Sunday, 5 December 2010

Parenting Panic Style?

I've been a parent now since August 2005. In some ways it feels like the time has slipped away in a blink of an eye... in another it feels like I've always been a parent because now I can't imagine my life without my children.

What on earth did I used to do with my time? Why was there ever any mess in my home pre-offspring? Why were we always so broke? When I got pregnant, why did we spend even one evening in out of my whole pregnancy?

The truth is we absolutely had no concept of how much our lives were going to change, and consequently had no concept of just how unrestricted we were back then. If I had known... I probably would have taken more foreign holidays. (you didn't think I was about to say we wouldn't have had the kids did you?!).

Parenting has been the biggest challenge in my whole life. Every now and then the responsibility weighs so heavily on me that I feel like I'm going to break. It's up to me and Mr Tant to turn these blonde maniacs into well adjusted tax paying, law abiding, healthy living, procreating adults (the current birth slump requires the last item) and to be perfectly honest I quite often think I'm not up to the job.

I do know however that I am not the only one. I also know there is a conspiracy of silence around this. We want to do a good job of this thing ... we also want other parents to think we are doing a good job too. Never mind that invariably they are riddled with the same doubts, insecurities and hang ups as us.

I am at my worst, parenting wise at approximately 4.45am. My children frequently wake up at this time if day and its horrific. I am an evening person. Most definitely NOT a morning person so how is it that I produced 3 small people who think that 6am is a reasonable time to be awake.

They're jumping on the bed, singing, shouting.... and that time of day my tolerance levels are at an all time low. unfortunately, so is Mr Tants. Neither of us cope well at that time.

I know that what I should be doing is getting out of bed and dealing with the issues in a grown to way. But I don't feel grown up then. I feel like the worst parent ever. How can I be consistent when my personality is taken over by the Gruffalo during the night time hours?

Every night I vow to be different. I will get out of bed when they come in to see me. Every morning ends with me saying that I'll be better next time and sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not.

So here I am pondering this, wondering how I can ensure I will be the parent I WANT to be when sometimes I have a job being the adult I want to be? I want to be a morning person like my kids. Is that too much to ask? Evidently so! Thankfully God gives grace on grace. Children don't seem to hold those first couple hours against me. So I am actually looking here for some practical ideas on how to turn around this portion of my life while at the same time thanking God for blessing the kids with remarkably short memories for the time being!
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