As Parents … Maybe We Might be Kind of Doing OK.

Parenting.

It’s a tough gig. One that I didn’t really understand until I was almost up to my neck in it. Which I’m sure is absolutely the way parenting usually is.

There’s so many things to worry about, and grapple with, and wrestle each other about how to give our precious little ones … well … the lives that we dream of them having.

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As an obvious overthinker of all things human and connection (you have read some of my previous posts, haven’t you?) I have spent the last 14 years trying to do my best. But secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, I have feared that I have been doing it all wrong.

After all, I have worked and left my babies in long term day care, used disposable nappies, often supplied my children a questionable diet, and have possibly on occasion dropped off a sick (but not too sick) child to daycare & school, and hoped against hope that no one would look at them too closely.

We’ve had far too few holidays and our children spend way too much time in front of screens, big and small.  Our children didn’t do any extra curricular activities until last year, and we seem to do a completely hopeless job of following through on homework or daily readers.

I could, I promise you, go on. And on. About all the things that I look back on, and wonder whether we have already ruined things for the childhood of our children.

If you’re a parent, you probably have your own list of “oh no” things.

Often, school holidays bring a lot of these things into focus for me, as our past has involved a whole lot of full time work for both Dean and I.  Which has meant that our children have usually had school holidays that are really not that far removed from school term.  Monday to Friday, delivered to school, for vacation care, weekends recovering and preparing for the next week.

Over the last year or so though, things have been shifting.

Bayley is now well and truly old enough to stay at home on his own, and he is even old enough to be at home with some of the younger ones for short stretches of time.  Our work has become more and more flexible, giving us, and mainly Dean, more time to be at home with the children.

Then, the other day, it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, we might be kind of doing OK.

I felt like, for the first time, that our children had something like a proper school holiday.

There were some days at vacation care for the younger ones, but it was only a couple of days a week. There were play dates at the park, heading over to friends’ places for visits and sleepovers, and children coming and going from our house.

On Monday afternoon, I took Sabrina to work with me for the morning.  Then around lunch time we headed out, grabbed a smoothie together, before I dropped her to her friend’s home for Sabrina’s very first sleepover. I then went back to work for a couple of hours, before going home and picking up Tyben from a sleepover at his friend’s place from the night before.

When I pulled into our driveway after collecting Tyben, Bayley’s friend had just arrived on his pushbike and said “Would it be OK if Bayley came home with me and stayed over”.

In that moment, I saw it.

We’re not completely failing our children. They have friends. They are making their way in the world, and are just as happy bringing their friends here.

Here to our home. To our modest little house that we spent years hiding from the world, worrying about our one bathroom, the kids’ shared bedrooms and our yet to be sorted out back yard.

I’m liking the idea that things aren’t really that bad. That even though things didn’t turn out exactly as I pictured, that maybe they are really OK anyway.

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And this has been one of the hardest posts to hit publish on.

Isn’t that interesting!

I wonder if there are things in your life, that maybe just might kind of be OK too?

K xxx

 

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About Kathryn Hodges

Hi! I'm Kathryn. I have many hats in this life. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother (of 4!), a friend, a keen try-er of yoga, a lawyer, a business owner, an avid reader and a lover of this electronic world and it's connections. As the Principal of a wonderful law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, I focus on seeing my clients as people going through change and I am committed to practising mindfully that I am dealing with people and their families. Precious stuff, hey! I hope you enjoy learning more about the things that impact on me, my life and my practice. Please leave me a comment, as I'm sure you have something you can show or teach me. We're all in this learning thing, called life, together xx Oh, and my professional obligations mean I have to remind you that my opinions are my own.
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8 Responses to As Parents … Maybe We Might be Kind of Doing OK.

  1. As always love your posts Kathryn. I determined to travel north this year and share that coffee. Clarissa

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Oh thanks Clarissa! I really appreciate that!

      And yes.
      You. Me. In the same space and talking.

      It’s a definite must do cannot be avoided thing 🙂
      K x

  2. I love this post Kathryn and yes, you are doing OK, no doubt about that. Many years ago I had the privelige of speaking with a very wise being who said to me ‘your children are here to live their own experience and nothing you can do will be wrong for them’. I really took that on board and now with a 26 year old and his younger 10 year old brother I have the proof – I did so many things wrong and yet I grew a beautiful, compassionate and loving young adult and his little brother is growing well too. We can’t get it wrong, we can simply do what we do.

  3. Tash Majenta says:

    I think when we stop seeing the flaws in our parenting and stop striving to be better parents, this is the time that we are no longer doing OK. My eldest is now 18 and youngest of four children is 10 and I’m still on a steep learning curve and will be till the day I die.

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      That’s an interesting view for me to consider, Tash.

      That my “it’s OK” moment might really be my least OK moment.

      You have given me some food for thought.
      K x

  4. Jeanne says:

    My 29 year old daughter told me recently that she’s a tad nervous about having children (one day down the track) because I’m not ‘into kids’ so she’s questioning my grand mothering skills and wondering if I’ll love her kids enough…. I told her that according to my experienced friends (I have been researching this phenomena), apparently I will adore my grandchildren, so we will have to wait and see. I have three kids, love them all madly and messed up in many ways over the years, just like you Kathryn. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong, we just muddle along, and as long as we do the best we can with what we’ve got at the time, then that’s OK. My kids are all adults now, employed, healthy, smart and all very different. I think I did a good job, just as you are!

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Oh I’m very sure that you did a great job! Your kids all sound fab!

      And Grandmothering – I think it will be a spectacular stage (once the mind gets out of the way!!).

      K x

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