Parenting can be the toughest job in the world

How extraordinary A, in your last post you mention the lovely parties that you and OH have been invited to this year and how your children will simply have to fend for themselves for a few evenings this month, well coincidently I had an epiphany yesterday afternoon, you know the sort, a moment during which the solution or certainly the way forward in one’s moment of darkness becomes crystaline clear.

It would not be amiss to share with you the fact that our children have rather started to make the rules around here and it is well past time for us to take back the reins. I have been a pathetic parent of late and frankly so has my husband, we seem to have been so concerned about keeping our kids happy that teaching them even the very basic lessons in life such as tidying up bedrooms has been pushed to the back burner. As a result of this feeble behaviour we have also become semi- servants, yes, there is a definite Upstairs Downstairs divide emerging, only missing the call bells on the wall in the kitchen, but yesterday at 6.15pm precisely this ridiculous fiasco was stopped dead in it’s tracks, I had a lightbulb moment and all of a sudden, armed with the weapon of conviction, felt able and strong enough once again to return to the challenging game that is parenting, I realised pretty much for the first time that even though I must try hard to be a friend to them, more importantly I must try even harder to be a good parent.

From now on I will be strict but fair, I will be serious but also funny, I will be loving but reprimand when appropriate; I know what I have to do and for some reason today the road ahead doesn’t seem so tough; I will start to properly teach my children the things that will empower them, give them a sense of pride and community; for my part I must make every effort to stand firm in my decisions and not to allow either child to push their way over the boundary lines.

I suppose what I’m saying is that I must start again almost from the very beginning to include simple tasks such as putting out school uniforms for the morning, laying the table for meal times, carrying belongings from the the car after school however tired, walking the dog however boring, posting letters and helping with the cooking, so many little tasks make up our day, tiny, almost invisible tasks, most of which so far I have regrettably done for my children rather than deal with the ” Oh, whyyyiiieeeee…..aaaawwwww pleeease noooo!!!” I always felt so sorry for them and relented, time after time; I realise now how negative this has been for them and infact far from helping out and making their lives easier I have actually just been as misguided as any parent can be, what on earth was I thinking???

How I do love a good epiphany!!!



  1. Congrats Ellie but do let us know if you manage to achieve your goal. I always trying but end up reverting to old and bad ways just for a peaceful life!! JS

  2. Having had several epiphanies myself over the last few childrearing years, I know how good you must be feeling this morning. Good luck. I think you are a wonderful mother anyway, even without your new resolutions and, much more importantly, I am positive your children think you are too. Grace xx

  3. Its all really important and good luck… it might help to start either rearranging rewards to associate with some of the tasks or attaching small ones. So if they want a new phone / iPod whatever add a task goal to it. It works with a lot of them!

    The only thing I would caution is not forcing food too much in younger ones. So many of my friends have found it works better not to, and even from my own childhood I remember epic parental battles over certain types of food (mostly lentils and kidney beans!) But I also have a friend whose son currently eats virtually nothing but dairy products and fruit, and he’s doing fine. Children are weird! Good luck!

  4. A great post. I totally know where you are coming from. It’s so much easier in the moment to just let the little things slide and then before you know it you’ve created a monster! (Excuse the exaggeration – it comes from living with a toddler. My payback for being over-indulgent is massive tantrums. Deep joy. 😉 ) We all need these occasional epiphanies, or moments to take a step back and see where we’re going. Thanks for sharing yours – it’s a very useful reminder and lesson.

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