Hey parents. Let’s be good to our kids.

 

A few months ago I saw a post online about a mother who had shaved her daughters hair off because she was always playing with the scissors. She was always trying to cut her own her or cut everything in sight. She shaved her daughter’s hair off because she felt that there was nothing else she could do to stop her little girl for reaching for the scissors. She felt she needed to “teach her a lesson”. There were so many comments in agreement saying “good on you, show her who’s boss”, “she needs to learn” etc The only thing that girl learnt was humiliation that will no doubt haunt her for the rest of her life. She learnt that communication came in the form of punishment, and that her feelings didn’t matter because she was doing something that someone else didn’t agree with. Last week I saw a boy no older than 4 walking out of his driveway, coughing and crying. So visibly upset that he was choosing to walk down the road in the rain. What had made him so upset that he felt the need to escape the one place that was meant to make him feel safe? I watched him for a while before I drove over and stopped the car. I asked if he was okay and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes, shaking his head. In that moment I just wanted to put him in my car and take care of him. I told him to go inside so that he was out of the rain, and said that I hoped he felt better soon. I watched him stand there as I drove off, and I saw the person that was meant to be looking after him just point and laugh. My heart ached for that little boy. Just the other day I was in the mall watching the kids play in the play area. A little boy, younger than my own son ran out crying. He walked around the mall searching for his parents, he was so visibly upset and lost. My partner walked right down to the other side of the mall with him before picking him up and bringing him back to the play area. It had been a good 10 minutes and we couldn’t see anyone who looked like this little boys mum or dad. There was no one distressed searching for their child, in that moment I panicked and thought they’d actually left him there for good. 5 minutes later a dad came out of nowhere and asked what was going on. As we explained to him what had happened, he told us his 11 year old was in the play area.. and then he asked her why she hadn’t been watching her brother, why had her brother run off without her seeing? The mum also came over from the other side of the mall wondering what had happened. These parents had left two of their kids in charge of a toddler and ate where they couldn’t see their children. They didn’t notice their child walking around the mall crying. Not once did they panic or show any worry over what had just happened. I was angry for the daughter who was expected to be play mum, and upset for the little boy who couldn’t find his parents. These moments have played on my mind lately. Small snippets of a child’s life that have reminded me that there are so many kids out there who ARE suffering in ways we couldn’t even imagine. These moments have left me feeling helpless, wishing I could do more for all the kids that are falling through the cracks. The kids that are being taught that they aren’t important enough to come first, to be loved and nurtured in all the ways that they need to be.  As parents we need to love and respect our children. We need to treat them as we would anyone else, we don’t need to “show them who’s boss” or put adult expectations onto them. We may be struggling with our own shit, we may not know how to get out of a bad situation or a vicious cycle, but we need to be strong enough within ourselves to put our children’s needs first. Whatever your journey , wherever you’re life is heading.. please just do your best and be kind to your kids. Love them without bullying them, love and respect their innocence,  and love them so hard that no matter what’s going on in life.. they will get by just knowing that you’re there.

 

The best parts of co parenting

 

I was reading a blog piece today about a mother worrying how she would cope with co parenting, and what the outcome would be for her daughter in the future. Would co parenting be enough? It got me thinking about my own parenting journey, and what I would tell myself 4 years ago when I was worrying about those same things.
To me, any kind of parenting is “enough”. If you are doing your absolute best to make sure your child is loved, cared for and happy, you are doing enough. Whether you are a single parent, co parenting or raising your child with your other half.. It doesn’t matter, your child will still thrive in whatever environment they live in as long as they are provided with what they need. They will never feel sad about what they have missed out on, because in the end their “imperfect family” may just turn out to be the perfect family for them.

Before becoming a parent I had an idea of what it would be like in my head. I read books, took advice and was pretty confident with how I was going to parent. What I wasn’t prepared for was co parenting. Co parenting is a learn as you go, every situation is different kind of thing. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking through a dark tunnel not knowing which way to go, and sometimes you feel like you know exactly what to do. We can only learn and do our best to parent separately, there’s never a perfect method to make sure everything runs smoothly from the get go. It hasn’t always been an easy road for us, but over time I’ve learnt that parenting separately gets better, it gets easier, and you get through to other side of that dark, hazy tunnel eventually.

Co parenting can become something great if both parents are willing to put their child’s needs first. It’s always easy to focus on the negatives, but there are also so many positives to this situation. The positives are what I keep in the back of my mind for those hard days, these are just a few of them.

LOVE

Double birthdays, double Christmas and double the love. Your child is surrounded by so much love. They are blessed with the best of both worlds, loved by immediate family, extended family and new family. The love they are showered with will always outweigh the negatives. I always see this as the biggest positive to come from our situation.

LIFE LESSONS 

Co parenting allows a child to learn to be independent, resilient and open minded. Their normal may not be the same as everyone else’s, but it allows them to see the world in a way that is different to most.

APPRECIATION

You will appreciate your child so much more when they’re away from you. You will think about them non stop while they’re gone, but you will also enjoy every single moment with them knowing just how precious your time is. I miss my little girl every time she goes away, but I look forward to her coming home and I spend so much more time appreciating everything about her.

CONSISTENCY

Consistency is everything. Your child will thrive when yougive them consistency. They will always feel safe, secure and understand exactly what is going on. Consistency has always been important to me. It has helped with things like having 2 seperate homes, 2 seperate parents and 2 seperate lifestyles.

YOU

The time spent away from your child will give you time to reflect and focus on YOU. In the begining I dreaded overnight visits, they eventually turned into weekend visits and I slowly started to appreciate these quiet times. I kept myself busy, found hobbies and became more than just “mum”. Now I enjoy time with my little boy and give him extra one on one time. He gets to bond with his dad and I in a way that he may not have under different circumstances.

ADVICE 

Some of the best advice I was given when it came to co parenting was to think of your parenting situation and your child as a business. At first I thought it was a really harsh way to think about everything, but it made sense and it definitely helped keep emotions at bay. You want your business to grow, to thrive and be the best that it can be.. Just like your child. You need to make decisions that will benefit your child, and even though you may not agree with your business partner (the father ) you need to learn to compromise and work together in order for your business (child) to grow and be the best it can be.

Co parenting isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but it doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Our life is far from what I imagined it to be.. I didn’t start my parenting journey with a “perfect family”, but the family I have now is blended and full of love, and that to me is pretty perfect. I hope there are other Mama’s out there who are still holding onto hope of their own happy endings , no matter their situation.

Xx Kristelle