There are many difficult jobs out there, but none as challenging and time-consuming as being a parent. Being the President? No pressure. A Stuntman? You must be crazy. Firefighter? What a hero. Whilst these are taxing and sometimes dangerous jobs, no job comes close to parenting. What makes it extra special, is that whilst it's tough, what you get back from all the effort you put in is extremely rewarding. It's literally the most challenging job you'll ever love!
I get that some parents might find parenting fairly easy, so not everyone might agree, but this is based on my experience so far and what I've gathered from speaking to other parents.
Before I had George, no one ever told me how hard being a parent was. I assumed, and only ever heard of and saw the happy, fluffy, loving times of bringing up a baby. How wrong was I?! I was eight years old when my youngest sister was born, but at that age you don't see the emotions and stress your parents are going through - especially with three daughters under the age of 10. I only saw the cuddles and love that came with having a baby.
A few weeks after having George, the scale of having a baby suddenly hit me. The truth is, there's no parenting instructions, you don't have time to yourself, you don't have time to spend with your partner, and being a mummy, your body has gone through drastic changes and your hormones are all over the place. Frankly, it's a recipe for any job to be difficult.
Parenting can also be isolating, which makes it that little bit more challenging. When you have someone to talk to, vent to and compare stories with, it makes it that bit easier. It's so important to socialise as a parent, especially as a new mum.
Have you seen the film, Groundhog Day? Once you've had a baby, it can feel like you've suddenly been cast in the role of Bill Murray and even worse, it's not a film it's real life. Daily tasks can become quite tedious and repetitive, especially when you have to do them in a zombie-like state due to lack of sleep.
When maternity/paternity leave ends, we sometimes decide to go back to work. Whether it's part-time or full-time, depending on your career, it can actually give us a bit of a break and adult-contact.
It's funny because whilst being a parent is classed to many as a 'job', it's really not a job at all. You don't get paid for it and you don't accrue annual leave. In fact, instead of being paid to take holidays, you usually have to pay someone to be able to take a holiday, unless you have family nearby.
What melts my heart though, is knowing that this little person is going to look up to me and come to me, yes me, for comfort and call me Mummy. I will be the one that George has cast in his memories, along with his caring Daddy. It is this man that George will see as his role model and who will shape part of his future. Isn't that amazing? We were chosen to care for and love this little boy. It is this I think about when I'm having a particularly hard day. We get one chance at being a parent, and are lucky enough to get the opportunity to be one, so you really don't want to get it wrong.
I had the dream of whilst being on maternity leave, setting up my own marketing business and spending my spare time doing that. Spare time? What's that? Whilst I didn't get the opportunity to set it up at the beginning of my maternity leave, I can finally say it's now set up. It's taken me nearly nine months to do it, so that pretty much explains how much free time I've had. Although, I wouldn't have changed any of it for the world and I have loved spending almost every minute of those nine months with George.
People go on to have more children, and I hope to one day (wha?), so that just proves it's not all that bad. Whilst the hard times are blumin hard, the good times are amazing and outweigh those tough ones.
When you see your baby smiling at you with that toothy grin and laughing with that contagious chuckle, you can't help but forget the times you've been upset and pulling your hair out. Without this love, caring for our children would be a whole lot easier. It's due to this overwhelming, heart popping love that we care for and worry about them.
So here's a big well done and pat on the back for what you've done so far. You're an amazing parent!