Celebrate the superhero in you
Like the DC comic heroes we have come to enjoy, parents are also superheroes. Not of book or screen, but of our families lives.
And, like the average DC comic book hero, parents largely do their job free because they feel a sense of responsibility to their community. However, unlike the average DC comic hero, who the whole community reveres, parents are often not celebrated and this important role is often taken for granted and unnecessarily judged.
I occasionally look at my neighbour with envy.
She’s a single professional who is foot-loose and fancy-free and happily childless. I am reminded as I sit in my tracksuit pants and eat another one of my oaty slice creations, I miss my single days of frivolity and irresponsibility.
Let’s face it parenting is not all it’s cracked up to be, but it doesn’t mean it is any greener on the other side of the fence. I have two snuggly beautiful boys, which I am very grateful for and wouldn’t be without. I didn’t, however, anticipate the daily grind and pure slog that is hidden in the fine print of parenting. The slog never seems to go away either, and much of the time can be monotonously repetitious.
It’s a hard thing being a parent
We question ourselves, our judgments, we beat ourselves up for wrong decisions, inadequate decisions, for shouting that little bit too much or too loudly. I don’t celebrate enough the hard yards I’ve overcome to get my children to be the wonderful little people they are today.
[In my superhero voice]: It’s time to celebrate the parent in you! Stand up parent and celebrate yourself!
In my own very small un-superhero way I live the celebration of being a parent every day. I may not have saved the world but I do get to celebrate the little things that form the basis of the big things in life.
I like to think that if it wasn’t for the parent in me celebrating the small things, the DC comic superheroes would have no footing on which to base their greatness!
So I’m grateful for the little things that make me human and a parent and I celebrate these – deep sighing, smiling, laughing, being hugged and kissed, getting five minutes to myself, performing bathroom activities alone and uninterrupted, talking to a fellow adult, having a sneaky snack without being caught out, feeling like I have been listened to, being thanked for and appreciated, being told my cooking is much better than McD’s (et al) without prompting, helping my small person achieve something, having sports clothes ready for their game.
In essence, knowing (often with that deep sigh) that I did the best I could on the day, even though I’m not the perfect parent – they don’t exist.
As a parent you do need all the skills featured in the tongue-in-cheek job ad above, and then some. As a parent you wear so many different hats it would make the average corporate worker’s head spin.
Celebrating being a parent on a daily basis helps keep me sane, grounded and on track to do it all again tomorrow. So, stop and pat yourself on the back – you are doing one of the world’s most important jobs!
And if you’re struggling with the ups and downs of parenting and find it difficult to celebrate being a parent (we all do at times), sometimes it’s useful to off-load to a non-judgmental listening ear. Here’s a few suggestions to call:
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Plunketline: 0800 933 922
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Parent to Parent: 0508 236 236
Parent Help: 0800 568 856