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20 August 2023

7 Things I've Learnt As A Parent

Since the very first moment I held my newborns in my arms it has been an incredible learning journey. You may think as a parent you're the one teaching your child as you raise them but you certainly do develop and change as a person too. You grow as your little one does.

Here are seven things I've learnt as a parent...

Your best is good enough
Parents really give themselves a hard time but you should know that you're doing a wonderful job and you are a good parent. If you're worrying about how well you're doing that alone is a sign that you care enough to be concerned and you're therefore a pretty good mum or dad.  It's okay for your child to have chicken nuggets and chips from time to time and you shouldn't feel guilty, it's okay to raise your voice or get grumpy when you're sleep deprived and it's okay to leave the dishes on the side for a day. People may judge you at times for your choices on breast/bottle feeding or disposable/cloth nappy usage but if your kids are happy and healthy that's all that matters.

Time goes so quickly
It really does. The first few months of sleepless nights with nappy changes and feeds on repeat all roll into one and by the time you have created any sort of real routine your baby is on their way to becoming a toddler. The years zoom by so treasure every single moment. There will come a time when you wish your tweens were tiny just one more time. That you could smell that fresh newborn scent, have them grip your finger and stare into your eyes as they lay on your chest with so much love and trust. Take photos, take videos and really focus on them. Nothing else matters as you can't get that time back.

You will lose friends... but you will make more
Certain people will leave your life when you become a 'baby bore' as they won't understand the importance of your children and the impact that they have on your daily routine - you will often be too tired or too busy to meet up with everyone in the early days and some won't be accepting of that. It won't be long however until you make new friends at play groups, nurseries or the school gates and these friendships will often last a lifetime. It's also nice for your little ones to make some new pals in the process too - my three best friends are all mums that I've met through school and Netmums and they are a huge support while also being great fun to be around.

You should accept help if you need to
Being incredibly stubborn I like to think I'm in control at all times and that I can plod along completing any task at hand but there may be a time when help is needed. Reach out to loved ones and accept a cooked meal from a friend or let someone else do the ironing. It doesn't mean you're weak, in fact standing back from it all can actually provide more focus in the long run and provide a well needed breather. You can also return the favour at some point I'm sure which will be appreciated no end. If you need help with child care using a service such as Toddle will enable you to find the most suitable care for your little one.

You still need to make time for your partner
Don't forget that before you became a parent that you were a person with a partner and that partner needs attention, as do you, even when babies make an entrance. Take a night off and go to the cinema, drop the kids with Gran and go out for a meal or just stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet for a few hours. Time is precious and you should make some for your other half. Even leaving a magnet message on the fridge or making them a cup of tea can make all the difference and shows them that they are appreciated. Pop a note in with their lunch or surprise them with a little gift of some sort - it really is the little things that mean so much.

You can rediscover your own childhood
Parenting is hard work, there is no denying that, but it's also such great fun and very rewarding too. As you encourage your child to jump a little higher on the bouncy castle, ride their bike a little faster and dance a little more vigorously you too can get involved and have a magical time doing so. Be a big kid, dive into that ball pond and be there to witness your child having the best times, with you by their side. Don't be the parent that stands by and watches as they're too worried about what others think. Join in and make your own memories and they will remember these moments forever.

You shouldn't take other people's opinions to heart
Although many people will only be trying to help when offering advice I do believe that the parents of a child generally know what is best for them and that you should follow your instinct. I've been told many times over the years like I should wean before the recommended age, let them cry themselves to sleep or host a chickenpox party and although I will listen, those weren't the right choices for me personally so I followed my gut and did what I felt was right.

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  1. Enjoy all the little moments because often they turn out to be the important ones!

  2. Thank you for this information.

  3. I'm glad I didn't send my children to school! The youngest has chosen to start now, aged 8.

  4. This is really handy to read. I don't have children yet but am sure I used to be one of those who thinks it would be a breeze - I am starting to think differently now however!

  5. love this post, it's a reminder of what's important


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