Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Art of Parenthood

Ben & Safia                             April 2002

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.  ~John Wilmot

Parenthood is a wonderful, strange and awesome journey. When I became a mother I was totally unprepared for what lay ahead, despite having taken part in all the antenatal and parenting classes I could possibly attend. I was no more ready for the task than I had been before I got pregnant. I wasn’t going to be alone of course, my husband was there too, but he was as clueless as me. We both knew what we didn’t want to do, but we didn’t exactly know what we ought to be doing. We didn’t want our children to be coersed or forced into doing anything they weren’t interested in; we were not going to foist our aspirations on them; we wanted to facilitate access to those things they might want to explore; we wanted to support and guide them; we wanted to be good parents. We knew we would have to discipline them at some point but we wanted to be firm and fair. We wanted to have all the boxes ticked before our first child was born so that we could enjoy him and any subsequent children without having to refer to each other every time something cropped up. We wanted to be prepared.

How naïve we were! From the moment of Ben’s birth we haven’t had a clue what we’re doing; we muddle through as best we can just like every other family. We love the children (we now have two), and we know they love us. We are on a magical mystery tour with a ticket for unlimited travel and no refunds. It’s the best journey I personally have ever taken, in spite of the bumps and holes in the road, and if you can get a ticket to ride I would highly recommend it.

Ben & Safia                          December 2010

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