I haven’t taken part in a blogging tag or challenge for a while, but I liked the sound of this one. The challenge is to come use all 26 letters of the alphabet to describe what parenting means to you and A-Z of parenting. Regular readers will know that I love nothing better than a good moment of reflection or navel gazing as my mother would say. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to think about parenting and how I view my role. So thank you to Coralie from My Life As Mum for tagging me. You can check out her responses here and see where the challenge started by visiting Yule Times.
I am not an expert by any means. I just stumble through this parenting stuff like everyone else and all of our experiences are different, but this is my A-Z of parenting – I wonder how many you can relate to? What else would you include?
Parenting Alphabet Challenge
A is for Anxiety
I have always been anxious about really random stuff (like dinosaurs coming back to life or volcanoes???!!!), but becoming a parent made me anxious about the everyday stuff too. The knowledge that I responsible for a life and now four lives was a lot. Some of the anxiety is sensible and good as of course we need to worry about our kids and foresee safety issues etc… However, for a while there I was overly anxious and I think this can hold kids back so it was important for me to reign it back in. It is a work in progress.
B is for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is something I assumed would just be easy. When I was pregnant with my first child everywhere I turned all I heard was breast is best… I do agree to a certain extent and I wanted to breastfeed all my children exclusively, but that was not to be. I don’t think that Breast is best when at the expense of a mother’s sanity or a child getting the food they need. Fed is best in my book. This breastfeeding malarkey is painful to start with, but it does get better (for some people I know that it simply cannot be done so I am 100% not judging!) so I would encourage mothers to persevere for 3 months if you can (not if baby is starving or you are losing your mind). We need to shout as loud as we can that breastfeeding hurts like hell and that is normal so that none of us feel like we are failing if it hurts.
C is for Chaos
It took me a while to adapt to the chaos that parenting introduces to your life. The sooner we as parents accept that children create mess and chaos the sooner we can relax. We now have one room in the house that the children are not allowed in (unless we are there) so that I can have at least one tidy and tranquil space
D is for Daddy
I could not have done this without my husband. He is a fantastic hands on dad and we share this responsibility
E is for Energy
Kids are full of it and so us parents need lots of it too
F is for Four under Four
This won’t be one that everyone can relate to, but this was my parenting reality and I am not going to lie it nearly broke me. Now the youngest are four things are getting slightly more manageable
G is for Grandparents
They say it takes a village…. This has been so very true in our case. We couldn’t have got through the early years of having four kids with less than four years between them without having the support of grandparents and in fact all our family and friends
H is for Heart
My children fill my heart with overwhelming love and at the same time sometimes hurt my heart.
I is for Independence
A parents main role as I see it is to give your children the tools they need to achieve independence and at the same time it breaks your heart that they want to pull away from you
J is for Jumping
Well jumping, running, skipping and all of the other activities that parenting means I do daily. Being a parent lets you be a kid again in many ways and that works for me!
K is for Kisses
My life is often just a lot of sloppy wet kisses from those little people and I wouldn’t have it any other way
L is for Love
The love you feel for your children is like no other. It is amazing to me how I can all at once want to strangle them and love them so fiercely that I would give up my life for them.
M is for Moments
Parenting brings so many moments that you will treasure forever. Often its the little things that really touch me such as the first time they say I love you or when they are so proud of themselves for doing something on their own. It is a privilege to be a parent. Let’s be honest though there are also moments that we would all rather forget…
N is for Navigating Baby
This is what I feel like I have been doing for the past 8 years and of course is the name of the blog. I am navigating my babies through life and navigating the world of parenting without any real guide. It is fun and always a challenge!
O is for Overwhelming
Parenting can be entirely overwhelming. When my eldest child was born the emotions were immense, the love, the panic, the joy… I am still overwhelmed by my four regularly. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes because they are just too much
P is for Poo
Never did I imagine that I would spend so much time thinking about and dealing with the poo of other humans! That is the joy of parenting and of my nemesis potty training
Q is for Quiet
There is no quiet in my house, but I do find that parenting has made me long for quiet and time alone which I actually think is a positive as I have become much better at being in my own company which has made me more creative and productive
R is for Ready
I am not sure you can ever be ready to be a parent. You can be ready in theory, but when they come along everything is different to how you thought it would be. The love is stronger, the lack of sleep is tougher, the fun and laughter is more frequent and the stress
S is for Siblings
If you have more than one child you will be experiencing the sibling relationship. I have a sister myself and so of course have my own sibling relationship, but it is quite fascinating to watch this developing between my four and how they each have a different relationship with one another. It is also a source of frustration in our house as they fight over which sibling they want to sit next to!
T is for Tantrums
They all have them and as parents we get to deal with them. I don’t mean to be a harbinger of doom, but in case you are just starting out on this parenting journey they don’t stop when they stop being toddlers!! They become way less frequent, but then hormones start to interfere with proceedings….
U is for Unique
Each child is entirely unique and that is both wonderful and when you have four often very challenging. It can be tough to cater to the differing needs of each child so that you support and enable what makes them unique.
V is for Voice
The parenting voice that starts as soon as we have children brings us classics like ‘there are children starving in the world’ and ‘it will end in tears’ . It is also the voice that conveys through tone alone that you are not messing around and they really do need to stop dangling their sister off that climbing frame….
W is for Waiting
I spend a lot of time waiting for the kids; waiting for them to get ready, waiting for them to finish school, waiting for them to finish their food. Patience is required for this parenting gig!
X is for (A)xis
I mean it isn’t, but there are no good X words for this subject… Anyway parenting spins your world and everything you thought you knew on its axis.
Y is for You
Parents need to not forget about themselves. I often talk about the need for self care as I am rubbish at it, but I also know from my experiences that you can’t let yourself go to rack and ruin in pursuit of looking after the kids. A broken mummy or daddy is not that much use to the little people so take care of you!
Z is for Zzzzzzz!
Don’t worry about it you won’t be catching any for a fair old while once parenting begins.