I remember being young and watching my mother change the gears in the car while we were driving. I marvelled at how she seemed to just ‘know’ where the little stick needed to point without even looking, when I asked her how she did it she replied “After awhile it’s just second nature, you don’t even need to think about it.”
Parenting can be a bit like changing gears, it’s hard to adjust to at first, if you do the wrong thing you can end up with a terrible noise! There are also days when you are firmly stuck in reverse and just praying for an automatic. But for the most part after awhile those gears will just flow all by themselves, it becomes second nature and you don’t even need to think about it.
I have now been a mother for 10years, I still stall and crunch the gears sometimes, but not as much as I used to and when I do my eyes don’t well up in embarrassment at the people watching me and judging me as they once did.
I watch friends and family going down the path of motherhood for the first time and I recognise their struggles, I understand their frustrations – I was them once. I am wrangling my fourth 3 year old but now I can grin at the way she still manages to get one over me (in exactly the same way her predecessors did) rather than curse myself for still not knowing better.
We grow up with our children, they probably teach us a lot more than we could ever teach them and as we watch them morph into little human beings with their own opinions and ideas we realise that we just have to take each day as it comes get ourselves into gear and enjoy the ride.