• Julie Cresswell

Hold Onto Hope - Sometimes It Comes In The Form Of Peas!

If you have a child who only eats a very limited range of food then you’ll understand why, last week, it felt like a major progress when one of our children voluntarily ate a portion of peas. This happened after months years of gently encouraging and lots of play to get them to lick/nibble/just have a couple.

If you’ve had a difficult and painful patch in your relationship with your teen then you’ll understand why, last year, a message from one of our now adult foster children - telling us he was about to become a dad, thanking us for what we had done and how he now hopes to pass what we taught him on to his child - meant so much.

If you’ve had a child who’s reluctant to try anything new without a lot of support (including children’s parties) and then they reach a point of heading off without a “goodbye” to you or a backwards glance then you’ll know how bittersweet that shift is!

These stories are great when we see the progress, but in the middle parts it can be hard to hold onto hope. Often our thoughts go to “If it’s like this now what will it be like in X years time?” or “What did I do wrong for my child to be struggling like this?”

This can be reinforced by the misjudgments or well meaning, but unhelpful comments of others. “I wouldn’t let my child do…” or “Why don’t you just…?” or simply eye rolls and tuts which adds to the sense of loneliness and failure.

Parenting can be complex, particularly because it’s rarely just parenting one child we’re dealing with. Whether it’s work, wider family, school expectations, different personalities, additional needs, multiple children, running your home, or a whole heap of other factors it is far from a linear process. Often others cannot see the complexities of what you are dealing with.

However it’s not supposed to be easy or straight forward - life rarely is!

When I look at my experiences and those of my close friends, most of whom are now in their 40s none of us have arrived at this point unscathed by this reality. Various curve balls including divorce, difficulties with children, illness, bereavement, work challenges have hit at different points and no one is quite on the journey they thought they’d be on. We are all a little more weathered, but hopefully also a little more wise!

So here’s a reminder today that parenting is more like growing bulbs than cress! We plant and nothing happens – sometimes there’s a particularly cold, dark winter which feels never ending - but then, one day you notice there are glimmers of something beautiful.

For those of you who feel like it’s winter in your parenting journey right now and family life is more raw and painful than joyful then please take some encouragement – you may not see any hope, but who knows what you’ll see when spring comes.

Hold onto hope.

If you’re in a winter phase at the moment in your family and in need of some encouragement and hope then don’t struggle alone. Follow the link to book a time to chat.

Photo by Юлія Вівчарик on Unsplash

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

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