This is not a topic i have a lot of personal experience of. Or any. The beautiful Val [tbV] and my philosophy about children is that we enjoy other peoples and the opportunity to give them back to them at the end of the day. We enjoy kids but we don’t particularly want our own. But we also understand that for a lot of people [perhaps the majority of people who are married?] having children is one of the biggest things in their life, especially for many who have wanted kids their whole life, even some of them from when they were kids.

We have both babysat kids though and we have witnessed kid tantrums [with kids of strangers and also with kids of parents we know] and i was a primary school teacher and did a year’s worth of practical teaching at least and we have both been involved with kids on camps and in holiday clubs and in many other shapes and forms. We get that sometimes [hopefully mostly?] they’re amazing. They’re like little people. Oh wait that’s exactly what they are. But little people who require a lot of love and grace and energy and patience and forgiveness and a whole lot of other stuff.

not always a bundle of joy?

And so we get that it’s not always easy. And for some of you there may be whole periods where it seems like it is never easy. There are books that have been written but there is no real users manual. Each child is different, each family circumstance is different and so there is no one-size-fits-all in any aspect of raising children. I imagine for some parents out there, parenting [or trying ones best to parent] can be a really lonely, frustrating or at times paralysing thing. People tend to brag about how amazing and well-behaved and excellent their kids are as opposed to taking joy in sharing how difficult or frustrating or hurtful their kids can be. So i thought this might be a great topic to get some stories on here. I imagine there is some help for parents of small kids in the form of books or groups or workshops, but not everyone will necessarily have access to those.

So i wanted to chat to some of the parents of young children [talking under the age of about 8 here] that i know and see if i can get anyone to share on when being a parent of a young child, or young children was not so easy and if there was a way that they managed to get through it [if they have yet] to be able to share that and hopefully give some help or encouragement to those of you out there who may be struggling. Maybe just the notion that it’s okay to struggle. You are not alone:

First up i have this most excellent letter to Parents of Small Kids by Steve Wiens

Meet my friend Candi Fourie [includes Postnatal Depression]

Meet my friend Nicolette Ferreira [juggling work at home with looking after baby]

Meet Terran and Julie [and their FIVE!] and a really HONEST, raw and rough cry out from a parent

An excellent post and series from a number of my friends with crazily creative ideas for raising young children as world changers

To wives before you were ‘Mommy’ – an important reminder to both new moms and dads, by Becky Thompson

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