Y’all! Parenting is hard! You only start appreciating your parent(s) more when you become a parent yourself. I tend to think parenting begins the very moment you realize you are going to take care of another human being for the rest of your life. This human being doesn’t have to be your own blood, you can adopt this human being. The moment a baby comes along, it doesn’t matter who you are, you have to learn to change diapers, to feed the baby, you have to be a clown 24/7, you have to watch everything you do because this little person will follow your footsteps, you have to be ready to look unkempt, you have to be ready for a messy house, you must have a lot of patience….I’m still a learner in this.
I would like to speak to parents of teenagers one day to understand everything they go through, for now, I’ll stick to babies and toddlers. I have two children, a three-year old girl and a 1.5 year old boy. They are like twins. Every morning, I pray for sanity and above all , patience. Kids have a way of getting to adults, they know the right buttons to push to upset you, but they also know how to make you happy, almost at the same time.
When my daughter was born , just within the first week of her birth, she pooped on my face, some of it got into my mouth, I was happily singing for her while changing her diaper when this happened. I’ve never understood how that lose baby poop defied all odds and flew right into my mouth. When my son was about 3 weeks old, as I was changing his diaper, he peed and guess what, it shot straight into my mouth! The lesson I’ve learnt with newborns so far is to have my mouth shut whenever I’m changing their diapers. As your baby grows into a toddler, you learn new things, no one is ever ready for the drama they come with, it doesn’t matter how many books you read, it’s a new experience every time. When you have a newborn, you find yourself checking whether they are breathing whenever they sleep too long. When the baby doesn’t pass any stool for two days in a row, you freak out, you rush to the hospital but the nurse tells you that it’s perfectly normal…you wait, it’s the fifth day, no stool yet, you get anxiety attacks, you rush to the hospital, the nurses and doctors reassure you that your baby is fine, but because you are so worried, they insert suppositories to help the baby, you finally see some action and you feel like throwing a party.
Sibling rivalry is crazy. Am a full-time referee, always shouting “stop fighting” even singing and dancing, hoping that they get my point. They love each other so much and they show it in several ways, it’s very interesting. Children work on a schedule and as the parent, you are put to the task of getting them into a schedule that suits both of you. It always begins with sleepless nights, you never really get proper sleep when you have a baby. They will want to play and laugh with you at 3:00am when you are just having the best dreams and you will have to play along, otherwise they keep poking your eyes until all sleep disappears, then when it’s your time to wake up, they are fast asleep, no loud sound can wake them up, nothing!
My daughter, Zawadi, started school recently. Zawadi loves her sleep, it matters to her so much, she gets really agitated when her sleep is interrupted in any way. We try to get her to sleep early so that she’s not so cranky when it’s a school morning, this barely works by the way, its drama every weekday but when it’s the weekend, she’ll be the first to wake up in the house and she wakes up happy. My son Baraka on the other hand is an early riser, it doesn’t matter if he sleeps at midnight, he’ll still wake up by 6:00am every morning and give me really loud “mummmmmmy….Hiiiiiiiii, how are youuuu”. He has a loud voice, he broke his voice in his colic days, that was before he was three months old, a boisterous chap he is.
Parenting requires you to give your all, your everything. It is draining and you work best with a strong support system, I am lucky, I have that. When you become a parent, you need people who you know are willing to go the extra mile for you, you keep them in your life, that’s where you draw your sanity from. These people are a blessing, these are the people who will gladly watch your baby as you catch some sleep, they will gladly watch your baby when you need to travel, they will take you out so you can have some fresh air because they understand it can be overwhelming, they will connect you to a good nanny, or simply, just be there for any other kind of support that you will need, however small, it makes a big difference and it’s good for your mental health.
Parenting is also a great joy, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful. You have people who will always love you unconditionally and they make you so happy. Everything you do, you always think about them, you want the best for them, you love them unconditionally, they light up your home, you only realize how quiet your home can be when they are away, they are your pride and joy, invaluable, the best gifts from God.
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