I don't really know what I thought being a parent would be like. It's basically keeping them happy, fed and clean(ish) right? I guess I was very clueless to the idea that every day was a learning curve, for me and my child.
I rarely had contact with young children before my daughter, and was under the impression I wasn't a child friendly character.... I tired my best but I was perhaps a mixture of a drop of Miss Honey from Roald Dahl's Matilda with a a heavy dose of Miss Hannigan from Annie....
Needless to say my little one has thrown me in the deep end and I cope better than I thought I would, I mean, kids in the park don't run away from me screaming, so that's got to be a bonus right?
I joke with my friends I'm an unmumsy mum, but in recent times I figured I'm perhaps a laid back mum? Or dare I say it, a cool mum...! (insert Mean Girls quote here) The complete opposite to how I thought I was going to be. I was certain I would be a 'helicopter' mum and stay close by doing everything for her.
However, I find myself holding back on rushing to my daughter's side when I see her have difficulty with something, such as tying up her shoe laces, or taking the lid off her play dough pot. It's not because I'm being mean, it's just I want her to be indepedant and I've noticed after the initial struggle has been overcome she can do the task with ease.... Still working on the shoe laces... but they are a tricky task to master for a two year old!
The other morning I could hear a great deal of activity from the kitchen. I go in to find Zara making herself some breakfast, she'd fetched out a bowl, spoon and even place mat. Poured in the cereal she fancied and had pulled a chair up to the open fridge door to grab some milk. After I got over my fit of giggles, I sat with her and watched her pour the milk and munch her breakfast with her eyes and perfect apple cheeks beaming. I don't really know why I found this whole situation so extraordinary, perhaps because I could never remember doing anything remotely similar at that age.
It is with this in mind I like giving myself a pat on the back when parenting my little, fire cracker. Yes she is strong willed and dramatic at times. But she knows what she likes and won't hold back on telling you her dislikes. This to me says that at such a young age, she's got a determined head on her shoulders and know, without doubt, it'll be develop stronger as she grows. For me, that's something remarkable. Yes on some days I would love a tot who is quiet and does as they are told, especially when I feel like I'm training for some crazy SAS parenting course. I've experienced all levels of tantrums and made it out the other side. With each meltdown I get another insight to Z's character and understand her even better than before. So I guess I'm thankful for this baptism of fire and with any hope the tantrums will starting easing up a little, please god!
I guess the point I am trying to make is that it doesn't really matter what sort of parent you planned to be, it's best to mould yourself to the character of your child. For me, firm, but fair works well, I give my daughter respect and the opportunity to explore, but reign her in when needed and always with an explanation and listen to her. Even when I'm seeing red.... which is bloomin' hard work at times.
I am interested to see if I can say something similar to the post in a year or so, I guess I can always write another once we enter the "threeager" stage... It's not as a bad as they say is it? is it??
What sort of things have you all done differently since becoming parents? Any tips or stories to share? I'd love to know.
Give me a follow