Parenting 101 ~ Heeeelp! {Canberra Photographer}

All the hits on your blog-post mean nothing when you feel like you’re a failure at Parenting 101.

Parenting; the hardest job in the world. We hear it all the time. I am suffering a crisis of confidence. 24 hours ago, with almost 4000 people seeing my previous blogpost I had enough confidence to save the world. Today I feel like a failure at being a woman, mother, home-work supervisor, home-maker, a business woman, earner of money, saver, provider of holidays, garage sale organiser, you name it I am sure I can find something wrong with every part of my life today….Oh! and I don’t and cannot do craft, either!

We had a little incident at home this weekend, that has upset me. What happened needs no discussion here, but lets just say it was a silly thing for my son to do, he has accepted responsibility but the repercussions are interesting.

I felt alone. I felt a failure. I felt anger towards my ex husband, I felt anger at myself. I felt sad and I felt that I just wanted and NEED. A. BREAK!

I have always said that I am not a natural mother. I have no idea why do I think that?

What is a natural mother, anyway??

I try to feed my son whole foods as much as possible, would consider organic or even growing my own, but I don’t have the money, time or energy… but yes I have even done the drive thru takeaway option to placate my son when I feel I cannot be bothered with a long and arduous discussion about the pitfalls of “sometime’ foods. I love hanging out with my son and we do lots of things together, and I enjoy those times but love being able to get out and do something I want to do, for me, but without the guilt!

Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. ~Not Your Average Dictionary

Do real natural mothers ever feel crap at parenting?
Is it just women who excel at the negative self talk…?
Do fathers feel belittled by parenthood, too?

I had the urge to have a child in my 30s (yes! body-clock, so be it!) and when I was married we had our son just before my 41st birthday. All parenting has its issues. As an older mother I struggle with tiredness, ok…. exhaustion! I also struggle with control and balance, with the fact that I still want to achieve in my career, to prosper, to be able to maintain business ventures and be competitive. I still want and need headspace for artistic concepts and time to explore them. I need to have Me time, I want time to get fit, dance and be happy.

Does this mean I am unhappy when I am not doing these things. I know am a better person now that I am a mother. I am less selfish. But, ‘happiness’ what is it?

I love my home, my son, our pets, our little team. I love my family and they are an enormous help. I have wonderful friends… so yes most of the time, happiness reigns!

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. ~Harold Hulbert

At other times it eludes me and my life feels like Ground-Hog Day; ever repetitive and most of it tediously boring: housework, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, maintenance, administration of the business, being at home
A L L the time…… sometimes feels like a prison.

Surely, I should feel lucky that at the ripe old age of 40 I actually got pregnant without intervention. Surely, I am grateful for the fact that my son feels comfortable to open up to me and to discuss all sorts of personal and topical subjects. Surely I should be happy he is healthy and interested and empathetic and wants to be with me… so happiness should be a constant companion, yes?

I find that as a single parent I am in my head a lot. As someone who also who runs a business from home the isolation at times is overwhelming and it then creates anxiety with the self-talk. When things are great, the talk is good, like yesterday’s blog post results, but if I fail in one tiny aspect of my life, I feel the dominoes start to fall. It is hard to maintain balance, so the happiness vector plummets.

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
George Orwell

As a single parent of an only child the hands-on can be all consuming, the feeling that I need to entertain him, provide activities so he isn’t bored. I wouldn’t want him to grow up thinking that I couldn’t provide for him. Guilt! GawdDammit! The responsibility as his mother and provider of everything, food and clothing to financial and emotional security is all encompassing.

Single parents rarely get the chance to download at the end of the day, to share our experiences with someone who cares, someone to give you a big hug and tell us it’ll be OK. Some one who says “I’ll take it from here…” Someone to make us a cup of tea or cook dinner….. Who knows whether having a supportive man in my life would help? I’d like to think it would, so I do have the hope that one day that will happen.

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

My son and I have talked about what happened, no one was hurt, we have discussed consequences and he has accepted responsibility for his actions and has shown remorse. There has been tears and phone calls to my sister and a girlfriend.

I feel better after I have purged and as for Parenting 101 I think I have passed.At least I can say that.

Until next time!

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