No-one ever said it was easy.

You don’t think of parenting as a string of challenges until you have a baby. Hours after your birth, the truth begins to dawn – the world has changed, and there is a no refund policy. You cluster together in mothers’ groups, and whisper… “I didn’t realise it would be like this.”

For some, the challenge is taking children shopping. For some, it’s getting children into bed at a reasonable hour. It’s sleepless nights. Fights with your partner. It’s trying to cook dinner and keep some kind of order in the house, while chaos erupts from every corner. It’s feeling lonely and unsupported. It’s dealing with difficult pregnancies or health problems. Dealing with children’s health problems. Dealing with pain, suffering and grief.

In the early days, when I complained, my husband rubbed me on the back.Try not to see it as a problem. See it as an opportunity for growth.

He pointed out that lying in the dark for an hour trying to encourage a restless child to fall asleep was a perfect lesson for me. Impatience has long been my downfall. I itch to complete something and launch into the next task. Lying next to my child was a lesson in lying still.

I calculate that I have spent 1,099 nights practising patience.

To read more, please visit my lovely “cyber” friend, Tricia, whose path is similar to mine, at Raising Humans. If you like Heart Mama, you will love Raising Humans. Thank you, Tricia, for this opportunity, and for giving me reason to write a post that has been wanting to be written for some time. x