Chin up, chaps.

We take this parenting gig pretty seriously.

By we, I mean; me, you, your neighbour, my hairdresser, the lady who serves me at my fruit and vege shop.  We.

Parenting is a serious thing.  We should give it the consideration it requires.  And so we do.  Actually, we work our butts off to give these kids of ours the best start possible.  We stay away from certain foods while we’re up the duff.  We swallow vitamin pills to give them additional ‘schtuff’.  We source out all the various baby gear we need.  We makes sure that we have cots/ cribs that have bars that are just the right distance apart.  And that’s just the beginning.  The hard work doesn’t ever stop.

Fast forward to baby proofing, anguish over baby milestones, feeding issues, sleeping issues, toilet training, temper tantrums, sharing, biting and then, for some of us…repeat. Along comes little person number two.

And this is only the first few years….

Don’t even let me get started on future years.  I think you get my point.  We take parenting seriously.  We know that a lot of our actions with these little people can have far-reaching consequences.  And every thing we do is soooo worth it.  Absolutely, definitely worth it.  Let’s also not forget that parenthood is a gift.  A beautiful, priceless gift.

But sometimes we let this seriousness consume us.

We’re completely stuck in the moment.

We can’t see above and beyond our current parenting issue.  We’re trapped by our right here and right now.  And whatever we’re facing IS a big deal.  I won’t belittle that.  We don’t want to stuff up our kids.  We want our kids to be healthy and happy.  Our motivations are good and right.

But maybe, just maybe, the best thing we can do sometimes is to take a breather.  To take some deep breaths and step away from our current issue.  To realise that even though this is a serious issue for my right now, it isn’t going to always be this way.  You know what they say – ‘kids don’t’ start school in diapers/ nappies’.  ‘Expose your kids to new foods multiple times and eventually they try them’.  ‘The best thing between you and a crying baby (sometimes!) is a couple of closed doors’.  These sayings didn’t come into being and hang around, for no reason.

One thing I try to do that helps me (from time to time!) from dwelling unnecessarily on kiddie issues, has been to hunt out people who are at a similar stage of life as me, who also have kids that are older. I’ve found people whose parenting styles I’ve liked and people I really respect, whose older kids have turned out more than all right, and I have made them my go-to people.  When my oldest was five and I was convinced he’d just exhibited behaviour that was  sure-fire practice for gang initiation, it was my go-to person I rang.  There’s nothing like the comfort that comes from being told ‘this is normal’.

Google is great.  Books and magazine articles are wonderful, but there’s absolutely nothing like a trusted friend telling you ‘it is going to be ok, this will pass’ and offering you truths and knowledge from their own experiences.  Both good and bad experiences.

So – wherever you are in the Messy Trenches of Parenting, no matter what challenge you’re facing now, whatever is making you second-guess yourself and consume extra amounts of caffeine/ alcohol/ chocolate, can I just encourage you to find yourself a go-to person?  Don’t let your general countenance be clouded too long by your earnestness and seriousness in growing your kids right.  Breath. Just breath.  A problem shared is truly a problem halved.  Chin up, chaps.

Just, chin up, chaps.