Thursday, 12 March 2009

Before I was a parent ...

... I was a paediatric nurse who had lots of theories about children.FAIL

Now I have three (living) children but no theories. FAIL.

At best I was nominally prepared and could change and fold cloth nappies, use real pins and make formula and I did know most of the kiddo characters.

It seems the person who knows most about parenting is our 15yr old ... gosh I hope he isn't a parent soon ... won't go there but God really only knows now he has a very attached girlfriend.

Some days I don't have a clue. I admit it I am clueless.

Even my husband said to me today 'why don't give you a really useful 'how to do it' manual when you take a baby home' (let alone two...imagine Babies for dummies.)

It is a mystery to me why children don't come with fail safe instructions or even a warranty

Many years ago when I was working as a nurse one evening shift an article was being read aloud.It was called Are you ready for parenthood - the same author wrote a much longer version in Women's magazine .The mums in the 4 bed room were really rolling on the floor laughing and I was dropping nappies to mop up the puddles ;) and helping them up again after I had a good laugh myself. It was so true.

That brings me to the parenting dilemmas in this household .From toilet training to body piercing, bed refusal to another who won't get out of bed ...parenting is challenging .Being older does not make us wiser. Dating dramas are also top of the hit list and schooling.

Our eldest came home with his ear pierced by a friend Tuesday, the same day we found out he has been skipping whole days and some classes. We had no idea...I had an inkling.

All the while I thought I was losing control of my mind and going mad .When I came home a few times to find things different, internal doors open I had closed , the alarm off, and just an odd feeling that stuff had been moved.

I had my suspicions confirmed the other day, I told my husband, my husband rang the school for the absentee report. A huge shock . Our son changed to the local public highschool this year at his own insistence, we let him because we wanted him to be happy. We were disappointed in his actions.

It was not pleasant confronting him .We have mostly sorted things out. He struggles with school - I know he could try harder and apply a bit of more effort though. He would just rather do other things.

He hates many subjects because they are irrelevant to him. We have had some other issues as well. He is a good kid with but testosterone !! and a temper. I feel his adoption has a lot of to do with things too.

I read somewhere a mother of 15yr old boy explained every time she wanted to scream at him she counts to ten and says testosterone over and over till the urge to throttle him passes. I almost nodded my head off.

It's still a work in progress. We are I am far from perfect , I am not infallible (does that sound right) I can be annoying and picky but I am trying harder. I can be wiser ...yet some days the quantity of decisions I face overwhelms me. Tensions run high and fast.

I am always thankful to find I am not alone ...other parents who KNOW or share a bit of their hard earned wisdom. I get relief (serious or otherwise comic relief) from connecting with parents everywhere.

Though being held captive by twin toddlers means it via the cyber world of late. They lock the doors behind me now, and I have to bribe them to let me back in the house or to undo the car doors (when they are in their car seats -it's okay I have the remote keys). The defiant NO's have hit too .

Parenting is mostly an awesome adventure that it takes us to our wit's end and beyond. While it is a black hole of mystery
...why does my teenage son eat mushrooms in Beef Strog at his GF house
...where do all the odd socks go
...why do teenagers spent so much time saying nothing to each other but txting back and fro~ can you understand the txt spk , or on msn.

Parenting it is a lot of fun I wouldn't swap it for anything...but sometimes I think a teenage swap would be neat... or maybe not better the devil you know. Did you ever watch wife swap. They always picked 'extremes' to swap.

I wish I had all the answers but that might spoil the fun.

On the brightest note this week ...Sam had his cast removed this morning. He was so sweet and good. After the physios finished he sat up and said 'thank you' unprompted. The physios said they wanted to keep him LOL. They told us to hold him down initially as most children don't like the tickle machine (the plaster cast saw) ...sorry pictures tomorrow.

Saturday ,the carer at the gym creche told me too they were both lovely little boys and she wanted another 20 like them ... because they said please and thank you and played so nicely.I told my Dh and he raised his eyebrows and said are you sure she had the right kids - at home we have to referee them now.

I can only make a commitment to parent to the best of my ability , acknowledge my deficits (that I don't know it all ...yet) or compensate by making it up and faking it ...what do you do ?

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MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I can say, I totally get this. In so many ways - very beautiful!

Dina said...

Beautiful post with so much truth to it.

My sister just had her first baby and she's a pediatric nurse. Her husband is a pediatric doctor. I think this has prepared them somewhat, but not that much.

Having a child is a life-changing experience. And as soon as we feel confident that we're actually good parents, life throws us a new curve that makes us question everything.

jeanie said...

Ah, if we knew all the answers they would create new questions wouldn't they?

Great post.

Jayne said...

A homeschooling forum I belong to has quite a number of parents of teens who have just started homeschooling their kids - variety of reasons, struggling, Asperger's, bullying, etc - and after the kids have found their groove they're really beginning to soar.
What about distance ed, too?
(((hugs))) It's never easy and there's no hard and fast rules.

Lightening said...

If only we all understood how hard parenting was before we had kids...then again, we probably wouldn't have them then (and fear would prevent us from experiencing all the joys it also brings). Plus there is no real way to understand what parenting is like until you are one.

What do I do? Pray that my kids don't see me the way I see my parents when they're all grown. :(

Blossom said...

oh yes.parenting is hard. and there is so much emphasis placed on being pg and the birth and it isn't often adddressed...
Teens are fun..........
ughhhhhhh NOT!!! BTDT.....

Stepping back and taking a few deep breaths helps..
and I think....."In time to come.....will this really matter?"


tiff said...


Jen at Semantically driven said...

Counting to 10 and a stiff drink to cope. My son's not a teenager yet (he's 7) and last year was the year from hell for him, me and the school. Fortunately he's gone through that phase and is mostly a more mature and lovely kid. Your teenager will hopefully get through their phase and come out all right at the other end - and so will you.

Natalie said...

One day, we will share horror teen stories. :D

For now, tie a knot in your shoelaces girl, you are going for a ride!

Hugs to you.xx

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

blogger ate my long comment reply - darn it !

Hippomanic Jen said...

No advice, but lots of sympathy.

I wouldn't have liked to be my mum during our adolescent years.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Jen - LOL me too my brother & sister were wicked ;)

Catherine said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I'm nowhere near having a teenager, but I smile when I remember how much I knew about parenting before I had children (but I didn't know much about children LOL!)

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