Being a parent is sometimes like being cabin crew. Some days you just want to yell at your passengers aka kids, “Check your attitude into the cargo hold because there’s no room in the cabin for that nonsense!” There is no letting up in back chat and arguments. It is a battle of wills.
Some days you’re all thumbs, spilling drinks and food on passengers, mixing up their orders, forgetting promises. You can do no right. There is no pleasing them. Try as you might, your passengers remain unimpressed.
Parenting, as with most roles in life, is made of moments and days. Moments and days which we usually, rather subjectively, define by our individual concept of good and bad.
Moments when the weight of your sense of failure as a parent bears down on you with a crushing disappointment and you fear there’s no coming back from this.
Days when your pride in your children’s accomplishments threatens to explode your heart into a million pieces of technicolour fireworks.
Moments when you feel hopelessly inadequate in the face of the huge responsibility that is shaping a young life.
Days when you’re crippled by doubts about decisions you’ve made until time vindicates or vilifies you.
Moments when everyone but you seems to have a hang of how the pieces of the jigsaw fit and effortlessly put the puzzle together.
Days when everything appears seamless, when everyone and everything fall into place.
Moments when you are sorely tempted to farm out the responsibility of raising the kids to just about anyone but you.
Days when, like tiny green shoots sprouting through the soil after a long cold winter, you see the results of your toil as the kids demonstrate signs that they’ve actually been paying attention to your every word.
Parenting is as hard as it is rewarding. Cut yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can with what you know. Celebrate your successes. Forgive your failures. Chalk them all up to experience and learn from your mistakes. Aim to, and, do better. Roll with the punches and enjoy the good alongside the bad.
Soon, the children will be all grown up and you will wonder where the time went.
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