The same dear friend who inspired me to write the Twintuition post, wanted to also hear about how I’ve changed since becoming a parent.
Jeepers ! That’s going to take an entirely different blog (Watch This Space).
So, just to give the topic a slight tweak, I’m going to list five points derived from what parenting has taught me.
What has allowed me to graduate from my L to P plates.
There are bound to be far more experienced parents out there who will read this and scoff, “Pfff…I already knew that.”
However, from time to time, don’t we need to sit back, reflect and see how far we’ve come ?
“It doesn’t get easier, just different”
In the first six months of being a mum and in the rare occasion I went out to get some sunshine with the twinlets, I would relish comments of other parents (particularly those of twins) who would give such comforting smiles and say, “Don’t worry, it does get easier.”
“Does it ? Does it ???” I would ask in earnest, hoping that they had the answer to my prayers in regaining sleep and sanity.
Well, I would like to meet all these parents again now.
I would like to knock their blocks off for sending me up the wrong path of expectation.
I have discovered that throughout the first year, the transitions to the next level of development and growth are subtle, creating the appearance that we’re getting better at it. While actually, we’re not.
We’re just getting better at adjusting to their ever changing needs.
It’s all about constant reinvention.
“Everything is temporary”
From the full-body wrestle screaming protests on the change table (and wondering where the heck your child found the strength of Samson) to those blissful moments when you’re sitting cross-legged on the lounge room floor and they will just involuntary sit in your nook and snuggle right in.
I tell myself to soak up all of these memories in the making. Because one day – quicker than a blink of an eye – we will be heading towards the next stage of their childhood.
Although I will gladly say goodbye to the screaming protests of nappy changing, I will certainly miss their precious innocence.
“No matter how many times you stuff up, children trust you implicitly”
I cannot tell you how many times the twinlets have had to suffer from our mistakes.
- Accidentally giving them ‘Pure Cream’ rather than ‘Full Cream’ milk in their bottles, resulting in Little N’s dramatic vomiting episode
- Pinching the skin in their inner thigh with the safety belt buckle of the car seat (Ouch !)
- Cutting their finger nails too short, cutting instead the tip of their fingers (Double Ouch !)
I’ll stop here before I get reported.
Yet somehow, our children have an inbuilt sense of steadfast trust.
How do they have move on and forget, while we still need time to catch our breath from the disaster ?
Where they come back to you, look at you confidently in the eyes as if to say, “Yup, I’m ready for my next bottle now…”
And you make damn sure that this time, it is full cream milk.
“Everyone has their own way of doing things”
Therefore, we cannot judge.
We are forever being told that our own instincts are the best guidelines for raising our own children. Why is it then we can be so critical of how the parent next to us does it ?
Pacifiers versus thumb-sucking; Baby-led weaning versus pureed food; Breastfeeding versus formula…the issues continue.
I can be worse than Judge Judy at the best of times. But parenting has taught me to have an open mind by connecting with other parents. We groan and moan over the same problems but there’s value in finding out what their solutions are.
Inevitably, I end up thinking, “Gee, I never would’ve thought of that. Maybe I’ll give it a try…”
“Worry, worry and more worry”
At the 20 week appointment with our obstetrician, it was discovered that Little N (only known as Twin A at the time) was significantly smaller in size and we would have to keep a close monitor throughout the rest of the pregnancy. From then we always had the possibility of early birth looming over us.
That was also the day Hubby and I realized how nerve-wrecking parenting was going to be.
Since then, the anxiety hasn’t stopped. Even with matters that are far well in the future: schooling, friends, drugs, alcohol, driving cars.
Apparently, this is all just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s your list ?
Musings of Mama Grace © 2011