I’ve learnt more in the last 6 years, grown more as a person and as a human than in the previous 26 years. I couldn’t possibly explain every change and list all of my learnings in one post, but I’ll let you in on the main 6 things I’ve learnt in 6 years of parenting.
When you become a parent, you shit yourself. OK in that first instance you’re overwhelmed with joy, everything is amazing and the babies head smells (You’ll understand if you’re a parent, or you will once you become one) then there’s definitely a moment in that first 24 hours when the realisation of what’s happened hits you and you shit yourself. Don’t panic, it does work out alright and I’m here to share with you 6 things I’ve learnt that will help you.
It’s such a difficult thing to be patient, especially on those days when it feels like your child’s sole purpose on earth is to test yours. I’ve learnt patience in terms of the bigger picture, when will they walk, talk and all the other ‘milestones’. They will get it, they learn and pick up things when they’re ready and this continues throughout their development. Once they start learning to read and write or ride a bike or swim, patience is key. All kids are different and develop at different speeds, it’s not a race. Pushing them or demanding more and more won’t help, be patient they’ll get it when they get it.
Presence not presents
That old cliche. It’s an old cliche because it’s true. Over the years it’s become more and more apparent to me how much more children value your presence than they do presents. You can flood them with toys all you like, but if you don’t spend time playing with them with their toys, or when their imagination is running wild and you have to get into character, it’s pointless. Spending time together and quality time at that is the most precious gift you can give your child, they’ll remember it.
Having a healthy mindset
This is something I’m massively into, mindset. There’s a lot of focus of physical fitness which is obviously important, but if your mind isn’t looked after it can be equally damaging. I’m big on positivity and it’s literally life changing. Since making the decision to really go all in on being more positive I’ve become a much better parent, husband and person. If you can put yourself in a better place more often than not, you’re going to then start effecting the people around you in a positive manner. Seriously, parenting becomes much easier when you’re feeling good mentally.
What kids need is really simple
If you go online, especially as a new parent, you will shit yourself twice! It all seems so complicated and the image of the perfect parent seems impossible, that’s because that’s all it is, an image. Images can be edited and many family images online are exactly that. I’ve learnt to cut out all of the bullshit. You’ll find the vast majority of parents are finding parenting just as difficult as you, no matter how white their living room walls are, how well their make-up looks or how many vegetables they manage to ram down their child’s throat.
I’ve learnt to see through the nonsense and cut out all the shite they tell you your child needs. They need to be loved, given attention and opportunities to explore their interests. That’s it, it’s really that simple.
Parent for today’s world
Something that I think many parents are missing is that, our children are growing up into a completely different world than we did. I would go as far to say that there hasn’t been such a difference between one generation as there is between the most recent two. My generation, our generation can still remember life before the internet, before smartphones and social media, our children will never know any different. I see parents still trying to parent how they were brought up and sticking to outdated notions. Our children live in a completely different world and what I’ve learnt is that it’s a waste of time sticking to old traditions that are no longer relevant, dive head first into new technology and the new world, learn it and guide your child into it the best you can.
No-one has a clue
I think we will end on one of the most comforting things I’ve learnt over 6 years of parenting, no-one else has a clue what they’re doing either. The more you talk to others the more you realise many of us are the same, we’re winging it the best we can. We’re all trying to figure out the right path, the right methods and what’s best, but in all honesty no-one really knows and if they say they do they’re talking bollocks.
Like I mentioned before there’s a list of a million things and any one of them could have made this post today, but I reckon some of these points may well help calm some new parents nerves, help a struggling parent or just make you nod in agreement thinking ‘thank god he’s just like me too’.
As long as you love them dearly and try your best you can’t go wrong.
Thanks for reading,
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