Do we make parenting harder than it should be?
I read a lot of other parenting blogs…well to be fair, they’re mostly “mummy” blogs. I’m not reading them all of the time, but when I do sit down to read, I like to read a few different ones. Some of the things they say I agree with, other things not so much. I imagine a lot of you are the same when reading my stuff! What I am interested in finding out is if my approach to being a stay at home parent is because I’m a male or just because I’m not normal haha.
This is the easiest time in history to be a parent…and the hardest!
We’ve never before in human history been so connected and had so much information available to us. The internet has connected us in ways we had never imagined even 10 years ago. We have parenting magazines, websites, blogs, expos, videos, Facebook groups…the list goes on. Yet somehow, having all this information seems to have made things harder, not easier! There is always a new study coming out showing what you’re doing right/wrong, then another study that gives opposite results to the previous one. Then there are so many other decisions that previous parents never had to make; to smack or not to smack? How much iPad time do you give kids? How many extra curricular actives should they be enrolled in? What food/drink are they allowed to have? How much sleep is enough? Do I dress them the right way? Stroller or front pack or wrap? And when they're older, schools, friends, dating, license, holidays.....again, the list is seemingly endless.
So what is the right way to parent?
The answer is obvious. There is no “right” way! We all come from different backgrounds and different cultures and different circumstances. Our families are made up of mum and dad and the kids, or just mum, or just dad, or just the grandparents, or caregivers or a combination of all of them. We have 1 kid, we have 10 kids. We are making bank-loads of money or we’re trying to make ends meet. Where I’m going with this is that I seem to read a lot about the challenges that parents are facing. Some are at home full time, some may be working too. And because every kid is different and every parent is different, every challenge will be handled differently to others. From my experience however, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not as bad as I sometimes see it made out to be.
The Highs and Lows
When I’m asked to compare what it’s like to go from working full time to being at home, I came up with this: Being at home is a lot like working, you have challenges and tasks to complete and deadlines. There is stress, and there are times you win and times you lose. The only difference is, at home, the rewarding “winning” times are higher and the low “losing” times are lower. Higher highs and lower lows. That’s what I’ve found being a stay at home dad is like. Closing a sale has nothing on watching your baby take their first steps. Meeting a KPI has nothing on the satisfaction you feel when your kid is meeting their measurements in the Plunket book. When was the last time someone at work ran over and gave you a hug, a kiss on the cheek and said "I love you!" before running off? (If that happens at your work, probably see the boss.)
So the big question….
Am I normal? Haha, don’t answer that because I know what many of you will say! Let me rephrase that, is my approach to parenting normal??
Do I feel stress at home? Yeah of course I do (I’ve even written about it) but it’s not very often.
Do I yell at the kids? Yup, but again…it’s not very often.
Do I hate the mess they make? YES! But I let it happen, because you can always clean up.
Do I wish I was a better parent? Yup, and I bet a lot of you do to. But does it bother me? Nope. Not as long as I’m trying to better myself along the journey.
But it would be interesting to find out if guys are more laid back in general with their approach to parenting, or if it’s just me. What are your thoughts? How do you find the highs and lows of parenting? Tell me below or on my Facebook page!