Focus on the ‘real’ rather than the ‘ideal’

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Before you have children, it’s so easy to imagine how you’ll parent. How you will or won’t allow your child to do this, and how you certainly won’t be doing ‘that’ with your baby.

Then reality strikes. Your baby arrives and little by little, you realise your ideas on how to parent are somewhere between a joke and an impossibility.

You never would have dreamed there’d be days when you just want your toddler to shut up! Or you wish someone would just take the children for a day so you can sleep.

Luckily, they are fleeting thoughts and if you really gave them further thought you’d realise you wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s completely normal to have these thoughts. And here’s the truth no one speaks about. You just can’t have such intense love without feelings or thoughts from the other end of the same spectrum: hate.

Worry not, the bad thoughts come and go, and are totally normal. The only time to be concerned is if the thoughts begin to be frequent and feel intrusive. If that’s the case, be sure to talk to someone.

Never stay silent because you think you’re the only parent to ever have these thoughts, or because you never dreamed you would feel like this. Parenting can be unbelievably demanding and it’s natural to think things you never expected to. The thoughts and feelings don’t make you a bad parent. Parents who tell you they have never had a bad thought ... have a short memory!

Chat to friends and professionals because it’s important you have outlets to keep on being the best parent you possibly can. Get support and help so you can see and enjoy the good times of parenting.

There are counselling online services and face-to-face professionals who are trained specifically to help you keep or find balance when the going gets tough.

Some resources you may find useful:

Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research. Parent Infant Consultants. 0411880720.