Parenting... Winging it!
I remember thinking my mum was born a mum! I never for one second thought my parents or others were real human beings :) My mum had it all together, never took a day off, never forgot stuff etc etc. So when I had kids I thought someone would give me the handbook on 'perfect parenting' but here's the horrifying truth.......... there is no handbook! Sure there are thousands of books written for new mothers, parents of girls, parents of boys, parents of toddlers, parents of teens and so the list goes on, but nothing prepares you for the day to day reality of real life, hardcore, day to day parenting.
As soon as my daughter was born I fell head over heels in love, I mean we all know it, its like nothing you've ever felt before, mind blowing. I lived in that love bubble for months, I certainly thought it would curb my partying and drinking. Not long in the anxiety and depression kicked, therefore so did the booze! I wanted desperately to be a good mother and have it all under control like everyone else I knew, this I know now is not true....... which comes to my greatest piece of advice, or 'parenting Hack' I know...
Stick with other mums with a similar outlook
Other mums are your lifeline whilst parenting, they are my most valuable friendships, its like being on a rollercoaster with a best friend, you can hang on to each other for dear life! Drinking coffee and coping with 'baby groups' together is a real bonding experience and even though that changes over time, as people go back to work and kids go to school, you can still lean on each other as the years go by, because believe me each stage of parenting comes with new challenges! The most valuable parenting lessons I've learnt have been from friends, not books.
Make sure you manage expectations
When I had my kids, like most people I had a picture of how family life would be! Sure, people say its hard work....but really how hard can it be? How much of a life change can it really be haha! A bloody big one that's how much! Over the years I've learned to manage my expectations around that, I now know being a parent is the most important thing I will ever do, but it isn't my sole identity and my kids can learn from me if I show them the way. Of course they didn't fit right into out lives, we fit into theirs! but I wouldn't have it any other way. I also believe kids will be who they are meant to be, they are on their own journey, I can guide them but I cannot mould them in to what I think they should be. This is a massive learning curve, and really helps with acceptance and letting go. Trying to be in control of every little thing they do can be exhausting and turn me in to a raging mess :)