According to the dictionary parenting is ‘the rearing of children’ or ‘the methods, techniques, etc., used or required in the rearing of children’but to me parenting is stumbling through the dark, trying not to fall flat on my face.
Parenting Skills: Don’t leave me holding the baby!
When I first became a parent, I couldn’t help but think: ‘Now what?’ There I was, still torn up from giving birth, and yes I do mean that both literally and figuratively, and people left me holding the baby. I mean Me! What could they be thinking, leaving a small, helpless infant with someone who didn’t have a clue. It really was criminal. But then my husband stepped in, and told me: ‘Now you have to raise her.’ And so I did.
Parenting babies and toddlers : Finding my footing
I started parenting my daughter. And as I started finding my way, I figured that love was indeed all you need. And I had plenty of it. I found my footing as a parent, as my daughter found hers, and took her first steps. And soon I was the parent of four more children, and I started to know what I was doing. I became the equivalent of a well seasoned salad: a well seasoned parent! Just be gentle with the mayo.
Parenting Teenagers: No one told me this exam was coming!
My kids grew up, went to school, and then on to, and I grew right along with them as a parent. Right now I’m parenting five kids aged 17, 15, 13, 11 and 9. And the curriculum has changed a lot! My fifteen year old son has found himself a girlfriend. He’s had girlfriends before, but they lived in China and Siberia, a very comfortable distance away. But this girl only lives 10 miles from us, and suddenly I find myself wondering: ‘Did I, or did I not explain to him about the birds and the bees?’ Because to tell you the truth, the past seventeen years are kind of hazy. It’s like when you leave the house to get yourself a Big Mac, and you’re standing in line salivating, when suddenly it hits you right between the eyes: ‘Did I remember to turn off the iron?’ Only this time I’m not risking losing our house through a fire, but becoming a granny before my time. Sometimes parenting feels a lot like taking an exam you never got the books to study for.
In this particular case I turned to my secondant, also known as my husband. I figured he could do the father-son thing and have The Talk with our eldest son. You know, telling him to keep his pants on at all times. So I send them on a father-son walk, and hissed to my husband: ‘Remember you’re the parent! Do some parenting, and tell him about the birds and the bees, and to keep his pants on.’ Then I poured myself a nice cup of tea and ate a chocolate Easter Bunny, thinking to myself: ‘That’s some great parenting you did there girl!’
But when they got home my son shouted: ‘Mom you fail! Dad told me you told him to tell me to keep my pants on!’
Sometimes I feel like I have to parent my husband too… Hubby’s parenting skills could really use some work.
There are lots of books about parenting, in fact in my personal opinion there are way too many books about parenting. All written by experts, and all telling you the exact same thing, or not. In the first case you already know everything they’re saying, and in the second case they’ll only confuse you, which is why I avoid parenting books like the plague. I prefer to turn to other moms in my hour of need. And I like to return the favor, which is one of the reasons why I became a Mom Blogger.
On Momfever I talk about parenting, and how half the time I don’t know what I’m doing. My goal is to make you feel better by default. Because parenting is hard. And anyone who tells you it’s easy, is probably some kind of annoying experts looking to sell his book.
Marie Bellet sings about the beauty of parenting and motherhood, and how it’s only a brief period of your life while accompanying herself by rattling a box of rice. Whenever I listen to this song I feel much better, and I want to hug my kids while I still can.
And then there’s Sue Fabisch. Her songs are mostly humorous, and very relatable. The title alone, makes me smile.
Apart from other moms and my own mom, I sometimes turn to Wikipedia for info. But that’s usually when my kids have to do a school paper, and want to know how many times the earth could fit into the moon.
I’m winging this parenting thing
So to sum up my take on parenting: I’m winging it. And the kids are the wind beneath my wings, as I aspire to be the wind beneath theirs. That’s what I talk about when I talk about parenting on Momfever. I talk about love, about feeling helpless and sometimes hopeless, but also hopeful. About feeling stupid often, but sometimes very smart. About doing stuff you feel unprepared for, yet you do it anyway. About going on an adventure, if you’re not adventurous. About having to take exams, you didn’t get the chance to study for.
That’s parenting Momfever style. And at the center is Love.
And love is all you need.