The easy parenting bit

The easy parenting bit When Poss was a baby, I had no doubt that it was the hardest part of parenting.

While there was a million amazing things about becoming a mum, the night wakings, and the day wakings for that matter (for Poss never really slept), the constant worry, the breastfeeding or lack thereof, because we never really got the hang of it seemed overwhelming. The tiny baby that bought with it an enormous weight of responsibility.

Surely, once we got to toddlerhood, if I just kept her alive long enough to get there, it would get easier.

Yet, toddlerhood came and it was actually the hardest part. She was sick a lot, needed her tonsils out on her third birthday and seemed to cry all the time. She didn’t eat, and everything seemed to offend her delicate sensibilities. Her hilarious ability to grasp onto swear-words and repeat them over and over again seemed like I’d failed a parenting test somewhere along the way.

Surely, once we got her to school, if we could just keep her alive long enough, this parenting thing would get easier.

Then school came along and for those first few years it felt like we were back to having a newborn again. Sleep stopped, eating stopped and the doctors came with tests and big words. The school didn’t really want her there, and despite her being super smart and loving, she struggled to find her place. Her toddler years seemed like a dream in hindsight.

Surely, if we just changed schools, it we could (literally as it turned out) just keep her alive long enough, it would get easier.

Now, she’s a tween. Almost a teen, on the cusp of being a small adult, well on her way to being her very own, fully formed person. She has her own views, her own thoughts, her own perspective on the world.

It seems to come with an overlay of incredible sass, every answer (and there’s always an answer because she knows ALL THE THINGS) delivered with an eye-roll and a sigh. There’s stomping, door slamming and throwing of anything not too heavy to lift.

And the homework arguments. Can we just pause for a moment here with the homework? Never did I think in the long list of parenting tasks that fighting over homework would be one of the most stressful things, but here we are.

Of course, most of this isn’t new – Poss was a champion threenager – but somehow each year it intensifies, and I have no doubt there’s more coming our way. She is, after all on the cusp of the next big stage.

And while I’m in the thick of it now, I’ve caught myself shaking my head and thinking this is surely the worst of it. The hardest bit of parenting. Surely if we can just get to the next stage, it will get easier.

Then I catch myself. I’m trying to slow down and enjoy this little adult for who she is, explore her world view with her before she blocks me out and no longer values my opinion at all. Walk away from the sass and pick my battles.

Because I have no doubt that some day in the future, I’ll look back and this will be the easy parenting bit.

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