Monday, May 29, 2017

We're Doing Alright... ♥

As parents, we are constantly scrutinised, not just by other people but by ourselves too. In fact, I am my biggest critic and 99% of the time I feel as though I'm not doing a good enough job as a parent.

I think the fact that I'm a blogger highlights my shortfalls in parenting even more to me. After all, aren't we as bloggers, supposed to share inspiration, ideas and information to our readers and social media followers? For me it's the other way round though, I would love advice and reassurance from followers of mine, but am usually too embarrassed to bring up a subject - or even if I do post about something, I find myself deleting it almost instantly for fear of being judged.

I've now been separated from my sons for almost two days and this separation has allowed myself - and their father - to really think about our parenting skills and how well we're doing in life. Things my mother has said in these two days have really struck a cord with me too.

The reason I've been away from the boys is to do with this blog, this blog which was created to document all our memories together. I never dreamed that my thoughts, ramblings and photography would ever lead to the opportunities which it has and honestly, at times I feel as though I could really make a career out of it... other times (the majority of the time) I feel as though my star will never shine as brightly as the other amazing, inspirational parenting bloggers out there.

My mother said to me - "Why didn't you think about having a career before you had kids?" Well, I wouldn't really have this 'career' without the kids. They have spurred me on to try and make a go of things, they've ignited my passion for photography and they inspire me every day to try new things, get out and about and try and be the best mother I can be.

Finding the balance between 'work' and motherhood hasn't been an easy ride though and I'm constantly having to sacrifice one for the other, the boys always coming out on top. The picture at the beginning of this post is essentially my life at the moment - one child in hand, one child on hip. These boys have consumed me completely and being a parent to young children makes it almost impossible to be a person in your own right... but I'm trying.

Most of my days are spent alone with the boys. I have almost no friends and most of the time I feel as though I have no one to speak to about anything - gossip, general chit chat, worries... Their dad is almost always at work and is almost killing himself with tiredness so that we can live somewhat of a decent life.

I could feel his sadness when we spoke about the boys these past two days. He feels like an absent father, when in reality, all he's trying to do is provide for us.

I'll be honest, the amount of hours he works really gets my back up at times. I'm the sort of airy fairy person who thinks that time together is far more important than money, but in this day and age it's impossible to have any sort of a life without a proper wage. That doesn't make it any easier to console a crying four year old who just wants his daddy though...

My mother has been minding the boys for the time we've been away and last night she said to me - "Now I know why you always want Jacek to come home from work, it's hard going minding the two of them, there's always something to be done" - and this was coming from someone who brought up two children on her own. To finally have that recognition from her that it is hard to parent two young children, almost on my own on a daily basis, really hit home.

I may not be the type of mother who's always up for doing arts and crafts, or playing endless games. I bloody hate making dinners and I'm an awful cook anyway - my sons will never be heard saying that my roast dinners are the best. I can be a shouty mum and not as patient as I should be. I can get worked up and panicked easily when things aren't going my way. I'm too meek for my own good and can never make a big decision without asking advice from my own mother first - it's as if I don't even realise I'm a parent myself at these times - time to grow a back bone I think, but I bloody love those boys with every morsel of my being and I try really hard to be the mother they deserve.

Being away from your children can really help to put things into perspective. Yes there are days when I'm wishing away the hours until bedtime, when I just want someone to take them for a few hours so that I can get things done and actually feel like a human being, not just a cook, cleaner and entertainer for two small humans. There are moments when I cry over guilt, worry and anxiety for them both and it can be an emotional rollercoaster being their mother, but I would never be without them. They are my world.

So if you're like me and are constantly doubting your parenting skills, thinking you're a bad mother or are even like my partner and feel like an absent father... believe me, YOU'RE DOING ALRIGHT.

As long as you're providing a loving home for your children, being the best parent you can possibly be and aren't seeing your children as often as you'd like because you're simply working to provide for their needs, then YOU'RE DOING ALRIGHT.

It doesn't matter if you're not crafty, or if you're not really into playing games or if you can't afford expensive gifts, toys or clothes, when it seems everyone around you is able to get their children whatever they like. Children don't remember the material things, they remember the memories and as long as you're spending time with them - be it snuggling on the couch in front of a film, going on a walk to the shop or skimming stones with them down on the beach (something I remember doing with my dad when I was a child) YOU'RE DOING ALRIGHT.

So let us as parents stop doubting ourselves. Life is short and I'd rather spend it making memories and being content in the fact that I did my best, even though I wasn't perfect. We're trying and that's what matters most. WE'RE DOING ALRIGHT.


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