June 1st is Global Day of Parents and it got me thinking about my own journey as a parent. What advice would I give my ‘new mum’ self now that I’ve been doing the job for about 15 years?
When my son was born, I bought ALL the books! Books about sleeping, books about eating, books about parenting. I did all the research. Unfortunately, books only ever give you part of the story. And so we just made the rest up as we went along!
I soon realised that the ‘art’ of parenting is not a nice neat and tidy ‘colour by numbers’ but is actually a canvas covered in chaotic splodges, sticky fingerprints and a fair number of messy scribbles!
In those early days of motherhood, I read a great quote by an American researcher, Jonas Salk. He said that “good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is and wings to fly away.” With a tiny baby that needs you for everything, I simply couldn’t imagine the flying away bit at all.
But, now that my baby is a teenager, this quote is finally starting to make sense. They grow so quickly. And each stage brings its challenges – sometimes tears and tantrums (mostly mine!) – but the upsides are immense. I wouldn’t dream of giving parenting advice as we are all unique, but these are my own personal top 6 takeaways:
- Relish every single moment, even the messy ones!
- Embrace your mistakes. They are what make us human.
- Enjoy the journey with all its ups and downs. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Have fun! Happy parents = happy children.
- Give them the ‘soil’ to grow strong roots.
- And help them to grow their wings. My son may not enjoy loading the dishwasher, but he’ll thank me one day for that life skill 😉.
Founder of Bathing Bunnies