The tightrope walk of parenthood

Today I was watching my tiny lady eating her snack and watching her favourite show Bing when it struck me how happy she looked. My eyes filled up; there was my very own little girl with her hair tied back looking adorable in jeans and a t-shirt. Then I realised why she looked so happy…it wasn’t the cheese she was eating or Bing…oh no my tiny lady was drinking water, holding it in her mouth and spiting it back onto her plate in a long line of dribble. Well she couldn’t have been more delighted with herself; I was less than thrilled. After a tackle over the water cup and a quick march upstairs for her nap it struck me how often I hover between frustration and joy these days. One minute the tiny lady has me close to tears with happiness; the next I am close to tears with stress.

I think all parents must feel like this from time to time. It’s like a constant dance between the very highs and very lows of life. Everybody always says the happiest day of your life is when your baby is born but for many it can also be the most stressful. You are in a hospital bed with strangers diving in and out of the room with the most intimate of questions, you have a new baby you don’t quite know what to do with and you are in pain. So while it is absolutely lovely to hold your new baby in your arms it can feel like you made the biggest mistake of your life as well – (new mums fear not this feeling does pass). Yes you are happy but it might not strike you like that for a while.

Then you take your tiny newborn home; you find yourself torn between wanting to scream – “Why won’t you stop crying??” to cooing – “How could such a gorgeous baby belong to me?” When the toddler years hit their cute antics both make you want to melt and drive you wild. When they hit the school years I’m not sure what they do but I can imagine it’s much of the same. Highs and lows punctuated by the odd mundane spell.

Parenthood is like a tightrope; there’s always a fine line between utter joy and mind-numbing stress; a balancing act that can leave you worn out which is why so many of us are coffee addicts or rely on the odd bar of chocolate (it’s for energy before you ask) to keep us going. We have no choice really because everyday is a battle to keep from falling off our precarious perch. But we do it everyday because…well we have to but also because you never know when the next heart-filling moment will happen.

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