- 1) SLEEP DEPRIVATION
- 2) TANTRUMS
- 3) THE HOUSE IS NEVER CLEAN
- 4) CONVINCING YOUR CHILDREN TO EAT HEALTHY
- 5) THAT FAMILIAR SMELL
- 6) SIBLING RIVALRY
- 7) SPOILING
- 8) GETTING ILL
- 9) LEAVING YOUR BABY IN SOMEONE ELSE’S CARE
- 10) FINDING OUT THAT YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED
- 11) FINDING OUT THAT YOUR CHILD IS A BULLY
- 12) GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER PARENTING LEAVE
- 13) DISLIKING YOUR CHILDREN’S FRIENDS
- 14) TEN MORE MINUTES!
- 15) FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
- 16) MUM, WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?
Congratulations! You’ve made it! A new tiny human being has entered this world and it’s all thanks to you. After 9 months of enduring all kinds of annoying pregnancy symptoms, you reached the finish line and it was all worth it. That moment when you make eye contact with your baby for the first time, you are both delighted and frightened. Delighted, because that small ray of light is really yours and frightened, because there are so many ways in which you can completely mess it up. After all, raising a child isn’t like a video game where whenever things go wrong, you can always restart it. But raising a child isn’t that complicated either. OK, maybe just a little bit…or a little bit more. All right, all right – it is pretty complicated indeed and here are some of the most serious problems that parents have to face:
1) SLEEP DEPRIVATION
If you thought the night sweats were bad enough during pregnancy, to the point that you had trouble sleeping, good luck trying to sleep with a baby waking up multiple times during the night, at random hours. On some nights, your baby will want something every 45 minutes. On others, you will be led into thinking that it will be nice and quiet…but at 3 AM, the crying will start. Eventually, there will be less and less waking up, to the point that you will wonder if there is anything wrong with the baby, because s/he has been sleeping for the past 2 HOURS uninterrupted! But this too shall pass.
This is the stuff parenting nightmares are made of. You thought it would be a quick grocery shopping trip. Then, your child all of a sudden wants you to buy 10 packs of Oreo. You refuse…then chaos ensures! Tantrums are some of the most common problems that parents face and absolutely dread, especially because anything can trigger them, anywhere, anytime. It might happen at home or at a restaurant. It might happen when it’s just the two of you or when even the most distant uncle is present. If you have patience and act as a nurturing parent, things won’t be so bad though.
3) THE HOUSE IS NEVER CLEAN
The guests are supposed to arrive in two hours. Yet, your walls are still stained with food, in every room there is a clothing item belonging to your child and Lego pieces are everywhere. The tables are full with Blu-ray cases of Disney movies and not to mention – you are still in your Yoga pants. But here’s the thing – every other parent goes through the same things. As a matter of fact, if parents visit each other thinking they left the house a mess, they will be surprised to discover that their friends’ house looks exactly the same.
4) CONVINCING YOUR CHILDREN TO EAT HEALTHY
They say that if you start early with healthy meal plans, then you won’t have problems later on. Well, this is partially true, because sometimes you simply cannot convince your kids to eat what’s good for them. That broccoli will taste bad from the first bite. The horror! However, don’t give up and try not to give in too often to those tempting fast food places. I say ‘too often’, because everything is fine if it comes in small dosages.
5) THAT FAMILIAR SMELL
Can you remember how many diapers you changed? You probably lost count after the first 10 or so, but at least you had the situation under control – except that one time, but let’s not talk about it. It’s a bit more complicated when your children are starting to learn the basics of potty training and even more when they make attempts at using the standard toilet, but somehow you end up finding…surprises in unusual places.
6) SIBLING RIVALRY
“- I’m better than you! No, I am better! No, mommy loves me more! No, mommy loves ME more!” No mother wants to go through this. In our minds, giving birth to a second child means giving our first one a playmate, but sometimes playmate equals “stay still while I hit you”. This is an absolute no-go and you have to discourage such rivalries by treating all your children fairly, without any preferences or pardons. Don’t let them point fingers at each other, blaming the other one for their actions. Don’t let them become tattletales as a way of getting a reward for berating the other sibling. Love them all equally and make sure they know it.
Another problem for parents is finding a balance in terms of how much their children are rewarded. Sometimes, it only takes a step to turn a reward into a spoiling. If it’s bribery, if you give something to your children because you are expecting something in return, it’s not a reward anymore. If you give something to your children because they GAVE something good to you too, then it’s a reward. Make sure to praise every accomplishment of your kids – because yes, praise is a reward too. And always keep in mind if what they request is something they actually need or if they just want it, end of story.
8) GETTING ILL
While it’s terrible if it happens to you, because the entire house would be upside down, it’s a million times worse when your kids are in pain. It’s one of those parenting problems hard to bear, because it hurts you more than it hurts them. That first time when they have a fever is truly frightening. You see the thermometer going up and wonder if the number is ever going to stop or if you should call an ambulance. And even though you probably have enough experience in dealing with flu, you are still afraid and worried about your child’s condition. Because s/he is your precious baby and you rather feel like getting sick yourself than seeing her/him suffer like that. Despite the fact that you are always just as worried, no matter if it’s a simple cold or something more severe, that first time your children get ill is hands-down the most heartbreaking of them all.
9) LEAVING YOUR BABY IN SOMEONE ELSE’S CARE
Parents always think that no one else can take better care of their kids than themselves and rightfully so. That’s why, that first time you are leaving them with someone else, you will practically call home every two minutes just to check that the house is not on fire. You will make excuses to take a break at work, only to go to the bathroom and make a phone call to be convinced that everything is all right. You have a ladies night and instead of just enjoying the moment, you wonder whether or not your children ate, if the nanny cooked or if they eventually ordered a pizza, if the kids are an embarrassment or if the sitter will be traumatized for life.
10) FINDING OUT THAT YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED
No parent wants to hear that someone is making fun or attacking her/his children based on their existence alone. That all they do is to simply be themselves, only to be mocked and ridiculed for the things they believe in. As a parent, you feel impotent and frustrated – seeing your child trying to hold back his/her tears makes you feel as if you heart was shattered into pieces. Why YOUR KIDS, who never did anything wrong to anyone? Why ANYONE ELSE’S kid? Bullies don’t need reasons to bully – if there aren’t any, they will create their own and this is the most frightening part.
11) FINDING OUT THAT YOUR CHILD IS A BULLY
You know that you aren’t the perfect parent, but at least it’s a consolation to know that no one is. However, you do hope that you did the right things, that you taught your children well and that they behave like honorable people that you can be proud of. But there is that dreaded phone call. Sometimes, it’s to inform you that your children decided to skip some classes. Other times, it’s to let you know that they got a bad grade or that they said at school a word they learned at home and that they were totally not allowed to repeat it in public (which is probably the F word). But this is nothing in comparison to a worried mother calling to tell you that your child is bullying hers. What have you done? How could you not prevent it? How could you have failed so much as a parent and not realize what your child was becoming? When your child is being bullied, you can tell her/him not to take crap from anyone and defend the things that represent her/him. When your child is bullied, it’s not your fault or hers/his. But when your child is the bully, you feel responsible, guilty and ashamed.
12) GOING BACK TO WORK AFTER PARENTING LEAVE
Before becoming a parent, you had your life meticulously arranged. Waking up every day at the same time, preparing every day the same lunch, going to work to the same place and working on the same things. In a nutshell, you had a routine. And while routines can become boring and mundane, having them gives us a sense of control, because we knew exactly what we had to do every day. Parenting, on the other hand, is all about improvising and figuring things out on the spot. It’s beautiful in its chaos, but it also throws us out of the routine, making it increasingly difficult for us to return to work.
13) DISLIKING YOUR CHILDREN’S FRIENDS
Yes, you trust your child, but you don’t trust HIM. That child is a menace, a bad influence all-around and he’s corrupting your child. It gets complicated when he’s of a different social status or when his family has different rules. You don’t want to get that question of: “Why can he get away with that and I can’t?” It’s one of those parenting problems that makes it hard for you to win, because your kid won’t give up a friendship (even though it’s a bad influence), just because you asked her/him to. Instead, simply focus on education and how every household has its own rules.
14) TEN MORE MINUTES!
“Turn it off! Enough PS4 for you! No, you can’t watch another episode of Spongebob Squarepants!” And the answer is always “Mom, please, ten more minutes!”, except – it’s never ten minutes, because time is really really relative for kids. It’s hard to shut it down when they have their eyes glued to the screens, but don’t let them dictate the screen time.
15) FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
TOO MANY TEARS! Sure, your children will still share the same home with you, you will still see them every day and you will be the last person to kiss them goodnight, but going to school feels like a transition. It’s a new life stage, a new chapter of a never-ending book and in a way, that’s the moment you feel that your children are finally growing up and you have both the sad and happy realization that they will need you less and less. You will always be in their lives, but school is a chekpoint in their path to independence. The better parent you are, the sooner will they leave the family nest, which is ironic, but so painfully true. The first day of school feels like it gets them closer to it.
16) MUM, WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?
Why is the moon round? Why does Superman wear his panties over his spandex? Why is the grass green? This is just a small sample of all those questions you never really ask yourself as an adult, but that you will have to figure out answers for your kids, who will want to know every single detail about even the most banal things. Which is not bad, because 1) their wheels are turning and 2) it might even end up being food for thought. But it can be quite the parenting problem if supposedly, you are the know-it-all for your child, except…you don’t know.
What parenting problem gave you the most headaches?
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