I wanted desperately to be a parent, when I became one I felt incredibly lost. I felt like I’d lost myself and I had no idea what I was doing.
Nothing prepared me for parenthood.
I remember so vividly sitting in the back seat of the car, an hour after giving birth, and thinking “I can’t believe I’m a parent now“.
It was a very surreal moment, and the beginning of a really rough time for me.
Adjusting to being a parent was rough.
The enormity of what lay ahead of me overwhelmed me daily.
“I am responsible for this small thing FOREVER”. This thought consumed me.
It felt like I struggled with everything – sleeping, changing nappies, trying to cook dinner, getting used to my new body; getting used to how things will never ever be the same.
I struggled so much, that when my eldest was 6 months old, I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression.
Medication helped me take a step back and breathe.
Parenting was still hard though.
My baby was a happy spiller, so I felt like I couldn’t go out anywhere.
Sleep was a MUST for my kids, so once I finally managed to get my baby into a routine, I stuck to that. I never went out because sleep was important. I mean I’d go for a car ride to get the baby to sleep, or go for a walk – but I wouldn’t make any specific appointments or catch-ups.
I just found everything difficult.
Then we had another baby. Clearly the struggle wasn’t so bad to have another one, but I always wanted to have more than one child so I just got through it.
Now that my kids are 4 and 6, I can clearly say YES it was hard; but it does get better.
My kids sleep through the night (mostly).
They can go to the toilet by themselves.
The don’t need a nappy anymore.
They are absolutely wonderful human beings with crazy senses of humour.
They make me happy and I cannot imagine my life without them.
The struggle was real, but the struggle was worth it.
Everything in parenthood changes – nothing stays the same. As they move from one phase to the next, it doesn’t necessarily get easier; but it does get better.
They grow older; they start understanding more.
They go to Kindergarten and then school and suddenly you can see the light.
You can take a breath and you’ll realise that you’re still there inside that Mum shell. But actually you’re more defined now. You’ve struggled, you’ve experienced and you’ve grown.
Life may bring other struggles – like working from home (ie business or as a mum), or away from home.
You’ll still worry about every single thing they do. Your kids will fight – between each other AND with you.
You will still struggle – but just know that it does get better.