Reflecting on Ten Years of Parenting


Motherhood is a very unique experience and one that cannot be replicated. In 2023, I completed my first decade as a mother. For the days leading up to my daughter turning ten, realizing how quickly those ten years have elapsed left me feeling nostalgic and reflecting on my ten years of parenting. I am not claiming to be an expert in the parenting field. However, I have picked up a few bits and pieces along the way that have helped the journey feel easier and more achievable.

As with every parent, we have had our ups and downs. We have had moments of absolute elation and moments of complete terror and fear. Parenting is not easy. There is no rule book and A LOT of unsolicited advice. There is a lot of mom-shaming, people trying to tear you down because your parenting style is different. We have life to deal with, along with parenting. We have Thanksgiving dinners to make, Christmas gifts to buy and wrap, work, moving home, moving countries, making new friends, saying goodbye to old friends, grief, divorce, and all of our trials and tribulations. 

In my ten years of parenting, I have moved country three times, had another child, had a miscarriage, left a career in marketing to be a stay-at-home-mom, became a business owner and a freelance contractor, traveled extensively with my children, lived with chronic illness and lost my mother just under a year. I still had to parent during all of this, just like all of us. This blog is in no way a ‘how-to’ guide or a memoir. These are just a few things that I have learned along the way.

Time goes really fast.

‘The days are long, but the years are fast,’ how true is this? I remember the early days with two small children in diapers and my husband traveling. My daughter was in daycare and caught every virus and every sickness going on, as did myself and my son. Those days were so long, they felt like years. I remember being so sleep-deprived and so zombie-like that I didn’t care if my hair was washed or I had make-up on, things that just years prior would have kept me at home. Some days were so tough it felt like it would never end. I feel like I blinked, and now, I cannot get my daughter to part with Fortnite for a few minutes to tell me about her day. Yes, the time really goes in so much quicker than any of us are ready to admit. As with everything, ‘this too shall pass’!

Don’t Fall for the Mom-Shaming

From the moment my pregnancy was announced, I fell victim to the mom-shaming; ‘are you still wearing heels?’, ‘do you intend on working right up to the birth?’ to ‘How long will you breastfeed for?’ or ‘Are you not going back to work?’. My journey through motherhood, just like all journeys through motherhood, has been unique. We all work with what we’ve got. There is no rule book, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’. I knew moms who swore by routines. We were never and still are not a routine family. We have rhythms that change, but we mostly worked with what was happening at the time. The mom-shaming was short-lived for me as I realized it was just society’s way of making a group of extremely vulnerable people feel worse about themselves. I also realized quickly that no matter what you did, someone would always disagree, so if nothing you do is correct, then you might as well do it the way you want to!!!

Every Child is Different

I was a girly girl. I loved the Disney princesses and was happiest in a flouncy dress. The bigger, the better. So, I assumed my daughter would be the same, right? WRONG! My little engineer came into the world loving cars and dinosaurs. I learned quickly to shop in the boy’s clothes section as little girls’ attire does not have reinforced knees! Every child is different, and as parents, it’s our responsibility to identify their strengths and nourish them. Too many parents spend time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, which is excruciating for everyone. The truth is every child has strengths, and every child has weaknesses. Choosing to focus on something that is not a strength for them will create insecurities and confidence issues. Teach them that it’s okay not to be good at everything and help them nourish their strengths.

Celebrate the Victories

The victories in those early days can be anything from a 3-hour (or less) undisturbed sleep to having a shower two days in a row. The early days are exhausting, thankless, and for many of us, can be really tough, so celebrating those small victories as achievements can make a massive difference to your day. The older the children become, the victories are more easily identified, such as riding their bike, spelling difficult words, scoring their first soccer goal etc. Celebrating the victories is easier, too; you can take them to a movie theater or a nice family restaurant. Just remember to be thankful for every milestone, no matter how small they may be.

If ten years has taught me anything, it’s that life goes far too quickly, and cherishing those moments with your children is so important. In ten years, I will be an empty nester complaining of how quickly those years went and waiting for my children to come home for the holidays; until then, I will continue to nourish their talents, celebrate their victories, and hold them close.