So, with the launch of Annie’s new book I have been pondering the realities of parenting. I have to say, since meeting Annie I have done an awful lot of that old parenting (or life in general) no no. Comparison.
Annie has a way of talking to her kids, of listening to them, engaging them in faith and interesting them in the things she is doing that I have often envied. However, the other day a friend told me they really admired the way I speak to my kids. It’s a small comment but it hit a nerve of insecurity I have.
The reality of course is that you only see snapshots of other people’s parenting and children do love to save their worst behaviour for their parents eyes only. I never feel this more acutely than when I pick my two up from the childminder having said in the morning ‘they are both tired and grumpy’ for them to have been cheerful and well behaved all day. I have learnt not to take this as a sign of a happy evening, because on arriving home, they are back to being the children that I know (and love very much) who enjoy nothing more than to ignore everything I say and poke, hit and kick each other/the dog/me…. I paint a very exaggerated picture of my children’s behaviour, they are not terrors, just a three year old and a one year old.
However, this comment from a friend made me think about the comparisons I have made to Annie and her parenting. It is very easy to compare yourself to those parents around you who seem to just have an answer to everything, but the reality is, parenting is so much more complex.
This is what I love the most about Annie’s book. It is honest, which we should be able to tell from the title – I mean, surely it is a perfect summary of parenting? She talks about all of the highs and lows. She has advice but she also has managed to imbue the book with a companionship attitude that says that despite what you see of others excellent parenting, the reality is, its a challenge for us all and, learning from each other, growing with each other and encouraging each other makes the whole thing more fun and easier to both acknowledge the good and not feel defeated by the bad.
Annie’s book is available below (affiliate link) and if you head over to my instagram (@kwelbyroberts) I have a giveaway for it.