I have learned something about parenting. Specifically my parenting. I make no claims to have learned anything about your parenting, that would take me into the realm of parenting self help books and that’s not really my thing. It turns out that the thing I thought would be the hardest, was not the hardest.
I thought that the excruciating lack of sleep and the torturous interrupted nights would be the hardest. They were (mostly were, sometimes still happening) pretty darn hard.
I thought that not being able to be spontaneous anymore would be really tough. It is, but not really anywhere as much as I feared. My mum told me that was coming, so it didn’t take me by surprise.
No, it turns out that being consistent is the hardest thing.
I am good at sticking to it if I’ve said no.
I am pretty good at getting food on their plates at roughly the same time every day.
I have fairly simple rules that they mostly know and that’s all fine.
But on any given day, there are incidences and actions from my kids (especially the 4.5yo) that fall outside these simple rules. Things she does that she just don’t know about yet; like putting lipgloss on a teddy bear to prepare it for a photo (how would she know that lipgloss doesn’t wash off, or is only for humans??), or cutting holes in table cloths because… actually I have no idea why, or tying scarves round the bed frame, or…. the list could be quite long really.
Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I tell her off. Sometimes I try to explain why something is terrifying to a grown up. Sometimes I think she doesn’t have any idea whether her trying out something new is going to make me shout at her or laugh out loud. Sometimes something that would make me laugh out loud one day is just one thing too many to deal with on another and makes me shout. Sometimes I think that in the life of the child that must get quite confusing. For her, nothing has changed and I don’t think she should have to monitor how hassled I feel before she is comfortable to explore the world around her.