This Parenting Thing

Being a parent is hard – any parent will tell you this, and it is true some of the time of course.  Most people know that being a parent will be difficult before they become one, I was no exception.  But for me the parts that are hardest aren’t what I expected them to be.  Sure, there are the sleep deprived nights, the endless diaper changes and sometimes crying that goes on longer than you think you can bear.  But there are other aspects of having a little one around that affect a person – maybe on a deeper level – that I for one hadn’t really taken much time to consider and caught me off guard a bit.  Having a child will likely change your perspective on a lot of things.

You will want to spend time doing things that you didn’t like doing before, just because you will enjoy those things with your child and see the excitement in their little face. The time that we spend together playing with playdough, colouring, stacking blocks is a lot of fun.

You also might find that you approach the world differently in general.  I’ve realized that overall my approach to life has been to try to convince myself that I don’t really care about results – and if successful in that approach then I really have nothing to lose – within reason of course.  In the end it meant that I didn’t have to worry as much about the potential results of what I did or my actions, allowing me to focus on experiencing life and less worrying about potential failures.  For someone like me, who is generally fairly motivated to take action and complete things I set out to do, this works.   In many ways it’s an easier and calmer way to live for me, and it turns out, much more difficult to live by when you have someone who looks up to you, relies on you for everything.  Taking a risk becomes more difficult with the knowledge that another life is completely reliant on you.  It was an eye opening experience to discover some of these things that were going on in my head that I didn’t even really realize were there at the time.

Now I will try to take the important parts – the parts that allow a calmer way of living – and integrate them into the greater reality of parenting and life in this day and age.   Perhaps the need for peace and the need for security can co-exist in a more natural way.  And of course I’ll continue to enjoy playing with toys and an energetic and imaginative toddler.

Spring and Gardening With A Toddler

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Spring flowers almost in bloom.

Little Miss loves outside, and puddles, and running, and puppies. All of which are great things and I generally love all of them too – though we don’t have dogs so I’m not sure why she is currently so obsessed with puppies.  With the changing of the season the gardens are starting to bloom, the flowerbeds need weeding, and there is a seemingly endless supply of outdoor projects.  We’ve been spending lots of time outside working, playing, and enjoying the warmer weather.

Doing yard work while watching an energetic toddler is a bit like trying to herd cats while wearing a blindfold.  It’s tricky and success might be the fact that no one was injured.  Little Miss is currently all about ‘helping’ so having her put stones in a buckets or make ‘art’ out of stones on the lawn worked well I was weeding.  Or at least it worked for a little while until she ran away.  Similarly, giving her a shovel to play with worked intermittently. And the whole experience made me realize why people have fenced in yards.

Challenges aside it’s also been a delightful experience.  Little Miss makes us slow down and appreciate our surroundings a little more.  Walking to the back field involves multiple stops to look at trees, feel spruce needles, and pick up pine cones.  And nothing beats hearing her say ‘Oooo’ or ‘Pretty’ repeatedly when she spots a flower or tree she likes.  Her perspective has been eye opening and serves as a constant reminder of how lucky we are to have gardens, land, and time outside.

Onward to warm days in the sun.