Expect change in your child
THERE is nothing permanent except change.
Someone much older and wiser than yours truly uttered those words (for those playing at home it was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus), and as much as the concept applies to everyday life, it applies equally to parenting.
New parents are told ‘it gets easier’.
To this I say quite loudly, codswallop.
No, my friends, parenting doesn’t get easier, the challenges just change.
Your child changes.
You learn to cope, deal and adapt with the challenges (in the early years it’s issues like sleep deprivation and teething) only to be faced with different challenges as they get older.
For example, Book Week Parade costumes. Honestly, there was no mention of Book Week Parade costumes when I signed up for this parenting gig!
It’s almost feels like as soon as you feel you’re all over this parenting gig, a change occurs, and that’s part of the beauty and joy of it, isn’t it?
Even if you’ve raised one child, you can bet your bottom dollar that your next child (if or when you choose to have one) will present you with a different set of challenges.
It’s all kind of same, same but different. You have some idea of what to expect but, oh Nelly, you know that it won’t be the same!
So where does this leave us?
Well, just as the seasons change from the extremes of a stinking hot summer to the freezing cold of winter we also have the in-between seasons of autumn and the regenerating hopefulness of spring.
So, as spring has now begun, let’s enjoy it.
Let’s enjoy our parenting.
Go to the park for picnics, stay outdoors longer in the afternoon and enjoy the increasing warmth of the days.
Enjoy your kids, because even though they have changed, remember that we as parents have changed as well.
We’ve learnt new skills (note that having a sauvignon blanc instead of a pinot noir at night to deal with your changing child is not generally considered a new skill), our kids have grown (into, one can hope, better people), our friends have changed and evolved and so have our partners.
For even though we’ve had spring before, this one will not be the same as the others.
Grab onto the feeling of renewal that inevitably comes from the start of this season.
I finish off with old mate Heraclitus again: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. Your kids change.
But don’t fear the change. Embrace it and enjoy it.