10 Things I've Learned From Parenting

When you become a parent not only are you giving life to another human being but you're starting on a journey that will take you on some of the most exciting and terrifying rides you'll ever have.

I was 23 when I became a mum and I was scared, I had no experience of looking after a baby. The Hubby worked full-time so I was at home with the baby, alone, all day. I was the one he looked to for all his needs.

That little bundle of joy is now 11 years old, and he has a younger brother who is 7. For more than 11 years I've been a mum to boys, they've driven me mad, hugged me to death, and made me so proud. In that time I've learned a lot, it turns out that parenting has quite the learning curve, and it seems the learning never ends. Even with an 11 year old child, a boy on the brink of Teenage-dom, I still have learning to do, as I found out recently after checking his phone.

But there are some things that will always be true about parenting, and so with that in mind below you'll find 10 things that I've learned from parenting. I think these are things that will NEVER change.

Children's toys are expensive

From the simplest cuddly toy to the most extravagant Lego kit you can buy children's toys are incredibly expensive. You can buy teddy bears for more than £100 and Lego sets can reach in to the £1000's. Admittedly Lego has it's benefits and I've been known to play occasionally as you can see in my Taj Mahal, and Tower Bridge posts. 

What I find most frustrating about the cost of children's toys though is the fact that their prices seem to increase just before Christmas. Something you can buy for less than £20 before Christmas will cost you more than £30 from November onwards.

They can be entertained with almost anything

Because of the cost of some toys I have, once or twice, resorted to entertaining my children with household things. 

Cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes work great, even 6 year olds can be coaxed into playing with cardboard boxes. Take a large cardboard box, cut out holes for windows and one for a small door, and you've suddenly got yourself a playhouse. 

Pots and Pans

These work great if you have some small balls around the house. Place pots/pans at one end of the room and get the children to stand at the other end of the room and try to throw the balls into the pots/pans.

Used Kitchen roll

Use an old kitchen roll as a sword, a gun, a bomb thrower, pretty much anything. The boys and I have many a war with them.

Blankets and pegs

Grab a few sheets and blankets from your cupboard and using pegs to secure them make a den. The boys absolutely love it when I make them a den and even now, at 11 years old, BP will spend hours in a blanket den.

Your ironing/washing pile will reach everest proportions

Mud covered school clothes, food on t-shirts and jumpers, and clean clothes on every day means that your washing pile will get bigger. A lot bigger.

Some days I wonder if my washing pile will fall over and smother me!

I used to be able to stay on top of my washing but since having two boys who insist on playing in the rain, playing football, and basically being boys my washing pile resembles Everest.

As a result so does my ironing pile, I've actually resorted to trying to catch the dryer just as it finishes so I don't have to iron clothes!!

The smallest of things can drive you NUTS

1 solitary shoe left in the middle of the room for you to fall over will leave you seething. Dried toothpaste on the side of the sink, dirty pants left on the bedroom floor, and worst of all, an empty toilet roll left hanging there. All these things drive me insane, I am forever repeating myself and can often be found saying "pick up your pants!" in my sleep!

It's impossible to keep the house tidy all the time

I gave up trying to do this a long time ago. My boys seem to think that leaving things where they take them off is the same as putting them away. Stray shoes, unpaired socks, even pens and pencils from pencil cases can be found on our floor. 

As much as I hate it I know that my boys are happy and they don't stress about making sure everything is in its place. Our house is lived in, not untidy. 

Being a parent is hard

Before you have children you judge parents. You see a new mum pushing a pushchair, she has dishevelled hair, her top is covered in stains, and she looks incredibly tired, and you think she mustn't be trying hard enough. 

Nothing can tire you out more than a child can. From the moment they arrive in this world you worry about them, do everything in your power to protect them, and wear yourself out trying to keep them happy and healthy.

When they get older you have to learn to adjust too, they start school and you have to step back and allow them to learn about independence. They make friends, fall out with friends, and get upset, and all the time you have to let it happen.

You're always feeling conflicting emotions, you want to protect your child at the same time as helping them learn valuable lessons. 

Parenting is the hardest job in the world.

You don't know everything

You could be a genius but the moment you become a parent you learn (fast!) that there are many things you don't know. Your six year old child will come up with questions that leave you stumped. Your toddler will bombard you with questions until your brain is mush. 

And then there's the questions from your tween when they get the influx of hormones and like a girl or boy in school. The heartbreak when they don't get what they want. The tears. 

Sometimes there are just no answers.

The most peaceful time of the day is just after bed-time

Imagine it, the house is quiet, the kids are in bed sleeping soundly, all is calm. This is the BEST part of every day. 

You are able to sit down with your partner (or alone) and enjoy the quiet time however you like. You can watch your favourite TV show in peace, you can have a sneaky glass of bourbon (or wine, whichever you prefer), and you can talk to another adult without being constantly interrupted. 

Make time to enjoy this time of day.

There are some things you can't control

You'll learn fast that there are things in this world that you have no control over. From their first illnesses to the time they fall over and you end up rushing to the hospital to have their arm put in a cast. 

The world will keep on turning, things will happen, and the best thing you can do is be there for you child if and when they need you. 

Nothing will make your day as much as seeing your child happy

Seeing your child bounding along with the biggest smile on their face will fill your heart with such love you may want to cry. The time they open their Christmas/birthday presents and are so pleased with their gift that they scream with joy. When you pick them up from school and they run out of school, with grinning face, and wrap their little arms around you.

There is nothing like seeing your child happy.

Parenting is one of the most fulfilling things you will ever do, and you will learn lots too!

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