Battles Vs Wars

My Little Angels…
I was having a chat with a fellow Mum of similar aged boys and she’s having a bit of a rough time managing her little warriors. Let’s just say I could definitely relate and I explained my philosophy of child rearing as being quite simple: I let them win some battles but I win the war. She liked that.

While this might not seem a particularly positive or enlightening philosophy on parenting, let me explain. The idea is they get to “win” on occasion, which I believe empowers them and gives them a good sense of self. The stuff they win is harmless, and while I’d prefer they didn’t do or say (or eat) some things, if I was banging on all the time, they’d never listen to me. So my battles have to be over the important stuff and my goal, of course, is to win the war. A final victory can be declared when they go out into the world, independent young men, who are hopefully kind, generous and funny, with core values that will serve them well.

The challenge is – shit they can push you over the edge. I have noticed a cyclical aspect to parenting –stages I suppose – where both of them go through a few weeks of being the biggest, rudest, pains in my arse the world has ever seen. Of course they know what riles me – they’re smart little dudes – but the difficulty for this Mumma is I had two boys 15 months apart, which of course means they do everything together – including being turds.

And they’re in go-hard-mode at the moment – which my husband suffers equally – so by the end of the weekend, we sit there exhausted, wrung out, exasperated, perplexed and confused, looking forward to getting back to work on Monday morning – because it’s easier.

Of course I completely understand what they are doing. They are stretching boundaries, trying to find out what is acceptable, pushing us to see how far we’ll go and in the mix of it, they are working out who they are and where they fit in the world. Having watched other parents in-action, I know my boys are on the extreme end of the pushing spectrum, but I like that. They’re strong characters with big personalities, and it’s going to serve them very well in life.

But they need to know the rules. What’s acceptable, what’s not, and that’s all I’m trying to do – give them the right guidance and structure to help them become the best version of themselves they can be. That’s it, that’s what I see as my Mum job.

Unfortunately, there are no guidebooks for this stuff and no one ever told me it was going to be so hard, which means sometimes I’m left wondering when – exactly – is this going to be fun?

Bloody kids, I adore the hell out of them, but why did I have them again?

Yours, without the bollocks


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