13 1/2 years ago our first child came into the world. Prepared, no, although we thought we were! We arrived home to constant crying and I remember telephoning the hospital to ask whether it was safe for him to sleep with a dummy in his mouth. Oh my, I look back and I cannot believe how clueless and overwhelmed I was.
It’s hard to remove all the expectations around parenthood. One moment you want to explode and the next a simple smile or a certain look (my youngest daughter is great at this) and all is forgotten. We now have 5 stunning children who all are completely different individuals that – somehow as parents- we’re helping mould into the people that they’re trying to become.
“Oh my goodness, how do you manage?! I couldn’t possibly. You must always be doing the washing! Your house must be a mess!” Just a few of the helpful comments that come my way. I smile to myself inside thinking “I haven’t heard that one before”. In all honesty I truly believe our firstborn was the hardest, and we were young to the point of being immature. We struggled, cried, laughed, oohed and aaahed and were over protective. We had miscarried previously and had made an informed decision to start a family but despite what people tell you it is hard and nothing like what we could have expected. He has made us into the parents we are today, he was in fact our test run and to be honest he is quite simply amazing.
We extended our family and with each little bundle of joy it has become easier. Now with 5, we have become more relaxed and I believe this is the key to all parenting. The most precious times are those which are unexpected; a day off and being able to pick up the children from school, the smile of acknowledgement that Dad is there and the hug that follows. There is nothing better! The bedtime story and falling asleep together. The early morning wake up because it’s park run day.
Am I a model parent or husband? Not even close, but I do the best I can and I learn from my children and my wife as much as they learn from me. Each day is a new experience for us all, I like to think of us as scales, we balance each other out. I enjoy the good, love the great and ride the bad.
So in answer to the questions; yes we do manage, It’s not for everyone, yes we wash every day and the house is a home and lived in (my OCD doesn’t rub off on my wife).
Live, Learn and don’t miss a single moment of the amazing journey.