Well my friends, it’s been a rollercoaster of epic proportions for our family this year. After my daughter was rushed into hospital at just two days old, life as we knew it was turned upside down, utterly transformed from the peaceful and happy reality we had been living up until then. I can’t pretend to have sailed through this experience with grace and patience. There have been some big challenges and I have faltered and failed time and time again.
As a parent, I have been pushed to my limits, and gone far beyond them more times than I would like to admit. I have reacted to my four year old and his behaviour with anger and frustration. I have shouted. I have been ashamed of myself and wondered many times why I couldn’t figure out how to handle a particular situation.
I have considered giving up Love Parenting, the very idea of offering advise to other parents being utterly laughable to me. I have felt lost and desperate and so very scared.
But then, I reached a point in this journey when I realised I was at a crossroads and it was time to choose between two very different paths.
I could give up. I could let myself be pulled down with the stress and the sleep deprivation, giving up on my parenting ideals and falling into a disconected trap of shouting and punishing all the while losing the bond I had with my son.
Or I could face the storm head on, forgive myself for getting it wrong, grieve for what was supposed to be and move onwards and upwards.
Though I must admit the first option was tempting at times and seemed like the easiest route when I was frazzled and desperate, deep down, I knew I wanted more for my family. I wanted to smile and laugh with my son again. I wanted to get through a day without one or all of us falling to pieces. I wanted to give him back the mother he knew and loved, to show my daughter how good life can be. Though it was definitly the harder of the two options, it was also the most rewarding.
I made the choice to be a better parent and choose happiness.
Although from the outside people may feel sad or sorry for our daughter, and I too have cried oceans of salty tears for all of us, I no longer feel so overwhelmed by sadness. I feel blessed to know her and have her in my life. Who knows what the future holds for any of us, who knows what challenges may come our way or yours? What this experience has taught me is that life is just too precious and too short to waste time worrying about the what ifs.
Any one of us could meet our end tomorrow. That is not something we can control. But what we can do is make sure that the days we do have are filled with love and happiness, that we dont waste time with things we dont care about, that we surround ourselves with those who matter most to us, and that we make the very most of the life we have, no matter how long we have it for.
We will be going home in one month and we can’t wait to be together, sleeping under the same roof again. Over this past four months I have reached rock bottom and had to choose between being destroyed or allowing the experience to make me stronger. I have realised that when it comes to parenting, there is not always one right answer. I have found that my children are stronger than I ever knew possible. I have learned that when things seem impossible and it feels like you’ll never get back the bond you had, a few days of rebuilding that connection can transform a relationship. I have discovered that children have the capacity for vast amounts of forgiveness and are just waiting for you to make that change.
And I have realised that I am not yet ready to stop sharing this passion for parenting with the world. After a lot of thought, I have decided to continue with Love Parenting.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene
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