Parenting is Hard… and Hurrah for the Sisterhood

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I don’t want to use this forum as a base to whinge and complain, but I just want to throw it out there. Being a parent is really hard!

For all the wonderful things our children bring us, the yin and yang of life says that they bring equally difficult, ghastly or down right horrible moments too. 

This post hasn’t come from no where – I’ve been really struggling with my three year old. She is spirited, defiant, determined, and funny. All those things will one day serve her well, but for now I can hold her solely responsible for the extra wrinkles I’m sporting. And no, they are NOT laugh lines.

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Said three year old – her high spirit shows in that cheeky grin.

As soon as I think I’ve got her worked out, my new ingenious approach no longer carries any weight. It feel like I’m constantly raging a battle with her. I’m told it’s just the ‘threes’. The twos were bad enough, and we are early doors in the threes – she doesn’t turn four until January. I know, I can feel your sympathy radiating through my laptop screen.

Here are a few of the things I know, that I reflect on to try and make myself feel better:

  • This is parenting – it has its ups and downs
  • This is the threes – ‘this too shall pass’
  • As an adult, she’ll be remarkable (or a complete disaster – because, well, she just won’t be told!)
  • It is possible to be a boss at three years old
  • It is possible to be a shadow of your former self because of said three year old
  • We are all learning from this 
  • Wine helps – a great deal. 

A couple of very close friends have been lovely and supportive, hurrah for the sisterhood.

Love you girls.

But I just wanted to send a shout out to all you Mums and Dads who are living the same struggles.

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Nature is a wonderful thing – even with a snarl, I still think she’s cute.

And I know, first world problems, and all that. I know she’s well, she’s safe, she’s happy (well, mostly), but just so you know – she’s an absolute tyrant! And living with this day-to-day tyranny, inflicted by a three year old, it’s natural to sit back while staring into that helpful glass of wine and say

“Is this really my life?”

And for those of you who are about to tell me it doesn’t end with the ‘threes’ – and to wait till the teens – I know already. Four of my sisters are ten or more years ahead of me in this parenting journey, so I kind of know what’s to come. But I also read this post the other day on teens,  “My Kids Have Sucked the Life Out of Me”

So yeah, excited for the future. Ah hem.

Last weekend I was hugely traumatised by a very loud and public three year old melt down, made entirely worse by a particular adult (ah hem, me) losing my shit also. I was ashamed and embarrassed (of me and her) and the more people that tried to help, the worse it got.

But one Mum came up to me after it had all died down, and people were only talking about it in whispers, behind their hands, rather than to me. And she said ‘It’s such a hard job, we’ve all been there. And Collette, you’re doing a great job’

What a kind and supportive friend. In truth, my response to my daughter made the whole thing worse (so not so much, on that occasion), but this kind and generous woman didn’t want me to feel bad. Like I said before

“Hurrah for the sisterhood.’

So if you’ve got the struggles happening in your house right now, what ever age they are, can I just tell you: You are doing a great job!!

And PS – wine is good. xx

Comments

  1. Peta says

    I love your words Collette! It can be so hard can’t it. I have many a story to tell (and counting), and many incidence of ‘losing it’! And yes, one’s community and sisterhood is invaluable. Would love to catch up over a glass of wine again one day X

    • collette says

      Thanks so much Peta – I think when we ‘come out’ with our tales of shame moments, we find that we are not the only ones, and that it’s a universal parenting experience. I’d love to catch up with you too – it’s been way too long. I’ll message you. xx

  2. says

    Brings back memories – my daughter at that age was the same! At eight, she is a lot easier (although she does not stop talking and she still has an insatiable desire for more – to buy, to acquire (borrowing from everyone), and to interact. Much of which is lovely, but a bit overwhelming at times. But she is calming down. Eight is a great age – and don’t worry too much about the teenage years (I figure I can plan a little, and try to set some patterns now that will help into the future, but outside of that, what will be will be). Yay for friends – and wine 🙂

    • collette says

      Ha, yes it seems that everyone has had these experiences. I also have an eight year old and ‘nearly’ ten year old – they are so easy compared to the youngest, and I don’t recall such extreme trials with them at the same age – my fear is that she won’t ever get easy – perhaps it’s just her personality. But at least wine is a constant. xx

      • says

        My son, who is 11, was never as challenging either, so I think there is hope! I do think they change (core personality might remain similar, but the way they express it can get easier!) xx

  3. says

    I think the ‘threes’ were worse than the ‘twos’! My daughter’s constant refrain – to her father more so than me – was ‘you’re not the boss of me!’ She was quite the little independent miss! But the teenage years have been surprisingly unchallenging in many respects – neither of mine pushed boundaries or have questioned our wisdom(!) There have been other challenges (my daughter is an anxious, overthinking type and trying to deal with irrationalities can be EXHAUSTING!) and my boy has had his own health issues so that has been a bit tough at times. So take hope that maybe she won’t challenge you always! I think sometimes the youngest feels the need to assert themselves! Keep an eye out for the Dan Murphy specials!

    • collette says

      It’s funny that you’re daughter used to say that. I find I’m saying to mine – “You are not the boss around here! I am!” she’s definitely not convinced! I recall a friend saying that as your kids get older they still need you, but just in different ways. And I guess that’s what we sign up for. And my three year old does need me – just not sure she likes me! Lol. And yes, Dan and I are friends. 🍷

      • says

        Yep, I think when my son suggested we eat out when I picked him up from the train after uni today it was because he needed me to pay for lunch rather than him!

  4. Miranda says

    Haha! Laughed out loud and almost cried also. All of this resonates with me… Only I am now in the terrible sixes! When does it end? Haha. The thing about kids is they just bring out extremes. The intense love and moments when you can’t imagine why you were so mad with them yesterday and then those moments when you feel like you’ll explode with frustration and anger. You just get by in the end don’t you? Now…I feel like wine. Bye.

    • collette says

      Oh yes, it’s definitely wine time. You’re right, it is the extremes. Today I walked across the floor with Freya attached to my foot screaming – then within about ten minutes she was asleep in my arms, looking like a little angel. No wonder we are driven to wine. xx

  5. says

    I have a nearly three year old and the stubbornness has already started. As has the impossibility of taking him anywhere he can’t run free. Friends who understand definitely make things easier. Friends with wine make things infinitely easier (at least of the duration of the bottle).

    • collette says

      The other day I nearly lost it but I kept saying to myself ‘breathe… there is wine in the fridge’. It helped. Wine must be very powerful because even the anticipation of it helped me. Wishing you luck with your nearly-three year old! Here’s to wine and friends! xx

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