When do we reach a stage when we really know what we are doing? I used to think that by the time I reached the status of school mum that I would know what I was doing. They say it gets easier, I think whoever said that does not have children. Being a parent is by far my biggest challenge yet, no book or parenting bible can prepare you for what lies ahead. You could say it is a work in progress, the document has to be re written on so many occasions, so much so that I have lost count as to which edit I should be working from.
As the school year progresses, I am slowly coming to the realisation that I will never really know what I am doing. I can’t help but feel like I am failing at being a school mum. One day I will be winning at parenting and the next not so much, going back and forth between feeling like a hoax and sheer elation at the thought of helping Lil G with his spellings. I know that he can handle school, he is emotionally ready, he has so much fun with his friends and really enjoys learning but I cannot ignore the fact that he finds some parts of his educational journey a little tricky. And this is the page we are stuck on right now.
Raising a child, one that is strong willed yet so thoughtful and sensitive is by far the most rewarding role I have ever played. I say played because really, on some days I do feel like it is a part in a play that I am acting out. Whether it be a teacher, a nurse, a mother, a scientist, a football coach or even a story teller I am really just playing a part in this journey, our journey as a family and mine as a mother. Being a school mum at the moment really hurts.
Parenting is an intense experience and one that on some days leaves me beaten. I am not ashamed to admit that I question whether I am cut out for the next 50 years or more, because as we all know and I hope so much so, that being a parent doesn’t end when they turn eighteen or move out of the family home. Being a parent is the most responsible role I will have in my lifetime. I want to show this boy of ours so much of the world, I want to give him the greatest opportunities but most of all I want him to know he is loved. And that as his parents we will always be there to guide him. My parents let me down in a way that I hope no little or big person ever has to experience. I don’t want to be them.
They say it gets easier, I am here to tell you that after five and a half years it does not, it gets so much harder in so many different ways than I ever imagined.
Mummy, my homework is tricky. It is the sadness in his face, the worry in his eyes that haunts me. At five years old he should not feel like he is failing. It isn’t fair. And whilst I know that it stretches the mind, that it is good for him to be challenged and that in time all will become easier. But I am taking so much comfort in all of your comments and support to my recent Instagram Stories and posts. Thank you all for the advice and heartfelt messages, it really does mean so much. I have to remind myself that our gorgeous boy is still so young, despite being fiercely head strong he is also a really sensitive soul. When he doesn’t do so well he beats himself up and this is what I am trying to support him through.
These posts though far and few between, are probably some of my favourites that I write. They allow me the freedom to write how I am feeling, to express how challenging being a parent can be. They remind me of the reason why I started this online space some three years ago, it is my journal. A place for me to document life as it has changed since becoming a mummy to our gorgeous boy.
No it doesn’t get easier, does it? It just changes. I spend ages worrying about whether my kids are liked and have enough friends. As I had them in my forties I also worry about living long enough to see them through to a decent age (but what’s that, 40? 50?).
Despite all the pain, I wouldn’t be without them and that’s ultimately the point, isn’t it?
Oh it really doesn’t get easier, I am sure there will also be more challenges along the way. I absolutely love being a mummy but definitely not afraid to admit when things get a little tough. You’re so right its about being the best parent you can be and I just hope I get to see as much of his life and his family’s life. Thank you for popping over and reading x
This is so true! It doesn’t get easier…specific things might do, but they get replaced by another worry. I’m dreading when the homework is something I need to Google the answer for xx
Aww thank you for popping over Pamela. I completely agree, things don’t necessarily get easier just different and manageable maybe. Ha ha yes google is my new friend for homework x
This is such a lovely post, and you are such a lovely Mummy. I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t have a good relationship with your parents yourself. I’m sure soon this tricky stage will pass but of course there will always be new challenges to come. You, your boy and your husband will face them together and that’s what really counts x
Thank you so much Gail that really does mean a lot to me. Sadly I didn’t and that is probably the first time I have mentioned it on my blog. We have all worked together this week on his homework, solidarity in the shape of the Hargreaves family x
I think I missed your Instagram stories but I just wanted to say that you are absolutely spot on, it’s all just a learning journey with things never staying the same. Meg is a real perfectionist and we have been struggling with her maths this year; we’ve had tears over homework and just more stress than a 7 year old should have at such a young age, especially when the things they are expected to know just seem so complex when they are still so little. Luckily she has a supportive teacher who we’ve been able to talk to but I agree with everything you’ve written here lovely. I hope that things start to get better for you and for Lil G x
Thank you so much Jess, it is such a big learning curve and one which I am very much getting used to. I think sadly there is too much pressure put upon our little ones. G’s teachers are very supportive thankfully but that doesn’t seem to remove the pressure from him or us. Thank you for popping over x
Oh KA you made me well up! The emotion in this post is so visible as mothers all we want is for our child to be happy and to see them struggle is so painful for us. We want to give them the best of everything especially when we didn’t get that and I fear like you that it just doesn’t get easier even when they are in their 30’s they will still be our babies and we want the best x
Thank you so much for popping over, and I’m sorry to have made you so emotional. I think we have a lifetime of mixed emotions ahead of us Gemma x
Parenting has so many twists and turns and I found myself on my biggest learning curve when our son was between 11-13 years old. Being a parent is like being on a roller coaster sometimes, and I have learnt that we do the best we can at that moment in time. You are a fantastic mum to Lil G, and urgh I wish homework could be banned. I have seen my daughter in tears over homework and it sucks seeing your child go through it. Deep breaths and it is a little bump in the parenting road. Hugs xx
Aww thank you for popping over Tracey and for your lovely words of encouragement. It really is such a rollercoaster of a journey, I just hope that he is strong enough to get through these tough moments in his little life of his. He has our support and I just hope that we are enough support for him x
This is so honest and one of my favorite posts of yours lovely. Way to go for writing it down. As parents we are are own worse critics and harder on ourselves and putting pressure on ourselves to be super parents when we are doing better than we think. You are doing amazing and better than you think. I think the very same with my two I am constantly worried if I have spent enough time teaching MM as I have done B and will she struggle more than him in school and will I be able to be there to answer questions and guide her like she needs and will B get the challenges he needs because he learns differently. As parents we just want the very best and all we can do it the very best we can which sounds like you are doing above and beyond that lovely. Perfect post.
Thanks my love, I think you are right, we do pop too much pressure on ourselves x
Oh KA, I can certainly relate to this! Each stage of their lives comes with it’s challenges doesn’t it? I don’t think I can say I’ve ever found any age ‘easy’, they’ve been different though, that’s for sure. I think if we are all honest with ourselves we’ll admit that we’re all muddling through parenthood just trying to do the best we can. And really trying our best is all we can do and I think that’s enough. xxx
You’re absolutely right lovely, each stage is different and slightly harder but in different ways. x
It’s weird — I feel like I coped MUCH better when the twins were first born than I do now, in some respects. I juggled being a first time mum, two babies, my business, home life etc really, really well and was so proud with how I coped and handled everything.
But since they’re a bit older it’s all gone to pot!! You suddenly realise that you’re dealing with actual *people* not just ‘children’!! Dealing with the emotions (tantrums), thoughts and needs of little people who are experiencing things for the first time is so tough. Trying to navigate them through life is the hardest job ever. But amazing. I think our best is good enough — if you asked our children what they thought, I bet they’d all say we’re the best mums ever. xx
I completely agree Caro, the earlier days seemed less complicated on reflection x
I hate the pressure that school heaps onto children. They get so much homework and I would prefer they had none. Home should be for relaxing. Parenting can be tough sometimes, I have a whole heap more respect for my parents now that I understand what it’s like to be a parent!
It really does add a pressure that can’t be sustained in my honest opinion x
I don’t think it ever does get easier, the worries are replaced with new ones. In some ways I find this stage harder, because it is out of my control. My husband hit the nail on the head last year when he told me I get stressed when I feel I have no control over something and he is exactly right. I don’t know why I hadn’t realised that before but a lot of what happens at school is beyond our control and that makes this a really hard phase. O’s school is very keen on getting them reading and writing in reception and it is so fast paced. Luckily he’s coping brilliantly with it (apart from writing his cursive f’s!) but I try not to put too much pressure on with it. The bonus is they don’t really get homework other than 5 minutes of handwriting practice once a week. xx
I think I am the same as you re beating yourself up on something you cannot control x
Ahhhh such a lovely post. I think certain things get easier but then are replaced with different issues. I am yet to start with the whole school experience but am sure that will be a new phase for us all 🙂 Lovely photos xx
Thank you lovely, I think you’re right the worries just get replaced with something else x
Thank you for writing this post, and thank you for being so honest about parenting. It can be very hard at times, I too feel I’m on a roller coaster. My 8 year daughter has always found homework very challenging, I look back now when she was 5 bringing back her homework and the stress it put on us as a family, spending some part of the weekend helping her, she was clearly stressed about the whole thing.We should have been enjoying our family time together. I feel quite angry about that now. Schools do expect too much from our children at such young ages. My daughter is 8 now, and homework can still sometimes be a challenge for her, As parents all we can do is love, support and reasure our children, their mental health is far more important than their grades. I think we should all give ourselves a pat on the back, we are doing the very best we can possibly do. Take care x