Parenting: if it feels too easy, you're not doing it right...

posted on: Thursday, 13 February 2014

Wise words from my friend; ever the voice of reason, she sagely pointed out that things worth having are meant to be hard. If things had started to feel easy, my alarm bells should have rung! It's not that parenting should always be tough; in any relationship there should be a natural amalgamation of love and support and it shouldn't feel like work. But, a caveat when it comes to raising kids is that if things seem OK, they are not always OK. I have to keep re-evaluating how I am living and asking questions of myself. I figure this is just the stage I am in right now; a stage of flux that means that I can't rest on my laurels.

via un amore per sempre
So - things have calmed down but are accompanied by a pensiveness from me and many plans afoot. I have regained my peace of mind and best of all, my husband is back from a long trip away so I am not alone anymore. There is no question that when it comes to parental life, having two of you is easier than one. My hat goes off to single parents and I am full again of admiration for my Mum who brought my brother and I up on her own. There is not a thing harder. Thank you for all of the kind comments and emails you left to my last post - I was really touched.

I feel like I have spent too much time thinking and not enough time doing; so that has to change now. I had assumed that as my children grew older, they too would enjoy slinking about the house having chill time whilst we span around them like satellites, watching TV, making food, going to the gym - whatever it was. We had this little glimpse of what life was like with older kids who ostensibly took care of themselves. The demands of those younger days when you simply had to be with them every minute of the day had ceased.

I often thought of our scene like those vintage dolls houses you see; cross-sectioned down the middle with each room filled with an activity. But fundamentally all the characters were apart from each other - each in their own room. Our house resembled that  - I'd be reading a book upstairs, one child on a gadget somewhere else, one child watching TV, my husband doing emails. The fact is we had drifted and I see now that it wasn't such a healthy drift. My craving for the uncomplicated strayed too far.

I love how life can give us a chance to change - to take the alarm bell and use it for the better. So even as we hurtle towards teenage hood I am planning activities and elements of our lives that will hopefully enrich and occupy and draw us together. It's the only way. I'm not gonna lie, I would love to lie in every Saturday and mooch til lunch, but that would be the easy option. To me it's a case of making sure that the influences that my kids are open to come from us and our family and friends and not from strangers on the web. It's my job to manage that. So here goes...


  1. Wise words. I guess it doesn't get easier, the job just changes. Thinking back to my own childhood and my difficult relationship with my mom as a teenager, my biggest complaint looking back was that she wasn't involved enough. It's a fine line, I'm sure. You want to be a strong influence without squashing their independence. Love is letting go. But you have to hold the reins just tight enough and loosen them oh so gradually. Wow as I think about this I get a little overwhelmed, thinking about the coming years. But I'm engaged. And if those alarm bells sound, then I'll make whatever adjustments are necessary to get us back on track. Just as you're doing now.

  2. So good to hear you sounding more positive. Yes there are tough times, but it doesn't always have to hard, nor will it be. And I promise you, there will still be Saturdays where you can have that lie in and not feel guilty. Finding a way to keep the balance. You will manage it I'm sure. xxx

  3. Yes, wise words indeed. Teenagers so need close family connections - sounds like you are doing great.

  4. My mother brought my sister and I up on her own (after my father died at a young age). Only now with two children of my own and and husband that is mostly home (less work travel these days thankfully) can I truely realise what a tough 24/7 job she had, and what a fabulous mother she was to us. Every age brings with it new challenges when raising our kids - its certainly not just the 'terrible two's'! I totally agree that family, close family friends, doing activities as a family, sports and being 'there' with your kids is the way to go - and in this age all of those things can be difficult. Sounds like you've got a good plan. Happy weekend.

  5. Really wise words Lou and you are sounding more's a real challenge though, I SO know that...and you know we're both on very similar pages right now!

    I went into town during the week with a good friend - our eldest children are the same age but she has a boy (so far, MUCH easier!)....I was saying to her that I have never felt as much of a parent as I do right now, the ease of the primary school years totally fooled me & lulled me into a false sense of security about my parenting abilities, as least that's how I am looking at it right now, I never knew it could be so hard!!

    I agree with you that it's really important to make sure that lots of influences come from within the home & not from outside - after all, home is the constant, whether or not our children realise it. The challenge - for me at least - will be in engaging her, I sense she wants to be away from us - it's all the "outside" stuff that is the most appealing, unfortunately!!

    I hope that half-term is going well & that you are reconnecting & regrouping Xx