This week, mum-of-four, Genevieve shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting.
I am a mum of four beautiful boys aged five, seven, 10 and 12.
I drop more balls than I can count. At any given moment in my house there is a mountain of toast, lots of noise, and Nerf Bullets absolutely everywhere. But also, my life is full of sweet, caring, loving, fumbling, big-hearted boy love.
I haven’t always had golden rules when it comes to parenting. They have developed over time through trial and error.
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
I started out as a pretty intense mum, focused on getting it all ‘right’. When I just had one baby, I was positive he was perfect. He ate and slept when the books said he should and I was, in hindsight, a tiny bit smug about that. Then I had a second baby, and the cracks began to show.
My perfect firstborn baby became a toddler who was pushing, snatching, and on occasion – biting! My new baby had reflux and wouldn’t stop crying. Nothing felt right, let alone perfect, and suddenly I found myself researching what kids needed because it felt like “this” wasn’t working for any of us.
So, I felt my way around, very much in the dark, until I found my groove. We are now in what many refer to as the parenting golden years: finally out of nappies, day sleeps, and highchairs, and not yet into the perilous teenage years.
It’s a sweet spot in parenting. A point at which I have developed some confidence to know the kind of parent I am and what matters most for our family. Before we hit the next challenges that lie ahead, here are my Five Golden Rules for parenting.
1. I embrace the word no.
Four boys at bedtime feels more like carolling a prison yard on exercise break time than a peaceful vision of family life.
From 5pm to 7pm, four kids and a giant dog suddenly feels like 50 kids and it takes a military operation to make sure things stay on track. The ability to set a clear and confident boundary without losing my sh*t has helped my kids to feel safe with the fact that “I’ve got this”. At bedtime, my “no” is the boundary.