When you’re a parent, there are SO many worries that go through your mind. Constantly.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be forever on the hunt for ways to make your parenting mindset relax a little, but – there are some things that you just need to accept are part and parcel of being a parent.
1. You will get things wrong
Parenting is one of those things that you go into with little knowledge, and unfortunately, there isn’t an off the shelf parenting manual. Imagine how rich that person would be! Every child is different, and every parent faces their own personal challenges and victories. You’ll get things wrong, that’s normal. It’s also what wine is for, so make sure you always have a bottle for emergency tantrum situations.
2. You can’t always be there
Seeing your child go off into the big wide world and complete new milestones is emotional. I remember when Sofia started school, I dreaded it for months and spent all day wondering whether she was OK, wishing that I had some way of sneaking a camera in with her, just to check that she was fine! You do have to accept that they have to do things alone sometimes, and you can’t always be there…and the big smiling face at the end of the day always helps.
3. You don’t have to listen to other parents
When you first become a parent, advice is coming at you from all angles. Some of it is uninvited, and most is pretty useless. This advice (whilst well-meaning in most cases) is often based on an experience that will be quite different to yours, and is also a result of… well, that parent’s trial and error. Don’t feel under pressure to take all (or any) of this advice; do things your way!
4. You have to let your kids make mistakes
You can watch your kids make mistakes, particularly in their teenage years, and think, ‘oh God, they’re going the wrong way.’ This can make you want to step in and stop them, but this may not be the right path to take. Give them advice if they ask for it, but trying to stop your kids from doing things directly will just lead to them resenting you. (There are, of course, exceptions to this).
5. You’re going to be OK
In truth, there are very few families that don’t experience challenges from time to time. It may feel like you’re never going to come out of the rough patch, but when you wave your kids off on those sixth form trips and see how independent and strong they’ve become, you’ll be so glad you had the experiences that you did. Everything will be OK!
You’re doing a great job!