By Sheree Hoddinett

One of the hardest things I find about parenting is the constant battle I have with myself. To not always yell, to not get so frustrated, to try not to let everything get to me so easily. As always, it’s easier said than done. Kids have this inane ability to know when your defences are down and they make the most of that opportunity to pounce. They play on your weaknesses and push you to the point of no return and then act like they did nothing wrong. Well played kiddo, well played. I know I likely did it as a kid too, so I can’t exactly stand there and act like they’re the first child to pull that stunt, can I?

I know I’m not perfect, I never wanted to be. But there are days I hope for the best and generally get hit with the worst, the joys of raising kids I guess! Sometimes it feels like too much and I want to walk away, but even if I hide, they find me anyway, damn they’re good! I know I’m raising two smart little cookies, too smart for their own good some days!

But just when you think you’ve moved past a stage, it comes back to haunt you! With my eldest daughter at school this year, she has become somewhat of a model student, a role which she seems to also have mastered at home, especially when it comes to picking up on swearing. I’ve always done my best to watch what I say, but there are times when the words just come out, particularly if my darling children are pushing my buttons. But rather than just nicely remind Mummy of her slip up, she has to repeat the word as well. Face palm time for Mummy! As long as she doesn’t repeat it at school, hopefully we’ll be fine!

Do you ever think kids are some kind of test? A way to see if you can survive what feels like, at times, some sort of torture in the form of:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Food being thrown at you
  • Dealing with vomit, wee and poo near you, on you, on the floor, in your bed or wherever it ends up
  • Attitudes
  • No one listens…unless there’s bribery involved.

There is so much more I’m sure, but either you’re already well versed and are currently reading this as you clean up mess or you’re secretly wondering why your usually noisy toddler has suddenly gone suspiciously quiet.

While we’re on that topic…silence is definitely not a good thing when you have kids. I can see all the well-worn parents nodding in agreement. Those who either don’t have kids or haven’t been around them much believe that kids being quiet must mean they are doing something good or they are actually behaving. Hahahaha! Sometimes, it is rare, but kids can actually do the right thing and sit quietly. But it doesn’t happen too often and if all is quiet, they are up to something! Drawing on walls, painting with food or if you’re really unfortunate painting with their poo, breaking something you treasure, eating your chocolate, ripping apart letters or books you didn’t put high enough….the list could go on.

Kids really are the best thing you will do in your life. They are amazing, intelligent and unexpectedly empathetic creatures. But, sadly, you won’t always think that way. You will look at them as spawn of the devil, terrors, evil children that have turned your life upside down. It won’t last for long because they will do something so funny or sweet and your heart will remind you that they are the best thing ever and so you follow a vicious cycle on repeat for many years…or so I’m told! We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day. Same deal that you don’t instantly attach to the role of parent without slowly battling…I mean finding your way. Don’t expect instant results or things to magically fix themselves and you’ll be fine.

I’m no parenting expert, never have been and never will be, but I’m trying to make the most of my delinquent…I mean delightful children. You can find more of the waywardness of parenting on my page www.shereekim.com.