Being a parent may well be one of life’s most rewarding roles, but it is also one of the most challenging. Whether you plan mealtimes to a schedule the military would be proud of, or need to think of great days out for kids, being a parent has its ups and downs.
Cheesy Grins at the Ready
It is remarkably cheesy but also true that the most imperative thing is to ensure your child knows they are loved. Offering them encouragement as they grow older and complete more and more challenging tasks is the perfect chance to express to them how well they are doing. Offering an appreciative hug or a quick smile will show your acceptance and help their overall well-being as they grow up. Encourage them as they learn new things and develop different interests, letting them know that it is quite alright not to be a sheep and to shun following the crowd.
Try to become involved in their life as much as possible, listening to their problems when they need you. If they know you will always be there to have a quick natter, a close bond is more likely to develop between parent and child. Communication is the key to sustaining this bond and setting up the chance to talk candidly to each other from the get go is always a good idea.
Cornflakes and Coloring
However, if all this talk of love and communication is getting a bit much for you, there are more frivolous ways to ensure you are ready for the ups and downs of parenting:
- Try not to get too frustrated when a quick trip to the corner shop entails walking in and out of the house approximately five times before setting off,
- Ditto embarking on great days out for kids, which may not start out as great for the parents,
- See the amount of clothes that are now covered in baby sick and food as an opportunity to go on a shopping rampage,
- Accept that your house will never again be quite as tidy as you would like it to be,
- On a similar note, buy a sofa in a sensible colour to disguise the inevitable stains and smears of food that are to come,
- Banish the dreams of a flash car to the back of your mind. It’s a people carrier for you,
- Try not to get frustrated when the question ‘why?’ is posed to you approximately ten times a day,
- Learn to love children’s television, as that’s all you will be watching for the next five years,
- Prepare to see your favorite wallpaper disappear under a range of colorful drawings,
- Accept that getting ready for important work meetings will now involve having cornflakes and milk tipped down your best suit, with no time to change before you set off.
Fun for all the Family
As terrifying as all that sounds, being a parent does have its fun days. Planning great days out for the kids provides a day off for the whole family and gives you all a well-deserved break. When you return home, try and retain the positive vibe if possible. Spend as much quality time with the kids as you can outside of work, spending one on one time with each child if you have a big family. It is similarly important not to stifle children, with some of life’s lessons best learned through experiencing them first hand. All in all, having a child is one of life’s biggest tests. If you are prepared to see your best clothes covered in gunk, then chances are you ready to pass with flying colors.
Wendy Derbyshire is a freelance writer whose specialty is providing parenting tips. She recommends that planning great days out for kids is one way to alleviate stress and enjoy some much needed relaxation time.