If you are struggling with your child’s needs and demands, then please stop for a moment and breathe.
It’s a stage.
It’s a season.
Challenges will change but there will always be challenges and your child will always need you, however old they are. We need to find ways of being kind to ourselves every day.
The teenage years with my eldest have been as challenging for me as the sleepless nights, tantrums and potty training, but they have been very different challenges; they’ve also brought a different kind of joy.
The challenge of letting go of control is never easy but I feel it’s a path we have carved together and at the bottom of that path is a wonderful relationship. We are stronger, we communicate better, and all of it has played a part of growing and cementing our connection.
The joy of watching him grow, having adult conversations with him and learning to actively listen, never judge or condemn but to love and walk alongside him has brought huge joy to my life. And he still needs me, in some ways more than ever and it’s far from over yet.
A while ago I wrote a post about grieving the loss of our children’s childhoods and I have most definitely gone through that process and have had moments of that with my youngest too, I also know that more will come. I do understand however that allowing myself to feel that way and process it has allowed me to embrace the new phase wholeheartedly.
Researching and developing courses and workshops in the area I do gives me plenty of room for regret and lots of, “I wish I’d done it this way” moments, but that’s okay. I know it now, its helped, is helping me now, and I see how it has nurtured us as a family and made us even closer; it’s facilitated our evolution.
Life is like that, constantly evolving, no stage is all easy or all happy and accepting that is where true happiness lies. Having realistic expectations of stages of life and parenting is so important for happiness and well-being. Instead of waiting for the phase to arrive when life will be easier, or the weekend to arrive so you can have fun and be happy, enjoy it now. Feel it all.
Happiness is knowing and understanding how we feel and being okay with that, knowing that feeling all the hard stuff is a part of being alive and that moments and phases pass. You will look back at those phases with such nostalgia and heart that you will wish you could go back for ‘just one more day’ - but you can’t.
Living in the moment is something I’m working on and if that moment is ‘I feel sad’ I am able to accept that better than when I was younger, I do things I know comfort me in that moment and don’t feel guilty for doing them. I know that makes it far easier for me to move forwards, it facilitates the moment passing in a bearable way, it helps me to be sad but not unhappy.
You see, seasons pass. It doesn’t stop the winter from being cold but knowing that spring will always come helps us to face the cold with the right tools and spirit.
Be kind to yourselves,