My husband and I have adopted 2 amazing children. They have been with us for 9 months and are a joy (most of the time)!
Probably the most annoying aspect of having them, is my realisation that everyone was right and on occasions I was wrong.
As yes, ok, I agree…NOTHING PREPARES YOU FOR BEING A PARENT!
So in a sugar coated nut shell, here are my realisations on becoming a parent and the differences between looking after children as an early years worker and having your own!
1) You can give them back!! Sorry this sounds a little harsh but what I’m trying to say is that being a parent is constant, there is no handing them over at the end of a long day!
2)I can be a little bit patronising! Yup, as an early years worker without children I’ve realised my guidance may sometimes of come across as patronising. For this I apologise!
3)All guidance you give out to other parents and hope to follow yourself will probably go out the window- tv for example, I advised parents on how much tv children should watch! Said that I’ll never use tv as a calming mechanism! Well let me hang my head in shame because when you have one child screaming and the other one I wanting ( it should become a phrase) and you know that 10 minutes of TV will bring back some calm to your hectic day! You will use it!
4)Don’t say before you have children “I’ll never do that” because you will, in fact probably on the 2nd or 3rd day.
5)That Michael McIntyre’s sketch is so accurate!! Watch it before you have kids and then again afterwards!
6) A support network is so important. My Mum lives with us. We were all worried how much it would change the dynamics of us living together but she has been a godsend. The rest of our family and friends have also been such a support. And as for my husband!! I’m so lucky, the kids adore him and he is fantastic with them.
7) I found it easier than I thought to switch from being an early years worker to a Mum! I thought I’d struggle with this and might be too nursery nurse with them! Apart from instinctively wanting to record their temperatures and medication doses in the first few weeks. I am definitely their Mum and not their nursery nurse although the repertoire of nursery rhymes and messy play recipes have come in extremely useful!
8)They can nearly drive you crazy and then just when your on the edge they can pull you back by saying something so sweet everything else is forgotten… In a scenario I now call tomato gate my oldest had agreed to eat something new for lunch! A pizza wrap.. I felt so proud that I was mixing up their usual pasta, sandwich or yoghurt staple diet! I added some tomatoes (which he eats regularly) and offered it to him. “Are those tomatoes?” He asks in disgust, “yes sweetheart, you like tomatoes”, turning the colour of a tomato he screams “I don’t like tomatoes”, very calmly I said “well you do, because you eat them often”, he repeats in a slightly more screaming tone “I don’t like tomatoes”! Now hindsight is a wonderful thing and I should of just cut my losses then, but I knew that he liked them, the wrap was all toasted together nicely, I’d made a lot of effort, so I continued to explain my evidence for the case that, yes.. He did like tomatoes! Pasta sauce, chilli, in beef burgers! But no, not today, not these tomatoes! So I was defeated, I removed the tomatoes, he quickly saw some pips id missed and he watched as I ensured every trace of tomato was gone. He returned (mightily quickly I add) to his usual colour, and as he settled to eat his pizza wrap and I went to the kitchen to take a deep breath..”Mummy” he called… “Can I have some tomato sauce please” 🙃😬… However 20 minutes after tomato gate he told me that when he grew up he no longer wanted to be a footballer, he wanted to look after us, just help us, make sure we were all ok and love us “love us everyday”… Your heart can literally boil and melt several times in one day!
9)That you will spend all of your time talking about your children- I said before that I didn’t want to be one of those parents that only talk about their kids! Well it’s pretty difficult not to, because you spend all your time with them and have no time to do anything else!! Also you want to talk about them all the time because of the pride you feel in everything they do!
10) That being a parent is THE most rewarding and beautiful thing I have ever done. I’ve always found my career rewarding and thought I’d struggle to adapt. But although it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The bond we have already is unbreakable. I love them more than I ever knew my heart could be capable of and although on occasions they drive me nutty! They more often make me smile, laugh and cry and actually I feel more at peace with the world because things just make a little bit more sense with them in it.