Monday, 6 February 2012

The Missing Parent...

...Is Me

It is hard to discuss issues you may have as a parent when one parent is distracted... But when you need to talk about things while not in earshot of your children, MAKE the time!!

Lately I've been feeling that I'm not being the best parent I can be. We have four children and I don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job!  There are a whole heap of emotions that go with this feeling (making me an emotional wreck). It makes me want to learn, and put into practise, what I can do differently.  Then I spend hours researching parenting books and websites so that I don't have to read through all the drivel to get to the good bits. And you guessed it, this results in further guilt & even more time wasted that should be spent actually parenting.  I spoke briefly with my husband about this who said I couldn't approach it that way.  I asked what he meant and he said that you can't just do it like that.  It turns out you can! You don't just walk into a work place and know what to do.  You talk to people, you read things, and you have training. So why should it be any different with parenting? I mean it is MORE than a full time job for many of us.  Why not try to be the best you can be? After all, it is our own kids furtures that depend on it.  Honestly, who can say they didn't read a single thing about pregnancy & childbirth, or attend a single ante-natal class, or talk to a single person about their experiences?  So why should it be any different with actually raising the child?  You take on board all the information you can & then adapt bits to suit.   

Taking the littlest ones to play group, music, kinda gym or any number of other activites aimed at infants to pre schoolers (& their carers) is an excellent start, but at times I just don't feel like leaving the house.  Sometimes I don't feel like having other kids influence them in ways that I don't really appreciate.  I mean, that's what school is all about isn't it?!  Still, I will do some of these things because, quite frankly, they are a great place to speak to other parents about their experiences, their parenting style, and to share tips & advice.

It is also important to make time for ourselves.  Often as parents, particularly the main care giver, we put everyone & everything else first.  There's soooo much to do as a parent whether you are working or not.  Unfortunately the needs of ourselves usually get put aside till last, or completely forgotten.  I know I sew occasionally but I'd hardly call it ME time.  Especially when I have children who seem to interrupt me constantly.  It's the same when I'm on the phone.  As soon as it rings it's as though a little switch gets flicked and everything becomes so important that they have to tell me straight away. Am I right or am I right?  For me has become incredibly important to make time for exercise.  Not entirely sure how I'm going to do that yet but I know I need to.  I feel better when I do & that flows on to everyone else in the family including Mr Creator.  We've been discussing options to fit in exercise.  I personally feel that it is important for the kids to see me/us exercise too.  You know, "What you see is what you learn".    

Other than that I don't know what WE as parents, or I, can do differently at this very minute, but I feel that we need more "family moments". You know, “doing stuff” as a family, rather than a bunch of people that live in the same house and just sit around bored or agitated all the time. (I quite enjoyed our little family trip Graze Brasserie a few weekends ago, and I think the rest of the family did too. But, we still need to “do stuff" more often.  You know, sometimes we go on picnics & it doesn't always feel that we're connecting as a family. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's like I'm not all there or something. It's a bit like going to the park. It just doesn't do it for me. I do get in & play with them but I spend a lot of my time worrying about them falling or getting hurt in some other way (especially since one trip to the park resulted in a trip to emergency after a fall/bump to the head & a bit of memory loss).  I'm thinking that squishing us all on the lounge in front of a family movie with a big bag of popcorn on a rainy Sunday afternoon would be lovely. Or an afternoon stroll along the pathways around a local wetland.  Perhaps they don't though. Perhaps I should ask what they'd all like to do.

What would your suggestions be?

Bye for now, K

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