14 February 2015

Keeping it simple

I am scared of many things, some rational, others not so much. A non-exhaustive list for your viewing pleasure:
- spiders
- tsunami
- skinny jeans
- snakes
- Donatella Versace
- hot yoga
- NZ Idol

Parenting is scary sometimes too. Wouldn't it be nice to go back to being children and leave all the tough decision-making to someone else?
Life can be hard, people - and for some of us, life is hard all of the time (relatively-speaking, we have it easier than most; there's two of us sharing the load and our children are all healthy, I'm just painting a picture here for you). There are so many pressures. The difference is that some parents are just better at hiding that pressure more than others. Even the ones who look like they've got it all together. It's all a front. They really don't. Isn't that a comforting thought? By becoming parents, we automatically increase that propensity to worry about whether we are making the right decisions in life because we are no longer responsible for just ourselves but for the lives of these little humans as well. What if we screw it all up for them? Will any bad decision mean their lives change irrevocably or worse, they will be forced to live at home with us forever??!


What I keep telling myself is that it pays not to overthink things. Simplified, parenting is 92% following your instinct, 5% feigned interest in your child's friends/activities/academic ability, 3% beer and wine. It's a walk in the park, really. It also helps to have siblings and friends who have already traveled a bit further along the parenting path to call on for advice.

Honestly, if I have done my job properly at all, my children will want to leave the family home. I hope that when that time comes, they will know that even if they didn't attend the most expensive schools or have private tuition for every single extra-curricular activity that all their friends are having, that they are still talented people with all the potential in the world. They may not get the latest gadgets just because or take overseas family holidays but they will know that, if they so choose, they still have just as much opportunity to do these things on their own later in life by working hard and saving for them. I hope that they will know that their mum and dad did the best they could to guide them and help them focus on the things that truly matter in life - family, friendship and treating others well. As we all are. Most of us. We're in this parenting thing together and we're all just trying to do what we think is best for our families. Sometimes, even though that path ahead may be unclear, we just need a little bit of faith that everything will all work out in the end.


  1. Becoming a parent has given me so much empathy for parents of kids who have various issues at school. Pre-kids I was so judgemental and I am so grateful that having my own kids has given me the simple insights that - being a parent is so tough, 99% of parents are just doing their best, and there is no rule book that allows to you pump out a family full of angelic and perfect children. I think having that understanding both as a parent and a teacher has been a great gift. Not that it stops you from questioning yourself and being your own harshest critic!

  2. If home is a safe and comfortable place to be, then its the perfect place for our kids to make all the mistakes they can ( much to our horror and amusement alike ) then when it comes to the time they leave the nest, they hopefully have made enough errors that they can fly high and explore the world armed with all those lessons to guide them...........well that's my theory anyway, and I'm sticking with it! ;)

  3. I cannot offer any thoughts from this from the point of view of a parent, but as a person - and a daughter - I can say that I am sure that you are doing the very best that you can, that your outlook is very much what I hoped mine would have been if I had been a parent and that I therefore think is a good outlook to have! You are right, you do the best that you can, give the best that you can and be the best that you can in terms of parenting, and it is also up to your children as they grow old enough to do that themselves too. When they are older they can do things as they wish and do more, different, nothing as they choose. I totally agree with most the things you worry about in the list at the start of your post - although not skinny jeans for some reason! - and I can totally see why you worry as a parent, but I don't think that you need to worry about what you are doing! xx

  4. YES! Believe in you and believe in what you are doing... There is no clear way or right way or only way or mostly any way... so stumble in confidence... heck I am! But I fully believe that if my children push and bend and break and try and drive me to the end and back... it's because they know that they can and it's a safe environment and at the end of the day we've got their backs. I don't like to ponder what hurdles we will get to face, but I hope that one day they will look back and know even when we made the wrong decisions thinking they were right... we only did it in the best interests of our family and for them. And I fully believe that once you have kids you get that your parents are just flawed humans too, having tried to do the right thing by you and sometimes failing. But love love love (and understanding and acceptance) is key - hope you are feeling/doing better xx