People say parenting is hard. Hard? Let me tell you what's hard. Finding a G-string that's comfortable is hard. Trying to pick your nose without others seeing is hard. Sticking to a monthly budget is hard. Been a kamikaze pilot is hard. Not getting angry in traffic is hard. Finding a bra in a size 36B is hard. Playing Draw Something is hard. But been a parent is not hard. Been a parent is impossibly incomprehensibly beyond the realms of human understanding HARD!
You need the balls of a sperm whale, the tenacity of a bull terrier, shoulders the size of a rottweiler and the thick skin of a crocodile. You need perseverance, confidence and compassion. You need patience, understanding and calm. A sense of humour and composure will make the day slightly more bearable and give you the strength to face another one. Humility, enthusiasm, restraint, courage, motivation, passion, wit, a can-do attitude, a taking-no prisoners-stance and nerves of steel will make you feel better - and this is on a good day.
Emma and I have been going through a tough time at the moment. Her behaviour is apparently age appropriate, discovering her new found will, the power of the word 'no', pushing her boundaries and pushing my buttons. Throw in a healthy dose of sulking, foot stamping, ignoring and screeching and you have a fairly normal day in the Connor household.
I find myself sounding like a fishwife, lashing out and shouting at her - things I promised myself I'd never do. I constantly doubt my parenting skills and the ability to be a good role model on a daily basis. I go to bed every night wishing I had been a bit more calm, a bit more patient, just a little nicer. I wake up in the morning, grateful for a fresh start and a do-over.
I'm left wondering whether I'm ruining my relationship with Emma and I stress over the damage I might be doing to her. I go through most days feeling incredibly guilty as a mother and an adoptive parent.
Since Ben's arrival there are days that are particularly horrible. I know it's my crap and I know I'm tired but I rant and rave like a lunatic. I also expect a not even three old little girl to act grown up. Just yesterday i found my self wondering whether I should have become a parent, Whether I'm good enough for this incredibly difficult task. Perhaps God in his infinite wisdom rendered me infertile for a reason.
Emma on any day of the week is a blessing and at her absolute worst she's better than my best. I hate that I lose my temper with her. I'm disappointed in myself when I react harshly. I find myself feeling incredibly sad when I don't get through a day without raising my voice. Especially given how much I wanted Emma and how loved she is. I don't want her to ever feel, because of my actions, less than or not enough of.
As I stumble and fall I can only hope that Emma's love remains unconditional and her heart forgiving. I pray that on this journey with her she'll tell me it's okay - that my best is good enough x
PS - After writing this post I had the most amazing session with Rosemary Clark, Astro Coach and human being extraordinaire at Moemas in Parkhurst. She has made me realise that my best is good enough...but more on that soon xxx